Using Multiple Dietary Supplements

Creates Better Biomarkers of Health

Consume multiple dietary supplements to ensure a better health outcome.

A new study conducted recently has shown that individuals who consume a number of nutritional supplements were found to have better biomarkers of health than those people who do not consume any supplements, or people who consumed only a multivitamin/multimineral supplement.

Scientists conducted the study involving 278 long-term users of multiple supplements, 176 users of a multivitamin/mineral supplement, and 602 non-users of dietary supplements.

At least half of the subjects in the multiple dietary supplements group consumed: a multivitamin/mineral, B-complex, vitamin C, carotenoids, vitamin E, calcium with vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, flavonoids, lecithin, alfalfa, coenzyme Q10 with resveratrol, glucosamine, and an herbal immune supplement. The majority of women in this group also consumed gamma linolenic acid and a probiotic supplement. The majority of men consumed zinc, garlic, saw palmetto and a soy protein supplement.

After adjusting for a number of confounding factors, the researchers found that the users of multiple dietary supplements had better biomarkers of health, as compared to individuals who did not take nutritional supplements or who consumed only a multivitamin/multimineral. The researchers determined that there were more favorable health outcomes in the subjects taking multiple supplements. The multiple supplement users had an 11 percent risk of elevated homocysteine and overall lower concentrations of serum homocysteine compared to a 45 percent increased risk of elevated homocysteine in non-users and a 37 percent increased risk in single supplement users. Multiple supplement users also had lower levels of C-reactive protein and triglycerides and higher levels of HDL cholesterol.

Other findings in the multi-supplement group included lower risks of elevated blood pressure, diabetes (73 percent less risk of diabetes compared to non-users), and a 52 percent reduced risk of coronary heart disease.

Subjects consuming multiple dietary supplements also reported having "good or excellent" health status 74 percent more often than non-supplement users.

Other findings of the study included the discovery of various nutrient deficiencies in both the non-supplement users and the multivitamin/multimineral users, including low levels of vitamin C. According to the researchers, these results suggest that the use of multiple nutritional supplements, such as those used by the subjects in this study, may confer various benefits to health.

The authors conclude, "These findings should be confirmed by studying the dietary supplement usage patterns, health, and nutritional status of other groups of heavy users of dietary supplements."

Reference:

Block G, Jensen CD, Norkus EP, Dalvi TB, Wong LG, McManus JF, Hudes ML.

Usage patterns, health, and nutritional status of long-term multiple dietary supplement users: a cross-sectional study. Nutr J. 2007 Oct 24;6(1):30.


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