A new international study has found that vitamins and supplements do not provide any benefit in the reduction of risk for type 2 diabetes in adults.

Scientists from the US and China examined the possible benefits of regular vitamin and supplement use in reducing the likelihood of developing diabetes, following up on previous research that had suggested that there may be similar biological mechanisms involved in both heart disease and diabetes, and that their development may be offset by antioxidant vitamins and minerals.

The research, published in the journal Diabetes Care, studied health data from 232,007 patients in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, which was collected in 1995–96 and later followed up in 2000. More than half of the participants regularly took multivitamins and/or supplements, usually daily, and by 2000, 14,130 cases of diabetes had been diagnosed among the participants.

After taking a range of traditional diabetes risk factors into account, and comparing the results from vitamin users with non-users, it was found that taking multivitamins neither increased nor reduced future diabetes risk .

Dr. Yiqing Song, who led the research, said “This result was surprising. The evidence suggests a benefit but the evidence is marginal.” He felt that a stronger clinical trial was necessary to confirm what has been suggested from this observational study .

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