Vitamin Supplements Don't Help You Live Longer, New Study Shows

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While getting the right nutrients in the right quantities from food was associated with a longer life, the same wasn't true for nutrients from supplements, says study co-author Fang Fang Zhang, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

The study analyzed information from more than 27,000 adults in the USA ages 20 and up who took part in a national health survey between 1999 and 2010. The bad news is that this link is seen only when those nutrients come from food, not supplements, according to a new study.

Moreover, during those six years of study, 3,613 participants had died.

In addition, the researchers found that dietary supplements had no effect on the risk of death in individuals with low nutrient intake. Those that mentioned that they had used dietary supplements had been requested for particulars, together with how typically they took the merchandise. This includes calcium from supplements. On the other hand, supplements do not appear to have increased the risk of death in people who lacked vitamin D in their normal diet.

To calculate the daily supplement dose of each nutrient, the frequency and the product information for ingredient, amount of ingredient per serving, and ingredient unit were combined.

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Perhaps most alarming is that the study found that those who took high levels of supplemental calcium over prolonged periods of time may have an overall shorter life expectancy. Dietary intake of nutrients from foods was assessed using 24-hour dietary recalls.

While certain nutrients are shown to reduce mortality when taken as food, scientists say that there's actually no link between taking dietary supplements and a lower mortality rate, according to a study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. Finally, to calculate mortality outcomes for each study participant, matches were made with the National Death Index through December 31, 2011. And in fact, some supplements were linked to increased risk of death.

The association between a lower risk of death and nutrients consumed in foods remained significant even after those factors were accounted for. Those taking vitamin D supplements where no vitamin D deficiency was present showed a possible association with an increased risk of all-cause mortality, including cancer. As well as, throughout a family interview, they answered whether or not they had used any dietary supplements within the earlier 30 days. Additionally, the possibility that residual confounding may have affected the study's results remains. It's important to note that the study involved self-reported dietary supplement use and dosage, and it's unclear whether specific usage durations may influence the outcome.

Our results support the idea that, while supplement use contributes to an increased level of total nutrient intake, there are beneficial associations with nutrients from foods that aren't seen with supplements.

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