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[IP] Vitamin Study

One of the sites I monitor for work had this story today:

Multivitamins confer greater benefit on diabetics, new study finds

Taking one multivitamin daily may help reduce the risk of developing colds
and other infections, particularly among diabetics, finds a study in the
Annals of Internal Medicine. An estimated 40% of American adults take
multivitamins, according to the CDC, but bfew well-designed trials have
assessed the reputed benefitsb of such supplements, researchers from
Charlotte, N.C.-based Carolinas Medical Center write.

Methodology: The researchers randomized 130 people ages 45 to 64 to receive
either a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement or a daily placebo. About
30% of the study group had type 2 diabetes. Participants kept daily diaries
of food intake, infections, and sick days.

Findings: At one-year follow-up, 73% of the placebo group reported getting an
infection during the year, compared with 43% of the vitamin group. The
researchers say the disparity is almost completely attributable to
significant results among diabetics; some 93% of diabetics in the placebo
group reported an infection during the year, compared with only 17% of
diabetics in the multivitamin group. The researchers note that participants
who received badequate nutrition saw no recognizable benefitb from taking
the multivitamin supplements.

Caveat: The authors note that the multivitamins may have disproportionately
benefited the group with type 2 diabetes because of a combination of factors;
on the whole, the diabetics in the study were bmore obese, less educated,
more indigentb and had poorer nutrition, they note. In an accompanying
editorial, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health agree, noting
that the participants taking vitamins were better nourished and educated,
meaning they bcould have been healthier to begin with.b

Conclusion: The researchers conclude that because multivitamin supplements
are bsafe and inexpensive,b it is breasonableb to recommend them to
populations with poorer nutrition or those who have poor control of their
diabetes. However, for people with good nutrition, there is bnot much
b that multivitamins confer any benefit (Barringer et al., 3/4; Loviglio,
Washington Post, 3/24).
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