deepstash

Beta

Do you need a daily supplement?

Deepstash brings you key ideas from the most inspiring articles like this one:

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/do-you-need-a-daily-supplement

health.harvard.edu

Do you need a daily supplement?
Image: © phototake/Getty Images Over-the-counter dietary supplements are big business - more than 90,000 products generate about $30 billion every year in the United States. Older adults make up a big part of these sales, too. A survey of almost 3,500 adults ages 60 and older published Oct.

5

Key Ideas

Save all ideas

Big business, little evidence

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 signi...

29 SAVES


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.

22 SAVES


Dietary supplements

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...

21 SAVES


Why people take supplements

  • People often think of them as something extra they can do to be sure their basic nutritional needs are covered. 
  • There's also a possible placebo effect when tak...

22 SAVES


When supplements bring benefits

When supplements bring benefits

Supplements prescribed by a doctor are helpful for people with certain medical issues. 

Supplements can play an important role in some high-risk groups: adults diagnosed with oste...

32 SAVES


SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

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.
  • ...

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.

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.

Research Findings On Supplements

  • Pharmaceuticals undergo extensive testing to prove they're effective and safe before they can be sold, but dietary supplements can be sold without proof of claims, effectiveness or safety.

Supplements And Doctor Prescriptions

Because of the potential risks and unclear benefits of supplements, most doctors advise against them. However, doctors often recommend specific vitamin and mineral supplements to their patients, such as calcium and vitamin D to prevent osteoporosis and iron for people with iron deficiency.

When Buying Supplements

  • Consider only single-ingredient supplements. Multi-ingredient supplements make it hard to identify which substance is having an effect and they are more likely to be adulterated with banned drugs.
  • Tell your doctor about any supplement you take, so they can check it will interact with any of the medicines you're on.