Do vitamins really work? It's a question that has been asked for decades, and one that has been the subject of countless studies. The answer is not a simple yes or no. While some forms of supplements may have different effects than the natural form, the evidence suggests that taking dietary supplements does not lead to a longer, healthier life. In fact, some studies suggest that certain supplements may even be harmful to health when taken in excess.
A recent national study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) analyzed survey data collected from more than 27,000 people over a six-year period. The results, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, showed that people who reported taking dietary supplements had approximately the same risk of dying as people who obtained their nutrients through food. In addition, the mortality benefits associated with adequate intake of vitamin A, vitamin K, magnesium, zinc and copper were limited to food consumption. The study also found that people who took more than 1,000 milligrams of calcium supplements a day were more likely to die from cancer than those who didn't.
There was also evidence that people who took vitamin D supplements at a dose greater than 10 micrograms (400 IU) per day without vitamin D deficiency were more likely to die from cancer. The researchers noted that study participants who reported taking dietary supplements generally had a higher level of education and income and tended to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. They ate more nutritious foods, were less likely to smoke or drink alcohol, and exercised more. Therefore, it appears that people who take dietary supplements are likely to live longer and healthier lives for reasons that are not related to the use of supplements.
While the study has some limitations, including difficulty in distinguishing association from causality and reliance on self-reported data, its findings suggest that regular use of dietary supplements should not be recommended in the U. S. UU. Of course, this doesn't rule out the possibility that certain subgroups of people, including perhaps those following certain special diets or with known nutritional deficiencies, may benefit from taking dietary supplements. It is best to have a blood test to see what vitamin you lack and to find foods that are high in those vitamins.
Whole fruits and vegetables contain a mixture of vitamins, phytochemicals, fiber and other nutrients that are likely to work synergistically to provide health benefits. Unfortunately, most people get little sunlight, and in northern climates, the sun isn't intense during the winter months to produce vitamin D.Linder points out that people who are vitamin deficient can still benefit from taking dietary supplements such as calcium and vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to be effective in combating Covid in numerous studies, as well as an effective defense against 19 different types of cancer. In conclusion, while there is evidence that certain subgroups may benefit from taking dietary supplements, regular use of dietary supplements should not be recommended for most people. It is best to get your nutrients from food sources whenever possible.
If you are concerned about your nutrient intake or have any health concerns related to vitamins or minerals, it is best to consult with your doctor.