Study on Supplements by Copenhagen University and Cochrane

Foods for Life 100% agree with The Danish University and The Cochrane group's basic premise that the most important factor is a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables and natural anti-oxidants. Foods for Life however don’t agree that the meta analysis proves supplements are ineffective as a preventative medicine.

 supplements, vitamins and minerals can enhance the effects of a healthy diet but not replace it Unfortunately the Cochrane Collaboration doesn't make it easy to find out exactly under what grounds so many studies were excluded from its meta review, or exact amounts and quality for the supplements that were taken and in what context and who ultimately funded this meta analysis and why.

Most nutrients work in a complex synergy with each other and when you obtain them through food you obtain a range of other synergistic nutrients such as essential fats, supporting vitamins, minerals and other anti oxidants.

For instance wheat germ, red palm oil, corn, nuts, seeds, avocado, olives, spinach and other green leafy vegetables, Asparagus and Vegetable oils such as corn, sunflower, soybean, and cottonseed are all good sources of vitamin E but come free with many other nutrients.

Vitamin A and selenium are both nutrients that can potentially cause as much damage to health in excess as they can in deficiency.

Vitamin B12 (not part of this study)has been shown to be fatal to some people with a specific medical condition but generally, taken sublingually it can protect life from some conditions.

There is a risk that people taking supplements then excuse themselves of more crucial need to moderate their diet and eat sensibly using a wide variety of fresh foods to supply a broad base range of nutrients such as soluble fibre, essential amino acids and essential fats, and micro nutrients. It’s not logical to assume that any amount of vitamin E taken in isolation would be enough to counterbalance a diet full of saturated animal fat, sugar, salt, caffeine and alcohol which is sadly what so many people rely on in today's society

It's misleading to isolate vitamins and minerals, take them out of normal context and make judgements like this because without ensuring an individual has a nutritional need and the correct levels of supporting nutrients then it could lead to other deficiencies and subsequent problems. It would be very questionable, unusual and strange for a nutritional therapist to just advise taking vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and selenium which is the basis for the Danish University review.

There are always risks with self prescription. A nutrition therapist has to study for a minimum of 3 years and then continually update their knowledge to be granted professional insurance that allows them to practice and advise individual clients on their individual nutritional health needs.

However it's irresponsible to suggest, as the National papers have today, that supplements are bad for you.

Yvonne Bishop-Weston Foods for Life Nutritionists London

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