You may not be getting what you think when you take your daily vitamin. A new analysis of 67 studies concludes that dietary supplements do not cut death rates. In fact, the study revealed, they can actually pose health risks to consumers that do the opposite - increase death rates.
A research team from the Cochrane Collaboration, a British organization that evaluates medical research, found that taking vitamins A, E, and beta carotene may lead to adverse side effects that increase mortality. Several hundred thousand people participated in the study, which also found that antioxidant supplements do not prolong life expectancy.
There have been several recent reports about recalled dietary supplements that have resulted in bad reactions in users, drawing public attention on the issue. While the Cochrane Collaboration has urged more research into the safety of vitamin supplements, scientists have pointed out that there is no risk in getting antioxidants and vitamins from food sources.