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New Study Results on Older Women and Vitamins

by Kimberly Hays August 24th, 2018 | Vitamins
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vitaminMany of us take a multi-vitamin to supplement our diets because we are on the go so much we don’t always take the time to have balanced meals. It can be very confusing to decipher the information on what vitamins we should take and what ones we should avoid. The information seems to change quickly, and we want to keep up updated and to make you aware of a new study that was published last week in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Its findings are that multi-vitamins may be more harmful than helpful, especially in older women.

Jaako Muru was the lead researcher in this study that was conducting in Iowa and has been ongoing since the 1980s. The research throughout this study has shown many times over that those of us who take dietary supplements are getting very little benefit from them. As the focus of the research was for women’s health, the findings strongly suggest that most supplements have no effect at all on women’s health, and they do not reduce the risk of death. This research included over 38,000 female participants who were 55 or older.

The study also concluded that supplements can also be harmful if taken over a long period of time. The do not protect against chronic illnesses, and some supplements, namely B6, folic acid, iron, copper, and magnesium put an older woman’s risk of death a little higher than those who do not take any supplements. Calcium is the only supplement that seemed to work for women to reduce the risk of death.

People take vitamin supplements for a large scope of reasons, and without discussing them with their doctor. Some take them for health issues, while some just take them as insurance for better health. Many people also take more than the prescribed amount with the mindset that a supplement is good so more will be better. That is not the case at all according to Dr. Charles Clark from the Indiana University School of Medicine and advises women who want to take supplements of any kind should speak with their doctors before starting a regimen to be sure they are necessary and safe.

We will keep an eye out for new information as it is released, but in the meantime the best advice we can offer due to this study, which is also the best advice from other health professionals, is to get the nutrients your body needs through healthy eating to avoid harmful side effects of supplements. This is not to say that you may not need supplements to fill the gaps in your diet if you are not getting the nutrition you need from food, but it is imperative to seek medical advice before beginning a course of therapy with any supplements.

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.