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Supplements

Supplements are no Substitute for a healthy diet

It is very common nowadays for people to take supplements.  For instance many postmenopausal women take calcium tablets for bone strength. This step seems very logical given the loss of calcium that occurs.

However, a study has shown a small increase in heart attacks with calcium supplement use. Another study found a significant rise in dementia in women who have had a stroke while taking calcium tablets.

The researchers suggested that the reason for these results could be the very sudden rise in calcium in the blood when taking a tablet that could initiate blood clotting.  This would not occur from getting Calcium from food when there would be a smaller and more gradual rise.

Foods containing Calcium – all dairy products dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans and seeds

Note:  You should continue with supplements if prescribed by your Doctor as the problem would clearly be more serious.

Antioxidants like Vitamins A, C and E and Selenium to mop up those harmful chemicals are also popular supplements particularly in the prevention of cancer and this fits in with the science.

BUT trials have shown that this leads to a small increase death rate compared to those not taking antioxidant supplements.

 Anyone following the general advice of having a wide range of fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds will get more than enough of these antioxidants plus thousands of other chemicals that may have effects that science does not understand yet.

 I should point out that the original research on the beneficial effects of antioxidants came from studying food intake not supplement use.

Colin Sutherland

Ref: Clare Wilson  New Scientist 27th August 2016.

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