Most Vitamins Are Useless, But Here Are The Ones You Should Take

Reuters

5. Vitamin B3: Skip it and eat salmon, tuna, or beets instead.

For years, Vitamin B3 was promoted to treat everything from Alzheimer's to heart disease. But recent studies have called for an end to the over-prescription of the nutrient.

A large 2014 study of more than 25,000 people with heart disease found that putting people on long-acting doses of Vitamin B3 to raise their levels of "good," or HDL, cholesterol didn't reduce the incidence of heart attacks, strokes, or deaths.

Plus, people in the study who took the B3 supplements were more likely than those taking a placebo to develop infections, liver problems, and internal bleeding.

Yelp/Sarah R.

Plus, people in the study who took the B3 supplements were more likely than those taking a placebo to develop infections, liver problems, and internal bleeding.

6. Probiotics: Skip them — the science isn't advanced enough yet for them to have a significant benefit, and you can eat yogurt instead.

Probiotics — pricey bacterial supplements that can cost upward of $1 per pill but are found naturally in smaller amounts in yogurt and other fermented foods — have become a big business with a market of roughly $23.1 billion in 2012.

The idea behind them is simple: Support the trillions of bacteria blossoming in our gut which we know play a crucial role in regulating our health.

But putting that idea into actual practice has been a bit more complicated. So far, the effects of probiotics have been all over the map. Sometimes they help, sometimes they don't. So rather than shelling out for a pill that promises to be a cure-all, snack on a parfait.

7. Zinc: Take it — it's one of the only ingredients linked to shortening a cold.

Unlike Vitamin C, which studies have found likely does nothing to prevent or treat the common cold, zinc may actually be worth it. The mineral seems to interfere with the replication of rhinoviruses, the bugs that cause the common cold.

In a 2011 review of studies of people who'd recently gotten sick, researchers looked at those who'd started taking zinc and compared them with those who just took a placebo. The ones on the zinc had shorter colds and less severe symptoms.

8. Vitamin E: Skip it — an excess has been linked to an increased risk of certain cancers, and you can eat spinach instead.

The antioxidant Vitamin E was popularized for its alleged ability to protect against cancer. But a large 2011 study of close to 36,000 men found that the risk of prostate cancer actually increased among the men taking Vitamin E compared to the men taking a placebo.

And a 2005 study linked high doses of Vitamin E with an overall higher risk of death. So if you're looking for more Vitamin E, make yourself a fresh spinach salad and skip the pill. Dark greens like spinach are rich with this stuff.

9. Folic acid: Take it if you're pregnant or if you might want to get pregnant.

Folic acid is a B vitamin which our bodies use to make new cells. The National Institutes of Health recommends that women who are currently pregnant or who want to get pregnant take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily because their bodies demand more of this key nutrient when they are carrying a growing fetus.

Additionally, several large studies have linked folic acid supplementation before and during pregnancy with decreased rates ofneural-tube defects, serious and life-threatening birth defects of the baby's brain, spine, or spinal cord.

 

Read the original article on Tech Insider. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Copyright 2016.

Read next: The human brain has a 'super' capacity to recognise faces — and neuroscientists, psychologists, and police are just starting to figure out why

Full Article
Comments

If you liked this story, you'll love these

This website uses cookies

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By continuing to use our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.