The case is closed: Editorial bias prevents reasonable evaluation of dietary supplements!

By Point Institute

Being involved with dietary supplement research for almost 18 years, I have witnessed my share of hype for, and against, the use of dietary supplements. Few, however have attempted such blatant finality to the subject as the recent editorial in the Annals of Internal Medicine- titled “Enough is Enough: Stop wasting money on vitamin and mineral supplements.The editorial, coupled with the publication of three papers in the same issue, declares in no uncertain terms that “..we believe the case is closed-supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful. These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough.” The publication of the editorial was hyped by many news outlets who quickly found the usual supplement bashers, all too willing to add insult to injury by regurgitating decades-old sound-bites.

Anybody that has spent even a brief amount of time evaluating medical research, especially as it pertains to the use of vitamins and minerals, knows that such a conclusion (“the case is closed”) is as arrogant as it is absurd. In fact, the editorial doesn’t even do justice to the data presented in the three papers published within the same issue- let alone the broader evidence used to support the use of certain vitamins and minerals for the prevention of chronic disease. Let us briefly discuss the 3 papers published in this particular Annals issue- before moving on to the broader context that may expose the real issue behind this editorial.

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