Are Vitamin and Mineral Supplements Useful to Prevent Critical Illnesses?
Are the vitamin and mineral supplements you take of much benefit to your health? A study led by researchers at St Michael's Hospital (Canada) and the University of Toronto and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, shows that supplements provide neither consistent health benefit nor do any harm. The study was a systematic review of existing data and single randomised control trials done between January 2012 and October 2017. It found that multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium and vitamin C, which are the most common supplements, showed no benefit in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke or premature death. 
 
"We were surprised to find so few positive effects of the most common supplements that people consume," Dr David Jenkins, the study's lead author, was quoted as saying. "Our review found that if you want to use multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium or vitamin C, it does no harm -- but there is no apparent advantage either." His team reviewed A, B1, B2, B3 (niacin), B6, B9 (folic acid), C, D and E, and beta-carotene, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and selenium. The term 'multivitamin', in this review, was used to describe supplements that include most vitamins and minerals, rather than a select few.
 
Vitamin and mineral supplements are taken to add to nutrients that are found in food but lack in the body due to poor absorption. The study found that only folic acid and B-vitamins with folic acid may reduce cardiovascular disease and stroke. 
 
In a randomised study, researchers from the Physicians' Health Study II (NEJM JW Gen Med Nov 15 2012) examined the effects of multivitamin supplementation on cognitive function later in life. Male physicians (age, ≥65) took daily multivitamin or placebo supplements for a mean of 8.5 years; no difference was noted in cognitive function as measured by five different cognition tests.
 
Earlier, in 2012, an analysis for the US preventive services task force concluded that a systematic review of studies that involved vitamin and mineral supplements for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer, or all-cause mortality among healthy individuals, showed no evidence of benefit from supplements. 
 
"In the absence of significant positive data -- apart from folic acid's potential reduction in the risk of stroke and heart disease -- it's most beneficial to rely on a healthy diet to get your fill of vitamins and minerals," Dr Jenkins said. "So far, no research on supplements has shown us anything better than healthy servings of less processed plant foods including vegetables, fruits and nuts."
 
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    Ramesh Poapt

    1 year ago

    good one! look likes dr.hegde's views

    Magical Properties of Foods - 2
    All of us know that eating healthy can have a major impact on the way one feels. Load up on fast-food and processed junk and you will, probably, start to feel sluggish, tired and weighed down. Cram in tonnes of nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables into your diet and you are likely to find yourself full of energy and feeling good. 
     
    Super foods take it to the next step, helping optimise your body’s ability to function by supplying a mega dose of nutrients. Certain super foods are jam-packed with nutrients and can help provide your body with the vitamins and minerals you need to thrive, survive and feel great. Include a few servings of these foods in your diet, paired with regular physical activity, and you will be on your way to a healthier life. This week, I will share information on some super foods which should be an essential part your daily meal. 
     
    Rice, which is the staple of billions on this planet, has been demonised as a source of excess carbs and low protein. But, as long as you eat enough unrefined starches and vegetables to get sufficient amount of calories, you do not have to worry about lack of protein. Try this forgotten magical technique of paani-bhaat or old rice or cold rice, used all over India. Cook rice the previous day, soak in water and store overnight in an earthenware pot. This hikes its iron, potassium and calcium content by several hundred percentages! Plus you get additional burst of B6 and B12 vitamins along with a bonus of nutritionally rich gut-friendly bacteria. Have it with a twist of lemon. This dish is said to be the secret of the longevity of Manohar Aich who won the title Mr Universe in 1952 and lived for 104 years and was active until the last few days of his life. When he became a centenarian, he told India Today, "Earlier, I used to have panta bhaat four times a day. Panta bhaater jol, tin jowaner bol (the water of fermented rice can give power to three strong men)." https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/health/story/20120423-bodybuilder-manohar-aich-india-first-mr-universe-1952-758059-2012-04-13
     
    Combining rice with lentils or yogurt (dahi bhaat) is common all over India and is also an extremely healthy choice. Chaas or buttermilk made from dahi (yogurt) is a super food/drink served by urban street-food vendors as a cooling refreshment, particularly in the summer months. Now, remember yogurt comes from milk. So you get a dose of protein, plus several other nutrients found in dairy foods, like calcium, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-12, potassium and magnesium.
     
    Ragi, a millet, deserves to be at the top of the food grain pyramid as it is a rich source of carbohydrates. With seeds that are too tiny to be polished or processed, it’s mostly consumed in its purest form. I would advise that you introduce yourself to millets gradually. Mix the flours - wheat with jowar (sorghum) or ragi, for instance; also vary the forms - have them as upma, porridge, or as whole grain substitutes for rice and rotis. When compared on an equal calorie basis, sorghum has 86% as much protein as quinoa. Not to mention, it's a fraction of the price of quinoa which is mostly grown in select parts of South America, while we grow sorghum right here in India.
     
    Vegetarians get their quota of protein from lentils. For humans, the secret of staying slim and healthy would be a high-fibre diet. As long as people eat any reasonable assortment of unprocessed plant foods, they automatically get enough protein. So what about non-vegetarian fare? If you must eat meat, go for lean meat, boneless chicken and turkey. Tofu can also replace meat. Fish comes with some qualities. About 100gm (grammes) of heart-friendly oil-rich mackerel or bangda has 17gm of protein. Rawas, or Indian salmon, has 26gm.A purely plant-based diet can provide all vitamins except vitamin D (received from the sun) and vitamin B12 (from bacteria). 
     
    We all know about the incredible nutritional density of sprouts. Sprouts and micro-greens have huge amounts of live enzymes - in fact, some sprouts can have up to 100 times more enzymes and nutrition than fully grown, raw fruits and vegetables! Enzymes are magical catalysts for all your body's functions, including digestion. Sprouts and micro-greens also have incredibly high levels of vitamins and minerals. 
     
    Gram-for-gram, moringa (drumstick) has more protein than yogurt, more potassium than bananas, more calcium than milk and more vitamin C than oranges. With a long history of traditional use, moringa has been touted for some 300 medicinal benefits. Its leaves are the most nutritious part of the plant. They can be cooked and used like spinach or crushed into powder to be used in soups and sauces.
     
    All plants, and most animals, make their own vitamin C, with the exception of human beings, gorillas and guinea pigs. That fact alone should alert us to the fact that we should be eating fruits and vegetables! One of the best sources of vitamin C is amla (Indian gooseberry). But, remember, heating or drying can degrade the vitamin. Fresh amla juice contains 20 times as much vitamin C as is present in orange juice! The antioxidant potency of amla is 55 times higher than that of blueberries. Tomatoes are also a very good source of vitamin C.
     
    Beets are dense with nutrients including potassium, magnesium, vitamin C and a good dose of nitrates. They help reduce blood pressure and anaemia, improve circulation and cognitive function. However, people with oxalate-kidney stones and those with diabetes should limit their beet intake. 
     
    On a per calorie basis, spinach has more protein than meat. Every 100 calories contain 12.5gm of protein. However, one would need to eat at least three clamshells of spinach to attain the 100 calories -- a tall order, indeed. Steaming it can easily circumvent this problem. But combining spinach with paneer (cottage cheese) is not such a great idea. The iron from spinach and calcium from paneer are essential nutrients by themselves. But their combined intake is counterproductive because calcium can inhibit the absorption of iron. Eating a big bowl of raw iron-rich spinach is also not as healthy. The oxalic acid in raw spinach binds with iron preventing its absorption by the body. Adding vitamin C, by slightly squeezing a lemon helps convert the iron from ferric to ferrous state, making it easier for the body to absorb.
     
    Oats are among the healthiest grains on earth. They are gluten-free and a great source of fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. But oat groats, the most intact and whole form of oats, take a long time to cook. For this reason, many prefer the crushed, rolled or steel-cut form. Oatmeal porridge made by boiling it with water and milk is a fantastic breakfast food.
     
    When cooking any of these super foods, use heart-healthy oils, like groundnut or olive, which make it easier for the body to absorb all of the beneficial properties.
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    COMMENTS

    palghat krishnan hariharan

    1 year ago

    nice details

    archana_rahatade

    1 year ago

    Good one

    sundararaman gopalakrishnan

    1 year ago

    superb article and very useful

    Kikuchi Disease or the Medically-generated Anxiety Syndrome
    I saw this young lady of 20 all worked up and shaking with fear; the family members in trail were equally anxious. The story goes that she went for some vague joint pains to a specialist. She had normal joints, though. All the tests that he ordered -- a long battery of them -- were all absolutely normal. Though the ESR was 3mm, when the normal for women under 50 is 20mm!
     
    She went around shopping, thanks to her anxiety. The next doctor found some small but insignificant glands in her neck region. He got one of them biopsied and the report said Kikuchi disease which was immediately conveyed to the patient. The poor lady was happy that she got a diagnosis but was mortally afraid of the strange disease. Now, with malignant anxiety state, she started further medical shopping. She was further confused, until she came to me. In between, some doctor had doubted the biopsy report and put in a rider that it could be a mistaken diagnosis further compounding the issue, remotely suggesting that it could even be malignant!
     
    What Is this Funny Disease?
    Kikuchi disease, also called histolytic necrotising lymphadenitis or Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease, is an uncommon, idiopathic, generally self-limited cause of lymphadenitis. Kikuchi first described the disease in 1972 in Japan. Fujimoto and colleagues independently described Kikuchi disease in the same year.
     
    Please mark the two vital features: 1) it is benign. 2) It is self-limiting and so does not require any treatment.
     
    In that case, what was the need to generate such morbid anxiety in the innocent patient? That is why I say that we, medical professionals, generate anxiety many a time. I wonder if I have been able to douse that flame of anxiety in that girl or not but I can well imagine the gravity of her anxiety state! Poor thing. Many of our hapless patients take our word as gospel truth and then suffer the consequences. So, we must be very, very careful when we pronounce our judgement. May this article be a reminder to our careless colleagues. The moral of the story is that this girl would have been much happier without medical intervention. Life would have been easier and a lot of money saved. Let us put ourselves in her shoes and think -- empathy is the urgent need of the hour.
     
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    Dilip J raichura Dr

    1 year ago

    loss of human touch / poor doctor patient relationship / death of institution of family doctor all has contributed to patients losing faith in medical fraternity and increase in anxiety of every patient.

    saravanan ramamoorthy

    1 year ago

    Every time the West is misleading the research results, spawns the product sale, then realize the folly and corrects itself and still pump the same products to the under-developed countries.

    Ramesh Poapt

    1 year ago

    very well said Sir. The same applies to many many different ailments
    where specialist doctors have confused the patients, who are already
    stressed, which adds fuel to the fire.

    N R KANNAN

    1 year ago

    Dr.Hegde has himself been a cure to his readers by bringing in awareness of mind-body connection through his writings and lectures. A much needed expose of cartesian principles of allopathy leading to trust in indigenous holistic systems and also homeopathy.

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