Is It Better to Get Vitamins from Food or Supplements?
Getting the proper amount of vitamins is critical to overall wellness. That’s something that’s especially true as we age.
But does it matter where those vitamins come from?
A recent study from Tufts University explored that question and found that getting a proper amount of vitamins and minerals from foods, rather than supplements, showed a reduced risk of deaths from things like heart attacks, cancers and other diseases.
The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, looked at data from nearly 31,000 U.S. adults who answered questionnaires on foods they ate and supplements they took.
It found that, unlike food, taking supplements was not associated with a reduced risk of death — and taking calcium supplements was even associated with a higher risk of death from cancer.
“Accumulating evidence suggests that whole foods from plants may offer significant health benefits beyond their nutrient content, by populating the gut with both fiber and healthful bacteria,” said Dr. Gabe Mirkin in a blog he wrote about the study.
Mirkin is a fitness guru, longtime radio host and sports medicine doctor with more than 50 years of practice.
Mirkin said soluable fiber is shown to be one of the most impactful health benefits because it causes healthful bacteria to grow in your colon and reduces the harmful bacteria.
Bacteria in plants, too, is incredibly healthy because it helps populate your colon with intestinal tract with healthful bacteria that convert soluble fiber, Mirkin said.
“Lack of U.S government regulations allows manufacturers of supplements to put products on the market without proof of content, benefits or safety,” Mirkin said. “The government does not check the potency of supplements unless complaints are registered.”
So there you have it. You can realize more health benefits by eating vitamins in food rather than supplements.
What are some of your favorite mineral-rich foods? Share them in the comments below, and we might include them in a future blog post!
Author: Caitlin H
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.