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Vitamin Study Raises Questions

October 24, 2011, 5:12 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Vitamin Study Raises Questions
SIOUX FALLS, SD - People who don't believe they're getting the vitamins and nutrients they need from the food they eat often turn to vitamins. But a new study shows vitamins may do more harm than good for older women.

The Iowa Women's Health Study involved nearly 38,800 women with an average age of 62 who researchers started following in 1986.

It found women who took certain supplements, including multi-vitamins, vitamin B6, and iron, had a higher death rate.

Sanford Health Doctor Janell Simpkins doesn't think the results mean vitamins are necessarily dangerous, but the safety of most supplements has not yet been proven.
She says the best way to get the proper nutrients is through food, not pills.

"Certainly there are some individuals who may have health problems where they can't get all the nutrition from their diet. They should perhaps be taking a multi-vitamin. Pregnant women have a higher need for vitamins, so they definitely should take their vitamin supplements as recommended," Simpkins said.

The study did associate one supplement with a reduced risk of death: calcium.

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