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Getting Your Nutrients: From the Source or Supplements?

By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Americans are making shifts in the supplements they take -- fewer multivitamins and vitamins C and E, more fish oil and vitamin D. Many think of supplements as magic bullets, but studies don't always support their supposed benefits.

Some research is positive. Vitamin D is important for good health and very hard to get naturally from foods or, if you live in northern latitudes, from the sun. So you might need a supplement to meet daily needs. But first ask your doctor for a blood test to check your level and, if it's low, whether it's safe for you to sit in the sun twice a week for 15 minutes to allow your body to make D naturally.

Significant studies show that it's better to get certain nutrients directly from food. For instance, while foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, from walnuts to oily fish, have been linked to reduced risk of heart disease, the omega-3s in fish oil capsules may not deliver the same benefits.

A 2018 study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that many supplements -- from vitamins A and D to the minerals selenium and chromium -- contain higher amounts of the nutrient than stated on the label. That's a concern because some good-for-you supplements can be harmful at high doses -- even calcium, which is highly touted for bone health. If you can't get enough calcium through diet and bone density testing shows that you need to supplement, ask your doctor about safe limits.

In fact, whether you're thinking about an herbal supplement or a proven vitamin or mineral, talk to your health care provider first. Some may interact with medications you take or could pose a risk if you have an illness or are scheduled for surgery.

More information

The U.S. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has more on supplements and how to use them safely.

Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=746246

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Bone and Bones
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The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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