The hunt for the best nutritional supplements is a common one. Most American adults do not eat a balanced diet, and many are well aware of that fact. Studies conducted by the Council for Responsible Nutrition show that about 90 percent of American adults don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables in the average day. That said 75 percent of U.S. adults are taking some form of dietary supplement.
It’s clear that people believe that as long as they find the best nutritional supplements, such as multivitamins, it will bring them closer to obtaining the nutrition they’re not getting through their food. The downside of this habit is that this simply isn’t enough.
The results of a new study were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal. They indicate that even if you’re taking the best nutritional supplements, it may not be enough to keep you healthy.
The nutrients that the body receives through the best nutritional supplements don’t even approach those that are obtained through food. The research found that people who eat the equivalent nutrients through balanced diets experienced notably superior health and longevity to those taking dietary supplements. In fact, it doesn’t appear that people who take dietary supplements experience improved health and longevity over people who eat similarly and do not use added supplementation.
The research showed that though people who obtain the right nutrients through the food they eat do experience improved health and longevity, the same was not true for people taking even the best nutritional supplements. This, according to Fang Fang Zhan, study co-author who is also a Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy associate professor of epidemiology.
As a result, Zhang explained that for most people throughout the general public, there really isn’t any need for taking even the best dietary supplements. A large and growing body of evidence indicates that there simply aren’t any benefits to taking these products. Instead, a higher priority needs to be placed on meeting dietary recommendations in order to obtain the nutrients we need through the foods we eat. Reliance on supplements does not appear to be having the desired effect, said Zhang.
The research was extensive, examining copious amounts of data from around 30,000 American adult participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 through 2010.