LOS ANGELES (CBS NEWS) — New research suggests taking dietary supplements like multi-vitamins may not make you live longer.

In fact, they could shorten your life.

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International doctors looked at nearly 40,000 women around the age of 61 who took supplements.

They say taking multivitamins, vitamin B6, folic acid, iron, magnesium, zinc and copper, appears to be associated with increased risk of death.

“They are able to tell us use with multivitamins increased the relative risk by 2.4 percent,” Dr. Lisa Ganjhu at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital said.

The association was strongest when it came to taking iron, but researchers also found taking calcium supplements appears to reduce risk of death.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of U.S. adults take at least one supplement daily and those numbers are increasing as we look for ways to stay healthy.

Experts stress this is just one study and that similar research has not shown the same results. But it’s always good to let your doctor know what you’re taking.

“A lot of times they are taking combination supplements so they are taking a lot of one element and it’s unbalanced,” Dr. Ganjhu said.

Doctors say eating right is still the best way for your body to absorb the vitamins and minerals you need.


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