Scientists say vitamins and minerals are "a waste of money"George Dvorsky12/17/13 3:42pmFiled to: debunkeryhealthmedicinevitaminsmineralssupplementsscience42718EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalinkAmericans spend more than $20 billion a year on supplements in hopes of staving off cancer, heart disease, and dementia. Trouble is, the latest research shows they provide no benefit — and they may even be hazardous to our health. But given our nutrient-deprived diets, should we really stop taking these pills altogether?AdvertisementThese are the startling findings of three articles just published in the highly influential Annals of Internal Medicine. The researchers involved in the studies didn't mince words; they're concerned that people are spending too much money on pills that confer no benefit, and in some cases may even be harmful. What's more, they even hinted that companies selling supplements are fueling false health anxieties to offer unnecessary cures. In an editorial titled "Enough is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements," Dr. Lawrence Appel of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore and his co-authors wrote, "Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified, and they should be avoided."Wow. That'll come as a shock to the nearly 40% of adults who regularly take antioxidants, multivitamins, and other supplements.