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Supplement Users Have Better Overall HealthSupplement Users Have Better Overall Health

November 6, 2007

2 Min Read
Supplement Users Have Better Overall Health

BERKELEY, Calif.People who used multiple dietary supplements for at least 20 years were in overall better health than non-supplement users and those who used on a multivitamin/multimineral product, according to a study published online Oct. 24 in advance of print in the Nutrition Journal (DOI:10.1186/1475-2891-6-30). Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, in association with Pleasanton, Calif.-based Shaklee Corp., examined dietary supplement usage patterns, health and nutritional status of individuals in a cross-sectional design, using online questionnaires and on-site physical examinations of long-term users of multiple dietary supplements from Shaklee. Data for non-users (n=602) and multi-only users (n=176) were obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and NHANES II.

Long-term multiple dietary supplement users (n=278) consumed an array of vitamin, mineral, herbal and condition-specific supplements for at least 20 years. As a group, they were 73 percent less likely to have diabetes and 39 percent less likely to have high blood pressure than non-users. They were also less likely to have suboptimal blood nutrient concentrations, and more likely to have favorably levels of key biomarkers, including serum homocysteine, C-reactive protein (CRP), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglycerides, compared with non-users and people taking only a multi.

Dietary supplements consumed on a daily basis by more than 50 percent of multiple supplement users included a multivitamin/mineral, B complex, vitamin C, carotenoids, vitamin E, calcium with vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, flavonoids, lecithin, alfalfa, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) with resveratrol, glucosamine and an herbal immune supplement. The majority of women also consumed gamma linolenic acid (GLA) and probiotics, while men also consumed zinc, garlic, saw palmetto and a soy protein supplement.

The study results were very impressive and support the potential benefits of long-term use of dietary supplements, said Gladys Block, Ph.D., lead researcher from the Berkeley School of Public Health. The researchers noted the findings should be confirmed by studying the dietary supplement usage patterns, health and nutritional status of other groups of heavy users of dietary supplements.

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