The only problem with feeling that a multivitamin gives you carte balanche with your diet is that it’s false sense od security. Most nitrition experts point to studies in which regular vitamin takers do no better-or even worse -that people who skip supplements. In fact, research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that elderly women who regulary took multivitamins had a higher risk of heart disease and cancer that did those who didn’t take the pills. Another study from the National Cancer Institute reported that men who took vitamin E were much more likely to develop prostate cancer. While that news is a little disturbing , it probably just means that these people were already in poor health when they sought out the suplements, suggests David Katz , M.D., nutrition expert at Yale University School of Medicine .
In other words, there’s no indication that the increased risks seen in these studies were caused by the pills, Dr.Katz says. Often people who take multivitamins do so because they’re already sick or at risk for a disease-which could account for the differences in longevity between pill takers and avoiders. “However”, he says,”by osolating the vitamins and minerals in these foods, we may be getting the dose wrong , or perhaps the nutrients need other ingredients-present in the food but not the pill-to work”.