Millions of American adults take a multivitamin or some type of supplement every day in the hopes that it will benefit their health. However, according to experts, the hefty price tag of regular supplement use may not be worth the cost after all. Are vitamins really effective when it comes to balanced nutrition and disease prevention?
Research Studies of Vitamin Use
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University recently shared three studies in an editorial in Annals of Internal Medicine. It was concluded that vitamin supplements do not have a positive impact on our nutrition. The studies included the following results:
- Heart attack rates in the test group and control group were similar.
- Vitamin use did not appear to reduce the risk of cancer.
- Memory loss and mental decline were also not affected by vitamin use.
Are All Vitamins Created Equal?
In general, all vitamins are created equal and may not be worth the investment. However, folic acid and iron supplements are recommended for expecting mothers and women who may potentially get pregnant as these have been shown to provide benefits for the fetus and the general health of the baby. However, this may be the only exception.
What is the Best Way to Get the Nutrients I Need?
The best way to get everything your body needs to stay healthy is to eat a regular diet of nutritious foods from specific food groups. Take into consideration the following suggestions:
- Fruits & Vegetables – Always get several servings of both fruits and vegetables every day. Two servings per meal is a good rule to follow.
- Whole Grains – Whole wheat, rice, barley, and other high-fiber grains are essential for digestion and can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
- Protein – Get plenty of chicken and fish for protein and omega 3s. Omega 3s are not made naturally by the body, so we need to eat foods that contain them to promote a healthy brain and to reduce inflammation.
There are so many different types of multivitamins out there, so make sure you are finding some that are helpful and used for the right situations. Make sure you are doing what is best for your body by taking the right vitamins and eating well.