It’s easy to look at the recent report in the Annals of Internal Medicine on three trials of multivitamin supplements in more than 450,000 participants and decide never to take another nutritional supplement again. The conclusion was discouraging, “there was no clear evidence of a beneficial effect of supplements on all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, or cancer.”
In the first study, almost 6,000 male doctors over 65 were given either a daily Centrum Silver multivitamin or a placebo. Every few years, researchers checked the subjects’ memories during phone interviews. After 12 years, researchers found that there was no significant difference in cognitive decline between the two groups. Earlier, that same study did find that those on the multivitamin reduced their risk of contracting cancer by 8 percent and had a 9 percent lower risk of developing cataracts.
In the second study of 1,700 heart attack survivors, half were assigned a placebo, the other half high doses of vitamins and minerals. After 55 months, there was no significant difference between the two groups when it came to further episodes of cardiovascular disease or death.
The third study was a meta-analysis of 27 studies on vitamin and mineral supplements overseen by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. More than 450,000 people participated. The analysis found no benefit in taking supplements for cardiovascular disease or mortality. It did show that those who took the supplements contracted cancer slightly less than those who were given the placebo.
In the anti-aging documentary , “Reverse Aging Now," Dr. Roy Walford of UCLA Medical School was adamant about not recommending supplements, because he rightfully concluded that good nutrition is better served by getting all the vitamins and minerals we can from healthy food. On the other side of the divide was diet guru Dr. Robert Atkins who recognized that our food supply was nutritionally deficient and would benefit from supplementing it with vitamins and minerals.
It’s important to recognize what the Annals of Internal Medicine study looked at, a one size fits all approach to supplementation whether it was the heavy doses in heart attack survivors, or the single daily pill. If you read the label for Centrum Silver, you’ll see relatively low doses of vitamins across the board, except for Vitamin B-12 which weighs in a 1667 percent of the recommended daily allowance. Frankly the people most at risk of developing a B-12 deficiency are vegans, because B-12 is found in meat, shellfish, milk, cheese, and eggs.
A far better approach is to take a good look at your diet and see where you are lacking nutrients. Add them first through food. For example, if you switch from white rice and flour to whole grains, you might not need any additional B vitamins; however, in the anti-aging documentary , “Reverse Aging Now," Dr. Walter Willett of Harvard Medical School spoke about how significant the health benefit was for fetuses when their mothers took 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid before and during pregnancy. This simple regimen was shown to help prevent spinal birth defects.
The National Eye Institute at the National Institutes of Health enrolled 3,600 patients in a study to see if taking a formula of Vitamin C, E, beta carotene, zinc and copper could forestall the onslaught of the most common form of blindness in aging Americans, age related macular degeneration (AMD). The formula reduced the risk of patients with intermediate AMD from developing the advanced disease by 25 percent. For these patients, their vision loss was reduced by 19 percent. Supplementation is now accepted as a way to fight this condition.
In the anti-aging documentary , “Reverse Aging Now" both Dr. Nicholas Perricone and Barry Sears, PhD, suggested taking fish oil as a supplement because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which the human body cannot make. Scientific evidence does show that it can lower high triglycerides, reduce pain and swelling and help prevent blood from clotting easily. Last September, a Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine study suggested that fish oil rich in omega-3s might help protect against alcohol-related dementia.
Magnesium was shown to reduced blood pressure in a University of Hertfordshire 2012 study. Hypertension is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease, the biggest cause of death in the industrialized world.
The list goes on. Saw palmetto reduces dihydrotestosterone (DHT) to lower the incidence of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). It has also been observed to fight androgenic alopecia, also known as male-pattern baldness. Although there are no double-blind placebo studies of this phenomenon, because there is no money in it, in some cases saw palmetto at less than $10 a month, has been as good a baldness remedy as $100 a month prescription Propecia.
What should we conclude? Remember that the ultimate responsibility for our health lies with us. One-a-day multivitamins are a lazy way of trying to plug our nutritional deficiencies. Here’s a better approach: after cleaning up your diet to add what you lack in not just minimal doses designed to ward off disease, but optimal doses designed to combat aging. Enlist the help of your medical doctor. It takes work and research to learn what supplements would be best for you, but the results are worth it, because you’ll feel and look better.
Reverse Aging Now, the anti-aging DVD makes a inspirational start for 2014. Do your loved ones want to look as good as they can for their age? In Reverse Aging Now, inspirational seniors and Americas top anti aging doctors and scientists show how you can take charge of how you age. Pick up your own copy of the award winning anti-aging documentary , “Reverse Aging Now." Each has a 100+ page interactive longevity workbook on the DVD so viewers can track their own progress.
The latest version also contains a TV interview with the producers about how they applied the precepts they learned to live better and younger. Plus there are free bonus videos on "Superfoods," "Superdrinks," "Saving your Face," "Exercise Basics," and "Seeing without Glasses." Preview the anti aging documentary here. As a reader of this newsletter you qualify for a special bonus: Enter coupon code RAN-5 at checkout and save $5 off the selling price here at ReverseAging.TV Get 2 1/3 hours of material for only $19.95!To see how one baby boomer is applying anti-aging precepts to his own life, go to Anti-Aging Diary.com. To embrace anti-aging you need to make a mental as well as physical journey. It's not always easy, but well worth the effort. Remember to watch our anti-aging documentary, “Reverse Aging Now.
May you have a healthy and prosperous 2014!
Reverse Aging News ©2014 Checkmate Pictures - Paul M. J. Suchecki, Editor
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