Printer Friendly

Health insurance in a little pill. (American Running Association).

If you count yourself among the number of healthy adults who takes a daily multivitamin "just in case," you are doing yourself a big favor according to Harvard researchers reporting in the Journal of the American Medical Association. On the other hand, if you think that your diet is so good that it stands on its own, you might think again. In a major review and analysis of three and a half decades of research on vitamins and chronic disease, the authors recommend that everyone, regardless of health status, diet or age, should take a daily multivitamin.

While actual vitamin deficiencies such as ben-beri and scurvy are rare in developed countries, many chronic diseases are associated with inadequate intake of several vitamins. Inadequate folate is associated with neural tube defects (a preventable birth defect), cancer, and coronary artery disease. Vitamin E and lycopene may reduce the risk of prostate cancer, and Vitamin D and calcium reduce the risk of fractures and osteoporosis. Low levels of vitamins E, C, and A may increase the risk of several chronic diseases.

As is true in almost all things, too much of a good thing can create different problems. Exceeding the Tolerable Upper Levels (ULs) of some vitamins, particularly the fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, can cause serious problems. In a recent survey of 1,500 Canadian adults, researchers found excessively high intakes of vitamin A (associated with liver damage and birth defects), niacin (associated with heart palpitations) and B6 (high levels can cause irreversible nerve damage).

The best solution is to choose a low cost, generic daily multivitamin that provides 100%, but not more, of each vitamin. Continue to strive to eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible since they provide a huge array of health-Promoting phytochemicals. These two strategies, plus the all-important physical exercise, provide you with extremely effective, low cost health insurance.

(J. of the Amer. Medical Association, 2002, Vol. 287, No. 23, pp. 3116-3126 and 312 7-3129; J. of the Amer. Dietetic Association, 2002, Vol. 102, No. 6, pp. 818-825)
COPYRIGHT 2002 American Running & Fitness Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Running & FitNews
Date:Nov 1, 2002
Words:343
Previous Article:Hold Your Horses. (American Running Association).
Next Article:Preventing overtraining syndrome. (American Running Association).


Related Articles
Making Drug Prescription Coverage Fairer for Women.
EDITORIAL : THE HIGH COST OF PROGRESS; KAISER MADE THE RIGHT CALL IN REFUSING TO COVER VIAGRA PRESCRIPTIONS.
CHECKUP\NEWS, TIPS, & TRENDS\Many know it, but few do it.
BITTER PILL SOARING PRESCRIPTION COSTS PUT SENIORS IN A FINANCIAL AND MEDICAL BIND.
Availability of emergency contraception through student health centers is growing, but gaps remain. (Digests).
Back-Alley vasectomies.
The system is broken.
Patient understanding and use of oral contraceptive pills in a southern public health family planning clinic.
Emergency department patients may need contraceptive outreach.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters