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Vitamins, Fish Oil, Minerals: Which Supplements Help or Harm the Heart?

Manufacturers make all kinds of health claims, but can taking a dietary supplement actually lower your heart disease risk?

A comprehensive analysis of prior research suggests that in certain cases the answer is yes. Some types of supplements – such as omega-3 fatty acids, folic acid and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) -- do provide a cardiovascular leg up.

But many supplements were foun...

Berry Good for You: Some Foods Can Strengthen Your Brain

Eating more berries and drinking tea may help slow mental decline as you age, new research suggests.

In a study of more than 900 adults, researchers found that foods like these -- containing antioxidant flavonols -- delivered brain benefits to older adults. Flavonols are found in fruits like berries, green leafy vegetables, tea and wine.

For example, people who ate a serving o...

Vitamins: It's Best to Get Them From Food, Not a Bottle

Bottled vitamins might seem a convenient way to get all the important nutrients, but the best delivery method is still just eating actual healthy food.

“We have plenty of studies showing that when we look at food as the bioavailable source of certain nutrients of vitamins and minerals, they tend to be one of the best options,” said

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • November 25, 2022
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  • Low Vitamin D Could Raise Diabetes Risk for Black Americans

    Too little of the "sunshine vitamin" -- vitamin D -- in Black Americans could raise their odds of developing diabetes, new research suggests.

    Two new studies found an association between levels of vitamin D in the blood and insulin resistance, a precursor to full-blown diabetes.

    It's been long known that low blood levels of vitamin D "are associated with an increased risk of diabet...

    400-Year-Old Mummy Reveals a Nobleman's Child, Kept From the Sun

    A “virtual autopsy” of a mummified 17th century Austrian infant has shed new light on Renaissance childhood — as well as the importance of vitamin D to health.

    The researchers used CT scans to examine the remains, which had been found in an aristocratic Austrian family crypt containing the perfect ...

    Vitamin D Could Help Extend Your Life: Study

    A vitamin D deficiency puts you at risk for more than just weakened bones, a major new study reports.

    Too little vitamin D in your system can increase your overall risk of premature death, as well as your specific risk of dying from cancer, heart disease or lung disease, acco...

    Vitamin Supplements May Help People With Cystic Fibrosis

    More than 160,000 people around the world have cystic fibrosis, and supplementing with vitamins C and E could help reduce the damaging inflammation in their lungs, according to new research.

    "Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that is associated with increased inflammation, and like many inflammatory diseases, it comes with a large amount of

  • By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • October 3, 2022
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  • Could a Folic Acid Prescription Help Prevent Suicide?

    More than 1 million Americans attempted suicide in 2020, and a new study is hinting at a potential way to reduce that risk: prescription folic acid.

    The study, of more than 800,000 Americans in a health care database, found that when people were on prescription folic acid, their likelihood of being treated for

  • Amy Norton HealthDay Reporter
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  • September 30, 2022
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  • Multivitamins Linked to Healthier Brains in Old Age

    A daily multivitamin might help keep your brain free from any decline in thinking skills, a new study suggests.

    In a trial of more than 21,000 men and women, the study authors reported that

  • Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter
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  • September 14, 2022
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  • Vitamin D, Fish Oil Won't Help Elderly Stay Strong, Study Finds

    If only you could pop vitamin D and fish oil supplements to fight the frailty that often comes with aging, but new research delivers a disappointing message: Don't count on it.

    In reaching that conclusion, t...

    Vitamin D Supplements Won't Shield You From COVID-19, Studies Find

    While vitamin D got some attention early in the pandemic, it does not reduce the risk of either COVID-19 or other respiratory infections, two new clinical trials found.

    Both studies, one done in the United Kingdom and the other in Norway, found that boosting levels of vitamin D in adults during the pandemic didn't help protect against

  • By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • September 8, 2022
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  • Taking 2 Supplements in Pregnancy Could Lower Baby's Odds for Croup

    Many new parents have been jarred awake in the dead of night when they hear their baby let out that telltale barky cough that signals a bout of croup.

    Until now, nothing was thought to stave off the disease in babies who are prone to it, but a new study has discovered that when women took hi...

    Tips to Food-Fueling Your Active Vegan Child

    Kids can take part in sports while on vegetarian and vegan diets, but parents and caregivers must help them select foods that will fuel them and meet their nutrition needs.

    Vegan athletes can become deficient in vitamin B12, vitamin D, long-chain omega-3 fats, riboflavin and calcium, so it's important to find good substitutes, said Roberta Anding, a registered dietitian at Baylor College ...

    Dietary Supplements: Are You Throwing Money Away?

    Most Americans swear by dietary supplements, with nearly 3 of 4 people taking some type of supplement on a daily basis, a new HealthDay/Harris Poll has revealed.

    But many have a mistaken belief in the effectiveness of these supplements, which for the most part don't help folks live longer or healthier live...

    Vitamin D Supplements Won't Help Your Bones, Large Study Finds

    Seniors who take vitamin D supplements to improve their bone health and ward off fractures are just wasting their time and money, a major new study has found.

    These supplements did nothing to reduce their average risk of

    Eat These Foods, Your Kidneys Will Thank You

    Eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables is common advice, but many Americans eat few of these nutrient powerhouses, according to a new study.

    This includes adults with chronic kidney ...

    You Can Take Too Much Vitamin D -- One Man Found Out the Hard Way

    Vitamin D supplements are often touted for their health benefits, from boosting the immune system to guarding against cancer. But as one British man found out, it is possible to get too much of a good thing.

    Vitamin D overdosing -- clinically called hypervitaminosis D -- is linked to a range of potentia...

    Vitamin D Deficiency Common in Young Black, Hispanic Americans

    Vitamin D, the "Sunshine Vitamin," boosts the immune system and helps prevent cancer, among other health benefits, but a significant number of Black and Hispanic teens have low levels of this nutrient, according to a new study.

    "This paper calls attention to the need to raise...

    Vitamins, Supplements Useless for Most People: Expert Panel

    Millions of people pop vitamins and supplements every day in hopes of staving off heart disease and cancer, but a new report finds the evidence to support that strategy is largely lacking.

    While there is some research showing that a daily multivitamin may slightly reduce cancer risk, the bigger pictur...

    Your Daily Vitamin D From Tomatoes? Gene Tweak Could Make It Happen

    A genetically engineered tomato could one day rival salmon as a dietary source of vitamin D, if early research pans out.

    British scientists used gene "editing" to produce the tomato, which is chock full of provitamin D3, a precursor that the body can convert into vitamin D.

    The gene twe...

    Calcium Supplements Could Spell Trouble for Older Heart Patients

    Seniors are often advised to take calcium supplements, but new research says the pills might significantly increase an aging person's risk of heart valve problems that contribute to heart failure.

    People taking either calcium supplements alone or calcium with vitamin D had a higher risk of heart-related death or death from any cause compared with people not taking supplements, the researc...

    Over Half of American Parents Give Their Picky Eaters Supplements

    If your child is a picky eater and you feel you need to give them dietary supplements, you're not alone.

    In a new poll of more than 1,200 U.S. parents with at least one child aged 1 to 10, more than half said they struggle to get their child to eat a well-balanced diet and half said they regularly give their child dietary supplements.

    About one-third of parents said their child is a...

    Vitamins, Supplements Don't Guard Against Severe COVID

    Remember when everyone was downing zinc supplements at the beginning of the pandemic, in hopes of guarding against a severe case of COVID-19?

    New research suggests that folks may have wasted their time and effort: Taking zinc, vitamin C or vitamin D supplements doesn't lower one's risk of dying from COVID-19.

    Vitamin D Supplements Might Cut Your Odds for Autoimmune Diseases

    Taking vitamin D supplements may help stave off psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other autoimmune diseases, a new study suggests.

    Previous research has hinted at this connection, but the new study is the first randomized controlled trial to look at what happens when people are given vitamin D supplements and followed to see if they develop an

  • Denise Mann HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 27, 2022
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  • Fish Oil Has No Effect on Depression, Study Finds

    They may have other proven health benefits, but new research shows that fish oil supplements don't prevent depression or improve mood.

    Some experts recommend omega-3 fish oil supplements to help prevent depression in high-risk patients, but studies have yielded mixed results and there are no g...

    Supplements: Many Cancer Patients Think They'll Help, But Experts Urge Caution

    Many cancer patients take dietary supplements in hopes of keeping their disease at bay, but British researchers say there's little evidence it will pay off.

    In fact, they add, supplements may not only be ineffective, but harmful as well.

    "We found 1 in 5 people who had been treated for cancer mistakenly thought that taking vitamins or other supplements would help reduce the ris...

    More Time Outdoors May Lower Risk of MS in Youth

    Children at risk for multiple sclerosis (MS) might find some protection from the disease by spending more time in the sun, a small study suggests.

    Although MS is rare in children and young adults, those with relatives who have the condition have increased odds of developing the disease early. Exposure to sunlight may cut their risk in half, researchers say.

    "In families where there'...

    Protecting Your Skin From Sun Won't Weaken Your Bones: Study

    Most people know that sun-sourced vitamin D is good for their bones. So could avoiding the sun to reduce skin cancer risk weaken your bones?

    A new study brings a reassuring answer: "Sun-protective" behavior -- wearing long sleeves, seeking shade or using sunscreen -- "was not associated with decreased bone mineral density or increased risk of osteoporotic fracture," the researchers conclu...

    Zinc Might Help Shorten Your Cold or Flu, Study Finds

    Many people pop a zinc supplement at the first sign of a cold, and there's new evidence supporting the habit.

    Australian researchers found that the supplements appear to help shorten respiratory tract infections, such as colds, flu, sinusitis and pneumonia.

    Many over-the-counter cold and cough remedies offer only "marginal benefits," the researchers noted, making "zinc a viable 'na...

    Too Little Vitamin D Could Raise Colon Cancer Risk in Black Women

    Black American women with low levels of vitamin D have higher odds of developing colon cancer, according to a new research that echoes previous findings in white women.

    Researchers used a vitamin D prediction model for nearly 50,000 participants in the Black Women's Health Study and concluded that those with predicted levels in the bottom 25% had an estimated 40% higher risk of colon canc...

    Could Too Little Iron Boost Your Risk for Heart Disease?

    Iron is vital to health, and too little in your diet might lead to heart disease, European researchers report.

    They said about 1 in 10 new cases of heart disease in middle-aged people might be prevented if they had sufficient levels of iron in their diets.

    "Our findings are based on an observational study and can therefore only report on associations, not on causality," said lead re...

    Want That Healthy Skin Glow? These Foods Can Get You There

    Eating foods high in five key nutrients can help you have soft, glowing, healthy skin, an expert says.

    Omega-3s: While they're typically associated with brain and heart health and lower blood pressure, they also "can reduce inflammation and keep your skin moisturized," clinical dietitian Margaret Ifarraguerri, of LifeBridge Health's Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, said in a ...

    Vitamin D Might Help Prevent Early-Onset Colon Cancer

    Foods rich in vitamin D may help protect younger adults against colon cancer, researchers report.

    While colon cancer is decreasing overall, cases among younger adults have been on the rise. The trends dovetail with a decline in vitamin D intake from foods such as fish, mushrooms, eggs and milk.

    There is growing evidence of a link between vitamin D and risk of colon cancer death, but...

    Vitamin D Won't Help Ease Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Study

    Taking vitamin D supplements won't improve painful symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), British researchers report.

    IBS is a chronic digestive disorder that can cause stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. Symptoms come and go for some people, but the condition can severely affect quality of life for many.

    Previous research has suggested a link between low vitam...

    Changing Diets Mean More Americans Are Anemic Now

    Growing numbers of Americans aren't getting enough iron in their diets most likely due to changes in farming practices and a shift away from red meat, researchers report.

    The upshot: Rates of iron-deficiency anemia are on the rise.

    "Iron deficiency remains a major public health issue even in a developed country such as the United States," Dr. Ian Griffin and Dr. Marta Rogido wr...

    Vitamin D May Lower Black Women's Odds for COVID-19

    Unlocking a clue to why Black women might be more susceptible to COVID-19, a new study shows that low levels of vitamin D may increase their risk of infection.

    That doesn't mean that people should rely on vitamin D supplements to protect themselves against COVID-19, however, because vaccines are the only proven protection against the disease.

    For the study, researchers assessed vita...

    Too Little Sunlight, Vitamin D May Raise Colon Cancer Risk

    New research finds that countries with more cloudy days tend to have higher colon cancer rates. Lower levels of vitamin D, the "sunshine vitamin," may be to blame.

    So, boosting your vitamin D levels through exposure to sunlight could help reduce your risk of colon cancer, according to researchers at the University of California, San Diego.

    "Differences in UVB [ultraviolet-B] li...

    How Healthy Are the New Plant-Based 'Fake Meats'?

    More and more Americans are seeking out healthier, greener and more ethical alternatives to meat, but are plant-based alternatives like the Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat truly nutritious substitutes?

    The answer is yes, according to new research funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. It found the imitation meats to be a good source of fiber, folate and iron while containing ...

    Healthy Levels of Vitamin D May Boost Breast Cancer Outcomes

    Breast cancer patients who have adequate levels of vitamin D - the "sunshine vitamin" - at the time of their diagnosis have better long-term outcomes, a new study finds.

    Combined with the results of prior research, the new findings suggest "an ongoing benefit for patients who maintain sufficient levels [of vitamin D] through and beyond breast cancer treatment," said study lead author Son...

    A Vitamin Could Be Key to Women's Pain After Knee Replacement

    Older women with low levels of vitamin D may have more pain after total knee replacement than those with adequate levels of the nutrient, a new study suggests.

    Vitamin D is an important part of a healthy diet, and its benefits include protecting against bone disease and maintaining soft tissue health.

    Estrogen deficiency, inactivity and a lack of sun exposure have been linked w...

    Should Black Adults Take Vitamin D Supplements to Help Their Hearts?

    Vitamin D deficiency among Black people may be a risk factor for heart disease, a new, small study suggests.

    Black adults are more prone to heart disease than whites, and lack of vitamin D -- the so-called sunshine vitamin -- might be one reason. People with darker skin make less vitamin D than those with lighter skin, especially when they live in areas where exposure to sunlight is low,...

    High Vitamin D Levels May Help Prevent COVID-19, Especially in Black Patients

    Vitamin D -- better known as the "sunshine vitamin" -- might protect you from COVID-19, a new study suggests.

    Researchers said that the protection is particularly potent among Black people.

    While vitamin D levels of 30 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) or more are typically considered sufficient, Black people who had levels of 30 to 40 ng/ml had nearly triple the odds of testing posi...

    Fish Oil, Vitamin D Won't Prevent A-Fib: Study

    For people hoping to prevent the heart rhythm disorder known as "a-fib," new research shows that taking vitamin D or fish oil supplements won't help.

    A-fib, also known as atrial fibrillation, affects more than 33 million people worldwide and is the most common type of abnormal heart rhythm. It can cause symptoms that affect a person's quality of life, result in blood clots that can cause ...

    New Hope for Better Treatments Against Macular Degeneration

    A number of new treatments for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a progressive eye disease, are under development. AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in older people.

    About 11 million Americans have AMD, which affects part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail. There are two types: wet and dry. Wet AMD is treated with eye injections every month or two, and dry AMD with an...

    Zinc, Vitamin C Won't Help Against COVID-19

    Despite their reputation for boosting the powers of your immune system, a new study reports that vitamin C and zinc supplements don't help COVID-19 patients recover from their illness.

    Giving one or the other, or a combination of both, to patients didn't significantly reduce the severity or duration of their COVID-19 symptoms. Zinc is important for immune function, and vitamin C is an ant...

    Bleeding Gums? You Might Be Lacking Vitamin C

    If you have bleeding gums, you may need to increase the amount of vitamin C in your diet, a new study suggests.

    The American Dental Association says bleeding could be a sign of gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease. These new findings from University of Washington (UW) researchers suggest you should also check your vitamin C intake.

    "When you see your gums bleed, the first thing...

    Could Working Outside Help Prevent Breast Cancer?

    The great outdoors can soothe the soul, but new research suggests that working outside might also guard against breast cancer.

    The study wasn't designed to say how working outside affects chances of developing breast cancer, but vitamin D exposure may be the driving force, the researchers suggested.

    "The main hypothesis is that sun exposure through vitamin D production may decrease ...

    Vitamin D: Good for Your Health, It Might Even Fight COVID-19

    Vitamin D is an essential nutrient, and recent research has suggested it may also help guard against severe COVID-19.

    But how much is enough, and how hard is it to get the right amount of vitamin D?

    "We know that a large percentage of the population has suboptimal levels of vitamin D. In fact, as many as half of the U.S. population may be deficient in vitamin D," said Kristin Gustas...

    Can 2 Nutrients Lower Your Risk for Parkinson's?

    People who consume high levels of dietary vitamin C and E may lower their risk for Parkinson's disease by almost a third, a new study suggests.

    Foods high in vitamin C include oranges, strawberries, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Foods high in vitamin E include spinach, collard greens, pumpkin and nuts such as almonds and peanuts.

    How might the two nutrients ward off Parkinson's? A...

    High-Dose Vitamin D Won't Prevent Seniors' Falls: Study

    High doses of vitamin D may increase seniors' risk of falls, rather than reduce it, according to a new study.

    Preliminary studies suggested vitamin D may increase muscle strength and improve balance, so Johns Hopkins researchers investigated whether high doses of vitamin D might reduce the risk of falls in people aged 70 and older.

    But the investigators found that large doses of vit...

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