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Post: Answers to your questions on multivitamins, Mediterranean diet and more

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Answers to your questions on multivitamins, Mediterranean diet and more

On Nutrition

It’s time to dip into my reader (e)mailbag and answer a few questions this week about multivitamins, supporting healthy blood sugar levels and resources for adopting a DASH or Mediterranean diet. Without further ado …

I recently heard that a new study said that multivitamins weren’t helpful. Should I stop taking one?

The study you’re referring to is probably the June 26 study in JAMA Network Open, which found that long-term daily use of a multivitamin didn’t help people live longer than, well, other people. This particular study was an observational study using data from three long-running studies that enrolled a total of 390,124 people. Participants had a median age of 61.4 and were healthy at the start of the study, with no history of cancer or other chronic diseases. During the more than 20 years of follow-up, 164,764 participants died, and their multivitamin status made no difference.

If your goal for taking a multivitamin was longevity, this study may have been disappointing news — if you hadn’t already heard about one of multiple other studies that found essentially the same thing. But what these studies also make clear is that taking a daily multivitamin isn’t going to hurt you.

Ideally, we get our nutrients from food, because fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds, meat, poultry and fish offer us nutrition that’s more complex and synergistic than what we can get from a dietary supplement . But factors such as a limited diet or limited access to fresh food can create some nutrient shortfalls. In those cases, a multivitamin can help bridge those gaps, which is why many people take a multivitamin as nutrition “insurance.” To discuss your personal needs, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian.

I want to stay healthy so I can enjoy my postretirement years. I’m specifically wondering how can I support healthy blood sugar?

One of the first things I suggest to people with similar questions is physical activity . Specifically, fitting movement in throughout the day. While it’s great to go for a long walk, take a dance class […]

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