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Are people who take supplements healthier than those who don’t?

One study on healthy adults in Hawaii and Los Angeles shows that people who take food supplements are the ones least likely to need them (American Journal of Epidemiology, May 15, 2003). Seventy-five percent of the people in the study took supplements. The people most likely to take supplements were older, had higher levels of education, were more likely to exercise, ate more fruit, took in more fiber, and were far less likely to have risk factors for disease such as being obese, smoking, or eating lots of fatty foods. This study shows that people who take vitamins and other supplementary pills also follow a more healthful lifestyle. So the conclusion of this study is that it is very difficult to study the health of supplement takers because they already are participating in a healthier lifestyle than people who do not take supplements.

Checked May 1, 2006

May 10th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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