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Dietary Supplements Not as Helpful as Advertised

Photo Credit: ABC News

There’s no substitute for proper nutrition.

Everyone today wants to try to get a leg up on being healthy, whether from trying out a new diet or using dietary supplements to help provide the nutrition they need. There are hundreds of different supplements that you can find at any local drugstore, but do they actually improve our health?

The answer to that, based on a study at John Hopkins Medicine, is no. 277 clinical trials using 24 interventions were conducted to see what benefits, if any, the supplements were having on people. They found that almost all vitamin, mineral, and other nutrient supplements or diets can’t be connected to living a longer life or protecting you from heart disease.

The good news is that these supplements don’t appear to be doing any harm to us, but we are not getting the positive effects that they claim to provide. The only possible health benefits came from a low-salt diet, omega-3 fatty acid supplements and folic acid supplements for some people. They also found that supplements that combine calcium and vitamin D could be linked to potentially increasing stroke risk.

Surveys conducted showed that almost 52% of Americans take at least one vitamin or nutritional supplement a day, with around $31 billion spent each year on these over the counter products.

No supplements stood out as fixing any potential problems that human beings could be suffering from. In the end, people should focus on getting their nutrients from a heart-healthy diet. Healthy adults do not need to take supplements to continue to stay healthy, it should just be a part of our natural lifestyle.