Fact or Fiction?: Do Multivitamins Really Help Fight Colds And Viruses?

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During the cold winter months ahead, research has shown that there is no magic “multivitamin” pill that will ward off the sniffles and keep your body in top shape. Ultimately, eating heathy, exercise and good sleep habits are the best way to ensure that you are ready to fight off colds and viruses.

Dr. Cornelius Ferreira, a board-certified family physician at Nuvance Health, recently sat down with us to explain whether taking these supplements is worth the cost and effort!

In the editorial “Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements,” Johns Hopkins researchers used three studies to come to their conclusions:

  • An analysis of research involving 450,000 people, which found that multivitamins did not reduce risk for heart disease or cancer.
  • A study that tracked the mental functioning and multivitamin use of 5,947 men for 12 years found that multivitamins did not reduce risk for mental declines such as memory loss or slowed-down thinking.
  • A study of 1,708 heart attack survivors who took a high-dose multivitamin or placebo for up to 55 months reported that rates of later heart attacks, heart surgeries and deaths were similar in the two groups.

While the evidence is poor that multivitamins are all they are advertised to be, there is plenty of proof that nutrition recommendations work. To stay healthy, we should focus on eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the amount of saturated and trans fats, sodium and sugar in our diets.

Dr. Cornelius Ferreira, Nuvance Health System chair of primary care, is a board-certified family physician, who provides primary care to children and adults of all ages in Fairfield County, Connecticut with a focus on preventative care and developing healthy lifestyles. Nuvance Health is a family of award-winning nonprofit hospitals and healthcare professionals in the Hudson Valley and western Connecticut.

Visit nuvancehealth.org for more information.

Listen here for the full rundown!


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