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For years, the medical establishment has pushed the idea that taking vitamins and other supplements is a waste of time and money.
Your doctor may have even scoffed at the idea that supplements could have an impact on your health.
But most people, at least half of American adults, are not letting that dissuade them. Seventy percent of people 65 and older take a multivitamin or other supplements regularly. And proof about the benefits is coming in…
Food failed to keep nutrition levels up
A six-month study of healthy older men has shown that daily supplementation with a multivitamin had a positive effect on key nutrition biomarkers.
A biomarker is a biological molecule found in the blood or other body fluids that is a sign of either a normal, healthy condition or a disease. Biomarkers indicate how well the body responds to a particular intervention or treatment.
Researchers at Oregon State University recruited 35 healthy men age 68 or older for their double-blind study. Tests showed that many of the men were not obtaining the optimal levels of several vitamins when the study began.
Half of the men received a Centrum Silver for Men multivitamin supplement and the other half a placebo.
At the end of six months, there were apparent differences between the two groups. Those taking the multivitamin showed improved nutritional biomarkers, while those on the placebo did not.
“Several of the participants assigned to the placebo group had blood nutrition biomarkers fall during the study,” said Tory Hagen, principal investigator and Helen P. Rumbel Professor for Healthy Aging Research at the Linus Pauling Institute. “It suggests that food alone was not enough to keep their vitamin and carotenoid levels up.”
Prof. Hagen added, “We were amazed to find that the men who took the placebo showed reduction in cellular oxygen consumption.”
“This was not observed in men who took the multivitamin, suggesting a connection between vitamin status and white blood cell function that we are eager to explore further.”
White blood cells, also known as leukocytes, are responsible for protecting your body against infection.
Vitamins are a “no-brainer”
If you’ve joined most of us who realize that our daily nutrition is far from perfect and reach for vitamins and supplements, pat yourself on the back. Chances are you also understand that skimping on vitamins not only leads to deficiencies but sacrifices longevity.
If not, you may be listening to the wrong “so-called” experts…
Prof. Alexander Michels of Oregon State says, “Our evidence indicates that many older men could benefit from a daily multivitamin, but the response did vary from individual to individual. Knowing who benefits the most and why will be key for multivitamin trials that evaluate disease risk in the future.”
This study focused on men, but you may be interested to know about the Supplements to Savings report released by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) that we shared with our readers last year.
The report reviewed the evidence on a handful of dietary supplements among people at high risk for certain conditions — both men and women.
Regarding the report’s findings, Dr. Andrea Wong, senior VP of scientific and regulatory affairs at CRN, had this to say, “A steadily growing body of clinical research shows investing in preventive care through supplementation helps Americans avoid chronic conditions.”
Wong added, “This strategy is what we call a no-brainer.”
For details on specific vitamin recommendations made in the report, you can read more here.
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Multivitamin/Multimineral Supplementation Prevents or Reverses Decline in Vitamin Biomarkers and Cellular Energy Metabolism in Healthy Older Men: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study — Nutrients