The real reason we take supplements, even if they don’t work

Taking supplements is common among U.S. adults, and the most oft-cited reasons people give for taking them are wanting to feel better, improving energy levels and boosting the immune system, a new survey finds.

But these aims have little to do with measurable improvements to health, the researchers said. Moreover, most people taking supplements indicated that the supplements’ proven effectiveness didn’t matter to them — only 25 percent said they would stop taking a supplement if it was found to be ineffective, according to the survey.

“We call this the ‘effective for me’ attitude,” said study researcher Kathleen Weldon, of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. “As long as something is safe, people think they are a better expert on whether it works for them, better than any clinical trial.”

Written by  Karen Rowan

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