If you pay at least a little attention to what you eat and drink, chances are you’ve heard of supplements. Many people use them to supplement nutritional gaps in their diet. They have become so popular that they can be obtained in various forms, such as tablets, capsules, beverages, etc.
However, researchers from Northwestern Medicine suggest that for non-pregnant and otherwise healthy Americans these supplements are a waste of money. The report, published on the EurekAlert website, adds that there is insufficient evidence to support claims that dietary supplements help prevent cardiovascular disease or cancer.
Better eat healthy and exercise!
“Patients keep asking, ‘What supplements should I take?’ They are wasting money and needlessly focusing on having to have some magic set of pills to keep them healthy, while they should follow evidence-based procedures, that is, healthy eating and exercise. ” said Jeffrey Linder, Head of General Internal Medicine, at Northwestern University School of Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine.
Based on a comprehensive systematic review of 84 studies, the researchers claim that there is no “sufficient evidence” that the use of multivitamins and combined or individual supplements helps prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Therefore, experts do not recommend the use of beta-carotene due to the possible increased risk of lung cancer or vitamin E, because its benefit in reducing mortality from cardiovascular disease or cancer has not been proven. “The task force doesn’t say ‘don’t take multivitamins,’ but if they were really beneficial, we’d already know.” notes Linder succinctly.
This does not apply to pregnant women
In connection with the growing attractiveness of supplements, which people use to address dietary deficiencies, Americans spent 2021 on vitamins and supplements. about $ 50 billion. Linder and his team also say they are used by more than half of U.S. adults and expect their use to increase.
“Adopting a healthy diet and exercising more is easier said than done, especially for lower-income Americans.” points out co-author Jenny Jia, who addresses the prevention of chronic diseases in low-income families through lifestyle interventions. “Healthy food is expensive and people don’t always have the means to find an environment to exercise – it can be dangerous outside or they can’t afford to go to the gym.”