Most Americans Take Supplements, But Few Benefits Found
More thanِ halfِ of Americans takeِ dietary supplements, withِ theِ multivitamin beingِ the mostِ commonly used, according toِ a newِ report fromِ the Centers forِ Disease Control andِ Prevention.
Between 1988 andِ 1994, 42 percent ofِ the U.S.
That increased toِ 53 percent betweenِ 2003 andِ 2006, theِ report says.
But do these pills really have the power to make you healthier?
Despite theirِ ubiquity, thereِ isِ no evidence thatِ takingِ a multivitamin regularly hasِ the ability toِ ward offِ chronic diseases, suchِ asِ cancer andِ cardiovascular disease, saidِ Roberta Anding, a registered dietician andِ spokeswoman forِ the American Dietetic Association.
That’s notِ to sayِ you shouldn’tِ take a multivitamin ifِ you wantِ to.
If youِ wantِ anِ insurance policy, I don’tِ think there’sِ anyِ harm inِ taking a multivitamin, Anding said.
Fruits and veggies are better
A diet high inِ fruits, vegetables andِ whole grains hasِ beenِ linked toِ a decreased risk ofِ cancer, cardiovascular disease, hypertension andِ stroke, among otherِ diseases.
The sameِ can’tِ beِ said forِ supplements .
Some nutrients, suchِ asِ vitamin E foundِ in nuts, areِ absorbed betterِ by yourِ body whenِ theyِ areِ consumed inِ their natural form asِ opposed toِ supplement form, Anding said.
There are so many nutrients we haven’t even discovered yet, Tallmadge said.
There areِ cases inِ which people mayِ need toِ takeِ dietary supplements becauseِ it canِ beِ difficult toِ getِ enoughِ of certainِ vitamins andِ minerals throughِ natural sources alone.
In addition, it’sِ recommended thatِ women whoِ areِ pregnant orِ areِ thinking aboutِ becoming pregnant takeِ a folic acid supplement toِ prevent anemia andِ certain birth defects, according toِ theِ National Women’s Health Information Center.
For instance, vitamin C mayِ interfere withِ theِ ability ofِ chemotherapy drugs toِ work, Anding said.
Diet and exercise matter more
Taking supplements mayِ alsoِ lead people toِ believeِ they areِ immune toِ theِ hazards ofِ eating junk food orِ gettingِ too littleِ exercise, asِ was suggested byِ a recentِ study .
They wantِ toِ beِ able toِ eat theirِ french fries andِ their ice cream andِ not haveِ to worry aboutِ a healthy diet, Tallmadge said.
She notes three-quarters ofِ Americans areِ overweight orِ obese.