Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together


To Take or Not to Take Supplements: This is the Still the Question

posted by Linda Mintle

I’ve been reading a number of articles and recent studies on whether or not multivitamins and dietary supplements help us.  I spend money on supplements and believe they have benefit. The supplement industry is certainly booming! But the question is, do all these pills really help us? And is there a placebo effect (we think they help so we feel better!) to taking these supplements?

Two large scale human studies published in October in leading medical journals indicated that the supplements don’t do much and may even be harming us. The studies point out that if you don’t have a specific nutrient deficiency or chronic illness, you may be wasting your money and adding a health risk.

The first study found one supplement that improved mortality in older postmenopausal women –calcium.

The second study looked at vitamin E and selenium supplementation in men. The claim that Vitamin E prevents prostate cancer was not supported and was associated with a higher risk of prostate cancer.

Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition at New York University says, “It’s fair to say from the research that supplements don’t make healthy people healthier.”However, researchers are still recommending dietary supplements for people with certain nutrient deficiencies, medical conditions and malnutrition. One example given was the use of folic acid supplements for pregnant women in order to reduce birth defect. Micronutrients like antioxidants (e.g., vitamin C, D and metals) can help in small amounts but too much can cause problems.

To the lay person, these studies are confusing. To take or not to take…this is still the question.

So,  if you take supplements, work with a knowledgeable doctor who is up on research. He or she can look at your health and help you weed through all the data. For now,  I don’t have answers as to what is really helpful. And in these economic times, I don’t want to waste money on unnecessary things. So if you find solid research on this topic, please pass it on. We all need more information to make informed decisions. And when the information keeps changing, it makes decision making even more difficult.

My best advice: Work on eating a balanced diet!

 



Previous Posts

Withholding Friendship as a Weapon
I'll never forget the day my five-year-old came home and said, "No one will play with 'Sandy' because she doesn't do what they say!" I was upset and thankfully, my daughter thought it was mean. But the other girls excluded little Sandy and rejected her from their friendship circle. Would you be

posted 7:00:24am Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Look Before You Lock: Leaving Kids in Hot Cars
It's August. It's hot! You just need to run into the store for a few minutes to grab a few groceries. Your six-month-old is sleeping soundly and he really needs a nap. Should you leave him be and run in to the store? With all the news about children dying in hot cars, the Dr. Linda Mintle radio sh

posted 7:00:03am Aug. 18, 2014 | read full post »

More Bad News for Pot Smokers
As the legalization of marijuana gains momentum, more data pours in that is NOT good news. Here are some of the findings: Sometimes, marijuana is addictive. If you begin as a teen, you have a higher chance of developing an addiction. According to the National Institute of Drug Use, about 9% who

posted 7:00:03am Aug. 14, 2014 | read full post »

Robin Williams: Laughter and Sadness
The news that Robin Williams had died, hit me hard. This incredible funny man was introduced to me as an alien on Mork and Mindy. Immediately, one could see the quick wit of a comedian destined for stardom. He made us laugh! Then he broadened his stage to movies and made us cry, cheer and feel i

posted 6:19:47am Aug. 12, 2014 | read full post »

And the Winner for the Highest Calorie Meal in a Restaurant Goes To...
Are you on the go and too busy to cook? Before you pull in to that chain restaurant for a quick meal, consider the calorie count of some of the meals. You might be a little sticker shocked when it comes to the high count. One group hands out awards for those meals that go over the top in terms of

posted 7:00:46am Aug. 11, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.