|Photo: The Washington Post|
Business Insider wrote an article on vitamins -- listing ones to take, as well as, ones to skip, based on what science tells us to do. Let me sum up the recommendations for you:
Vitamins to take:
1) Vitamin D - It keeps our bones strong by helping us absorb calcium, but it's hard to get all our requirements from food alone. In the summer, we get vitamin D from being out in the sun. In the winter, not so much. The people who took Vitamin D supplements in a large 2011 medical study lived longer then those who didn't.
2) Zinc - It's the only supplement proven to shorten colds. The mineral seems to interfere with the reproduction of cold viruses.
3) Folic acid - Take folic acid if you are pregnant, or if you might get pregnant. Studies show it reduces birth defects of the fetus' brain, spine and spinal cord.
Vitamins to skip:
1) Multivitamins - You get everything you need in a balanced diet. Consuming an excess of vitamins like A, Bs and C can harm you. In the 2011 study, women who took multivitamins over a long period of time died sooner than the women who didn't take multivitamins! So at the very least, multivitamins didn't keep the study group healthy.
2) Antioxidants - Get your antioxidants from berries.🍓🍒 (Technically, a cherry is a drupe, due to the pit.) When taken in excess as supplements, vitamins A, C and E have been linked to an increase of certain cancers, especially among male smokers.
3) Vitamin C - Eat citrus fruit 🍊🍋 instead of taking vitamin C supplements. Vitamin C has not been proven to shorten a cold, plus it raises the risk of painful kidney stones.
4) Probiotics - We can get probiotics from yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles and other fermented food at a fraction of the cost of probiotic pills. The science is lacking to support the benefit of taking a more expensive pill supplement.
5) Vitamin B3 - Better to get vitamin B3 by eating salmon, tuna and beets.🐟 The study subjects who took vitamin B3 pills developed infections, liver problems and internal bleeding.
6) Vitamin E - Get vitamin E from food like eggs 🍳 and spinach. Vitamin E supplements increased the risk of prostate cancer in men.
The bottom line is, Mother Nature rules, and many of us may want to change our thinking. It is always better to get vitamins by eating food. Food gives your body all the vitamins it needs in the right form and amount. Supplements just don't cut it. Science can't prove the benefit of taking many of them, so most likely, we are spending lots of money for nothing. Arrghh!
At no time, have I ever gone vitamin supplement overboard, but for years have taken a (drugstore brand) multivitamin pill. Alas, I'm already doomed!🙂
|Photo: Flickr/Michelle Dyer|
You may also enjoy:
The Health Benefits Of Tea
Do You Have A Germ Phobia?
Doctor's Orders: Is It Time For A Checkup?
Vitamin D And A Little Sun Is Good For Your Health