Intelligence for Your Health

with Connie Sellecca

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Listen to Connie Sellecca as she speaks with doctors on a range of topics to help improve your health and well-being.

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Should We Be Taking Vitamins For Nutrients?

Health experts don't always agree on the effectiveness of vitamin supplements. But, they do agree that much of the $23 BILLION dollars we spend on vitamins is wasted. That's because our bodies are very good at getting the nutrients we need from food.

Water-soluble vitamins like B and C aren't stored in our bodies, which means, once we have enough in our system to function properly, the extra gets flushed out through our kidneys. And there's a different set of problems with fat-soluble vitamins - like A, D, E, and K. Those vitamins are stored in our fat cells. So, megadoses can build up until they become toxic, which can cause serious health issues. For example, too much vitamin E has been shown to increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Of course, if your doctor recommends a supplement, you should take it. Otherwise, scientists say we should skip the pills and invest in a healthy diet. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that people who ate foods rich in vitamins experienced greater health benefits than people who took large doses in pill form. In addition to the vitamins, healthy foods also provide the fiber, antioxidants, and micronutrients your body needs to function at its best, which makes food-based nutrition a win-win situation.