Vitamins and Mineral Supplements for Men
Vitamins and Mineral Supplements for Men

Why are multivitamins and other dietary supplements hazardous to your health? The range of nutritional supplements and herbal preparations is very large.

More than half of America's adults regularly use multivitamins and other supplements to strengthen the immune system and the entire body, thereby supporting the $ 20 billion industry for these supplements annually. The range of nutritional supplements and herbal preparations is very large, and they are sold at every step.

But are vitamins and mineral supplements really important for men?

Based on research data, it is safe to say no. There is no evidence (except for certain categories of people) that vitamin and mineral supplements are beneficial for health. It has not been proven that an improper diet turns into a balanced one when taking a multivitamin.

Vitamins and mineral supplements lead to early death

This is not just that vitamins and mineral supplements will not do much good for a middle-aged man. High doses of these drugs can cause disease and shorten life. According to 68 studies conducted in different places and at different times, high doses of antioxidants (vitamins C and E) increase the risk of premature death by 5%. In other studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the risk of death is even higher for those taking vitamins.

It would seem to sound contradictory. However, over the decades, various studies have proven that eating fresh fruits and vegetables, which are high in antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals, improves health and prolongs life. But there are essential components of a healthy lifestyle that cannot be enclosed in a pill bottle.

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Multivitamins are not the shortcut to health that many think. It is better to stick to a balanced and rich diet than to risk your health by taking these supplements.

Multivitamins for middle-aged men

Vitamin supplements can be beneficial for certain groups of people. After 55, the body's ability to synthesize vitamin D decreases when exposed to the sun, so taking vitamin D capsules is a very good idea. The absorption of vitamin B12 also decreases with age, and this deficiency can be corrected by taking supplements containing vitamin B12. Cancer patients and people on less than 1,000 calories a day need vitamin supplements. Vegetarians need B vitamins and iron, which they cannot get enough from their diet.

There really is no evidence that a multivitamin is required for men aged 35 to 55. If you are concerned about the issue of sufficient intake of vitamins in the body, consult your doctor, he can conduct special tests. Deficiencies in vitamin B12 or vitamin D, for example, are easy to detect.

As you know, evidence for the benefits or harms of supplements comes from studies that have been done with high doses of certain vitamins or minerals. But the health effects of multivitamins have not been studied. Most likely, taking one tablet once a day is equally harmless and pointless for the patient, but profitable for the manufacturer of these supplements.

Do multivitamins really work the way you think?

The health benefits of supplementation can be attributed to the placebo effect - the positive effect of feeling in control of one's own health and hopeful results. Even with the evidence for the ineffectiveness of multivitamins, people still continue to take them.

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When scientists were asked during research if they were taking supplements, many responded in the affirmative. “Sometimes there is a need for a placebo,” they said.

Additives and heavy metals

But buyers should beware. Some tablets contain more or less vitamins than indicated and sometimes contain heavy metals such as lead. Therefore, having a developed industry for the production and sale of such additives is potentially dangerous.

The term "supplements" refers to all possible substances from vitamins and minerals to herbal preparations, for example, ephedra, saw palmetto, ginkgo biloba and others, some of which have strong pharmacological effects.

The suppliers of these substances are not responsible for their effectiveness. Supplement manufacturers do not have documents confirming the safety of their products. In such conditions, the market for vitamins and food supplements is expanding rapidly every year.

Why are vitamins and mineral supplements in demand?

The results of studies carried out in the 80-90s of the last century indicate that the use of vitamins and mineral supplements prevents the development of cancer, osteoporosis, and heart disease. But revising these studies, we come to the conclusion that in the subjects studied, the positive effect was observed not so much because of the use of supplements, but because of a healthy lifestyle. In other words, people taking vitamins generally eat healthy, smoke less, and exercise.

Health cannot be contained in pills

The advantage of eating a healthy diet over a large number of additives is that foods contain substances that are not yet well understood, but that does not diminish their potential value.

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Substances can be used in different ways by the body, depending on how you take them. In some cases, there is no difference - calcium from tablets is absorbed in the same way as from milk. But beta-carotene and folate taken in supplements are absorbed more quickly than from food. Therefore, the use of such supplements in large quantities can lead to unpredictable consequences. For example, if you eat half a kilogram of carrots every day, nothing bad will happen to you, unless your skin turns yellowish. But consuming high doses of beta-carotene can damage the liver and increase the likelihood of lung cancer in smokers.

Vitamins were first studied in the first half of the 20th century by scientists who noticed a link between a deficiency of these substances and the development of diseases such as scurvy, pellagra, beriberi.

When vitamin E is deficient, red blood cells are destroyed, resulting in anemia. But our society gets enough vitamin E from food - even from fried potatoes. If you eat nothing other than overcooked rice, scurvy can develop due to insufficient intake of vitamin C.

It has been proven that high doses of vitamins and mineral supplements can be harmful to health. An overdose of vitamin A can occur. If you consume more than 2 grams of vitamin C per day, you will experience digestive disorders - cramps, bloating. " Studies have shown that vitamins B6 and B12 can lead to decreased intelligence in older men. An overdose of vitamin B6 can cause irreversible damage to the nervous system.

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The human body is designed so that the best source of nutrients for it is food, not supplements.“Our digestive system is formed in the same way as that of our distant ancestors,” say nutritionists, “and if you consume large amounts of nutritional supplements, you will disrupt the body's ability to self-regulate. Here's a good tip: eat food, not supplements."

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