Monday, 10 March 2008

Vitamin supplements are harmful


March 10, 2008
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, March 9: Vitamin and antioxidant supplements do more harm than good. In fact, daily consumption of vitamins and supplements from artificial (pharmaceutical) sources may lead to dangerous health complications including cancers of lung.
City health experts argue that what is prescribed as daily dosage of vitamins and minerals is actually sufficient for a month. "We require vitamin and mineral supplements in minute quantities. The dosage is often more than what is required. This unnecessary intake of vitamins is not good for people," they say.
Almost 10 per cent of Indians take supplements of antioxidant vitamins and trace minerals. Often, the consumption is based more on prescription by physicians. Vitamin supplements are, in fact waste of money and invitation to needless health complications. A well-balanced food contains all that's essential for the healthy living of an individual. Nature simply takes care of all human, animal and plant requirements through its natural sources. Only in extreme cases do human beings need these supplements.
Studies on the efficacy or otherwise of vitamin supplements in different parts of the world including India reveal that supplements containing vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, and selenium in any dose and in any combination will not help people live longer, or at least a healthier life.
What is horrifying is that these supplements actually increase the mortality rate, i.e. taking people closer to death.
"A study in the US showed that the relative risks for all cause mortality
ranged from 1.04 for vitamin E to 1.16 for vitamin A. Typically, the least
rigorous trials reported the most positive effects," they said.
Conservative research studies estimate that antioxidant supplements
increase mortality by about five per cent compared with placebo. Higher
intake of Vitamin E supplements do not protect against lung cancer, and
may in fact increase the risk of developing it.

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