Following the normal healthy living protocol, including eating well, exercising, and taking vitamins, seems simple. However, some research suggests that vitamins and supplements are not as beneficial as people may think. In fact, some studies have found that certain vitamins can actually be harmful to your health, resulting in certain cancers and a raised risk of kidney stones. Here are some vitamins and supplements that are beneficial to your health, and some that you should skip.
Many people see multi-vitamins as an insurance policy of some sort. If you do not get all of the nutrition you need from your food, a multi-vitamin can make up for the deficits, right? This is not necessarily true.
The ingredients in multi-vitamins are already abundant in our daily foods, and consumed at a more bio-available level through eating real foods. Consuming too much of certain vitamins and minerals can actually be harmful to your health, causing an increased overall risk of death.
Probiotics are commonly found on grocery shelves these days in the form of new and flavorful products that promise a wide range of health benefits. These expensive supplements, however, are found naturally in common foods such as yogurt and pickles. It is easy to support to good bacteria in the gut with naturally occurring foods, rather than expensive supplements. It is best to skip this supplement and grab a yogurt instead.
Anti-oxidants such as Vitamins A, C, and E are known to be cancer-fighting elements and are found in many foods such as berries and vegetables. However, when taken in excess, antioxidants have been found to cause more harm than good. They can increase the chance of cancer-related death as well as others. This is a supplement to skip.
One vitamin that is tough to get from our daily diets is vitamin D. It is not present in most of our foods, however, it is a critical vitamin that helps to maintain our bone strength by helping the absorption of calcium. Direct sunlight helps our bodies produce vitamin D, but this is not always available. Taking a vitamin D supplement is beneficial to overall health.
Zinc supplements are beneficial. Unlike vitamin C, zinc can help shorten the length of a common cold. This mineral interferes with the replication of the virus that causes the common cold. Taking zinc at the first sign of a cold can reduce its length and severity.
While vitamin B3 has previously been known to treat all kinds of diseases, studies have shown otherwise. Research has shown that there are certain known side effects from taking niacin supplements in high doses, which is vitamin B3. While niacin has been studied and shown to have positive results when treating diseases, too much niacin can cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, skin rashes, heart problems, low blood pressure, and gout. It has also not been seen to reduce incidences in heart attack or stroke in people with high cholesterol. Vitamin B3 can be found in foods and does not need extra supplementation.
This B vitamin helps our bodies create new cells. Pregnant women need extra folic acid to help their pregnancy stay healthy with a growing fetus. Additionally, studies have also linked folic acid supplementation with decreased instances of neural tube defects in unborn babies. This is a vitamin that is worth taking.
While there is great belief among people, possibly due to the advertising of products such as Emergen-C and Airborne, that vitamin C is a super-vitamin that helps to cure illness. However, many studies have shown that vitamin C does not do much to prevent common colds. Additionally, too much vitamin C may result in kidney stones. Vitamin C is readily available in foods such as strawberries and oranges.
Vitamin E was once known to help prevent cancer. However, recent studies have shown that it may actually have the opposite effect. Spinach is rich in vitamin E and contains enough to cover your bases.