Supplements for prevention


#1

Found a great article on many. Heres a great list and how they effect us…

Supplements for prevention
Vitamin D. To get vitamin D the old-fashioned way, by producing it in the skin, we need lots of sunshine. But as work has shifted from the farm to the office and as we’ve learned to use sunscreens to reduce the risk of skin cancer and wrinkles, about 70% of Americans lack sufficient amounts of the “sunshine vitamin.” Older adults, patients with chronic illnesses, and people of color are at particular risk.

Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium from the intestines; that’s why vitamin D is so important for healthy bones. But vitamin D also appears to reduce the risk of various neuromuscular problems, particularly falling, and some preliminary evidence holds out hope that good levels of vitamin D may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer and certain other malignancies and perhaps of autoimmune diseases. Current guidelines call for 600 IU (international units) a day below age 71 and 800 IU a day thereafter. But many experts recommend 800 to 1,000 IU a day for most adults; daily doses up to 4,000 IU are considered safe, but more can be toxic.

It’s very hard to get the vitamin D you need from your diet; oily fish and fortified dairy products are the only important sources. So supplements do make good sense for most adults. The form known as vitamin D3 is usually recommended, but D2 is also effective; for best results, take your vitamin D along with a meal that has some fat. If you want to be sure you need this supplement, ask for a blood test; levels of at least 30 nanograms per milliliter are considered best.

Calcium. All the vitamin D in the world won’t protect your bones unless you get enough calcium. In theory, diet can fill the bill, but many of us don’t consume enough dairy products and other calcium-rich foods. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of calcium for men is 1,000 milligrams (mg) before age 71 and 1,200 mg thereafter. If your diet falls short, supplements make sense; calcium carbonate and calcium citrate are best. Although many doctors routinely recommend calcium supplements for women, who have a high risk of osteoporosis, men should limit themselves to the RDA since some evidence suggests very high levels may increase the risk of prostate cancer. And a 2011 report linked calcium supplements, with or without vitamin D, to an increased risk of heart disease. It’s not a proven risk, but it underlines the need for careful study of the risks and benefits of supplements, including the popular items that “everybody knows are good for you.”

Antioxidants. Vitamin E, vitamin A, beta carotene, and vitamin C were the favorites of the 1980s and early '90s. But many careful randomized clinical trials have not shown any benefit against heart disease, cancer, or other illnesses. And that’s not the worst of it. In fact, even moderately high doses of vitamin A increase the risk of hip fractures, and high levels of vitamin A have been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer; beta carotene increases lung cancer risk in smokers; and vitamin E increases the risk of prostate cancer and has been linked to an increase in respiratory infections, heart failure, and the overall death rate.

Do not take antioxidant supplements. One exception: people with moderate or advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) benefit from special antioxidant supplements that also contain zinc. Unfortunately, though, this preparation does nothing to prevent AMD in people who have healthy eyes.


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