Eating a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables is a great way to get all of the vitamins your body needs.
However, some people use daily supplements to get the same results and it is widely believed that they can also be used as buffers against chronic diseases.
But the long-term health consequences of many compounds are unknown.
A study published in the journal JAMA internal medicine studied the use of vitamin supplements and their effects on your body.
Researchers rated vitamin and mineral supplement use for all-cause mortality in 38,772 older women in the Iowa Women’s Health Study. the express reports.
The Iowa Women’s Health Study was designed to examine the relationship between various host, diet, and lifestyle factors and the death rate.
The use of dietary supplements was self-reported in 1986, 1997 and 2004.
As of December 31, 2008, a total of 15,594 deaths (40.2 percent) had been identified by the Iowa State Health Register and the National Death Index.
What did the researchers find out?
The intake of multivitamins, vitamin B6, folic acid, iron, magnesium, zinc and copper was associated with an increased overall mortality risk compared to the corresponding non-use.
Calcium intake, however, was inversely related to an absolute reduction in risk of death.
“In older women, several commonly used dietary supplements containing vitamins and minerals may be linked to an increased overall risk of death,” the researchers concluded.
“This association is strongest with iron supplements. In contrast to the results of many studies, calcium is associated with a reduced risk. “
The results have been confirmed in several studies that suggest that taking vitamins and supplements has no clear health benefit.
A review published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine reviewed the results of randomized studies of multivitamin / mineral supplements and individual vitamin / mineral supplements in relation to all-cause mortality and the incidence of chronic diseases, particularly cancer and ischemic heart disease.
The results of large-scale randomized studies show that taking multivitamin / mineral supplements is of no benefit to the majority of the population as a whole.
In fact, some studies have shown an increased risk of cancer in relation to the intake of certain vitamins.
This will give you all the vitamins you need
Most people should get all of the nutrients they need from a varied and balanced diet, although some people may need to take additional supplements.
Vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, and vitamin C are essential nutrients that your body needs in small amounts to function properly.
Many people choose to take supplements, but taking too much or too long could be harmful.
The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs recommends certain dietary supplements to certain groups of people who are at risk of deficiency.
If you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or could become pregnant, it is recommended that you take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily up to the 12th week of pregnancy.
Folic acid supplements must be taken before pregnancy. So start taking it before you stop using birth control or before there is a possibility that you could become pregnant.
“Folic acid can help prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida,” notes the NHS.
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