The study finds that multivitamins do not help may have the opposite interpretation.

A large study of nearly 400,000 healthy U.S. adults tracked for over 20 years found no link between regular multivitamin use and a lower risk of death. The study, “Multivitamin Use and Mortality Risk in 3 Prospective US Cohorts,” was led by researchers at the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute. It was published on June 26, 2024, in JAMA Network Open. Many U.S. adults take multivitamins to improve their health, but their benefits and risks remain unclear. Previous studies showed mixed results and often had short follow-up times.

Study Details and Methods

To better understand the impact of long-term regular multivitamin use on overall mortality, including death from heart disease and cancer, researchers examined data from three large studies. These involved 390,124 U.S. adults over more than 20 years. The participants were generally healthy, with no history of cancer or other chronic diseases.

Reducing Bias in the Study

The study’s large size and detailed information on demographics and lifestyle factors helped the researchers reduce biases that might have affected other studies. For example, people who take multivitamins might generally lead healthier lifestyles, while sicker individuals might take them more often.

Key Findings

The analysis showed that people who took daily multivitamins did not have a lower risk of death from any cause compared to those who did not. There were also no differences in death rates from cancer, heart disease, or strokes. The results were adjusted for factors like race, education, and diet quality.

Interpretation of Results

The author of this article suggested that health risks in the population may have increased over the last 20 years due to pollution and more refined food. Therefore, the finding that multivitamins did not lower death rates could be interpreted as multivitamins helping to keep mortality at the same level despite these increased risks.

Future Research

The researchers also noted the importance of studying multivitamin use and death risk in different groups, such as those with nutritional deficiencies. They emphasized looking at how regular multivitamin use might affect other health conditions related to aging.


Loftfield E, O’Connell CP, Abnet CC, Graubard BI, Liao LM, Beane Freeman LE, Hofmann JN, Freedman ND, Sinha R. Multivitamin Use and Mortality Risk in 3 Prospective US Cohorts. JAMA Netw Open. 2024 Jun 3;7(6):e2418729. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2024.18729. PMID: 38922615.