Another study shows that supplements don’t work, may cause harm

A link was found with calcium supplements but not calcium in food

A link was found with calcium supplements but not calcium in food

The researchers found that adequate intakes of vitamin K and magnesium are associated with lower risk of death, while adequate intakes of vitamin A, vitamin K, and zinc are associated with lower risk of death by cardiovascular diseases. There was no cancer death risk increase linked with calcium intake acquired from food rather than pills.

The scientists compared the intake of a range of nutrients with rates of death from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

Meanwhile, 75 percent of US adults take a dietary supplement of some kind, spending more than $30 billion a year on these pills and capsules that promise health.

The new study isn't the first to link supplement use with harmful effects.

Dietary supplements aren't associated with reduced risk of death, according to a new study. In addition, the study found that taking dietary supplements didn't lower the risk of death in participants, which included U.S. adults ages 20 and older.

But this finding only applied to nutrients in food, not supplements.

Though some nutrients have been linked to lower mortality risk in general, you'll need to get those nutrients from actual food, not pills and powders, to reap the benefits. There was no connection between dietary supplement use and a lower risk of death.

What's more, consuming large doses of some nutrients through supplements might be harmful - the study found that getting high levels of calcium from supplements was linked to an increased risk of death from cancer. "It is important to understand the role that the nutrient and its source might play in health outcomes, particularly if the effect might not be beneficial".

But there was no link between intake of calcium from food and risk of death from cancer.

"Our results support the idea that, while supplement use contributes to an increased level of total nutrient intake, there are beneficial associations with nutrients from foods that aren't seen with supplements", Zhang says. "This study also confirms the importance of identifying the nutrient source when evaluating mortality outcomes". People want to be healthy, yet we've got a constant stream of conflicting research about what's healthy and what's not (although the science on supplements has been pretty consistent) - so why not double down by taking vitamins? The solution seems so easy: Eat more fruits and vegetables ... alas, nothing seems very simple anymore. Eating nutritionally insipid food and trying to make up for it by taking supplements that appear to be doing more harm than good. That said, I'm going to go eat a salad.