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The science behind dietary supplements

Multivitamins

Several scientific reviews have shown daily multivitamins to have a weak effect on preventing heart attacks and improving cognition. Instead of taking one pill that can't possibly fit every person's daily requirements, it’s recommended to supplement specific deficiencies or needs.

If you're worried about a particular health problem, pay no attention to your diet, or are always dieting, then search for the common vitamin weakness, and look at your diet.

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The science behind dietary supplements

The science behind dietary supplements

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/apr/06/science-behind-dietary-supplements-multivitamins-fish-oil

theguardian.com

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Key Ideas

Multivitamins

Several scientific reviews have shown daily multivitamins to have a weak effect on preventing heart attacks and improving cognition. Instead of taking one pill that can't possibly fit every person's daily requirements, it’s recommended to supplement specific deficiencies or needs.

If you're worried about a particular health problem, pay no attention to your diet, or are always dieting, then search for the common vitamin weakness, and look at your diet.

Fish Oil

Often linked to good heart health, it’s been recently suggested by studies that those with the lowest levels of fish oil (specifically EPA and DHA) have the highest risk of heart disease. Research also suggests that it helps with brain development and also mental illnesses.

Given its safety, price, and potential benefits, the odds are that this is a product worth taking. Algae oil is a good vegetarian alternative for fish oil.

Vitamin D

Essential for bone and mineral metabolism, it has been found to affect other systems, including the cardiovascular, muscular, endocrine and nervous. But only for those with genuine deficiency, vitamin D supplementation have significant benefits.

A blood test will show your vitamin D levels, and from there you can make an informed decision. 

Glucosamine

Joint pain and osteoarthritis are commonly treated with glucosamine, and it helps with pain relief and slowing down arthritis.

Be sure you are using glucosamine sulfate, as glucosamine hydrochloride has been shown to be less effective. 

Protein Powder

Whey protein has been shown to help aging men increase or preserve muscle mass, which is very important for mobility and overall health. To find out if you should use it, work out whether or not you are not eating enough regular protein.

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Plant-based protein sources are not the same as animal protein sources. Proteins are made up of amino acids which are the building blocks of every cell and hormone in our body. Meat protein contains all nine essential amino acids, whereas plant-based protein usually lacks at least one of the nine essential amino acids our body needs.

Unripe jackfruit makes a convincing choice for pulled pork alternatives, curries and burgers. But it is almost valueless if you needed protein since jackfruit consists of carbohydrates. Vegan burgers are made up of beans, but this is not a complete protein source.

Iron content

One study found that 25% of vegans (mainly women) had very low blood iron levels, compared to 0% of omnivores.

Plants like whole grains, legumes and spinach are high in iron but is not always the best type. Animal sources contain haem iron. Non-haem iron, found in plants, is not as well absorbed by the body.

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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.
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.

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