It is well known within the research community that dietary supplements as a class achieve next to nothing for basically healthy people, those lacking any specific deficiency or medical condition that might cause that deficiency. In fact the evidence strongly suggests that some supplements, antioxidants for example, may even be modestly harmful over the long term. This scientific consensus has to compete with the marketing budget of the supplement industry, which seems to be doing fairly well for a community focused on selling a mix of largely useless and mildly harmful products. So studies such as this one continue to roll out, and perhaps one day there will be meaningful change as a result, but I’m not holding my breath.
Treatment and prevention of micronutrient deficiencies with vitamins and minerals in the last two-and-a-half centuries are among the most dramatic achievements in the history of nutritional science. However, interest in micronutrients has shifted recently from prevention of classic deficiency states to prevention of possible subclinical deficiencies and promotion of overall health and longevity using supplemental vitamins and minerals (supplement use). Here, the data are less clear, but supplement use is widespread.
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