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8 myths about vitamins and supplements

8 myths about vitamins and supplements



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Vitamins and supplements: the statistics

The supplement industry is huge. In 2016, the global nutritional supplement sector turned over an estimated $132.8 billion. By 2022, some experts predict that this figure will exceed $220 billion.

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination S...

In fact, more can sometimes be dangerous. As vitamin and mineral supplements are available without a prescription, people can be forgiven for assuming that they are safe at any dosage.

Large dosages of some vitamins can hamper the body’s finely tuned systems

The term “natural” is fairly meaningless in relation to the safety or effectiveness of a supplement. To provide an extreme example, cyanide is a natural compound that ferns produce. Of course, we are not suggesting that any supplements contain cyanide.


Many of these products contain active ingredients that might interfere with other drugs. 

Supplements might, therefore, boost or reduce the effects of pharmaceutical drugs.

The idea that taking vitamin and mineral supplements will protect our hearts is reassuring. 

However, a large review and meta-analysis published in 2018 could find no significant benefit. 

Although there is a grain of truth to this slice of “common knowledge,” the evidence that vitamin C can prevent a cold is weak.

The scientists found that vitamin C supplementation did not prevent the common cold in the general population. However, they did conclude that...

Scientists have carried out a large number of studies to investigate whether vitamin D might help reduce or treat cancer. 

A large meta-analysis published in 2019 concluded that, although vitamin D did not reduce the incidence of cancer, it did reduce cancer mortality. Simi...

Probiotics are foods or supplements that contain microorganisms, whereas prebiotics are foods or supplements that contain compounds designed to promote gut bacteria.

In most instances, we still don’t know which probiotics are helpful and which are not. We also don’...

Antioxidants are compounds that prevent oxidation, and they include vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and carotenoids, such as beta carotene. In general, fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants.

Research has shown that people who eat more vegetables and fruits have low...

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