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Why you shouldn't pop too many multivitamins

Mom always said to take your vitamins. But she didn't mean overdo it. Thirty-five percent of adults swallow a multivitamin on a regular basis, but several studies warn that an abundance of extra nutrients may not be as good for the body as previously suspected. Just check out the data.

DIABETES: While vitamin K and thiamine appear to help reduce risk factors, scientists warn that selenium in vitamins may increase the risk of type-2 diabetes.

PROSTATE CANCER: Too many multis may increase your risk of developing a form of fatal prostate cancer, according to data from the National Cancer Institute.

LUNG DISEASE: Multivitamins don't protect against lung cancer, say scientists at the University of Washington. (In fact, too much vitamin E may increase the risk.)

LONGEVITIY: Perhaps most alarmingly, vitamin supplements may increase your overall mortality risk. So says a recent Danish review of 67 studies involving more than 200,000 participants. After analyzing the data, researchers found that people taking vitamins were 4% more likely to die during the course of the study than people who weren't taking them. Yikes.

THE BOTTOM LINE: If your diet sucks, a multi may help. But if you already eat well and buy fortified cereals and breads, you're likely getting all the nutrients you need.

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