Vitamin and mineral supplements

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Karen Sievwright believes in a well-rounded, healthy diet for her three children. But she’s also convinced their daily dose of multivitamins gives them a special advantage.

While other children typically get several colds a year, Ms. Sievwright says her kids breeze through only one or two shorter-lasting viruses, and her oldest son seems to actually heal himself when he gets an ear infection.

“They bounce back much faster,” says the nutrition and fitness coach from Stony Plain, Alta. “I feel it helps the body to do its job.”

Ms. Sievright’s belief in the power of  supplements is far from unusual: An estimated 14 million Canadians — children and adults — take vitamins, contributing to sales of about $370 million a year. And those numbers are climbing steadily, according to the market-research firm Euromonitor International.

But a number of recent studies suggest that while our belief in the power of vitamins keeps growing, evidence that they do anything to boost the health of people who don’t suffer from vitamin deficiencies is shrinking. At a certain point, some might actually do harm.

“Enough is enough. Stop wasting money on vitamin and mineral supplements,” one major medical journal chided in one unusually blunt editorial.

source: newsnational post

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