Vitamin Supplements Vitamins Are Organic Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Leon Schurgrs and Cees Vermeer of the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands hinted at the superiority of MK7. This is the ability to activate specific vitamin K proteins to bring calcium to the bones rather than the arteries. The recommended daily dosage at this time is 105 mc. Patients taking anticoagulant medications, such as Coumadin, should first consult with their doctors before taking in Vitamin K supplements. They are contraindicated (Zucker).

Prevents Risks of Congestive Heart Failure

According to another experiment, Vitamin D supplementation could reduce the risk of congestive heart failure or CHF (Schleithoff, Zittermann & Tenderich, 2006). Congestive heart failure is a chronic condition, which is characterized by dyspnea and fatigue. Irregular heart function reduces its ability to supply enough blood flow and oxygen to the tissues and organs. Approximately 5 million Americans and 10 million Europeans have been living with CHF. No improvement in the management of the disease has been noted in the last 15 years (Schleithoff, et al.).

Its cause is not clearly understood (Schleithoff, et al., 2006). The assumption recently changed from a hemodynamic cause to one, which involves neurohormonal overactivation and increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Vitamin D3 seems to reduce inflammation in CHF patients. As such, it may form part of a new anti-inflammatory approach to CHF in the future (Schleithoff, et al.).


Antioxidants Do Not Prevent GI Cancer

Other studies showed that the regular intake of antioxidant supplements did not provide evidence that they prevented gastro-intestinal cancer (Evans, 2004). The results even suggested their intake could increase mortality. This was the finding of a trial conducted by the Copenhagen trial unit of the Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group. It performed 14 trials over 170,525 respondents to determine the effect of the supplements. No evidence was provided to show the effect. Selenium reduced the risk of GI cancers in four trials, but three of these were considered low quality (Evans).

The group's seven high-quality trials found that those who received antioxidants had greater mortality than those in the placebo group (Evans, 2004). It attributed to the intake of combined beta-carotene, Vitamin a and Vitamin E (Evans).

Vitamin D and Calcium Supplements Useless on Osteoporosis in Elderly

Two recent studies undertaken on 8,000 elderly persons with osteoporosis suggested that Vitamin supplements could not help their condition (Laurance, 2005). The subjects took Vitamin D and calcium supplements daily up to five years. The studies sought to determine if these would strengthen bones or prevent injury from falls. Findings showed they had no such effect. Around 3 million people in the UK suffer from osteoporosis and 200,000 suffer from fractures every year as a result. It is estimated that one in three women and one in 12 men above 50 would develop osteoporosis in their lifetimes (Laurance).

In the UK, hip fractures from falls cost 1.7 billion pounds a year (Laurance, 2005). Statistics reflect that one out of three persons over 65 experiences at least one fall per year. The figure rises to one in two persons for those above 80. The National Osteoporosis Society believed the existence of "good research evidence" on the benefits of daily intakes of Vitamin D and calcium by those over 75. This drove the researchers and more than 5,000 elderly participants from 21 hospitals in the UK who suffered at least fracture within the past 10 years. Neither study found evidence that the supplements played a role. The second study involved 3,000 women living in the community. The supplements had no effect on them over the two years' research duration. Bones tend to become less dense after menopause in women and declining testosterone levels in men (Laurance).

Does no Good, May Even Harm series o 67 randomized trials found that vitamin supplements would not only do good but may even harm (Laurance, 2008). Their findings said they did not prolong life but actually short it. They found no convincing evidence that antioxidant supplements reduced the chances of premature death. Instead, these increased the risk of early death. One in three women and one in four men in the UK take vitamin pills to avoid disease. Despite warnings from the medical community, the supplement industry sales continue to shoot up (Laurance).

The trials involved 232,000 participants who received and took beta-carotene, Vitamin a, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and selenium (Laurance, 2008). In addition to the lack of convincing evidence of their usefulness, beta-carotene, Vitamins a and E. even increased morality rates. Vitamin C and selenium had neutral effects. Vitamin a had a 16% increased mortality, beta-carotene 7%, and Vitamin E, 4%. The researchers commented that extreme dosages of antioxidants could damage important physiological processes (Laurance).

Clarifications and Advice About Vitamin Supplements

Vitamin E Supplements

These are believed to prevent heart disease (Downey, 2003). But Lancet Researchers published the results of their study that Vitamin E capsules had on effect in reducing the risk of death in cardiovascular or other cases. Previous studies said the supplement would not shield persons already stricken with heart disease. There is as yet no evidence that it could protect those who have not been afflicted. Vitamin E in food is more readily absorbed by the body than in capsule form. The National Academy of Sciences said supplements are unnecessary if the diet already contains a minimum of 15 milligrams a day from food sources. This means the diet already has half of the requirement. Some may want the other half in capsule form. Oxford University researchers found that the antioxidant vitamins - beta-carotene, C, and E - have no health effects. Tests undertaken to ascertain these effects used only very small doses (Downey).

Then a similar study was published by the Archives of Internal Medicine (Downey, 2003). It found that Vitamin sE and C. And multivitamins do not reduce mortality in heart patients. Still another study was published in the June 26, 2002 Journal of American Medical Association. It revealed that high dietary intake of Vitamin sC and E. could lower the risk of Alzheimer's. Yet another study, published only 3 days later, said Vitamin E supplements actually decrease the risk. There have been confusing findings from studies (Downey).


Vitamin supplements have risen in sales because of the proliferation of various diseases, the aging population, daily life stresses and the seeming shorter time left for what people do today. But natural food remains the best source of vitamins and modern farming methods must be the focus of attention (Downey, 2003). Many studies suggest that supplements have benefits but they seem to take effect over the long-term. Research will remain skeptical about the effectiveness and value of anything consumed. But nothing and no one will be skeptical about the value and benefits of exertions and exercise as the preferred option to supplements. Those truly in the pink of health - the athletes - will not contradict this argument (Downey).


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