Deadly vitamins?

A daily dose of vitamins may not be as healthful as previously thought

Taking those extra vitamin supplements may actually be unhealthful, according to a recent study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study, which looked at vitamin E and selenium use among 35,000 men, found that those who regularly ingested vitamin E had a 17 percent higher risk of developing prostate cancer than those who maintained their regular diet. Another recent study of 38,000 women in Iowa, published in The Archives of Internal Medicine, found an association between the use of multivitamins and other supplements, such as folic acid and zinc, and an increased risk of death.

“Based on the existing evidence, we see little justification for the general and widespread use of dietary supplements,” the authors of the women’s study wrote.

The two studies follow a 2007 study published by The Journal of the American Medical Association involving 181,000 participants that found the death rate was 5 percent higher among those who regularly used vitamin A, beta carotene and vitamin E supplements.