Recent Blog Articles
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Rating the drugs in drug ads
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New pediatric guidelines on obesity in children and teens
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Vitamins & Supplements Archive
Don’t buy into dietary supplements for heart health
Statins were more effective at lowering cholesterol levels compared with six dietary supplements touted for heart health benefits, including managing cholesterol.
Don’t count on a supplement to fix high cholesterol
A 2022 study found that taking supplements for four weeks to treat "bad" LDL cholesterol was ineffective, compared with taking a statin drug for four weeks. Supplements studied included fish oil, cinnamon, garlic, turmeric, plant sterols, and red yeast rice.
Vegetarian diet linked to more hip fractures in women
A 2022 study found that women ages 35 to 69 who ate vegetarian diets were significantly more likely to break a hip than peers who ate fish or meat. Vegetarians need to be sure they get adequate amounts of dietary protein, calcium, vitamin D, and other micronutrients to maintain bone health.
Can supplements improve your prostate health?
Over-the-counter supplements touted to support prostate health are popular, and supposedly help prevent and manage symptoms of an enlarged prostate (benign prostate hyperplasia). Some of the ingredients are said to protect against prostate cancer or slow its growth. While research has explored supplements’ role in prostate health and some had positive results, the findings are far from conclusive. A better dietary option for prostate health is to follow a plant-based diet like the Mediterranean or DASH diet.
Debunking myths about heart disease
Many people have misconceptions about avoiding heart disease. One involves the use of over-the-counter fish oil capsules, which do not prevent heart disease in healthy people. Another relates to confusion about the ideal blood pressure targets in older adults. Some people are misinformed about the implications of a family history of heart disease, while others may be confused about the differences in heart attack symptoms between men and women.
Can a multivitamin keep your brain healthy?
A recent study found that older adults who took a multivitamin daily for three years had improved scores on tests of executive function, memory, and overall brain function, but the study wasn’t large enough, long enough, or diverse enough to rely on its conclusions alone.
Can taking enzyme supplements help soothe my bloating?
Digestive enzyme supplements are promoted to fix problems like bloating, gas, and bowel irregularity. However, for most people, there’s little evidence that they help. Doctors may prescribe enzyme pills for people who can’t make enough digestive enzymes because of a health condition.
New advice on melatonin use in children
Melatonin is a popular over-the-counter sleep aid. But because it is sold as a dietary supplement it is not regulated, and recent warnings include reports of melatonin overdoses in children. If parents need help getting their child to sleep, there are other things they can try first.
Research upholds use of supplements to slow macular degeneration
Ten years of data suggest that AREDS2 supplements are associated with a reduced risk of macular degeneration progression without any increase in lung cancer risk, according to a follow-up study published online June 2, 2022, by JAMA Ophthalmology.
Low vitamin D levels may increase odds of dementia
A 2022 study found that low blood levels of vitamin D (under 25 nanomoles per liter) were linked with higher risks of dementia. People can boost vitamin D levels from diet, supplements, or sun exposure.
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