Taking supplements every day can be beneficial for some people, but it is important to understand the potential 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 may be harmful, especially at high doses. Most people can get all the vitamins and minerals they need from a healthy, balanced diet.
However, supplements can be used to get the recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals for a healthy body. Evidence suggests that some supplements can improve health in different ways. 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, they can still provide some benefits. The Department of Health and Social Care recommends certain supplements for some groups of people who are at risk for a deficiency. For example, everyone should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D during the fall and winter. It is also important to note that some supplements may contain ingredients that can interact with medications, so it is important to talk to your healthcare provider before starting a new supplement. A surprising study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that women who took supplements had a higher risk of dying compared to women who did not take them. However, if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, it is recommended that you take a supplement of 400 micrograms of folic acid every day until you are 12 weeks pregnant. It is important to remember that there can be too much of a good thing when it comes to vitamins and supplements.
Any excess can cause serious problems. David Levitsky, professor of nutrition and psychology at Cornell University recommends taking multivitamins every day as a small insurance policy. If used correctly, some supplements may improve your health, but others may be ineffective or even harmful. The MyDS app provides the latest supplement information and allows you to keep track of the vitamins, minerals, herbs and other products you take. Supplements can also help people with Crohn's disease or celiac disease, conditions that make it difficult to absorb certain nutrients.
However, it is important to remember that the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is not authorized to review the safety and efficacy of dietary supplements before they are marketed. Taking high amounts of vitamin B6 for a year or more has been associated with nerve damage that can affect body movements (symptoms usually go away after you stop taking supplements). People take these supplements to make sure they are getting enough essential nutrients and to maintain or improve their health. In conclusion, taking supplements every day can be beneficial for some people but it is important to understand the potential risks and benefits before starting a supplement regimen. It is also important to talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement.