(HealthDay News) — For US adults, dietary supplements are not associated with mortality benefits, according to a study published online April 9 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Fan Chen, MPH, from Tufts University in Boston, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study to examine the association among dietary supplement use, levels of nutrient intake from foods and supplements, and mortality among U.S. adults. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2010 were linked to National Death Index mortality data for 30,899 US adults who answered questions on dietary supplement use.

The researchers identified 3,613 deaths, including 945 cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths and 805 cancer deaths, during a median follow-up of 6.1 years. There was no correlation for ever-use of dietary supplements with mortality outcomes. There were correlations for adequate intake of vitamin A, vitamin K, magnesium, zinc, and copper with reduced all-cause or CVD mortality; the correlations were restricted to nutrient intake from foods. Excess calcium intake correlated with elevated cancer death risk (above versus at or below the tolerable upper intake level: multivariable adjusted rate ratio, 1.62); the correlation seemed to be related to calcium intake from supplements (≥1,000 mg/day versus no use: multivariable-adjusted rate ratio, 1.53).

“The potential risks and benefits of dietary supplement use for health need to be further evaluated in future studies,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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