I am a doctor and I warn you before taking vitamins – Eat this, not that

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Vitamins and supplements are a multi-billion dollar industry, and more of us than ever are taking them regularly – more than half of Americans now report taking supplements regularly. Unfortunately, there is something you need to know before starting or continuing a vitamin regimen. This is the message of a group of doctors who recently published an editorial with an urgent recommendation on vitamins. Read on to learn more and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure signs you’ve already had COVID.

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In an editorial published June 21 in JAMAthree doctors said taking vitamins and supplements is a waste of time and money for most people, and that there are better ways to get real health benefits.

“Patients ask all the time, ‘What supplements should I take?’ They waste money and get carried away thinking there must be some magic set of pills that will keep them healthy when we should all be following the evidence-based practices of healthy eating and exercising said Dr. Jeffrey Linder, chief of general internal medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

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The editorial was written in support of new vitamin and supplement recommendations made last month by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), an expert group that publishes guidelines on preventive medicine. After reviewing 84 studies, the USPSTF said there was “insufficient evidence” that taking vitamins or supplements can help prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer.

“The task force doesn’t say ‘don’t take multivitamins,’ but there’s this idea that if they were really good for you, we would know by now,” Linder wrote. “The harm is that talking to patients about supplements during the very limited time we have to see them misses us advice on how to really reduce cardiovascular risk, such as through exercise or quitting smoking.”

The woman is holding a mobile phone and a bottle of pills
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The task force has officially recommended against taking beta-carotene or vitamin E in supplement form. In the case of beta-carotene, studies indicate that beta-carotene supplementation may increase the risk of lung cancer in people who are already at higher risk (such as people who smoke or have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace) and increase the risk of death. cardiovascular diseases.

Regarding vitamin E, the task force said studies have not found that taking vitamin E reduces the risk of getting or dying from heart disease or cancer.

pregnant african american woman drinking green vegetable juice or smoothie at home
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“Pregnant women should keep in mind that these guidelines don’t apply to them,” said Dr. Natalie Cameron, professor of general internal medicine at Northwestern. “Certain vitamins, such as folic acid, are essential for pregnant women to support healthy fetal development. The most common way to meet these needs is to take a prenatal vitamin. More data is needed to understand how supplementation with specific vitamins may alter the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes and cardiovascular complications during pregnancy.” And to protect your life and the lives of others, do not visit any of these 35 places where you are most likely to catch COVID.

Michael Martin

Michael Martin is a New York-based writer and editor whose health and lifestyle content has also been published on Beachbody and Openfit. A contributing writer for Eat This, Not That!, he has also been published in New York, Architectural Digest, Interview and many others. Read more

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