Too many supplements may be harmful to older women’s health; celebrity nutritionist Paula Simpson weighs in with her thoughts on a new study
There’s news today supporting the idea that older women should get their nutrients from food, rather than supplements, and when it comes to vitamins in pill form, less is more.
A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that women in their 50s and 60s who took more nutritional supplements than their bodies needed were more likely to be at an increased risk of death.
The study backs up the idea that women who are well-nourished from a well-balanced diet don’t need to take additional supplements. Multivitamins, folic acid, vitamin B6, magnesium, zinc, copper and iron, in particular, appeared to increase mortality risk. Supplemental iron had the strongest link to mortality, while calcium was associated with decreased risk.
Celebrity nutritionist and formulation expert Paula Simpson noted that the study may be flawed in that other health variables were not considered, but did agree that “you can have too much of a good thing.”
“More importantly, if one chooses to take supplements, they should work under the guidance of a qualified health professional,” Simpson added. “With proper assessment, you can best determine which supplements are best for their individual needs. Also, many supplement companies offer a wealth of information and clinical data on their websites. It always good to do a little background research on the product. Lastly, it [the study] states that those who supplemented with iron had an increased mortality risk. Iron is a mineral that can accumulate in the tissues in the body and actually creates oxidative stress in the system. Therefore, iron should only be considered and recommended if someone is truly deficient.”
So, as with any vitamins or pills you may be thinking of taking, consult your health professional first!
For other stories by Paula Simpson on genConnect:
- Stay Hydrated to Avoid Weight Gain, by Paula Simpson
- Sexual Dysfunction: How Natural Remedies, Supplements Can Help
- Allure of Red Wine: It May Help Protect Against Sunburn
- Wellness Bites: The Real Research Behind Latest Health Claims
- The “Clean 15″ and “Dirty” Dozen, by Paula Simpson
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