If the world were perfect, then we would only eat balanced food with the optimal amount of vitamins and minerals that our body needs. Nevertheless, unfortunately, our world is imperfect, so people are forced to supplement their food with special fortified nutritional supplements.
We consume vitamins and minerals in the form of tablets in the hope that it will replenish energy and will strengthen health, which ordinary food can not cope with. However, in recent years, views on such nutritional supplements have changed. None of the studies has provided accurate evidence that vitamin supplements have a positive effect on health.
But the industry of popular additives has not stopped its development. Moreover, recent studies have shown that Americans spend more than 30 billion a year on buying supplements. Some Americans are not limited to several vitamins. The amount of consumed vitamins per day can reach 20 pieces! Giada De Laurentiis told the press that she takes 20 different vitamin pills daily: 10 in the morning and 10 in the evening.
But is it so good? After all, we all know the saying: a lot, this does not mean well. We examined this issue in more detail, and here are the results we obtained.
The latest science on supplements
People who eat food high in vitamins and minerals live longer and are less vulnerable to various diseases. However, do vitamins in tablets have the same effect? As it turned out, everything is relative.
In 2015, a large study showed that such vitamins in no way reduce the development of a cancerous tumor. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed that the same supplements have no positive effect on heart health and longevity. Thus, regular supplementation has only a neutral effect.
David Jenkins, MD, professor of medicine and nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto, said that vitamin C, vitamin D, and calcium supplements, which were so heavily advertised, had such a neutral effect.
Some supplements that you consume in reasonable amounts will not cause harm, and even in some cases can have a positive effect. Beth Kitchin, PhD, assistant professor of nutrition studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham says that it is much more beneficial to use multimineral supplements, and multivitamins for healthy are not so popular. The doctor believes that for people who avoid eating meat and dairy products, multivitamins will be a good option for eliminating nutritional deficiencies.
Beth Kitchin also takes multivitamins in her diet daily for extra insurance. To prescribe any supplements for her patients, she first of all considers their diet. If appropriate, she recommends calcium and vitamin D supplements, especially for those who are at risk for osteoporosis.
The doctor recommends for people, who decide to take multivitamins, choose those options in which the daily norm is not exceeded. Otherwise, it is a waste of money.
Beth Kitchin emphasizes that combining supplements and consuming excess doses increases the risk that supplements can actually be harmful. Moreover, the area of food additives is not sufficiently regulated, therefore, we cannot be 100% sure that the dosages indicated on the label are real.
Dr. Jenkins also confirms that in moderation, supplements do not cause harm. In addition, recent studies have been conducted only in the field of heart disease and early death. But there are many more unexplored areas where such supplements are likely to be useful.