Vitamin supplements cannot replace a balanced diet

According to TIME, nearly 90% of U.S. adults don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables, but many try to make up for it by popping grains.

They’re not alone, most people around the world believe that the emergence of vitamin supplements is one way to get the nutrients they need, but the results of a research study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine suggest that vitamins and supplements may not be enough to keep you healthy.

Nutrients consumed through supplements do not effectively improve health and longevity like those eaten through foods, according to the study conducted by the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research, Upper Hebrew Life, Boston, Massachusetts.

The study’s co-author, an associate professor of epidemiology at Tufts University, says getting the required amount of nutrition by eating the right amount of nutritious food was associated with a longer lifespan, but the same did not apply to nutrients from supplements.

“For the general public, there’s no need to take supplements,” he told Time magazine, “more evidence suggests there are no benefits, so we should follow what dietary recommendations suggest to achieve adequate nutrition, rather than relying on supplements.”

Vitamin supplements and natural food sources

 How the study was conducted:

The researchers used data from about 30,000 U.S.

For the survey, participants were asked what foods they had eaten in the past 24 hours and what supplements they had taken in the past 30 days, if any.

The researchers then used this information to determine the nutrient levels of the participants, and the researchers followed up with the ingredients for about six years.

In this period, more than 3,600 people died. By the end, 945 respondents had died of heart disease, while 805 had died of cancer, according to Live Science.

Study results

Dr. Chang and her colleagues initially began to assume that supplements were associated with a lower risk of premature death, she said.

But after adjusting for factors such as education, socio-economic status and demographics, the relationship between supplements and longevity disappeared.

There is no denying that to reduce the risk of early death, getting enough vitamin A, vitamin K, magnesium, zinc and copper, vitamins played a key role – but only when these nutrients come from food.

Harmful effects of vitamin supplements:

Some supplements were not just an absolute waste of money and time, but some supplements seemed to come with health risks, and the study says that people who took high doses of calcium through supplements were 53% more likely to die from cancer than people who did not take the supplements.

Apparently, the body may not be able to get rid of excess extra calcium as well as natural calcium, but that certainly doesn’t mean you should get rid of the bottle of calcium supplements (prescribed by your doctor) because the relationship between excess calcium and cancer is still not entirely clear and will require further research

Vitamin D supplements seem to play a role in messing up the longevity odds of those who already have adequate levels of vitamin D in their bodies.

Who should use the supplements then?

The researcher says that few people may benefit from certain supplements, including the elderly as well as pregnant women – who often struggle to absorb nutrients from food – and those with dietary restrictions (obesity surgery, food allergies, health conditions, etc.) that may lead to deficiencies, for example, pregnant women often need to take folic acid supplements.

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