Belief that more treatment is better

Don’t assume more treatment is better.

Many health actions that are helpful also have harms. Increasing the dose or amount of a treatment can increase harms without increasing beneficial effects.


It is common that health actions have unwanted effects. Sometimes, these unwanted effects (also called side effects or harms) can be serious. Research has shown that about three-quarters of reported unwanted effects are related to the dose or amount of the treatment.


Millions of people take dietary supplements hoping to maintain or improve their health. These include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other substances. Sales of dietary supplements exceeded $30 billion in the U.S. alone in 2011. However, fair comparisons have not detected beneficial effects in healthy people. In fact, some fair comparisons suggest that routine and high-dose supplementation may not be safe.

Remember: If something we do for our health (a health action) is believed to be beneficial, do not assume that more of it is better.

Educational resources for this concept
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