As the old adage goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but what about a vitamin a day? Well, according to US researchers, a vitamin a day may reduce the risk of getting sick.
A trial, which took place in North Carolina, involved 130 people aged over 45 years. Half the group took a multivitamin for a year while the other half took a placebo (dummy pill). Over the year, results showed that 73 per cent of those taking the placebo experienced an infectious illness such as the common cold, influenza and gastro-intestinal infection, compared to 43 per cent of people taking the multivitamin. Likewise, 57 per cent of the participants taking the placebo took sick leave compared to 21 per cent in the multivitamin group. Individuals with diabetes appeared to benefit most – probably because they were likely to be lacking in the supplemented nutrients.
This study pours cold water on a study undertaken at Oxford University, which reported that vitamins pills are a waste of money.