Home » Nutrition » The end of the Vitamin Debate? Don’t bet on it! Part:1

The end of the Vitamin Debate? Don’t bet on it! Part:1

According to an analysis of the data that the National Survey
of Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) collected
in the period 2003-2006, multivitamins were taken by 33% of
Americans over a year. The National Institutes of Health
reports that in 2012, US consumers spent 5.4 billion dollars in
multivitamins. The reasons why people take multivitamins
include an “insurance” against nutritional deficiencies and
prevent certain chronic diseases. This widespread use of
multivitamins, however, has occurred since its introduction in
the 1940s with very little scientific data to support its
benefits.


Clearly, an adequate supply of vitamins is necessary to
maintain optimal health. Some of its important functions
include boosting the immune system, strengthening bones, which
facilitates wound healing, and obtaining energy from food.
Without adequate intake of vitamins, vitamin deficiency
disorders can develop. Examples of these are anemia (low blood
count), due to lack of intake of vitamin B12 properly and
osteoporosis (bone thinning) of inadequate intake of vitamin D.
Recently, publications promoting the importance of taking
multivitamins, as well as those indicating that unnecessary
consumption of vitamins have appeared. Let’s look at some of
this information because we believe that both sides of the
debate vitamin.

A study published last month in the Journal of the American
College of Nutrition, analyzed the nutrient intake from the
National Survey of Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
(NHANES) between 2001 and 2008. Of the US adults surveyed , it
was found that more than 40% have insufficient intake of
vitamin a, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin e, calcium, and
magnesium. From this study, no conclusions on the effect of
vitamin A deficiency in health were taken, nor was determined
that the standard multi-vitamin supplementation would have
corrected these deficiencies. However, this study suggests that
there may be a role for vitamin supplementation in diets of
American adults with low quality for vitamin levels to healthy
levels.

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Study Results Physicians Health II (PHS II), published last
month in the journal Postgraduate Medicine, suggest that
supplementation of multivitamins and mineral (MVM) can play an
important role in cancer prevention. In this study, healthy
middle-aged and older men (mean age 64 years) were randomly
assigned to take daily multivitamin and mineral supplements
(MVM) or placebo and followed for a mean of 11 years. Men who
take MVMS experienced a statistically significant 8% reduction
in the incidence of all types of cancer. This results in a
reduction of 68,000 annual cases of cancer that could be
prevented with the use of multivitamins.

These studies indicate that not only vitamin deficiency a major
problem in this country, but those who take multivitamins may
provide a protective effect against the development of cancer.
Next week, we will see the other side of the coin in relation
to the discussion of the vitamin.

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