- Vitamin supplements do no harm but aren't helpful either
- Taking folic acid in combination with B-vitamins can be helpful
- Multivitamins are better for people with specific nutrient needs
Many people resort to vitamin and mineral supplements thinking that it would make up for their nutritional deficiencies. While some people take supplements of vitamins, calcium or magnesium to make for the deficiencies they have, others take vitamin supplements simply to reap more benefits from them. However, taking vitamin or mineral supplements can provide no consistent health benefit or harm a study has found. Conducted by researchers from St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto, the study mentioned that multivitamins do not add any value neither do they cause any risk in preventing heart attack, cardiovascular disease, stroke or even premature death. At times, people take these supplements to enhance nutrition found in food.
The research was primarily conducted to see if there are any positive effects of some of the most commonly consumed supplements. These include vitamin D, multivitamins, Vitamin C or calcium. It was found that while these vitamin supplements do no harm, they provide no apparent health benefit either.
Furthermore, it was revealed that taking folic acid in combination with B-vitamins can help in reducing risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
In the meantime, findings of the study are also indicative of the fact that it is always better to resort to natural food sources for getting sufficient vitamins and minerals. Vitamin supplements cannot take the place of a healthy balanced diet.
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Instead of opting for supplements for getting the nutrients, it is better to focus on eating better. Nutrient-rich whole foods such as fresh fruits, whole grains and vegetables have many health benefits. They contain many micronutrients which can be very beneficial for the body.
Whole foods are a good source of dietary fiber. Eating fibrous foods can help in improving digestion and reduce risks of conditions like indigestion, constipation and even heart diseases. Fibre-rich foods are also good for weight loss.
Most people can get their required vitamins and minerals by including all food groups in their diet. The ones who have special nutrient needs may need vitamin supplements. This is for people above the age of 50. Supplements of Vitamin B-12 may be helpful for them. Also, pregnant women could benefit by including folic acid supplements in their diet.
Before taking a supplement, always consult your doctor. Stick to a healthy and nutritious diet and you might never need vitamin supplements.