Although nutritional supplements may be an indispensable part of many people’s lives, a new study offers a different view.
And researchers at Northwestern University believe that nutritional supplements may be a waste of both time and money.
“Vitamins and nutritional supplements cannot have a magical effect, but in some cases they can have harmful effects,” said lead author of the study Jenny Jia.
For his part, Michael Barry, vice president of the American Preventive Services Organization, explains that taking nutritional supplements may give people a false sense of security.
“As a result, people may forgo other, more effective measures to prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease such as eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, exercising and following recommendations for cancer screening,” he added.
According to the US Preventive Services Task Force, it is not clear whether nutritional supplements help protect against cancer or cardiovascular disease in most adults, and one type of nutritional supplement may actually increase the risk of cancer.
The teams found, for example, that vitamin E supplementation had no beneficial effect in preventing premature death, cardiovascular disease or cancer.
Evidence also suggests that beta-carotene, a pigment that converts to vitamin A in the body, may increase the risk of lung cancer in people who smoke.
The working group clarified that these recommendations do not apply to pregnant women or those who suffer from vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
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