An apple or a few vitamin pills a day?

Every day I do something that, among my medical colleagues, would raise a few eyebrows. I bet lots of you do it, too. Each morning, I take a fistful of supplements. It started off innocently enough – a multivitamin while I was recovering from flu a few years ago. More recently, I noticed a funny creaking sound in the vicinity of my knees. Imagining my future life in a wheelchair (despite the reassurance of a rheumatologist friend), I started on the cod liver oil capsules. After that, it was the slippery slope to ginseng, then vitamin B complex, and garlic. And, of course, where would I be without my echinacea? In bed, nursing a life-threatening cold, no doubt.
The scientific evidence would suggest that as I eat a (fairly) balanced diet and I’m not infirm, pregnant or alcoholic, there is absolutely no need for me to take any form of nutritional supplement. Countless studies have shown that they make absolutely no difference, except to your wallet.
In addition, there is evidence emerging that excessive quantities of supplements can, in fact, do harm. Last week, we were told that high levels of vitamin D – which many post-menopausal women take with calcium to fend off osteoporosis – may increase the risk of a heart condition, atrial fibrillation, by two‑and-a-half times. This got me thinking about the nation’s penchant for pill-popping. That we need vitamins and minerals is not in dispute. That we need them from a bottle is what scientists would challenge.

Source  - Telegraph

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