Vitamins & Supplements

Vitamins & Supplements Articles

The questions about fish oil supplements

Some research says taking a daily fish oil supplement can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, while other studies say the evidence remains thin. While fish oil is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids (essential nutrients that the body cannot make on its own),  taking an over-the-counter fish oil supplement probably provides no extra heart benefit beyond a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of omega-3-rich fatty fish, nuts, and seeds. (Locked) More »

Building strength before surgery may ease recovery

Prehabilitation is increasingly being used to ready older or frail adults for surgery, in hopes of hastening the recovery process. This approach uses a combination of strategies including exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle support to help people improve their health before a physically stressful event. Physicians typically tailor these programs to the needs of the individual. (Locked) More »

Prepare for prehab

Although there is much emphasis placed on a person’s recovery after a complex medical procedure or surgery, it is equally important to focus on health beforehand. Preparing both the body and mind for an invasive medical procedure can help avoid setbacks, reduce complications, and speed up recovery. (Locked) More »

Should you take a vitamin B12 supplement?

An estimated 3.2% of adults ages 50 or older have very low B12 levels, and up to 20% may have borderline deficiency. Aging is often the cause. Other causes include taking heartburn medications; eating a diet that does not include animal products; weight loss surgery; or autoimmune diseases that attack the stomach lining or gastrointestinal tract. It’s a good idea for older adults to take a B12 supplement of 2.8 micrograms daily to ward off B12 deficiency. People who have very low levels of B12 may need to take a much higher dose or get B12 injections. (Locked) More »

Calcium and vitamin D supplements: Good, bad, or neutral for cardiovascular health?

Evidence about the cardiovascular effects of calcium and vitamin D supplements has been mixed. Although some studies suggest that taking calcium supplements may raise heart disease risk, others do not. Low blood levels of vitamin D have been linked to a higher risk of heart disease. But taking vitamin D supplements does not appear to lower that risk. Some evidence hints that taking calcium and vitamin D together might slightly increase the risk of stroke. However, the largest study to date found no increased stroke risk. And there is no evidence that food sources of these nutrients have any harmful effects on heart health. (Locked) More »

Can supplements help boost your immune system?

There’s no evidence that products that claim to boost or support immune function actually do so. In fact, a wholesale boost to the immune system could lead to autoimmune or autoinflammatory conditions. To protect health, adopt good health habits such as cleaning your hands frequently, reducing stress, getting vaccinated when possible, and maintaining a healthy diet. More »

Omega-3 supplements may improve heart health

A review of existing data suggests daily omega-3 supplements may protect against heart attack and death from coronary artery disease. This suggests that supplements might be an alternative for people who have trouble getting enough omega-3s from fish in their diet. More »

Can a dietary supplement help ease your depression?

Some supplements may ease depression symptoms. Supplements that may help include fish oil, methylfolate, N-acetylcysteine, St. John’s wort, and vitamin D. It’s not generally considered dangerous to take certain over-the-counter supplements, but there are some risks. For example, St. John’s wort has been shown to reduce the effectiveness of many drugs, and omega-3 supplements may increase bleeding risk in people taking blood thinners. It’s best to talk to a doctor before starting a supplement regimen. More »