Around billions of dollars are spent on supplements in the US. These include herbal supplements, mineral, and vitamin products. The supplements are marketed rather touted as the best cure for diseases caused by deficiencies of essential minerals and vitamins.
However, a number of studies have raised a question about the benefits of taking a supplement for the majority of the individuals. Here we will take a close look at the findings of the study about the dietary supplements.
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Are Supplements Beneficial for the Health?
In the article published in the JAMA journal titled “The Supplement Paradox: Negligible Benefits, Robust Consumption”, Dr. Pieter A. Cohen, MD who works at the Cambridge Health Alliance and Somerville Hospital in Massachusetts says that most of the people do not benefit from taking dietary supplements.
According to the researcher, the supplements are important in treating mineral and vitamin deficiencies. Moreover, they also help in the treatment of age-related diseases such as macular degeneration. However, he also adds that most of the individuals do not benefit much from taking supplement tablets.
He says that despite a number of studies that have indicated doubt over the benefits of taking daily supplements, their use has continued to climb in the US. Most of the people use the supplements for reasons such as improving or maintaining overall health or better cardiovascular health. In addition, the use of supplements is higher in older people and those belonging to the lower socioeconomic status.
Various other research studies apart from Dr. Cohen have found that taking supplements offer little benefits. The US Preventive Services Task Force that consists of a group of independent physicians opted not to recommend regular use of multivitamins tablets by people that were not nutrient deficient.
Nutrition specialists recommend getting the required mineral or vitamins through diet. The fact of the matter is that supplements are not a good replacement of nutrient-rich food items. A supplement does not contain all the essential items found in wholesome foods. For instance, the fiber present in vegetables and fruits that are essential for the health is not present in any of the supplements.
Apart from that, there is a risk of side effects if people that do not face any nutrient deficiency take dietary supplements. The presence of too many vitamins or minerals in the body results in various side effects that range from mild to serious health complications.
In the end, the best advice is to take a wise and cautious approach when taking supplements. Avoid taking a supplement in case you do not feel any deficiency of essential nutrients. Also, do not take the supplement as an alternative to a healthy diet. The supplements should only be taken on the advice of a professional medical expert when facing a severe deficiency of important vitamins or minerals.