Are dietary supplements really working against you?

April 22nd, 2011 - 4:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, April 22 (IANS) Do you belong to one-half of the population that relies on dietary supplements to get better health? Beware, they could actually be working against you.

Wen-Bin Chiou of National Sun Yat-Sen University, Taiwan, decided to test if frequent use of dietary supplements had unexpected consequences for supposed health benefits.

“After reviewing the literature of the prevalence of dietary supplement use, it seemed to show that use…is increasing, but it does not appear to be correlated with improved public health,” says Wen-Bin Chiou of National Sun Yat-Sen University.

Chiou conducted the study along with Chao-Chin Yang of National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism and Chin-Sheng Wan of Southern Taiwan University.

Participants in Group A were instructed to take a multivitamin and participants in the control group were assigned to take a placebo. However, all the participants actually took placebo pills, according to a Sun Yat-Sen statement.

The results from the experiments and survey demonstrated that participants who believed they had taken dietary supplements felt protected from health hazards, prompting them to engage in health-risk behaviours, reports the journal Psychological Science.

What does this all mean? Chiou says: “People who rely on dietary supplement use for health protection may pay a hidden price, the curse of licensed self-indulgence.”

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