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Are vitamins and supplements necessary to eat healthy?
There are a lot of vitamins sold today. They come in all forms - pills, capsules, packets of pills and supplement drinks. We now have more and more good research that says they are pretty much worthless. We know that vitamins are good for you, but the research is now clear that getting your vitamins from food and not supplements is better for you.

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Fruits and vegetables for prostate health
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Vitamin C from Fruits and Vegetables and Inflammation

Research shows that heart disease, strokes and other conditions are at least partly caused by inflammation. There are a number of markers in the blood that researchers use to evaluate inflammation, so there is naturally a great deal of interest in factors that may help decrease these inflammatory markers in the blood.

Dr S. Goya Wannamethee and coworkers evaluated the role of Vitamin C on inflammation. Specifically they were interested in whether consuming fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin C would have an effect on different markers of inflammation. In a study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN: 83;567-574) the researchers looked at both these types of markers as well as chemicals involved in blood clotting.

They studied 3,258 men between the ages of 60 and 79. None had a previous diagnosis of heart attack, stroke or diabetes. They found a decrease in the inflammatory markers in those men with higher intakes of Vitamin C. The higher the Vitamin C in the bloodstream from fruit, the lower the markers in the blood. Vitamin C intake from vegetables was only found to reduce the blood clotting factor.

Keep in mind that there is a leap of faith that the Vitamin C reduces inflammation and that the decreased inflammation will lead to a decrease in heart attack and stroke. While there is research that points to this, it is not definitive. Unfortunately, in medicine just because A = B and B = C, it doesn’t mean that A automatically equals C.

What this means for you

Fruits and veggies are good for you. We know that eating a diet that is rich in them reduces the risk of stroke, heart attack and many other conditions. Vitamin C may be the reason for this, but the important thing is that fruits and veggies taste good.

First posted: May 5, 2006