Multivitamins are the most commonly used supplement in the developed world. Would this still hold true if multivitamins increased your risk of death?
An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study tried to determine whether multivitamin-multimineral supplements increase the risk of death in independently living adults. Multiple electronic databases were searched, and eligible trials were ones that investigated daily multivitamin-multimineral supplementation for one year or more. Subjects described as institutionalized or as having terminal illness were excluded.
Twenty-one articles were included in the analysis, which generated a total sample of 91,074 people and 8794 deaths. The average age of the included subjects was 62 years, and the average duration of supplementation was 43 months. Across all studies, no effect of multivitamin-multimineral treatment on all-cause mortality was observed. There was a trend for a reduced risk of all-cause mortality in primary prevention studies. Multivitamin-multimineral treatment had no effect on deaths due to vascular causes or cancer.