A group of leading scientists has declared the "case closed" on the value of vitamin pills and supplements. Researchers claim the supplements taken by one in three of the British population are a waste of money, and in the main, offer no real health benefits.
The statement from academics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the University of Warwick comes after the release of a comprehensive study involving half a million people, which looked at the effects of vitamin supplements.
One such study analysed 24 previous trials, from which 450,000 participants gained no beneficial effect on mortality from taking vitamins.
Meanwhile a 12-year study involving elderly men found that the pills had no positive effect on cognitive decline, and further research following 1,700 men and women with heart problems revealed no benefit from taking the supplements.
Writing in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, the academics have now urged Brits to stop wasting their money, and suggested that for the majority of Western adults, vitamin supplements have "no clear benefit and might even be harmful" by causing false worries about illness.
Edgar Mill, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, said: "There are some that advocate we have many nutritional deficiencies in our diet.
"The truth is, though we are in general overfed, our diet is completely adequate."
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