Nutrients from food, not supplements, linked to lower risks of death, cancer

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Nutrients from food, not supplements, linked to lower risks of death, cancer

The association between a lower risk of death and nutrients consumed in foods remained significant even after those factors were accounted for. However, more than half of the participants declared the use of dietary supplements, and 38.3 percent claimed the use of multivitamin and mineral supplements.

A new Tufts University study involving more than 27,000 Americans is the latest research to show that most supplements may not do much to improve health - or at least can't compete with the benefits of a healthy diet.

But a study found taking supplements has little effect and only nutrients found in foods can lower your chances of death. About 945 cardiovascular deaths and 805 cancer deaths were included. It's important to note that the study involved self-reported dietary supplement use and dosage, and it's unclear whether specific usage durations may influence the outcome.

According to the Council for Responsible Nutrition, 75% of adults take dietary supplements. Those taking vitamin D supplements where no vitamin D deficiency was present showed a possible association with an increased risk of all-cause mortality, including cancer.

The new study isn't the first to link supplement use with harmful effects.

With more than half of USA adults using dietary supplements, Zhang and her colleagues explored their effects, as well as the impact of nutrients found in foods, with data from 27,725 adults participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Still, the researchers noted that they didn't objectively measure what participants consumed, but instead relied on their self reports, which may not be entirely accurate.

"Our results support the idea that. there are beneficial associations with nutrients from foods that aren't seen with supplements", seniorstudy author Dr. Fang Fang Zhang, an associate professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in MA, said in a statement.

The scientists behind the work discovered that adequate intake of vitamin A, vitamin K, magnesium, zinc and copper were associated with a lower risk of premature death, but only when these nutrients came from food. This includes calcium from supplements. At a time when other celebrities, social media influencers, and wellness web sites promote concoctions of nutritional vitamins, the brand new findings are part of a rising physique of proof that dietary supplements do not assist most individuals.

One thing that the researchers can not say is whether the association is between the nutrients themselves or other components in the foods, Zhang said.

'Meanwhile, it is clear diets high in these components are healthy. Nutrients found in foods "can protect us from diseases, so focus on your diet rather than buying supplements".

'However, in general terms, those otherwise healthy may do better overall to concentrate on consuming a healthy diet rich in vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grain and fruit than to spend money on supplements.

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