Overall, American’s Get The Vitamins They Need

Americans seem to be getting an adequate amount of vitamins and nutrients in their diets.

This is not to say that there are not deficiencies, especially in certain pockets of the population which include certain racial groups, age groups and women.

Lead researcher Christine Pfeiffer said in the release: “Research shows that good nutrition can help lower people’s risk for many chronic diseases. For most nutrients, the low deficiency rates, less than 1 to 10 percent, are encouraging, but higher deficiency rates in certain age and race/ethnic groups are a concern and need additional attention.”

Pfeiffer and her colleagues found that since the fortification of cereal-grain products with folic acid began in 1998, there has been a sustained increase in folate levels.

Folate deficiency has dropped to less than 1 percent, and blood folate levels in all racial/ethnic groups have increased 50 percent

Read on for more information and see if you need to fortify your diet to achieve your best health potential.

Vitamins You Need and the Ones You Can Do Without

A list of vitamin do’s and don’ts can help you to decide which vitamins you need and which vitamins and nutrients you can get by eating a well balanced, healthy diet.

Your nutritional needs will also change as you age, become pregnant or face illness.

Choosing the right supplements and foregoing the unnecessary will lead to optimal wellness.

Studies Find that Vitamins Can Do More Harm Than Good

Evidence against vitamin use is mounting.

Especially with vitamin E and Selenium therapies which are targeted to specific conditions such as prostate cancer.

The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial, known as the Select trial, was studying whether selenium and vitamin E, either alone or in combination, could lower a man’s risk for prostate cancer. It was stopped early in 2008 after a review of the data showed no benefit, although there was a suggestion of increased risk of prostate cancer and diabetes that wasn’t statistically significant. The latest data, based on longer-term follow-up of the men in the trial, found that users of vitamin E had a 17 percent higher risk of prostate cancer compared with men who didn’t take the vitamin, a level that was statistically significant. There was no increased risk of diabetes.

In regard to women’s health not only were vitamins not successful in preventing disease but were found to be harmful, in some cases.

Among the women in the Iowa study, about 63 percent used supplements at the start of the study, but that number had grown to 85 percent by 2004. Use of multivitamins, vitamin B6, folic acid, iron, magnesium, zinc and copper were all associated with increased risk of death. The findings translate to a 2.4 percent increase in absolute risk for multivitamin users, a 4 percent increase associated with vitamin B6, a 5.9 percent increase for folic acid, and increases of 3 to 4 percent in risk for those taking supplements of iron, folic acid, magnesium and zinc.

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Getting Enough Vitamin D Helps Lower Men’s Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke

Spending a few moments in the sun may get you a bit more than just a tan.

By spending no more than 15 minutes in the sun with arms and legs exposed your body will produce over 10,000 IU of necessary vitamin D.

The sun is the major natural source of vitamin D, since sunlight triggers vitamin D synthesis in the body.

Food sources are relatively few and include fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, and fortified dairy products and cereals.

Studies have found that this vital vitamin may help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in men.

After accounting for a range of factors — like age, weight, exercise levels and other diet habits, such as fat intake – Sun’s team found that men who got at least 600 IU of vitamin D from food and supplements had a 16 percent lower risk of heart attack and stroke compared to men who got less than 100 IU of vitamin D per day.

Your Multivitamin May Not Contain All the Nutrients on the Label

Vitamins are expensive and the research is out on whether or not they are as effective as we hope that they are.

Recent studies about the potency of some supplements and multivitamins is discouraging.

“While medications are closely overseen by the federal Food and Drug Administration, supplements like vitamins don’t get regular testing by any government agency. So there’s no way of knowing — outside of independent testing — whether a bottle of supplements contains what it’s supposed to … Although low levels of certain nutrients can be a problem, doses that exceed recommendations are especially worrisome. Several products evaluated … including some designed for children, had this issue.”

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