Use of Multiple Nutritional Supplements Found to Be Beneficial to Health

In a cross-sectional study involving 278 long-term users of multiple dietary supplements, 176 users of a multivitamin/mineral supplement, and 602 non-users of supplements, the users of multiple dietary supplements were found to have better biomarkers of health, as compared to subjects in the other 2 groups. At least half of the subjects in the multiple dietary supplements group consumed the following supplements: 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. Most of the women in this group also consumed gamma linolenic acid and a probiotic supplement, while most of the men consumed zinc, garlic, saw palmetto and a soy protein supplement. After adjusting for various potentially confounding factors, results clearly showed more favorable health outcomes in the subjects taking multiple dietary supplements. Improvements included lower concentrations of serum homocysteine (while non-users had a 45% risk of elevated homocysteine, and single supplement users had a 37% risk, multi-supplement users had only an 11% risk), C-reactive protein, and triglycerides, and higher levels of HDL cholesterol. In addition, subjects in the multi-supplement group were found to have lower risks of elevated blood pressure, diabetes (73% less risk of diabetes compared to non-users), and coronary heart disease (52% less risk). Furthermore, subjects taking multiple dietary supplements reported having “good or excellent” health status 74% more often than non-supplement users. Suboptimal levels of certain micronutrients including vitamin C were found among the non-users and the single multivitamin/mineral supplement users. 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.”


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