Evidence suggests that some supplements may improve health in different ways. The most popular nutrient supplements are multivitamins, calcium, and vitamins B, C, and D. Calcium promotes bone health and vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. Vitamins C and E are antioxidant molecules that prevent cell damage and help maintain health.
For one thing, dietary supplements can sometimes interact with each other, as well as with over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications.
In addition, unlike drugs, the United States. UU. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not authorized to review the safety and efficacy of dietary supplements before marketing them.
It's up to manufacturers to ensure that their products contain no contaminants or impurities, are properly labeled, and contain what they claim. In other words, the regulation of dietary supplements is much less strict than that of prescription or over-the-counter drugs. In other research published the same year, in which a group of Americans reported on dietary habits, the daily intake of doses of more than 1000 milligrams (mg) of calcium was linked to an increased risk of death from cancer (although the National Cancer Institute points out that other studies suggest otherwise). In addition, the data showed that people who consumed adequate amounts of magnesium, zinc, and vitamins A and K had a lower risk of death, but only if they got those nutrients from food rather than supplements.
Confused? National Institutes of Health (NIH) fact sheets provide detailed information about the benefits and risks of individual vitamins and minerals, as well as herbal supplements. And if you have an underlying health problem (especially if you're taking medications) or are pregnant or breastfeeding, exercise caution and talk to your health care team before adding any new supplements to your regimen. While supplement trends come and go, here are seven supplements that have been historically popular, and in all cases, experts recommend taking them with care, if you take them at all. Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium in the body, and having enough is essential for health and well-being, as it promises to protect bones and prevent bone diseases such as osteoporosis, according to the NIH.
Vitamin D supplements are popular because it's hard (if not impossible for some) to get enough from food. In addition, as noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), our bodies produce vitamin D when bare skin is exposed to direct sunlight, but the increase in time spent indoors and the widespread use of sunscreen, as a necessary way to prevent skin aging and skin cancer, have minimized the amount of vitamin D that many of us get from sun exposure. However, vitamin D supplements are a sensitive topic. Sometimes, it can seem that guidelines and research contradict each other.
The truth is that enthusiasm for vitamin D supplements is outpacing the evidence. And high doses aren't a good option. In healthy people, blood levels of vitamin D greater than 100 nanograms per milliliter can cause additional calcium absorption and lead to muscle pain, mood disorders, abdominal pain and kidney stones, notes the Cleveland Clinic. It can also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
That said, vitamin D supplements may benefit certain people, including those at risk of suffering from a deficiency, such as people with darker skin, certain health conditions, and older adults, according to MedlinePlus. The most recent consensus statement from the American Geriatrics Society specifically suggests that people over 65 can help reduce the risk of fractures and falls if they supplement their diet with at least 1,000 IU of vitamin D per day, in addition to taking calcium supplements and eating foods rich in vitamin D. Keep in mind that vitamin D supplements and medications can interact with each other. Drugs that don't mix well with vitamin D include the weight-loss drug orlistat (Xenical, Alli), several statins, such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), thiazide diuretics (such as Hygroton, Lozol and Microzide), and corticosteroids such as prednisone (Deltasone, Rayos, Sterapred), according to the NIH.
St. John's Wort is a plant used as tea or in capsules, with purported benefits for depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, menopausal symptoms, insomnia, kidney and lung problems, obsessive-compulsive disorder, wound healing and more, notes the NIH. John's Wort will be effective in treating mild depression. For example, a review of short-term studies analyzed 27 clinical trials with about 3800 patients and suggested that the herbal remedy worked as well as certain antidepressants in reducing symptoms of mild to moderate depression.
However, says Dr. Denise Millstine, internist in the Department of Integrative Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix (Arizona), “the biggest problem with St. John's wort and its interactions with medications. St.
According to the NIH, St. John's Wort may also reduce the effectiveness of other medications, such as birth control pills, chemotherapy, anti-HIV or AIDS drugs, and medications to prevent organ rejection after a transplant. John's Wort, read about possible drug interactions and ask your doctor about the risks and benefits of this supplement, as well as how it compares to your other options. Calcium is essential for a strong skeleton, but as with all nutrients, too much of this mineral can be harmful.
As the NIH notes, more than 2,500 mg per day for adults ages 19 to 50 and more than 2,000 mg per day for people age 51 and older can cause problems. With calcium supplements, hardening of the arteries (or atherosclerosis) and an increased risk of heart disease are risks, although research is mixed, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The NIH recommends 1,000 mg of calcium a day for women ages 19 to 50 and 1200 mg a day for women age 51 and older. The recommendation for men aged 19 to 70 years is 1000 mg a day and 1200 mg a day for men 71 years of age or older.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, there are several dietary sources of calcium, such as low-fat plain yogurt, tofu, skim milk, cheese, and fortified cereals and juices. Calcium deficiency, or hypocalcemia, can be detected by routine blood tests. If you have low blood calcium levels despite having an adequate dietary intake, your doctor may prescribe a calcium supplement. Do you think that a healthy lifestyle not only requires good food for you, exercise, and enough sleep, but also taking a multivitamin and multimineral supplement every day? When you consider that approximately one-third of adults in the United States and one-quarter of young people take them, according to the NIH, you'll be surprised to learn that the jury is still out on whether they're useful.
A study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, which examined data from nearly 40,000 women over the age of 19 who were part of the Iowa Women's Health Study, found that, on average, women who took supplements had a higher risk of premature death than women who didn't take them. Multivitamins did little or nothing to protect against common cancers, cardiovascular disease, or death. For women of child-bearing age, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends taking prenatal vitamins with folic acid to help prevent birth defects. Your doctor may prescribe multivitamins if you have malabsorption syndrome, a condition in which your body doesn't properly absorb vitamins and minerals.
However, in general, Manson says, “a supplement can never replace a healthy diet. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil has been touted as a means of reducing heart disease and other ailments. However, there is growing evidence to suggest that fish oil supplements have questionable benefits. However, there is currently not enough positive evidence for doctors to prescribe fish oil supplements to all patients.
In addition to mixed research results, omega-3 deficiency is very rare in the United States, according to the NIH. An important drug interaction with omega-3 supplements is Coumadin (warfarin). However, many people don't get enough omega-3 in their diet for optimal health. Chan School of Public Health, omega-3s play a critical role in the formation of hormones that relax artery walls, reduce inflammation, and help blood clotting.
The best way to get adequate and safe amounts of omega-3s is to eat a variety of foods that are rich in them. The three main types of omega-3 are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). According to the NIH, the following are some dietary sources of the omega-3 EPA, DHA, and ALA. Tofu, tempeh and soy milk are good plant-based sources of protein, fiber and other key nutrients, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Some women also take soy in supplement form because the plant contains estrogen-like compounds called isoflavones that are thought to alleviate menopausal symptoms. However, some health experts have expressed concern that isoflavones in soy supplements may contribute to increasing the risk of breast cancer. The good news is that large-scale human studies haven't shown any increased risk of breast cancer from eating whole soy foods, such as tofu and edamame, in moderation, according to Cancer, Net. However, there hasn't been enough research done on soy protein isolate (SPI), the powder that forms when protein is removed from the rest of the plant, to know its true effect on breast cancer risk, Millstine says.
According to the Mayo Clinic, women with a family history of breast cancer or thyroid health problems may be more vulnerable to these effects. But, once again, this is theoretical and more studies are needed. In addition to supplements, SPI is often found in energy bars, veggie burgers, and some soups, sauces, smoothies, and breakfast cereals. Opill, a progestin-only contraceptive, would be the first contraceptive pill available without a prescription and could help reduce unwanted pregnancies.
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Wade would leave it in the hands of individual states. Research reveals that female-pattern hair loss is common and is associated with low self-esteem. Most people don't need to take vitamin supplements and can get all the vitamins and minerals they need if they eat a healthy, balanced diet. People take these supplements to make sure they get enough essential nutrients and to maintain or improve their health.
Children ages 6 months to 5 years should take vitamin supplements that contain vitamins A, C, and D every day. Consumers can use the directory to search for ingredients used in products that are marketed as dietary supplements and find out what the FDA has said about that ingredient and if the agency has taken any action regarding the ingredient. It's a slow, retrograde way to bolster public safety, Seres says, citing Prevagen, a supplement that claims to improve memory. Since 1994, companies that manufacture supplements in the United States have been able to make broad claims about the connections between their product and the structure and function of the human body.
And the effects of many supplements haven't been tested on children, pregnant women, and other groups. Folic acid (400 micrograms daily), whether from supplements or fortified foods, is important for all women of child-bearing age. Millstine, points out that research shows that calcium is better absorbed through food than through supplements. Many people choose to take supplements, but taking too much or for too long can be harmful.
Before adding any supplement to your health and wellness regimen, discuss your options with your healthcare team and other health providers to assess the potential risks and benefits for your individual situation.