Absent a specific diagnosed health concern, supplements should always be unnecessary if you’re eating a healthy diet. However, even if you don’t think a healthy diet precludes supplements, you should avoid supplements because you never truly know what’s in the. Red yeast supplements are merely the latest problem supplement to be exposed.
Middle-aged Americans with vascular health risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and smoking had a greater chance of suffering from dementia later in life, researchers reported.
According to a prospective cohort of Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, the association was most significant among people who were black (hazard ratio 1.36, 95% CI 1.21-1.54) and ages 60-66 (HR 8.06, 95% CI 6.69-9.72), reported Rebecca Gottesman, MD, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues in JAMA Neurology.
Vitamin D is a bit of an exception to the supplement rule because it isn’t found in many foods. Sunlight on skin produces vitamin D, but you have to be out in the sun for that to work. If you take vitamin D, take the D3 form, not D2 (sorry vegans).
Pieter Cohen (Cambridge Health Alliance), a leading researcher and expert on supplement safety, and colleagues tested 28 brands of red yeast rice supplements purchased at major retail chains in the U.S. to determine levels of the active ingredient monacolin K, which is identical to the prescription statin drug lovastatin. The paper was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
Two of the 28 brands had no detectable levels of monacolin K. For the other 26 brands, monacolin K levels were wildly divergent, ranging from 0.09 to 5.48 mg per 1,200 mg of red yeast rice. This represents a 60-fold variation in quantity, and a 120-fold difference based on the manufacturers' daily serving recommendations.
Cohen said that the results also suggest that six of the products -- 21% -- could receive warning letters from the FDA, since the dosage exceeded the 4-mg/day limit established by the FDA.
This is tough news for vegans. D3 is derived from animal products. D2 is what you get from plants.
Vitamin D3 was more effective at raising serum total 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels in the wintertime than vitamin D2, according to British researchers.
Biscuits and juice fortified with 15 µg (600 IU) of vitamin D3 showed a significantly greater increase in total 25(OH)D levels among women compared those supplemented with 15 µg (600 IU) of vitamin D2 (74% versus 34% biscuit; 75% versus 33% juice), wrote Laura Tripkovic, PhD, of the University of Surrey in England, and colleagues, in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Nor is it shocking that many more women put on too much weight versus gain too little. It may be that advice to pregnant women is changing, but certainly when I was pregnant, all of the advice had me eating way too much food. The reality is that the amount of additional calories required when pregnant isn’t that different from when not pregnant. Beyond that, there is some evidence that the woman’s body becomes better able to get the nutrients from whatever food she eats. So even if she doesn’t eat more, she absorbs more.
Based on a systematic review and meta-analysis, 47% of pregnancies reported an above recommended gestational weight gain based on data of over 1 million women, while 23% had a lower-than-recommended weight gain, according to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine, IOM) 2009 recommendations, reported Rebecca Goldstein, MBBS, of Monash University in Melbourne, and colleagues.