The Benefits and Risks of Taking Supplements Everyday

Taking supplements every day can be beneficial for some people, but it is important to understand the risks and benefits before starting a supplement regimen. Researchers have concluded that multivitamins do not reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, cognitive impairment, or premature death. In fact, some studies have found that vitamin E and beta-carotene supplements can be harmful when taken in high doses. Most people can get all the vitamins and minerals they need from a healthy, balanced diet, but supplements can be used to get the recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals.The most popular nutritional supplements are multivitamins, calcium, and vitamins B, C, and D.

Calcium supports 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. While multivitamins may not be a ticket to optimal health, evidence suggests that some supplements can improve health in different ways.The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) does not review the safety and efficacy of dietary supplements before they are marketed. David Levitsky, professor of nutrition and psychology at Cornell University, recommends taking multivitamins every day as a small insurance policy.

However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with taking supplements. Weight-loss supplements often contain stimulants which can be a health risk for people with cardiovascular risks such as high blood pressure. Folic acid supplements should be taken before getting pregnant.Research has revealed links between moodiness and nutrient deficiencies as well as between nutritional supplements and reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Because the FDA does not regulate dietary supplements as strictly as prescription drugs, some may contain higher or lower levels of some nutrients than those listed on the label.

Supplements can also help people with Crohn's disease or celiac disease who have difficulty absorbing certain nutrients.If you are taking medications that interfere with nutrient absorption, if you are an elderly person with a low calorie intake, if you are an athlete, or if you are pregnant, these are all good reasons to take a multivitamin supplement. Vitamin D is difficult to obtain from food and many people are deficient in D, making supplementation necessary for some people. Two-thirds of older adults take vitamin supplements but experts say most of them don't provide much benefit.In reality, there can be too much of a good thing and any excess vitamins, supplements or foods can cause serious problems. The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements provides fact sheets with the latest information on individual vitamins, minerals and dietary supplements.Some people may benefit from a little supplementation to bring them up to the recommended daily needs of certain vitamins and minerals.

However, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking any daily calcium supplement. Understanding the risks and benefits associated with taking supplements every day is essential for making an informed decision.

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