Studies into the benefits of taking daily supplements of vitamins for chronic disease all appear to reinforce the same message: taking supplements has a definite and positive effect on our long-term health.
It seems hard to imagine that a tiny multivitamin tablet can make a difference to our long-term health, yet deficiency of certain vitamins and trace minerals is directly associated with an increased risk of chronic disease, particularly in the elderly.
Taking Vitamins for Chronic Disease Prevention
So what's the evidence showing that taking vitamins for chronic disease prevention really works? Almost 50 years ago, research by Dr. Myron Brin showed that even slight deficiencies in nutrients could cause serious psychological and physiological issues. These problems included insomnia, irritability, nightmares and slower brain function.
In a more up-to-date study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, scientists reported that vitamin deficiency was associated with a higher risk of chronic disease. In some cases, the deficiency was found even in those who adhered to the recommended daily allowance (RDA), showing the recommended amounts to be dangerously low.
Vitamin deficiencies are known to contribute to inflammation in the body which damages cells and tissue. In the longer term, insufficient vitamins for chronic disease can result in organ damage, premature aging and death.
The AMA study concluded that “Most people do not consume an optimal amount of all vitamins by diet alone. Pending strong evidence of effectiveness from randomized trials, it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements.”
How Much is Enough?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) publishes and occasionally updates the RDA for vitamins adjusting for new findings in research. This is intended to give safe guidelines for how much is sufficient when it comes to taking vitamins for chronic disease and a healthy lifestyle.
The RDA is gradually being replaced by the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) which suggests quantities of vitamins that are necessary to prevent deficiency and lower the risk of chronic disease. Many researchers still feel the RDAs of vitamins are woefully inadequate, so they should be considered a minimum guideline.
There is plenty of supporting evidence to show that "hoping for the best" when it comes to our modern-day diet is not good enough. Taking daily vitamins for chronic disease prevention needs to start when you are young and healthy to avoid the chronic diseases that blight the lives of the elderly. So start your new healthy lifestyle plan today!