A study on healthy adults in Hawaii and Los Angeles shows that people who take food supplements are the ones least likely to need them.

Seventy-five percent of the people in the study took supplements. The people most likely to take supplements were older, had higher levels of education, were more likely to exercise, ate more fruit, took in more fiber, and were far less likely to have risk factors for disease such as being obese, smoking, or eating lots of fatty foods. This study shows that people who take vitamins and other supplementary pills also follow a more healthful lifestyle. So the conclusion of this study is that it is very difficult to study the health of supplement takers because they already are participating in a healthier lifestyle than people who do not take supplements.

Am J Epidemiol 2003; 157:888-897. May 15, 2003

Checked 5/3/07

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