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New vitamin supplement study finds they may do more harm than good

http://theconversation.com/new-vitamin-supplement-study-finds-they-may-do-more-harm-than-good-97246

theconversation.com

New vitamin supplement study finds they may do more harm than good
In Australia's most recent nutrition survey, 29% of people reported having taken at least one dietary supplement. This proportion was even higher in the United States at 52%. A new study out today aimed to examine the benefits of vitamin and mineral supplements for prevention of heart disease, stroke and premature death (termed " all-cause mortality ").

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Results On Multivitamins

  • In studies testing the four common supplements of multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium and vitamin C, there was no reduction in the incidence of heart disease, stroke or premature death.
  • Folic acid supplements showed a reduction in heart disease and stroke. But high levels of folic acid in the blood may increase the risk of prostate cancer.
  • Among those taking statin medication to lower blood cholesterol, slow or extended release vitamin B3 (niacin) increased the risk of early death by 10%.
  • Antioxidant supplements also had a marginally significant increase of early that risk.

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Multivitamins Research Review

  • There’s some evidence for taking folic acid for the prevention of heart disease and stroke, and also for taking B-complex vitamins that include folic acid for stroke.
  • As there was no reduction in early death from taking supplements, it does not work against poor dietary habits.
  • Taking supplements is very different from eating whole foods. The latter rarely causes complications and the former may lead to the consumer missing out on healthy phytonutrients found in the former.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Supplements don't replace a healthy diet

Supplements are never a substitute for a balanced, healthful diet.

And they can be a distraction from healthy lifestyle practices that confer much greater benefits.

Big business, little evidence

More than 90,000 products generate about $30 billion every year in the United States. 

But even though supplements are popular, there is limited evidence that they offer any significant health benefits - the health benefits are negligible or nonexistent for the average, healthy person.

Dietary supplements

This is an umbrella term that includes everything from vitamins and minerals to botanicals and biosimilar products. 

For the most part, though, people use "supplement" to refer to an individual vitamin or mineral preparation or a multivitamin. 

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Over-The-Counter Pills

Over-The-Counter Pills

About 25 percent of adults above 50 years of age try to improve their brain health and memory by taking supplements.

These pills claim to enhance memory, attention and foc...

Powdered Nutrients: The Facts

  • Most pills are a combination of vitamins and minerals, along with omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Scientific studies show the natural forms (like fish in case of omega-3 fatty acids) contain the real benefits, and popping supplements do not have the same effect.
  • Vitamin E supplements can help to a limited extent but high doses can increase the risk of a hemorrhagic stroke.
  • Vitamin B supplements are only to be used if one’s normal diet is not enough for them, or in case of a deficiency.
  • Taking time to do some exercise and having a plant-based diet is a better long term health solution.

Vitamin D and sunshine

Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and many other biological processes. Lower levels of Vitamin D increase the rates of almost every disease like cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, cognitiv...

Vitamin D supplementation

Getting vitamin D through supplementation shows zero benefits. A study over a period of 5 years found supplementing with Vitamin D had no impact on cancer, heart disease, or stroke.

A number of researchers now argue that people with high vitamin D levels are healthy not because of the vitamin, but because they get plenty of exposure to the sun. Vitamin D is just a marker of that fact.

Sunlight is good for you

A dermatologist discovered our skin uses sunlight to make nitric oxide, a molecule in the body that dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.

He exposed volunteers to the equivalent of 30 minutes of summer sunlight without sunscreen. The result? The nitric oxide levels in the volunteers went up, and their blood pressure lowered. Because of the connection of high blood pressure to heart disease and strokes, this discovery can prevent millions of deaths globally.