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Few Benefits To Vitamin Pills:

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008 Few Benefits To Vitamin Pills:

In a recent report in the Independent by Rob Sharp (25 11 08) it has been suggested that taking extra vitamin supplements gives very little value to the consumer.

Apparently we spend millions on them, yet mounting scientific evidence says they offer few benefits – and may even shorten our lives. So question, are any worth taking?

It is without doubt that within the UK, the vitamin trade is growing stronger and stronger, affirming that even in the downturn, supplements are big business.

US Scientists have become more sceptical, they have discovered that taking vitamins A and E does not lower your risk to cancer, one of the supposed major benefits of taking them.

Moreover, according to Dr Howard Sesso who states “There have been a number of previous studies that have suggested that vitamin E and vitamin C might be important in the prevention of cancer,” He further argues that the taking of vitamins E and C have no positive effect in relation to cancer.

Economic mindset springs to mind yet again, the role of Capitalism within our health structures.

Even more significant, in another study via a German Chemical company and a women’s hospital in Boston, whose commodities included vitamins found that when taking vitamins E and C in relation to heart disease, there was no meaningful effect.

In another recent trial with reference to vitamin E and Selenium, the combination are supposed to reduce the risk of prostrate cancer in men. It has been discovered that the use of these supplements could actually do more harm than good. It has also been suggested by doctors via New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre. They have warned that vitamin C seems to protect not only healthy cells, but cancer cells, too. Thus there is much to be considered.

There is no substitute for a healthy balanced diet. Apparently there are only two reasons whereby supplements should be taken. Firstly if you are an elderly person or there is a history of long term illness. Too often taking supplements have been viewed as an easier option rather than enjoying a balanced diet.

According to heather Caswell (British Nutrion Foundation) who says “people get a lot of vitamins from food.” However, there are foods which lack the necessary vitamins simply because they are refined foods and therefore should be avoided when possible.

Evidence is increasingly overwhelming against the use of supplements. Thus the question rises why are so many people still taking them? As suggested earlier it it possibly the convenience of poppinng a pill rather than prepare healthy food.

Though it has to be stated that some supplements are indeed very useful. The effects of taking B12 for brain function and the nervous system are a good example. We are also aware that calcium supplements can also be beneficial more particularly in relation to protecting bones in the over sixty-fives.

Top tips to achieve a good healthy diet:

Vitamin A

Liver, full-fat dairy products, spinach, broccoli, tomato juice, peppers and watercress. Orange things, such as mango, dried apricots, butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin tend to be good sources of this vitamin.

Vitamin D

Oily fish (salmon, sardines, pilchards, tuna, mackerel, trout or herring), dairy products and eggs. Also exposure to sunlight.

Vitamin E

Broccoli, nuts, soya beans, brussels sprouts, spinach and eggs. Some believe vitamin E is destroyed by heat, so try to eat your vegetables raw or lightly cooked.

Vitamin C

Citrus fruits and juices, kiwi fruit, strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes and peppers.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B1 is found in whole grains, flour and bread and green leafy vegetables; Vitamin B2 is found in eggs, liver, milk, and cheese; B3 is in protein-rich foods like meat, liver and peanuts; B5 is in chicken, eggs, beef and broccoli;

B6 is in fish, chicken and wholegrain cereals; B9 is in raw fruit as well as yeast and liver and B12 is in fish, dairy produce, meat and yeast extract.

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