Americans can waste billions every year for supplements – The Hill

At first glance, the story


  • The U.S. Preventive Services Working Group (USPSTF) analyzed data on dietary supplements and found that there was insufficient evidence to determine whether they had any health benefits.

  • More than half of adults in the United States have taken at least one dietary supplement in the past 30 days.

  • Dietary supplements are not considered drugs and are not intended to treat, diagnose, alleviate, prevent or cure disease.

Millions of Americans use dietary supplements to promote health and wellness, but these efforts may not help, and the new report has insufficient evidence to determine whether supplements have significant health benefits.

The U.S. Preventive Services Working Group (USPSTF) has announced a new recommendation that Americans may not need to take vitamin, mineral, or multivitamin supplements to prevent serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease or cancer.

The USPSTF found that current evidence was “insufficient to determine the benefits and harms of taking most vitamins, minerals, and multivitamins to prevent heart disease, stroke, and cancer.”

The USPSTF is an independent group of experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine. The Working Group annually submits reports to Congress that identify evidence gaps in research and recommend priorities that require careful scrutiny.


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The working group found that beta-carotene supplements could actually have adverse health effects and advised them to refrain from taking them. The supplement was associated with an increased risk of lung cancer in people who smoked or had occupational exposure to asbestos.

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, more than half of U.S. adults, 52 percent, said they had taken at least one dietary supplement in the past 30 days, AQ, and 31 percent used multivitamin-mineral supplements.

The most common reason for taking supplements was for overall health and wellness and to fill in the nutritional gaps in the daily diet.

According to researchers at Northwestern University, the supplement industry generates about $ 50 billion in revenue for dietary supplements and about $ 900 million in marketing.

“The appeal of the supplements is obvious. Theoretically, vitamins and minerals have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which should reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, ”the researchers wrote.

However, after conducting its analysis, the USPSTF found that there was insufficient evidence to determine the balance of benefits and harms of supplementation with single or paired foods to prevent cardiovascular disease or cancer for many of the vitamins and foods under consideration.

However, the Consumer Health Products Association (CHPA) has challenged the USPSTF’s findings, noting that the evidence for the benefits of dietary supplements is growing. The group, citing the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements, claims that some dietary supplements improve overall health and can manage some health conditions.

NIH says that calcium and vitamin D hold bones firmly and reduce bone loss, while folic acid reduces the risk of some congenital defects. Omega-3 fatty acids and fish oil also help people with heart disease.

Dietary supplements are not considered drugs and are not intended to treat, diagnose, alleviate, prevent or cure disease. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates both supplements and medications, but introduces separate rules for dietary supplements.

No FDA approval is required prior to the sale or sale of supplements, and manufacturers are allowed to claim that the supplement promotes good health or supports the body’s functioning, but they cannot say that the product can diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Published in June. 22, 2022

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