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Nutrients from food, not vitamin supplements, reduces risk of early death: study – Fox News

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Getting nutrients from foods — not supplements — may be the key to a longer and healthier life, a new study published this week suggests.

In fact, when it comes to taking supplements in general, researchers from Tufts University claim to have found “no association between dietary supplement use and a lower risk of [early] death.”

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“Our results support the idea that, while supplement use contributes to an increased level of total nutrient intake, there are beneficial associations with nutrients from foods that aren’t seen with supplements,” Fang Fang Zhang, a study senior author and associate professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, said in a news statement.

“This study also confirms the importance of identifying the nutrient source when evaluating mortality outcomes,” added Zhang.

The researchers also said excess intake of certain supplements — namely calcium — can have harmful effects, increasing a person’s risk of a cancer-associated death, according to the study, which was published Tuesday in the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

Specifically, the risk of cancer death increased with “supplemental doses of calcium exceeding 1,000 mg/day,” according to the university’s news release regarding the findings. The same was not true for calcium intake from foods.

As for those with low nutrient intake, researchers also concluded dietary supplements had “no effect on the risk of death” for those individuals. Rather, “the team found indications that use of vitamin D supplements by individuals with no sign of vitamin D deficiency may be associated with an increased risk of death from all causes including cancer,” the news release states, noting more research on this particular topic is needed.

To obtain the results, the researchers looked a data of nearly 30,000 adults in the U.S. with a minimum age of 20 years. The data was taken from a national health survey from 1999 to 2010. For the survey, participants were asked what foods they ate over the last 24 hours and what, if any, supplements they had consumed in the past 30 days, per Live Science. From there, participants were tracked for roughly six years.

By the end, 945 of those who took part in the survey died of heart disease, while 805 died from cancer, according to Live Science.

When it came to supplements vs. food, Tufts researchers found those who received an “adequate” amounts of vitamin K or magnesium over the course of the study had a lower risk of early death, while they also determined those who had adequate intakes of vitamin A, vitamin K, zinc or copper through food had a lower risk of early death from cardiovascular disease.

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“As potential benefits and harms of supplement use continue to be studied, some studies have found associations between excess nutrient intake and adverse outcomes, including increased risk of certain cancers,” Zhang said. “It is important to understand the role that the nutrient and its source might play in health outcomes, particularly if the effect might not be beneficial.”

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics similarly warns excess amounts of some vitamins and minerals can lead to health issues, recommending people instead get their nutrients from healthy foods.

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"You're Just Peeing Out a Lot of Money." This Is the Real Way You're Flushing Your Retirement Savings Down the Drain – MONEY

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FDA Sends Warning Letters on Dietary Supplements – Wall Street Journal

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The FDA has sent warning letters to companies marketing dietary supplements.


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Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it sent warning letters to 11 companies for marketing dietary supplements that don’t meet its guidelines.

The agency issued warnings to three companies for marketing dietary supplements containing phenibut, which is sometimes sold as a sleep aid or to treat anxiety. It said that phenibut doesn’t meet the statutory definition of a dietary ingredient, which is generally a vitamin, herb or other natural substance used to supplement the diet. 

A Wall Street Journal article last week on the $40 billion supplement industry said that phenibut, developed as a drug in the former Soviet Union, was being marketed as a “nootropic,” or brain supplement, in the U.S. A spokeswoman for the FDA said that the agency was already investigating phenibut.

The FDA also issued warnings to eight companies for marketing dietary supplements containing DMHA, a stimulant sometimes found in exercise and weight-loss supplements. The companies have 15 business days to inform the FDA of steps they will take to bring their products into compliance. That could include a decision to recall, reformulate or discontinue sales.

Supplements aren’t tightly regulated by the FDA like prescription drugs. Dietary-supplement manufacturers don’t need approval from the FDA before introducing their products to the market. The FDA has oversight for taking action against any misbranded supplement after it reaches the market.

The FDA said it is launching a new online tool to help warn consumers of ingredients that appear to be unlawfully marketed in supplements. The agency said the Dietary Supplement Ingredient Advisory List will help get cautionary information to the public more quickly before it issues any final determination. It is on the FDA website, and consumers can also sign up to receive updates and changes to the list.

Write to Anne Marie Chaker at anne-marie.chaker@wsj.com

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New Tool Alerts Public to Unlawfully Marketed Dietary Supplement Ingredients – The Cardiology Advisor

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In an effort to better alert the public of unlawful ingredients in dietary supplements, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has created the Dietary Supplement Ingredient Advisory List, a new reference tool for consumers and manufacturers.

Available on the FDA website, the list includes ingredients that may not lawfully be included in dietary supplements. Consumers may wish to avoid supplements that include these ingredients as they may not fit the definition of a dietary ingredient or may require pre-market notification that was not submitted; inclusion in this list does not necessarily mean the ingredient poses a safety concern.

“It is important to note that the List is not exhaustive; it will always be a work in progress,” said Frank Yiannas, the FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response. “We expect the List will evolve as new ingredients are identified and others are removed.” In addition, the FDA will continue to communicate with the public regarding any safety concerns identified with new dietary supplement ingredients.

In a press statement, Yiannas also noted that the agency recently sent out warning letters to 8 companies that were marketing dietary supplements containing DMHA and 3 companies marketing supplements with phenibut; neither one of these currently meets the FDA’s definition of a lawful dietary ingredient. “We take these violations very seriously and stand ready to take enforcement action without further notice if the companies do not immediately cease distribution of the products,” said Yiannas. In February 2019, the FDA went after 17 companies selling unapproved and/or misbranded products (most sold as dietary supplements) claiming to prevent, treat, or cure Alzheimer disease and other serious disease and health conditions.

Consumers who wish to receive alerts related to updates to the Dietary Supplement Ingredient Advisory List can sign up here.

For more information visit FDA.gov.

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This article originally appeared on MPR

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