Many women use vitamins and dietary supplements. Indeed, a recent US study that describes the usage patterns of dietary supplements, and the health, and nutritional status of long-term users of multiple dietary supplements, compared to non-users and multivitamin/mineral supplement users indeed, suggests that more should1.
The study notes that dietary supplements consumed daily by over 50% of Multiple Supp users, who were primarily white, women, better educated, wealthier, and older, and on average consume 17 different supplements every day, include a multivitamin/mineral, B-complex, vitamin C, carotenoids, vitamin E, calcium with vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, flavonoids, lecithin, alfalfa, coenzyme Q10 with resveratrol, glucosamine, and a herbal immune supplement, most women also using gamma linolenic acid and a probiotic supplement, men also, zinc, garlic, saw palmetto, and a soy protein supplement1.
Serum nutrient levels of these substances in general increased with increasing dietary supplement use. The researchers also note that long-term multiple dietary supplement users likelier have optimal levels of chronic disease-related biomarkers such as serum homocysteine, C-reactive protein, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides, and reduced risk of prevalent high blood pressure and diabetes in the study population, age, gender, income, education and body mass index, adjusted for1 compared to non-users and multivitamin/mineral users.
That diet and nutrition are crucial in health maintenance and disease prevention is not in doubt2. The use of dietary supplements, which provide essential nutrients and typically have a hundred percent or more of the Daily Value of one or more nutrients, is widespread3, although so are increasingly, concerns over prospective adverse effects of these supplements4, which latter may discourage their use.
In the US, the most recent national survey, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999–20003, found that 52% of adults took a dietary supplement in the previous month, 47%, only one, and just three out 11,000, twenty or more different supplements in the same period. However, the
Blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) for example is predictive of future cardiovascular disease risk in asymptomatic persons with potential direct links to the evolution of atherosclerosis5, which CRP levels the US study shows decreased, those of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), increased, with increasing dietary supplement use. There findings support earlier studies that showed that vitamin C supplementation reduces plasma CRP concentrations6.
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