Health

Multivitamins Don't Make People Healthier, Antibacterial Soaps Don't Work, Say Studies

| by Michael Allen

Doctors behind three studies claimed today that multivitamins do not make people healthier and may even be harmful.

The three studies tracked multivitamins link to cancer protection, heart health and brain function.

The doctors even went as far as to tell people not to “waste” their money on multivitamins, which would include about half of all Americans.

“We believe that the case is closed... supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with [most] mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful,” wrote the doctors in the Annals of Internal Medicine. “These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough.”

“The ‘stop wasting your money’ means that perhaps you're spending money on things that won't protect you long term,” study co-author Dr. Edgar Miller, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, told CBS News. “What will protect you is if you spend the money on fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, low fat dairy, things like that... exercising would probably be a better use of the money.”

The only supplement that seems to be of any help is vitamin D, which has been shown to be effective (but also ineffective) when it comes to preventing falls and fractures in older people's bones.

Another waste of money, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are "antibacterial soaps."

The FDA said in a statement today that studies show there is no evidence of antibacterial soaps being effective and the soaps might actually threaten public health.

Under a proposed FDA rule, antibacterial soaps manufacturers will have to prove their soaps' chemicals are safe and that their antibacterial soaps are better than soap and water, reports the Associated Press.

If manufacturers can’t do that, they would have to remove the antibacterial claim, remove the chemicals and or completely pull their products from the market.

The FDA is concerned that the chemical triclosan (found in most antibacterial soaps) may be interfering with people's hormone levels and antibiotic resistance in the US.

Sources: Associated Press and CBS News