Vitamin and mineral supplements can enhance mental energy and well-being not only for healthy adults but for those prone to anxiety and depression, according to a July 15 panel discussion at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo® held at McCormick Place.
In comparison, the team found that a dietary supplement, DHA ethyl ester, found in most fish oil pills fails to activate the same channels, and even antagonizes the positive effect of DHA from natural sources, on the cells. The DHA ethyl ester seems to compete with the natural form of DHA for binding sites on the ion channel.
The authors found that use of most supplements was not associated with reduced total mortality in older women, and many supplements appeared associated with increased mortality risk. After adjustment, use of multivitamins, vitamin B6, folic acid, iron, magnesium, zinc and copper, were all associated with increased risk of death in the study population. Conversely, calcium supplements appear to reduce risk of mortality. The association between supplement intake and mortality risk was strongest with iron, and the authors found a dose-response relationship as increased risk of mortality was seen at progressively lower doses as women aged throughout the study.
Beta-carotene, selenium and folic acid -- taken up to three times their recommended daily allowance, these supplements are probably harmless. But taken at much higher levels as some supplement manufacturers suggest, these three supplements have now been shown to increase the risk of developing a host of cancers.
The evidence that dietary calcium is helpful while calcium supplements are not can be explained by the fact that dietary calcium is taken in small amounts, spread throughout the day, so is absorbed slowly, they say. Supplements, on the other hand, cause calcium levels in the blood to soar above the normal range, and it is this flooding effect which might ultimately be harmful, they suggest.