Megadoses of vitamins may be bad for your health, doctors say
Researchers remain unsure whether it is high levels of homocysteine, low levels of acetylcholine, or some other factor that leads to the development of Alzheimer’s. Whatever the case, however, the 2010 study was the first to directly showed that increasing B vitamin levels might have a clinical effect. “B vitamins lower homocysteine, which directly leads to a decrease in GM atrophy, thereby slowing cognitive decline,” the researchers wrote. New analysis strengthens findings One of the weaknesses of the original analysis, however, was that researchers could not prove that the observed improvements in memory were related to the decreased rate of brain shrinkage. In the new study, researchers conducted a more advanced analysis of the original data and found that the effect of the B vitamins was actually much greater than they had in initially thought: Among those taking the vitamins, brain shrinkage was reduced by an astonishing 90 percent, not just 50 percent. “I’ve never seen results from brain scans showing this level of protection,” said brain imaging expert Paul Thompson, who heads the world’s largest brain scan database at the UCLA School of Medicine’s Imaging Genetics Center.
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Continue reading In his new book, “Do You Believe in Magic?,” Dr. Paul Offit says that megadoses of certain vitamins can increase a person’s risk for heart disease and cancer. Offit describes these “megadoses” as vitamins that provide anywhere from 5 to 20 times more than the recommended daily intake of certain nutrients. “By challenging mother nature in taking these vitamins and concentrating them to these exceptionally large quantities that you would never normally eat, you’ve got to be careful,” Offit says. The Consumer Healthcare Products Association, the group that lobbies on behalf of the supplement industry, says that there’s plenty of research that highlight the benefits of multivitamins. However, in a statement, they told CNN that consumers should “always use caution” when considering large doses of any supplements. Offit has a simpler solution.
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