Taking your daily dose of multivitamin supplements may not actually help protect you from serious illness. According to experts, multivitamins offer almost no benefit in preventing chronic diseases.

In an editorial that accompanied the latest studies on vitamins which were published, Monday, in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, physicians and health experts said that most supplements do not prevent chronic illness or death.

"We believe that the case is closed -- supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful," said the authors of the editorial. "These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough."

The editorial also warned that supplements should be avoided adding that beta-carotene, vitamin E and possibly high doses of vitamin A increased the risk of death in some trials.

The strong message in the editorial was based on a review of the results of studies that track links of multivitamins to cancer protection, heart health and brain and cognitive measures.

The first study found no evidence that vitamins and mineral supplementation could reduce heart disease. The result of the second study likewise showed that multivitamin supplements did nothing to slow cognitive decline among male subjects who are 65 years and older.

Researchers in the third study wanted to see the role of multivitamins and minerals in preventing another heart attack or myocardial infarction and found no difference in the rates of heart attack, chest pain, the need for hospitalization, cardiac catheterization, or rates of stroke and early death between vitamin-takers and placebo-takers. The researchers, however, warned that the conclusions should be taken with caution because some of the participants stopped taking vitamins early.

The results of the studies had some medical experts urging consumers to stop wasting their money on multivitamins and other supplements because these do not have proven benefits and even have some possible harm.

"What will protect you is if you spend the money on fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, low fat dairy, things like that ..exercising would probably be a better use of the money," said editorial co-author Dr. Edgar Miller, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

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