Vitamin E, vitamin A, beta-carotene and vitamin C were once popular supplements in the 80s and early nineties. However, many careful randomized clinical trials have since shown that these vitamins have no benefit against heart disease, cancer, or other diseases. In fact, taking moderately high doses of vitamin A can increase the risk of hip fractures, and high levels of vitamin A have been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer; beta-carotene increases the risk of lung cancer in smokers; and vitamin E increases the risk of prostate cancer and has been related to an increase in respiratory infections, heart failure and the overall mortality rate. When it comes to supplements, it's important to be skeptical and do some preliminary research to see if a certain ingredient actually delivers on its promises.
Unfortunately, a recent consumer review found that 46 percent of supplements fail to deliver on their lofty promises. That said, some people may struggle to meet their needs through diet alone, either because of a medical condition (such as celiac disease) or their particular eating plan. In cases like these, supplementation can be incredibly useful in closing nutritional gaps. Pregnant people should also take a supplement of folic acid and other prenatal vitamins to support the baby's development and reduce the risk of birth defects.
Most people could benefit from vitamin D as well. It's hard to get enough out of your diet unless you eat a lot of salmon, egg yolks and fortified milk. Vitamin D has many essential functions, such as helping the body absorb calcium (which is essential for bone health), reducing inflammation, and promoting mental well-being. Omega-3 or fish oil is another supplement that is often recommended for people in middle age and older.
It can help lower blood pressure and triglycerides, but it also supports cognitive health and has anti-inflammatory effects. Eating omega-3 food sources such as salmon, sardines and fatty fish two or three times a week will continue to be a better option than supplementation. The FDA has announced a qualified health statement on blueberry supplements, stating that consuming 500 milligrams of blueberry dietary supplement daily can help reduce the risk of urinary tract infection (UTI) recurrent in women. Taking a blueberry supplement that also contains D-Mannose, a natural sugar (also found in blueberries) that has also been linked to reducing the risk of UTI, can give your urinary tract an extra boost in UTI prevention.
Calcium and magnesium are two minerals that are incredibly important for bone health and heart health. Unfortunately, many of us are falling short when it comes to eating foods rich in calcium and magnesium (especially dairy products). Choline is another nutrient that hasn't received as much attention as it should. Known to support brain health, adequate levels have been linked to better memory and processing.
Some data even suggest that supplementation with choline may reduce the pathology of Alzheimer's disease. If you want to protect your eyes from the harmful blue light that comes from the sun and your beloved screens, then you need to make sure you're taking certain carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and Zeaxanthin are found in certain colorful fruits and vegetables. Given that only 1 in 10 Americans eat the recommended amount of products a day, it's no exaggeration to assume that they're not getting enough lutein and zeaxanthin either. Taking a lutein and zeaxanthin supplement can help keep your eyes sharp. For women who are of reproductive age (approx.
Between the ages of 16 and 4), experts recommend eating 400 mcg of supplemental folic acid daily. Folic acid deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of having a baby with birth defects. Therefore, making sure your levels are up to date before having a child will be a key step in having a healthy pregnancy. In conclusion, there are many supplements available on the market today that can help fill nutritional gaps or provide additional benefits for specific conditions or demographics. However, it's important to do your research before taking any supplement to make sure it is safe for you.