Talk about irony. People who take vitamin supplements may be more likely to take risks with their health, according to a surprising new study from Taiwan. Its authors conclude that taking vitamins may give an “illusory sense of invulnerability” that leads the pill-poppers to exercise less and to eat more than they should.
Researchers looked into the psychology of vitamin supplementation after noticing an “asymmetrical” relationship between public health and the use of vitamins.
“After reviewing the literature of the prevalence of dietary supplement use, it seemed to show that use of dietary supplements is increasing, but it does not appear to be correlated with improved public health,” study author Wen-Bin Chiou of Taiwan’s Sun Yat-Sen University said in a written statement.
So a group of researchers led by Chiou set up a pair of experiments in which identical placebos were given to a group of volunteers, some of whom were told that they had been given vitamin supplements and others told they had been given placebos.
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