Most popular supplements provide no benefits, a new study has found

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Researchers looked at trials of 15 vitamin and mineral supplements, including multivitamins, analysing more than 150 randomized clinical trials published from 2012 to 2017. “We were surprised to find so few positive effects of the most common supplements that people consume,” said lead author David Jenkins, a professor in the department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto in Canada, in a statement. Jenkins and his team also found there was a very small but noticeable risk of early death from trials of vitamin B3, or niacin, as well as combined supplements containing two or more antioxidants such as Vitamin A, E, β-carotene, selenium and zinc. It’s estimated that around 50 percent of Americans regularly take at least one vitamin supplement, and around 30 percent take a multivitamin.

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It’s most beneficial to rely on a healthy diet to get your fill of vitamins and minerals, the researchers concluded. “So far, no research on supplements has shown us anything better than healthy servings of less-processed plant foods including vegetables, fruits and nuts.” People also should be conscious of the supplements they’re taking and ensure they’re applicable to the specific vitamin or mineral deficiencies they have been advised of by their healthcare provider,” Jenkins said.

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