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Facts & Myths of Vitamins and Minerals

  1. We need to take vitamin and mineral supplements every day to stay healthy.  
  2. Taking more vitamins and minerals is better than taking less. 
  3. I do not have to worry about taking my medicines with vitamins or minerals. 
  4. Vitamins can prevent or cure diseases. 
  5. Taking vitamin and mineral supplements means I do not have to worry about what I eat.   
  6. Omega-3 is good for my heart. 
  7. Taking supplements with the AREDS formula benefits people with Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). 
  8. Taking Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplements helps with knee pain.  
  9. Vitamin C is good for boosting the immune system

  1. We need to take vitamin and mineral supplements every day to stay healthy.

    MYTH – Most people do not need supplements to stay healthy. You can get all the vitamins and minerals that you need by eating a healthy, balanced diet. However, if you are following certain special diets, you might need to take supplements. For example, vegans who do not eat any meat may lack of vitamin B12 as most vitamin B12 sources come from animals.
     

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  3. Taking more vitamins and minerals is better than taking less.

    MYTH – While having enough vitamins and minerals is important, it is also important to know that taking too much vitamins and minerals can cause its own set of problems. For example, having too much Vitamin B6 can cause nerve damage, resulting in pain and numbness.

    All vitamins and minerals have their own Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), which is the amount needed to maintain good health. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking multiple supplements to avoid taking too much of a certain vitamin or mineral.
     

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  5. I do not have to worry about taking my medicines with vitamins or minerals.
    Vitamins and medicines
     

    MYTH – Some vitamins interact with certain medicines. For example, warfarin, a blood thinner, interacts with vitamin K and causes warfarin to lose its effect. It is important to check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any supplements. 

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  7. Vitamins can prevent or cure diseases.

    MYTH– Vitamins can be used to cure or prevent certain diseases only if the diseases are caused by the lack of those vitamins. For example, the lack of vitamin C causes Scurvy and may be treated by taking vitamin C. Spina bifida, a condition where the spine and spinal cord does not form properly in a baby, can be prevented by taking folic acid supplements during pregnancy.

    On the other hand, taking large doses of vitamins does not cure or prevent a disease. For example, taking large amounts of vitamin E will not prevent heart problems.
        

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  9.  Taking vitamin and mineral supplements means I do not have to worry about what I eat.

    MYTH – While taking supplements can help to improve your levels of vitamins and minerals which are lacking in your diet, it is still important to have a healthy, balanced diet that has plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean meat and whole grains.

    A healthy, balanced diet will lower the risk of developing long term medical conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, which vitamin and mineral supplements cannot prevent.
        

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  11. Omega-3 is good for my heart.
    Omega 3

    FACT – Consume one to two servings of fatty fish rich in omega-3 fish oil per week to maintain overall heart health. One serving of fish is around 140g.

    However, when taken in large amounts, omega-3 fish oil can actually increase bad cholesterol levels, also known as low density lipoprotein (LDL), instead. Some studies also show that high amounts of omega-3 supplements can increase the risk of bleeding. Please check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any omega-3 supplements.
     

     
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  13. Taking supplements with the AREDS formula benefits people with Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
    eye
     

    FACT: Eye supplements marked with the AREDS or AREDS 2 formula are suitable for people with a medical condition called Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). This is an eye condition which causes the loss of central vision over time. AREDS or AREDS 2 supplements contain high doses of vitamins and minerals to prevent AMD from getting worse, but do not prevent you from getting AMD.

    If you smoke, the AREDS formula would not be suitable as it contains beta-carotene, which can increase your risk of lung cancer. The AREDS 2 formula, which contains lutein and zeaxanthin instead of beta-carotene, is suitable for use in smokers.
     

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  15.  Taking Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplements helps with knee pain.
    knee pain
     

    FACT: Glucosamine and Chondroitin are natural compounds that can be found in the joint. They are usually found together in supplements to maintain joint health. Studies show that if you suffer from more serious knee pain, you might benefit from taking a glucosamine and chondroitin supplement. However, if your pain is mild, you might not get any benefit. 

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  17.  Vitamin C is good for boosting the immune system.
    vitamin c
     

    FACT: Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, has benefits more than just improving your immune system to prevent complications from the common cold. Studies found that vitamin C may reduce your risk of stroke or other heart diseases and improve the skin aging process. In addition, vitamin C also helps with the absorption of iron that is important for making red blood cells in your body. 

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Updated on Dec 2019 

 

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