Harvard Men's Health Watch

Supplements vs. exercise for nine health issues: The ''vitamins'' in your legs

Supplements vs. exercise for nine health issues: The ''vitamins'' in your legs

Can you find good health in a bottle of supplements? Many people seem to think so, or at least have enough hope to spend billions of dollars a year on supplements. In view of the constant drumbeat for vitamins, minerals, and herbs — and the scant FDA oversight — you can hardly blame people for embracing supplements. Indeed, objective scientific studies are needed to learn which claims are valid and which are not. But while research goes forward, we should all look for other natural ways to improve our health. Good nutrition is one essential, exercise another.

When comparing the effects of supplements and exercise on heart disease and cancer, exercise comes out on top. Now, let's see how the two compare on nine other health issues.

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