HEALTH

Megadoses of vitamins may be bad for your health, doctors say

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Millions of people nationwide are dependent on multivitamins to make up for deficiencies in their diets, but a prominent author and pediatrician says that taking them in a certain way could actually have adverse effects on your health.

In his new book, "Do You Believe in Magic?," Dr. Paul Offit says that megadoses of certain vitamins can increase a person's risk for heart disease and cancer.

Offit describes these "megadoses" as vitamins that provide anywhere from 5 to 20 times more than the recommended daily intake of certain nutrients.

"By challenging mother nature in taking these vitamins and concentrating them to these exceptionally large quantities that you would never normally eat, you've got to be careful," Offit says.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association, the group that lobbies on behalf of the supplement industry, says that there's plenty of research that highlight the benefits of multivitamins. However, in a statement, they told CNN that consumers should "always use caution" when considering large doses of any supplements.

Offit has a simpler solution.

"Eat plenty of fruits and and vegetables which contain antioxidants," he says. "You do appear to decrease your risk for cancer, decrease your risk for heart disease and lengthen your life."

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