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Ann Intern Med. 2003 Mar 4;138(5):365-71.

Effect of a multivitamin and mineral supplement on infection and quality of life. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

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  • 1University of North Carolina School of Medicine at Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. tbarringer@carolinas.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Use of multivitamin and mineral supplements is common among U.S. adults, yet few well-designed trials have assessed the reputed benefits.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the effect of a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement on infection and well-being.

DESIGN:

Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

SETTING:

Primary care clinics at two medical centers in North Carolina.

PARTICIPANTS:

130 community-dwelling adults stratified by age (45 to 64 years or >or=65 years) and presence of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

INTERVENTION:

Multivitamin and mineral supplement or placebo taken daily for 1 year.

MEASUREMENTS:

Incidence of participant-reported symptoms of infection, incidence of infection-associated absenteeism, and scores on the physical and mental health subscales of the Medical Outcomes Study 12-Item Short Form.

RESULTS:

More participants receiving placebo reported an infectious illness over the study year than did participants receiving multivitamin and mineral supplements (73% vs. 43%; P < 0.001). Infection-related absenteeism was also higher in the placebo group than in the treatment group (57% vs. 21%; P < 0.001). Participants with type 2 diabetes mellitus (n = 51) accounted for this finding. Among diabetic participants receiving placebo, 93% reported an infection compared with 17% of those receiving supplements (P < 0.001). Medical Outcomes Study 12-Item Short Form scores did not differ between the treatment and placebo groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

A multivitamin and mineral supplement reduced the incidence of participant-reported infection and related absenteeism in a sample of participants with type 2 diabetes mellitus and a high prevalence of subclinical micronutrient deficiency. A larger clinical trial is needed to determine whether these findings can be replicated not only in diabetic persons but also in any population with a high rate of suboptimal nutrition or potential underlying disease impairment.

PMID:
12614088
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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