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Excessive consumption of some dietary supplements can reduce life expectancy

13 April 2019

But excess calcium from food was not associated with a similar uptick in mortality risk, Zhang says, which suggests that the body may not be able to clear excess supplemental calcium as well as it can natural calcium.

Measurements for the study included data on participants' use of dietary supplements in the previous 30 days, along with their nutrient intake from food and supplements.

"But, we need more research to look at long-term use of supplements".

Debate as to their effectiveness has raged for years with many studies showing a supplement does not mirror the effects of when taken naturally. One 2015 study estimated that unsafe or improperly taken supplements, including those for weight loss, send more than 23,000 Americans to the emergency room each year.

Nutrients sourced from foods were monitored with 24-hour dietary recalls.

With more than half of USA adults using dietary supplements, Zhang and her colleagues explored their effects, as well as the impact of nutrients found in foods, with data from 27,725 adults participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The study, which focused on data from more than 27,000 United States adults, found certain nutrients in food - but not supplements - were generally linked to a lower risk of both all-cause and cancer death. The consumption of vitamin K and magnesium in adequate amounts can lower the risk of death from any cause; and the use of Zinc, vitamin K and A, could reduce the risk of cardiovascular death.

The study also showed that some supplements pose a risk to one's health.

There was also a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality when adequate intakes of vitamin A, vitamin K, and zinc were sourced from food over dietary supplements. Eating nutritionally insipid food and trying to make up for it by taking supplements that appear to be doing more harm than good.

'Our results support the idea that, while supplement use contributes to an increased level of total nutrient intake, there are beneficial associations with nutrients from foods that aren't seen with supplements.

After they adjusted for factors like education and demographics, they found there is no positive connection between supplements and a longer life.

"I don't think you can undo the effect of a bad diet by taking supplements", said Kumar, an assistant professor of medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine.

"It's more likely to be someone looking for more energy and vitality or trying to treat symptoms such as hair loss or leg cramps", she said. However, studies are showing that our nutrients go a much longer way if consumed from a food source. The problem found in a study from the University of Birmingham in 2018, is that vitamin and mineral supplements don't protect you from heart disease.

Excessive consumption of some dietary supplements can reduce life expectancy