A recent study of more than 38,000 women in Iowa raised some eyebrows by claiming some supplements may pose risks for older women. Before you run to the medicine cabinet to toss all of your vitamins away, make sure to read the fine print in the published findings.
The study — which shows only an association, not cause and effect — has some key shortcomings. The researchers measured supplement intake using questionnaires that relied on the memory of the participants, for instance.
In addition, the researchers don’t know whether the women were taking supplements for a health problem. The increases in death risk might therefore be due to underlying health conditions rather than the supplements themselves, says Susan Fisher, Ph.D., a professor of community and preventive medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, in Rochester, N.Y.
Bottom line: check with your health provider before making any change to your routine.
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