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Forget Supplements-It's All About Diet

Millions of intelligent Americans are spending money on supplements that have no proven benefit in health or longevity and are ignoring what numerous studies have shown; preventing disease and dementia is all about the food you eat.  This is real science with reproduced results in numerous studies.  Here it is, folks.  Change your diet and change your life:

  • Avoid high glycemic carbohydrate diets:  Carbs with high glycemic index  have been shown to increase inflammation and oxidative stress leading to dementia.
  • Eliminate completely high sugar diets : Even intermittent small blood sugar elevations lead to dementia...even in non-diabetics
  • Eat one ounce of nuts/day:  Provides a great source of Vitamin E
  • Avoid trans fats and fast food:  Numerous studies from different Countries show a dose/response relationship of increased depression and anxiety, not to mention heart disease and early death.
  • Real fruit is better than fruit juice:  Real fruit is loaded with natural sugar but it has equal amounts of fiber that help metabolize.  Real fruit is always a good choice, not the juice.
  • Eat more eggs:  Don't worry about the cholesterol in eggs.  Eggs provide perfect protein in a nutrient-rich, low-calorie, low-fat package.

Diets high in fruits, vegetables, fish, plant oils, nuts and whole grains, with lower intakes of sugar, processed meat, and animal fats, are likely to be the best bet in supporting the health of our brain as well as the rest of our body.  If you eat this way you should not need vitamins or dietary supplements to maintain health.

Pay attention to everything you put into your body and lower your risk of disease and poor health.


Fish oil? I've heard it recommended as a valuable supplement.
James said…
Substantive evidence of the benefit of vitamin and other health supplements is not difficult to find, if one looks. As an MD I'm disappointed that you either did not look into the scientific literature or chose to ignore the studies that exist.

There are very few sources of Vitamin D, making supplementation an important source for preventing deficiency (75% of Americans are deficient). The American Heart Association recommends people get 1000mg daily of EPA+DHA omega-3 fatty acids which is nearly impossible for most people to do through diet (not to mention terribly expensive), another solid case for supplementation.

Yes, food is important. And yes, supplementation won't help an otherwise poor-quality diet. But no, they are not useless.
Toni Brayer, MD said…
James: Yes, you named two that have evidence of benefit. A report published this week in Annals of Internal Medicine reported no benefit of vitamins in preventing Cancer or heart disease and, in fact, beta carotene increased the risk of lung cancer. It's a $28 billion dollar industry that has no proven benefit except in discrete cases like vitamin D and Omega 3 FFA if it can't be obtained with food.

The point is that repeated large scale studies from Countries across the globe have proven the benefit of the right diet in healthy aging and preventing disease.

What you eat in your 30s, 40s, 50s will affect your health in your 60s,70s, 80s. Vitamin supplements will not
KM said…
James; I recently read "A Short Guide to a Long Life" by Dr. David Agus an oncologist who as an M.D. states and shares the same opinion and views on vitamins and new evidence based studies and trials as Dr. Brayer is writing about. Also you forgot to disclose you have an on line vitamin business.
Toni Brayer, MD said…
KM: Thanks for the comment. I have no interest, financial or otherwise in any vitamin business.
KM said…
To clarify I was referring to you James as the one who forgot to disclose that you have an on line Vitamin Business not Dr. Brayer. Interesting that James has on his Blog a link to the Time Magazine article writing about the same thing Dr. Brayer is talking about that you are trying to discredit the Times article journalist as not experienced enough to write it.
Jillian Henny said…
I agree our body shouldn't be too dependent on drug supplements. I admit I am one of those people who turns to supplements when they feel their body needs some power or energy boost. I have been setting the wrong priorities lately and I need to put my health on top of my priority list. I'm anemic though, I guess a week of taking iron supplement won't hurt. Am I right?
Toni Brayer, MD said…
Jillian Henny: If you are diagnosed with anemia or any other condition that requires vitamins, of course you should take a supplement. But popping supplements for weight loss, fatigue, needing a boost or preventing cancer has not been proven to work. Veggies, fruits and grains without additives has been proven in many many studies.
Substantive evidence of the benefit of vitamin and other health supplements is not difficult to find, if one looks. As an MD I'm disappointed that you either did not look into the scientific literature or chose to ignore the studies that exist.
Raymond said…
I can understand that the everyday person does not need to take supplements, but as a person in the military I have to maintain a certain fitness level. If I were to try to eat the recommended amount of protein, I would be eating all day and be broke. I can only eat so much chicken and fish before I just want to throw it out the window. So I think that supplementation should be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Neha Sahaay said…
More great information! Thanks! Definitely taking your recommendations seriously.

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