Do Vitamin Supplements Work? July 2, 2007Posted by Mrs Weird Scientist in Easy As Pie, Human Body, Nutrition and Health.
Not everyone takes vitamin supplements but some people do take them with the hope that they’re improving their health. A new study, however, is suggesting that antioxidant vitamin supplements might not have benefits.
An antioxidant is basically a molecule that slows down or stops oxidation reactions. Say what? Well, an oxidation reaction can produce something called free radicals, which could damage your body’s cells. So antioxidants are important to help protect your body’s cells.
Where Do I Find Antioxidants?
Not in your messy room! You find them in foods. Antioxidants include vitamins A, E and C, among others. Some people like to take them in pill form because they think this will ensure they’re getting enough antioxidants. Whether this helps, however, is an important question.
Most kids and teens probably aren’t taking loads of antioxidant vitamins. If anything, you’re maybe taking a one-a-day chewable multivitamin that your parents have selected. It probably has a range of vitamins, including antioxidants. The hope is that a multivitamin can help you get all the nutrients you might not be getting from your food. Is the multivitamin really making you healthier though? That’s what some researchers set out to find.
Some questions have now been raised by a new look of 68 clinical trials on vitamins. The study was led by Christian Gluud of Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark. Over a quarter of a million people have collectively participated in these trials and the analysis of the results showed that taking antioxidant vitamins didn’t make them healthier. Should you stop taking that multivitamin then? It’s too early to make a judgment from this study. What the study does tell us is that we need to be careful when taking vitamin supplements. Some nutrition gurus do still believe that if your diet is poor, a multivitamin can be helpful. A better suggestion would be to get nutrients that you need from your diet.
All About Food
You’ve maybe heard this before, but the best way to get all the vitamins and minerals that you need is by eating a varied diet. Yep, that means eating lots of different kinds of healthy foods. It’s a good thing though! It means that you get to tempt your taste buds with so many delicious foods and you don’t need to get bored eating the same foods all the time. By eating all these kinds of foods, you’re more likely to benefit by getting a broader range of vitamins and minerals.
Pretty Colours Are Good
I like colour and when it comes to fresh foods, colour is a good thing! Each day of the week, try picking three different colours. Now, eat fruits and vegetables that have those three colours! Err, not all three in one! That would be a very odd looking fruit or vegetable.
There are heaps of foods you can eat that are super rich in antioxidants. Some of the ones I find yummy are:
- Trail mix! Some of the nuts in trail mix are high in antioxidants like vitamin E. Almonds and sunflower seeds are two of my faves and when I add in some raisins, it tastes even better.
- Get your vitamin C from fruits like strawberries, oranges and cantaloupe. I like mixing them all up into a fruit salad.
- Foods like carrots and yams are great for vitamin A. I usually dip carrot sticks into a refreshing yogurt dressing.
A Hungry Miss Weird Scientist
All of this yapping about antioxidant rich foods has me feeling a little peckish. My three colours for today are blue, green and red. So, I’m off to make a blueberry smoothie and later I will make some pasta with tomato sauce, green peppers and parmesan cheese. Yum!