A $12 billion a year business took a hit this week when a medical journal editorial called multivitamins a waste of money.
Rusty and Lynn Kanne swear by their vitamins and supplements. They spend about $100 a month on them.
“Until I go to a total raw diet where I'm just eating fruits and vegetables, then I probably would stop doing supplements; but until then, I just think we need a little bit extra," Lynn Kanne said.
But an editorial in the Annals of Internal Medicine, based on three studies, says that using supplements and multivitamins won't prevent chronic conditions and is a waste of money.
“There are always studies for and against the use of vitamins. We try to look at the whole body of evidence and there are hundreds upon hundreds of studies that show the benefits of vitamins as well,” Randy Reinartz said.
Reinartz has been in the vitamin and supplement business for 40 years and doesn't expect this latest survey to affect business at his shop.
“If there's positive evidence that comes out, we do see more of a rush. If there's negative evidence, we don't see any decline," Reinartz said.
Most of the vitamin and supplement industry is based on anecdotes, with people saying, “I took this and it really worked for me." And when different studies come out every other month with conflicting information, it can be very confusing for consumers.
“We get different magazines and you try to read through it. And one week this is good and one week that is good. I think you just have to narrow it down," Lynn Kanne said.
“There are a lot of synthetics out there and I think that's where you have to watch the value of what you're purchasing and putting in your body. Your body can't utilize a lot of that stuff," Rusty Kanne said.
And as long as there are customers like the Kannes who say they've seen the benefits, one doctor's editorial isn't likely to slow this multi-billion dollar industry down.
“We do this religiously every day and we'll probably never stop," Rusty Kanne said.
While the current studies focused on multivitamins, the jury is still out on the benefits of Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.