Today, many people do not consume a nutritious diet and hence the idea of taking vitamins and other supplements appear very attraction. Also, many people think that by taking vitamins and other supplements they can live longer. The idea seems to be that by taking more nutrients, a person can extend their life expectancy. But, can vitamins and other supplements really help you live longer?
Opinion in the Scientific Community
Because of the belief that vitamins and other supplements can enhance longevity, the supplement industry is booming. However, in the scientific fraternity, opinion seems to be divided. Some scientists and researchers say that vitamins and other supplements are harmful, other say that they make a person live longer, and there are still others who claim that these supplements are excreted from the body without being absorbed.
The Truth about Vitamins and Other Supplements
One particular study found that long-term supplementation of multivitamins can increase the length of telomeres in chromosomes. The study also says that these telomeres are the actual markers of biological aging and when you can multivitamins for a prolonged period of time, the length increases by 5.1 percent. This basically means that the aging process slows down and a person will feel physically younger. Hence, vitamins and other supplements can enhance life expectancy of people.
Vitamins and Other Supplements for Longevity
There are some nutrients that are required by the body for optimal health. These nutrients can prevent certain diseases and therefore, indirectly help a person live longer. While food is the best source for vitamins and other nutrients, you can also take them as supplements. Some of the supplements that you should be taking for longevity include the following:
Calcium: This mineral is needed by the body for proper working of nerves and muscles and also for transportation of blood. One study published in 2011 after tracking 38,000 women for a period of 22 years claimed that women who took calcium regularly had a lower chance of dying during the period they are taking the supplement. However, some other studies claimed that calcium supplementation can increase the chances of getting a stroke or heart attack in women. Hence, because these divergent results, it is best to consult your doctor before you begin taking calcium.
Vitamin D: The sunshine vitamin is needed by the body for healthy bones, and also for protecting the body against certain cancers and diseases. Typically, Vitamin D is produced by the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. However, people residing in northern and southern parts of the globe that get less sunlight are advised to eat foods that contain Vitamin D or taking supplements of the vitamin. The fact that the vitamin reduces the chances of certain diseases means that it can help a person live longer.
Vitamin B6: This particular B vitamin is required for formation of blood cells and neurotransmitters and for maintaining the levels of homocysteine, which is an amino acid. When homocysteine levels are low, the person has reduced chances of getting strokes or heart disease. However, the studies are going on whether Vitamin B6 can actually help in reducing the incidences of cardiovascular diseases and strokes and thereby enhance longevity.
Vitamin B12: This vitamin is important for maintaining health of nerves and health. Many older adults, particularly those who are more than 50 years, have a problem absorbing this vitamin. Hence, they require supplementation of this vitamin. It has been noticed that the vitamin when coupled with folic acid, it can prevent strokes and heart disease.
Vitamin C: This vitamin is a strong antioxidant and is also needed by the body for making some neurotransmitters and collagen. One particular study conducted in 2009 in over 77,000 participants between 50 and 76 years found that if non-smokers consumed 300 mg Vitamin for a decade, they were less prone to dying during the same period. However, the study could not find the same result among the smokers. More research is being done to figure out whether taking Vitamin C has the ability to prevent development of heart disease and certain types of cancers.
Science is still trying to figure out which vitamins and other supplements can help people live longer. So it will be some time before people get concrete answers. However, we do know that consuming a plant-based diet is considered to be the healthiest, as it contains all the necessary nutrients that the body requires. If you intend taking supplements, make sure that you first speak to you doctor, who will be able to tell you the right dosage and the vitamins and supplements you should be taking for optimal health. After all, if you have good health, you can live long. So make sure that you follow your doctor’s orders carefully. Always large doses of vitamins and other supplements may not be the best way to improve health and enhance longevity.
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