Not enough health benefits in vitamin supplements, study says

Modesto Morganelli
Aprile 11, 2019

From the evidence gathered, it's becoming more clear that "the regular use of dietary supplements is not beneficial in reducing the risk of mortality among the general population in the U.S.", according to study co author Dr. Fang Fang Zhang, an associate professor at the Freedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. In addition, during a household interview, they answered whether they had used any dietary supplements in the previous 30 days.

'This study also confirms the importance of identifying the nutrient source when evaluating mortality outcomes'.

In addition, excess calcium intake was linked to an increased risk of cancer death, which the researchers found was associated with supplemental doses of calcium exceeding 1,000 mg/day.

The new study, however, says there's not much evidence that supplements of any sort can prolong your life, despite their widespread use. The problem found in a study from the University of Birmingham in 2018, is that vitamin and mineral supplements don't protect you from heart disease.

In fact, some supplements - such as calcium and vitamin D - were actually associated with a higher risk of cancer.

"Based on the totality of evidence, it's becoming more and more clear that the regular use of dietary supplements is not beneficial in reducing the risk of mortality among the general population in the USA", said study coauthor Dr. Fang Fang Zhang, an associate professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

Other supplements can cause harm.

This was associated with a 53 per cent greater risk of death from cancer, although the relative risk remained small. Eggs, as well as orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are high in vitamin A.

The researchers assessed whether adequate or excess nutrient intake was associated with death and whether intake from food versus supplement sources had any effect on the associations. People want to be healthy, yet we've got a constant stream of conflicting research about what's healthy and what's not (although the science on supplements has been pretty consistent) - so why not double down by taking vitamins?

When the researchers analysed the data, they found that in supplement takers, nutrients from the foods they ate were protective, but nutrients from the supplements were not.

Our results support the idea that, while supplement use contributes to an increased level of total nutrient intake, there are beneficial associations with nutrients from foods that aren't seen with supplements.

Dr. Rekha Kumar, an endocrinologist, wasn't surprised by the finding that people consuming healthy diets lived longer and that supplements didn't seem to extend life.

'Meanwhile, it is clear diets high in these components are healthy. Zhang and her colleagues discovered a decreased threat of demise from any trigger amongst those that consumed ample amounts of vitamin Okay and magnesium, and a reduced danger of cardiovascular dying amongst these with enough intakes of vitamin A, vitamin Okay, and zinc. These deaths included 945 deaths from cardiovascular disease and 805 deaths from cancer.

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