Common Vitamin Pill Doses Increase Death Rate 7%
Robin Hanson cited a survey of studies on vitamin supplementation. Their conclusion is that the dosages people take in multivitamins are harmful overall (except for selenium). Phil Goetz pointed out a huge flaw in the survey (it doesn’t have the possibility of identifying lower doses that are helpful, if larger doses in some studies were harmful). However, there exists a single, high quality study of vitamin C and E supplementation in old men, which uses high but reasonable doses (commonly taken by many people and present in some multivitamins). They looked at cancer and heart attack, but also total mortality. I already knew that supplementing vitamin E was a bad idea. It turns out that even though it’s not fat soluble (so megadoses get excreted out quickly), supplementing past the accepted-useful amount of vitamin C (100mg/day) is harmful. In general, supplementing fat-soluble vitamins is dangerous, because the levels build up slowly (daily consumption is not needed). You should really get your blood levels checked, and supplement only if needed. On days when I don’t get much sun (less than 10 minutes), I take 2000 IU of vitamin D. I should check if this is too much.