Vitamins & Supplements

Vitamins & Supplements Articles

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 »

Do vitamin D supplements reduce risk of early death?

While many studies have found that people with very low blood levels of vitamin D have higher rates of early death, there’s no guarantee that raising blood levels of vitamin D can help. A 2019 study in The BMJ found that vitamin D supplements did not reduce early death from all causes, nor from heart and other cardiovascular diseases. However, vitamin D supplements did appear to reduce the risk of early death from cancer by 16%. And there may be other possible benefits from vitamin D supplements. Many studies of this are under way. (Locked) More »

Too much vitamin D may harm bones, not help

A new study found that high doses of vitamin D don’t benefit bone health. Bone density didn’t improve any more in people who took 4,000 IU or 10,000 IU of vitamin D daily for three years when compared to people who took a low dose of 400 IU. In fact, study authors said they found that very high amounts may have actually been detrimental to bone health. More »