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Nutrition experts: Debate over value of vitamin, mineral supplements is far from over
Date:6/2/2014

CORVALLIS, Ore. Researchers from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University and three other institutions have taken issue with recent claims that "the case is closed" on whether or not a multivitamin/mineral supplement should be taken by most people to help obtain needed micronutrients.

In a correspondence to be published Tuesday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the researchers reasoned that this type of dietary supplement helps fill nutritional gaps, improves general health, might help prevent chronic disease, will cause no harm and is easily worth the few cents a day that it costs.

To "call the case closed" is wrong and "misinforms the public and the medical community," the researchers wrote. Their statements were a response to an editorial in the same publication last year that argued that such supplements are unnecessary and received widespread publicity.

The statement was authored by nutrition experts from OSU, the Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Tufts University and the Harvard School of Public Health.

While most nutrition experts agree that a balanced and nutritious diet is the best way to obtain needed nutrients, the researchers in this commentary point out that many Americans have a less-than-perfect diet long on calories and short on nutrients - and the vast majority are not getting enough of several important vitamins and minerals.

"It's nave to ignore the fact that most people have micronutrient inadequacies, and wrong to condemn a daily supplement that could cover these nutritional gaps safely and at low cost," said Balz Frei, professor and director of the Linus Pauling Institute, and a biochemist in the OSU College of Science.

"There's strong evidence that a multivitamin/mineral supplement supports normal functioning of the body and helps improve overall health, and may even help lower chronic disease risk," Frei said. "It's irresponsible to ignore de
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Contact: Balz Frei
balz.frei@oregonstate.edu
541-737-5078
Oregon State University
Source:Eurekalert

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