Thursday, November 1, 2012

Taking Dietary Nutrients is better than the Supplements

I sometimes wonder why our medical representatives come to doctors requesting to prescribe protein, vitamin, calcium and omega3 fatty acid supplements. Many times they will request prescription of these nutrient containing tonics at the time of discharge of patients from hospital after getting cured.
It is perhaps to exploit the popular belief of the patients that he/she should regain the lost nutrients quickly by taking the tonics and get back the vigor.
Many times, I ask them, why the person cannot take food rich in vitamins, calcium and protein etc.; and that too in a cheaper way.
Now, it is increasingly coming out from analyses that the nutrients from dietary sources are better than the supplementations. At least, it is true for calcium and omenga3 fatty acids. Some researchers have found out that calcium supplementation may actually do harm than dietary calcium.

A group of researchers headed by Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury, of the University of Cambridge, England concluded that eating fish, particularly oily fish, a couple of times a week may help protect against stroke, but fish oil supplements don't have the same effect.
Two servings per week of any fish was associated with a 4 percent reduced risk. However, fish oil supplements did not reduce the risk of stroke or mini-stroke. More number of servings per week also have more protective effect.
It may be due to the fact that the wide range of nutrients, such as vitamins and essential amino acids, commonly found in fish may conglomerate to have greater effect on heart health. Or, it may be that eating more fish leads people to eat less red meat and other foods that harm vascular health.
So, it is advisable to go for dietary sources to get the required nutrients and not to run after cheap advertisements to get the supplements propagated for health by many companies. Of course, supplementations have their own role, when required.
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