Vitamins & Supplements

Vitamins & Supplements Articles

Calcium and heart disease: What is the connection?

Calcium supplements do not seem to increase the risk of heart disease. But it’s best to get the recommended daily intake of this mineral (which ranges from 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams per day, depending on age and gender) from foods rather than pills. Potential calcium sources include dairy products, canned salmon or sardines with bones, and calcium-fortified orange juice. Figs, broccoli, and kale also provide modest amounts of calcium. (Locked) More »

Do omega-3s protect your thinking skills?

For people who are healthy and who don’t have a decline in memory and thinking skills, it appears that dietary omega-3 fats may help preserve thinking skills. It is unclear if omega-3 fats from fish oil pills offer the same protection. Eating omega-3s in fish may also be linked to a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease, because omega-3s may help to ease inflammation, maintain a steady heartbeat, and prevent blood clots. Both the federal government and the American Heart Association recommend eating two servings each week of fatty fish such as salmon or mackerel. (Locked) More »

Magnesium: A mineral you might be missing

Most people in the United States don’t get the recommended amount of magnesium in their diets. Nuts, leafy greens, and whole grains are rich in this essential mineral, which seems to help lower blood pressure. Certain people with high blood pressure may benefit from taking magnesium supplements, but there is insufficient evidence to recommend this practice. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, which recommends eight to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, provides plenty of magnesium and is also low in sodium, which can raise blood pressure.  (Locked) More »

The benefits of vitamin pills and chocolate

Although theoretically multivitamins and chocolate might reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers, proof is lacking. A new randomized trial called COSMOS will test whether multivitamin pills and cocoa pills have health benefits. (Locked) More »

The best foods for vitamins and minerals

Vitamins and minerals are as essential for living as air and water. Not only do they keep your body healthy and functional, they protect you from a variety of diseases. Vitamins and minerals get thrown together, but they are quite different. Vitamins are organic substances produced by plants or animals. They often are called "essential" because they are not synthesized in the body (except for vitamin D) and therefore must come from food. More »

What can you do to improve your immune system?

Your immune system is on the job around the clock to protect you from infectious bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites that cause disease, suffering, and death. The immune system is an extremely complex network of cells and molecules that researchers are still working to understand. Because there is so much about immune function that remains unknown, immune system myths abound and commercial enterprise have exploited them. The following are three common immune system myths. Immune system myth #1: The more active your immune system is, the healthier you will be. More »