Are Supplements Effective?

Dr. Jamie Richards's picture
on April 17, 2019 - 5:19pm

An interesting study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine looking at supplementation levels vs. nutrient levels and all-cause mortality. This means they were searching to see if people who took supplements (in general) lived longer.

The Cohort study was conducted on 30 899 adults in the US above the age of 20 years old. The participants were required to answer questions and complete a survey.

The findings were as such:

Adequate intake of vitamin K and magnesium resulted in decreased mortality - this was limited to obtaining these nutrients from food, not supplements.

Adequate intake of vitamin A, K and zinc resulted in decreased mortality from cardiovascular disease - this was limited to obtaining these nutrients from food, not supplements.

Excess intake of calcium was associated with an increased risk of death from cancer - this was related to consumption of 1000 mg/day of supplement intake and not with calcium found in food.

Here Is What We Covered

  • A discussion of the results and what I found interesting.
  • We just covered this a couple of weeks ago, but there are numerous limitations with this kind of study which I discuss including the concept of causation vs. correlation.
  • What could be causing these results - I share my thoughts.
  • The importance of real food first.
  • The importance of testing, retesting and optimization vs. just taking a supplement (or anything for that matter) Carte Blanche.

Stuff From This Episode

Nutrients from food, not supplements, linked to lower risks of death, cancer

Association Among Dietary Supplement Use, Nutrient Intake, and Mortality Among U.S. Adults: A Cohort Study

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