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Most vitamins may be a waste of money, but the study finds two exceptions



Most vitamins and other nutritional supplements neither prolong their lifespan nor protect their heart health. This was the result of a comprehensive analysis by Johns Hopkins University. However, there were two exceptions to the results for folic acid and omega-3 fatty acid supplements, while a particularly popular combination of vitamins and minerals has been associated with an increased risk of stroke.

READ: These vitamins can lower your risk of dying, but only if you eat them.

More than half of Americans consume at least one vitamin or dietary supplement every day on these over-the-counter supplements. Most of the money could be wasted, the researchers concluded, following a "massive" analysis of 277 existing clinical trials.

The good news is that taking most of these supplements was not associated with any damage to your health. The downside is that most of these dietary supplements have not been associated with protecting heart health or prolonging life expectancy, potentially making them a waste of money.

There were two possible exceptions to the findings: folic acid and omega-3 fatty acid supplements. The researchers found a link between omega-3 fatty acids and a low-salt diet and also found "possibly" health benefits of taking folic acid. On the other hand, taking a combined vitamin D and calcium supplement was associated with a slight increase in the risk of stroke.

An increasing number of studies have found that most adults do not need to take vitamins or other supplements ̵

1; in fact, some former researchers have found a link between certain dietary supplements and a reduced lifespan. Although this remains controversial, experts suggest that nutrients come from healthy foods and not from pills and tablets to take advantage of them.

The Johns Hopkins University study investigated the potential impact of a large number of popular vitamins, minerals, and other dietary supplements on various health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, and heart attack. In total, more than 992,000 people participated in the analyzed clinical trials. In addition to nutritional supplements, the study also looked at various diets, including the Mediterranean diet, modified and low-fat diets, the ALA diet, diets with higher omega-6 fatty acids and a low-sodium diet.

While the calcium and vitamin D combination supplement increased the risk of stroke by 17 percent, folic acid reduced this risk by 20 percent. Low-sodium diets reduced the risk of death by 10 percent and ingesting fish oil supplements reduced the risk of heart attack and disease by 7 percent.


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