Benefits of Dietary Supplements and Natural Supplements in Virginia and Maryland

In this paper, we examine conflicting evidence regarding the use of vitamins and dietary supplements for prevention of chronic diseases and promotion of general health and well-being. Despite the volume of research on supplements that is being conducted (the National Institutes of Health has spent over $2.4 billion studying vitamins and minerals since 1999), scientific evidence is not entirely clear. In fact, in 2014, the US Preventive Services Task Force concluded there was not enough evidence to support any benefits from supplementing with vitamins and minerals to prevent either cancer or cardiovascular disease. In an analysis of 277 clinical trials using 24 different interventions, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine said they found that nearly all supplements or diets that contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients cannot be linked to longer lives or heart disease prevention.

For the analysis, researchers used data from 277 randomized clinical trials evaluating 16 vitamins or other supplements and eight diets for their associations with death or heart conditions including coronary heart disease, stroke and heart attacks. Other nutritional supplements, such as vitamin B 6, vitamin A, multivitamins, antioxidants, and iron, and dietary interventions, such as reduced dietary fat, had no meaningful effects on mortality or cardiovascular outcomes (very low-to-medium certainty evidence). Most supplements, including multivitamins, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin D alone, calcium alone, and iron, showed no association with increased or decreased risk for mortality or heart health. Although they found most supplements or diets were not associated with any harmful effects, the analysis showed potential health benefits from a diet with less salt, an omega-3 fatty acids supplement, and perhaps the addition of folic acid to some individuals.

The researchers also found that supplements that combined calcium and vitamin D might actually be associated with slightly increased stroke risk. For instance, supplements containing calcium and vitamin D might be helpful in women after menopause, who have lower levels of these nutrients in their diet, in order to lower the risk of osteoporosis.

While vitamins and nutritional or dietary supplements can benefit your health, they may also pose health risks. Many supplements are definitely helpful for your health, the evidence is very varied, and it is important to understand what may be good for your health and what might be bad. With over 90,000 different supplements on the market, it can be confusing to figure out which ones are safe and which ones are not.

Benefits of Natural Supplements in Virginia and Maryland

Some supplements might have ingredients that are not listed on the label, and those ingredients could be unsafe. Some supplements may interact with one another and prescription medications in ways that may have an adverse effect on your health. Many supplements have at least one food ingredient, such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanicals, amino acids, or enzymes. These only apply to supplements containing vitamins and/or minerals, in which those products are regulated as foods, and they cover supplement composition, including safety, purity, and bioavailability.

In Australia, most food supplements are regulated in a complementary medicines category, including vitamins, minerals, herbs, aromatherapy, and homeopathic products, though some products can be considered foods for specific purposes and are regulated by food authorities. In Australia, most dietary supplements are regulated under a category of complementary medicines, which includes vitamin, mineral, herbal, aromatherapy, and homeopathic products, although some products may be regarded as foods for special purposes and regulated under the food authority. Federal guidelines, such as the Dietary Guideline for Americans 2010, issued by USDA and US Department of Health and Human Services, recommend meeting nutritional requirements mostly by eating foods, and using vitamins and supplements only sparingly.16 The guidelines advocate using supplements for pregnant and nursing women (e.g., iron), women who are pregnant or breastfeeding (e.g., folate), women who are childbearing, and those aged 50 years or older (e.g., vitamin B 12). Federal guidelines, such as the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans issued by the USDA and the US Department of Health and Human Services, advise meeting nutrient requirements primarily through consuming foods, with limited vitamin and dietary use.16 The guidelines support the use of supplements in pregnant and breastfeeding women (eg, iron ), women of child-bearing age (eg, folic acid ), and individuals aged 50 years and older (eg, vitamin B 12 ). However, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans did not find evidence to support recommending multivitamins in preventing chronic diseases. The Iowa Study found a link between the standard use of multivitamins and increased risk for death; furthermore, evidence suggests that the supplements may raise cancer risk. The use of multivitamin supplements in older American food programs is of concern, as they may be used by food programs as an alternative to diets following the American Dietary Guidelines.

Surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that 52% of Americans use at least one vitamin or other dietary/nutritional supplement each day. In some cases, excess vitamin and mineral intake can be harmful or produce undesirable side effects; thus, maximal levels are needed to assure safe supplementation with foods.

The most beneficial public health option, as opposed to using most of the food supplements available in the marketplace, except for those noted above, is eating a nutritious diet that meets all macro- and micronutrient requirements. In addition to the scientifically proven health benefits of using dietary supplements properly to promote healthy living and prevent disease, these products may offer significant cost savings to our nations long-term healthcare costs. Calcium supplements not only can help to increase the consumption of calcium in our population, but also, resulting prevention of disease, may significantly reduce healthcare costs. The Office of Dietary Supplements is focusing right now on areas where there is already a long track record of evidence that is there, and some more studies might be what we need to get us over the hump, so we can say, yeah, these are supplements we now have the certainty of actually improving health, to the point that we can compute cost benefits.

Vitamins and supplements typically tout health benefits, like better mental function, better heart health, and a stronger immune system. You might want to fight off vitamin deficiencies or reduce the risk of some diseases – or maybe you are simply feeling proactive about your health after popping a supplement that promises improved health.