Vitamins cause cancer smear: closer to election politics than science

Yet another round of media stories last  week picking up on an “expert’s” claim that vitamins are ineffective and dangerous. Such stories are the medical equivalent of blaming immigrants or single mothers for various social ills; scare stories that spin the data and draw totally unjustified conclusions.

The Guardian version opened with this claim: ‘… over-the-counter multivitamins do “more harm than good” and can increase the risk of developing cancer and heart disease ’ and went on to say that a study reviewing trials involving thousands of patients showed that those taking extra vitamins and minerals ‘were more likely to have health problems.’

A little bit of digging revealed just how misleading that opening was. Read on at


  1. Vitamins are in all organic fruits, grains, seeds and vegetables. Looks like I had better stop eating them and focus on denatured foods. 3.5 billion years of evolution got it completely wrong apparently.

    • Sure what’s not to like about organic fruits and all unless you are non disability allowance and know little about nutrition or maybe are elderly and on ten drugs many of which mess up your ability to absorb vitamins, not that many doctors responsible for such place would even know it was happening. If you live in the UK your will be almost certainly deficient in Vitamin D by March and very few people have a healthy omega 6 ratio whatever the year. How many do you know who eat two or more oily fish a week?

      What I’m objecting to is that many of those conducting these studies would appear either to be ignorant about how vitamins work and/or intent on analysing the data in as hostile a manner as possible. The end result is that there is a wide-spread belief that supplements are superfluous which in turn means that useful trials of vitamins – i.e ones done with adequate doses on people who are deficient most likely using several in combination will continue to be left undone.

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