According to a recent University of Minnesota study, some common dietary supplements increased the risk of death in older women, a finding contrary to most data available. Can a multivitamin marketed to improve health actually harm you?

Probably not, says Victor S. Sierpina, MD, a professor of integrative medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. According to Sierpina, researchers didn’t take into account several physical, biological and environmental factors that could affect the study’s outcome. And the findings failed to definitively establish or prove the link between vitamins and increased risk of death.

So instead of trashing your supplements stash, Sierpina suggests taking a more balanced approach: Eat lots of fruits and veggies and see your doctor before you stop taking vitamins. Says Sierpina: “A multivitamin is cheap insurance against trace deficiencies.”