Though only 12 percent of Americans eat enough fruits and vegetables, 75 percent of U.S. adults take a dietary supplement, notes Melissa Breyer at Treehugger, which is what led to making it a $30 billion a year industry.
People may think it will help them live healthier or longer but another study shows there is no evidence for that. Instead, epidemiology shows it may be leading to worse outcomes. The reason is simple; while vitamins and minerals are important, people are not helped when they put those in place of healthy diets. Instead of being helped by something like calcium supplements, taking 1,000 mg/day was instead associated with increased risk of death from cancer. That didn't help with calcium intake from foods.
Since this was a survey of 30,899 U.S. adults aged 20 years or older who claimed dietary supplement use in the previous 30 days and the median follow-up was just 6.1 years, supplement manufacturers will attack the methodology and say the 3,613 deaths don't have any causation - but that is the exact kind of paper they love when supplements are associated with a blip in health benefit.
Treehugger, Mother Jones, etc. are the go-to magazines for the demographic who believe in alternatives to medicine and science so it's terrific that their journalists are calling out supplements. It's smart business to keep your funding sources alive for as long as possible.