Vitamins & Supplements

Vitamins & Supplements Articles

Dietary supplements: Dubious value, hidden dangers

Americans spend nearly $37 billion annually on dietary supplements. But they are not subject to the same regulations governing the quality and safety of prescription drugs, and most lack evidence of health benefits Many large clinical trials demonstrate that fish oil supplements do not prevent heart disease in healthy people. But these products can still include “may support heart health” claims on their labels. Other types of supplements include widely variable amounts of active ingredients, while others may contain a potentially harmful heart stimulant. More »

Taking a multivitamin probably won’t help your heart

Multivitamins don’t reduce cardiovascular risks, according to a new study. And while many people take them to improve or maintain their health, research has not shown that they are beneficial to most people. Certain subgroups, however, may need supplements if they can’t properly absorb nutrients from the foods that they eat. (Locked) More »

Why wound healing gets harder as we age

Wounds in older adults can take a long time to heal. Treatment involves a combination of approaches such as debridement, special dressings, keeping pressure off the wound, exercising, taking a multivitamin, and eating a healthy diet with the recommended amounts of protein. Because wounds are tricky, it’s important to try to prevent them by switching positions often; keeping an eye out for nicks, cuts, and early signs of pressure wounds; and controlling conditions that can lead to wounds, such as diabetes and venous insufficiency. (Locked) More »

Do you need a daily supplement?

About 70% of older adults use a daily supplement—either a daily multivitamin or individual vitamin or mineral. Supplements are helpful for people with diagnosed deficiencies, intestinal absorption problems, or certain medical issues that require higher intake of vitamins and minerals. Yet, for most healthy people, it is best to get required daily vitamins and minerals from food and not a pill. More »

The hidden dangers of protein powders

Protein powder supplements can harbor health risks. They may have hidden unhealthy ingredients, such as added sugars and too many calories. Some research has found that many protein powders contain heavy metals (lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury), bisphenol-A (BPA, which is used to make plastic), pesticides, and other contaminants with links to cancer and other health conditions. However, chemical-free protein powders may be helpful—with medical supervision—for certain conditions, such as impaired appetite or wounds that are resistant to healing. (Locked) More »

Are there any health benefits to fish oil?

Fish intake remains an important part of a healthy diet, but the enthusiasm for fish oil supplements has been dampened by several recent studies that showed no benefit for protecting against heart disease, relieving dry eye, or reducing arthritis pain. (Locked) More »

Precious metals and other important minerals for health

The body doesn’t manufacture essential minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, chromium, copper, and iron. Instead, the minerals come from diet. Most people can meet recommended intakes of dietary minerals by eating a healthy diet rich in fresh foods. But some minerals, such as magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium, may be harder for people to obtain in the proper amounts. In those cases, it may be necessary to increase dietary intake of certain minerals or to take a dietary supplement. But it depends on an individual’s needs. (Locked) More »