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If You Need More Vitamins, Improve Your Diet, Don’t Pop Pills

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If you’re like many people, if you’ve been told that you need to improve your diet to get better nutrition, you head to the drugstore to buy some vitamin and mineral supplements. That said, according to the results of recent research, despite the fact that it may seem that you’re doing something great for your wellbeing, supplements don’t have much to offer.

The study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The results indicated that while vitamins are vitally important to our health, we’re not getting them from supplements. Long term health and longevity doesn’t improve from taking vitamin supplements. Instead, to better your nutrition, you need to improve your diet, instead.

There Isn’t a Better Option to Improve Your Diet

The researchers determined that no matter how consistently Americans took their nutritional supplements, it did not result in longer life spans nor did it make people healthier overall. People who are most likely to be healthy and to live the longest are those who eat balanced, nutritious meals on a regular basis. This is an important reason to improve your diet instead of trying to obtain everything your diet is missing by swallowing pills.

This research also helped to show that prior research indicating that dietary supplements could help improve health and longevity were actually wrong. Prior research indicated that people who were taking supplements do indeed live healthier lives. However, what that research failed to take into account was that individuals most likely to take supplements over the long term are people who are in higher income brackets.

Those individuals are often the people who are eating the healthiest diets and living the healthiest lifestyles in the first place. Therefore, it wasn’t necessarily the supplements that were helping them to be healthy and live longer. Instead, it was the lifestyles they were living in the first place.

Some Vitamin Supplements Still Look Promising

Although the best idea for health and nutrition is still to improve your diet, there are still some supplements that showed that they could be beneficial. The study found that if participants had inadequate magnesium and vitamin K levels, supplementing those nutrients could make a difference in lowering risk of death.

Moreover, among people with cardiovascular disease, supplementing vitamin A, K, copper and zinc when levels were already low could help to improve their condition. That said even though half the people in the study were not receiving adequate vitamins and minerals through their diets, it appeared that the supplements they were taking didn’t help to improve their health or longevity. Therefore, if you think you need to improve your diet, then taking supplements may not make much of a difference, if any. Eating right will be your top option.