Monday February 17, 2020

Study: Intake of Dietary Supplements May do More Harm than Benefit

The doctor suggested that people should include more green vegetables in their diet

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vitamin
Vitamin A is known to be essential for the healthy growth and maturation of skin cells but prior studies on its effectiveness in reducing skin cancer risk have shown mixed results. Pixabay

Researchers have found that intake of some vitamins, minerals and other dietary supplements may not benefit the heart and, in some cases, may even prove to be injurious.

According to the study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, supplements combining calcium and vitamin D may be linked to a slightly increased stroke risk. However, there was no evidence that calcium or vitamin D taken alone had any health risks or benefits.

“Our analysis carries a simple message that although there may be some evidence that a few interventions have an impact on death and cardiovascular health, the vast majority of multivitamins, minerals and different types of diets had no measurable effect on survival or cardiovascular disease risk reduction,” said study lead author Safi U. Khan, Assistant Professor at the West Virginia University.

For the study, the researchers used data from 277 randomised clinical trials that evaluated 16 vitamins or other supplements and eight diets for their association with mortality or heart conditions including coronary heart disease, stroke and heart attack.

dietary supplements
“People should focus on getting their nutrients from a heart-healthy diet, because the data increasingly show that the majority of healthy adults don’t need to take supplements,” Michos said. Wikimedia Commons

They included data gathered on 992,129 research participants worldwide. The analysis showed possible health benefits only from a low-salt diet, omega-3 fatty acid supplements and possibly folic acid supplements for some people.

“The panacea or magic bullet that people keep searching for in dietary supplements isn’t there,” said senior author of the study Erin Michos from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the US.

“People should focus on getting their nutrients from a heart-healthy diet, because the data increasingly show that the majority of healthy adults don’t need to take supplements,” Michos said.

According to Abhishek Singh, Consultant Cardiologist at Columbia Asia Hospital in Ghaziabad, dietary supplements do not have a measurably positive impact on cardiac health.

dietary supplements
The doctor suggested that people should include more green vegetables in their diet. Pixabay

“It’s more important to follow a healthy dietary regimen and avoid foods that are bad for the heart. Trans fatty acids are harmful and have to be curtailed. Refined sugars and simple carbohydrates are to be kept at a minimum,” Singh told IANS.

The doctor suggested that people should include more green vegetables in their diet. They are rich in vitamin K and dietary nitrates, which help protect the arteries and reduce blood pressure, he said.

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“Studies like this raise concerns about harm from calcium and Vitamin D supplement use. As far as Vitamin D supplements (without calcium) are concerned, there has been no evidence on whether it has any impact on cardiovascular disease risk reduction,” Anupama Singh, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine at Vimhans Nayati Super Specialty Hospital in Delhi, told IANS.

“The quality of the evidence base of these various nutritional supplements and dietary interventions still needs to be evaluated to ascertain the effectiveness of the study,” she added. (IANS)

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Shortness Of Breath, Cough Are Common Symptoms of Lung Cancer: Study

Most people with these symptoms will not have lung cancer, but it's well worth letting your GP decide if you need tests

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Lungs
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the UK and has a poor five year survival rate of around 13 per cent. Pixabay

Researchers have revealed that there are two symptoms which could act as potential predictors of the lung cancer.

The study, published in the British Journal of General Practice, found that shortness of breath and a cough were becoming more common as the first symptoms in diagnosis.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the UK and has a poor five year survival rate of around 13 per cent.

Research led by the University of Exeter, aimed to improve potentially life-saving early diagnosis through analysing which symptoms patients present first to their doctor.

“Our paper shows a rapid change in the first symptom doctors are seeing. That’s probably not caused by any change in basic biology, it’s more likely to be down to earlier detection,” said study researcher Willie Hamilton, a Professor at the University of Exeter.

For the findings, the research team examined 27,795 records of adults who were diagnosed with lung cancer between 2000 and 2017, at more than 600 UK GP (general practitioner) practices. Over the 17 year period, the team found an increase in both cough and shortness of breath as the first symptom patients reported when they went on to be diagnosed with lung cancer.

The study, funded by Cancer Research UK and supported by NIHR, found a decrease in patients who reported the first symptom to be coughing up blood, or loss of appetite, generally regarded as the headline symptom of lung cancer.

Cancer
Researchers have revealed that there are two symptoms which could act as potential predictors of the lung cancer. Pixabay

“It means teaching must change — clinicians must be alert to the risks of cough and shortness of breath,” Hamilton said.

According to the researchers, this important study indicates that people are now going to the doctor about different symptoms of lung cancer, such as cough and shortness of breath, possibly because of awareness campaigns in the past.

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“Most people with these symptoms will not have lung cancer, but it’s well worth letting your GP decide if you need tests – because if it is cancer, a prompt diagnosis and speedy treatment make all the difference,” said study researcher Sara Hiom, director of early diagnosis at Cancer Research UK. (IANS)