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What vitamins should I take? | The independent


[This article was originally published in 2017]

It seems like simple and obvious advice: eat your veggies, exercise, and of course take your vitamins. Or not.

Decades of research have failed to find any substantial evidence that vitamins and supplements do significant good.

In fact, recent studies lean in the opposite direction, having found that certain vitamins can be bad for you. Several have been linked to an increase in certain cancers, for example, while others have been linked to an increased risk of kidney stones.

Despite this growing awareness, our pill-taking habits have remained largely the same for the past decade.

So, here are the vitamins and supplements to take, and the ones to avoid:

Multivitamins: Avoid – You will get everything you need with a balanced diet.

(Getty / iStockphoto)
(Getty / iStockphoto)(Getty Images / iStockphoto)

For decades, multivitamins were assumed to be critical to overall health. Vitamin C to “boost your immune system”, Vitamin A to protect your vision, Vitamin B to maintain your energy.

Not only do you already get these ingredients from the foods you eat, but studies suggest that consuming them in excess can cause harm. A large 2011 study of nearly 39,000 women over the age of 25 found that women who took them long-term actually had a higher overall risk of death than those who did not.

Vitamin D: Take it – it helps keep your bones strong and is hard to get from food.

Vitamin D is not present in most of the foods we eat, but it is a critical ingredient that keeps our bones strong by helping us absorb calcium. Getting sunlight also helps our bodies produce it, but it can be difficult to get enough in the winter. Several reviews of recent studies have found that people who took vitamin D supplements daily lived longer, on average, than those who did not.

Antioxidants: Avoid – Too much of these has been linked to an increased risk of certain cancers, and you can eat berries instead.

Vitamins A, C, and E are antioxidants found abundantly in many fruits, especially berries, and vegetables, and have been touted for their alleged ability to protect against cancer.

But studies suggest that when taken in excess, antioxidants can be harmful. A large long-term study of male smokers found that those who took vitamin A regularly were more likely to develop lung cancer than those who did not. And a 2007 review of trials of several different types of antioxidant supplements put it this way: “Treatment with beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E may increase mortality.”

Vitamin C: skip it; It probably won’t help you recover from a cold, and you can eat citrus fruits instead.

The vitamin C hype, which started with a suggestion made by chemist Linus Pauling in the 1970s and peaked with Airborne and Emergen-C, is just that: hype. Study after study has shown that vitamin C does little or nothing to prevent the common cold. Also, mega doses of 2,000 milligrams or more can increase the risk of painful kidney stones.

So get your vitamin C from your food. Strawberries are packed with nutrients.

Containing Fortasyn Connect, the drink is a proprietary blend of fatty acids, vitamins, and other nutrients.(Corbis)

Vitamin B3: Avoid it and eat salmon, tuna or beets.

For years, vitamin B3 was promoted to treat everything from Alzheimer’s to heart disease. But recent studies have called for an end to over-prescribing of the nutrient.

A large 2014 study of more than 25,000 people with heart disease found that putting people on long-acting doses of vitamin B3 to raise their “good” or HDL cholesterol levels did not reduce the incidence of heart attacks, strokes, or deaths .

Also, the people in the study who took the B3 supplements were more likely than those who took a placebo to develop infections, liver problems, and internal bleeding.

Probiotics: Avoid Them – The science is not yet advanced enough for them to have a significant benefit, and you can eat yogurt instead.

Probiotics, expensive bacterial supplements that can cost more than $ 1 per pill but are found naturally in smaller amounts in yogurt and other fermented foods, have become big business with a market of approximately $ 23.1 billion. in 2012.

The idea behind them is simple: Support the trillions of bacteria that flourish in our gut, which we know play a crucial role in regulating our health.

But putting that idea into practice has been a bit more complicated. Until now, the effects of probiotics have spread everywhere. Sometimes they help, sometimes they don’t. So instead of spending money on a pill that promises to be a panacea, grab a parfait.

Zinc: take it, it’s one of the only ingredients related to butter from a cold.

Unlike vitamin C, which studies have shown probably does nothing to prevent or treat the common cold, zinc may be worth it. The mineral appears to interfere with the replication of rhinoviruses, the insects that cause the common cold.

In a 2011 review of studies of people who had recently gotten sick, researchers looked at those who had started taking zinc and compared them to those who only took a placebo. Those who took zinc had shorter colds and less severe symptoms.

Vitamin E: Skip it – Too much has been linked to an increased risk of certain cancers, and you can eat spinach instead.

(Getty)(Fake images)

Vitamin E, an antioxidant, became popular for its purported ability to protect against cancer. But a large 2011 study of about 36,000 men found that the risk of prostate cancer actually increased among men taking vitamin E compared to men taking a placebo.

And a 2005 study linked high doses of vitamin E with an overall increased risk of death. So if you’re looking for more vitamin E, make yourself a fresh spinach salad and skip the pill. Dark vegetables like spinach are rich in these things.

Folic acid: Take it if you are pregnant or want to get pregnant.

Folic acid is a B vitamin that our body uses to make new cells. The National Institutes of Health recommend that women who are pregnant or wanting to become pregnant take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily because their bodies demand more of this key nutrient when they are carrying a growing fetus.

In addition, several large studies have linked folic acid supplementation before and during pregnancy with decreased rates of neural tube defects, serious and life-threatening birth defects of the baby’s brain, spine, or spinal cord.

What do you think?

Written by VeriFiz

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