Those Expensive Vitamins You Take Might Not Be Helping You Live Longer

Vitamins from Food — Not Supplements — Linked with Longer Life

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"As potential benefits and harms of supplement use continue to be studied, some studies have found associations between excess nutrient intake and adverse outcomes, including increased risk of certain cancers", Fang Fang Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., senior author and associate professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, says in a statement. It will even be price exploring whether or not dietary supplements is likely to be useful amongst those that have dietary deficiencies."With greater than half of USA adults utilizing dietary supplements, Zhang and her colleagues explored their results, in addition to the impression of vitamins present in meals, with knowledge from 27,725 adults collaborating within the Nationwide Well being and Diet Examination Survey". The bad news is that this link is seen only when those nutrients come from food, not supplements, according to a new study.

During the median follow-up of six years, 3,613 of the study participants died.

A study suggests dietary supplements may have rather different effects than nutrients from food. Excess intake of calcium was associated with higher risk of death from cancer, they said. For the survey, interviewers asked participants about what they ate in the last 24 hours, and whether they had taken supplements in the last 30 days. Extra consumption of calcium was related to a better threat of loss of life from most cancers.

Unnecessary consumption of vitamin D supplements by individuals who were not deficient in the vitamin might increase the risk of death from any cause, the researchers found.

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 USA", according to study co author Dr. Fang Fang Zhang, an associate professor at the Freedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. "The general US population should aim to get adequate nutrition from healthy foods, and a healthy diet". Mortality outcomes were obtained for each participant through linkage to the National Death Index through December 31, 2011, using a probabilistic match.

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The study, which focused on data from more than 27,000 USA adults, found certain nutrients in food - but not supplements - were generally linked to a lower risk of both all-cause and cancer death.

Consumed nutrients from vitamins and supplements may not be as effective in improving one's health compared with eating the right food for the needed nutrients, according to the study. And in fact, some supplements were linked to increased risk of death.

'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.

Zhang says a few populations may benefit from certain supplements, including the elderly - who often struggle to absorb nutrients from food - and those with dietary restrictions that may lead to deficiencies.

Dietary supplements have remained controversial for a number of reasons, including lack of adequate regulations that result in many poor quality products that, in some cases, contain little or no active ingredients.

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