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Vitamin Supplements: Necessary, Insurance, or Waste?

Posted by bmagnus On July - 8 - 2009

You have probably heard it over and over:  it’s best to get the vitamins and minerals you need by eating healthy foods. But the reality is that most people don’t eat as healthy a diet as they would like to, and feel that a good quality multi-vitamin pill daily is a dietary “insurance policy”. Particularly people who are watching their calories or on some other restrictive diet feel it is not really possible to get all the micronutrients they need from food. A new study from Harvard questions those assumptions.

Scientists are discovering new things about nutrition all the time. That’s why dietary recommendations such as the “food pyramid” get updated regularly. It’s also why scientists recommend a balanced diet rather than a fistful of  daily supplement pills. In short, they realize that they don’t know everything, but they are pretty sure you will be healthy if you eat a variety of healthful foods.

But how do you eat all those healthy foods and still manage to control your caloric intake? Is it harder if you are a woman, and therefore need to think about getting enough calcium and iron?

Harvard researchers built on previous research showing that taking a multivitamin does not prolong life, and some vitamin supplementation was associated with a higher death rate. Then they looked at how someone can get the nutrients they need out of only 1200 calories per day. The conclusion is that yes, you can get all the vitamins you need from a reduced calorie diet, but that a vitamin D supplement (or getting some sun) might be needed.

Moderation in all things.

One Response to “Vitamin Supplements: Necessary, Insurance, or Waste?”

  1. yvonne says:

    Hi, Great Site, Vitamin supplements are a large part of having good health. We need water, sleep, exercise, a healthy diet love and prayer are some of the essentials of good health and well-being.