ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
Insight on Herbals Eludes Doctors, Patients Alike
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Sea Worm Inspires Novel Bone Glue
Tequila Plant May Help Fight Bone Loss
Most Kids With Type 1 Diabetes Lack Vitamin D
CANCER
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Supplement Hampers Thyroid Cancer Treatment
Get to Know the Pap Test
CAREGIVING
For Dialysis Patients, More Pills = Lower Quality of Life
What Moms Learned May Be Passed to Offspring
Simpler Sleep Apnea Treatment Seems Effective, Affordable
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Health Tip: After Liposuction
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
DIABETES
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
DIET, NUTRITION
Antioxidants Abound in Cereals, Popcorn, Whole-Grain Snacks
Eating your way to Good Health
Probiotics Are The Good Guys
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Prenatal Exposure to Traffic Pollution May Lead to Asthma
Small Doses of Carbon Monoxide Might Help Stroke Victims
Pregnant Rural Women More at Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Time Teaches Brain to Recognize Objects
Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients' Sight
Too Much Sun, Too Few Antioxidants Spell Eye Trouble
FITNESS
Moderate Aerobic Exercise Lowers Diabetics' Liver Fat
Run for Your Life
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
Even Young Kids Can Learn CPR
MEN'S HEALTH
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
MENTAL HEALTH
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
SENIORS
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Add your Article

Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good

MONDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In yet another blow to the dietary supplement industry, researchers find no evidence that multivitamin use helps older women ward off heart disease and cancer, the top two killers of women, respectively.

"Women can be encouraged by the fact that these vitamins seem to do no harm, but they also seem to confer no benefit," said study co-author Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, a professor of epidemiology and population health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. "The kind of vitamins you get from diet is quite different, because foods are very complex and have a lot of chemicals we don't know about that interact with each other. [Eating a varied diet] is not the same as distilling it into a pill. The message is to eat a well-balanced diet, exercise and maintain weight."

Other recent studies have suggested that supplement forms of vitamins B, C, D and E, along with folic acid and beta carotene, don't seem to have cancer-fighting abilities, especially in women.

And just last week, other researchers reported that many healthy U.S. children and teenagers may be popping vitamins and mineral supplements they don't need, even while children who may actually need the supplements aren't getting them.

However, all these findings, including the latest one, come with a caveat from another expert.

"There are a lot of variables associated with this study, and unless there is an actual randomized, controlled trial, we can't say anything," said Rajat Sethi, an assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Texas A&M Health Science Center Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy in Kingsville. "There have been a mixture of studies where vitamins indeed have indirectly shown benefit."

And Andrew Shao, vice president for scientific and regulatory affairs at the Council for Responsible Nutrition, stated, "Multivitamins, like all other dietary supplements, are meant to be used as part of an overall healthy lifestyle; they are not intended to be magic bullets that will assure the prevention of chronic diseases, like cancer... From a practical standpoint, this study does not change the fact that the majority of consumers could benefit from taking an affordable multivitamin, particularly as the majority of Americans fail to consume the recommended amounts of a variety of essential nutrients established by the Institute of Medicine."

According to background information in the study, which was published in the Feb. 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, half of Americans regularly use dietary supplements, to the tune of $20 billion a year.

Many people believe multivitamins will prevent chronic conditions such as cancer and heart disease. Yet "convincing scientific data . . . are lacking," the researchers stated.

Two exceptions are folic acid use in women of childbearing age to prevent neural tube defects in babies, and avoiding beta carotene supplements if you're a smoker.

These researchers looked at 161,808 postmenopausal women participating in the government-sponsored Women's Health Initiative who were followed for about eight years. Some 41.5 percent of participants reported using multivitamins.

There appeared to be no association between multivitamin use and risk of breast, colorectal, endometrial, lung or ovarian cancers; cardiovascular disease; or overall death.

"There was some hint that stress vitamins, which are mostly high doses of B vitamins, may have been protective for some forms of cardiovascular disease," Wassertheil-Smoller said.

And the study does come with other caveats, Wassertheil-Smoller said.

"Most of the women in the study probably did eat a fairly decent diet, meaning we don't yet necessarily know how vitamins affect women eating poorly," she said. "The other thing is we didn't measure other things about diet such as sense of energy and well-being."

Amanda Gardner

More information

Oregon State University's Linus Pauling Institute has more on different vitamins.



SOURCES: Rajat Sethi, Ph.D., assistant professor, pharmaceutical sciences, Texas A&M Health Science Center Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy, Kingsville, Texas; Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, Ph.D., professor, epidemiology and population health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City; Andrew Shao, Ph.D., vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, Council for Responsible Nutrition; Feb. 9, 2009, Archives of Internal Medicine

Last Updated: Feb. 09, 2009

Copyright 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

More articles at www.eholistic.com