So Many Vitamins, So Little Time

Vitamin E was once considered the miracle vitamin pill, but new studies have tempered that enthusiasm. It was thought that vitamin E was the wonder drug for heart disease, but it turns out that for patients already being treated with blood cholesterol medication and a blood pressure medication, adding a vitamin E supplement does not appear to be helpful. Now gene studies are helping identify which individuals are deficient in antioxidants, and according to Rimm, "for those people who are susceptible to oxidation, taking vitamin E is beneficial for lowering the risk of heart disease."

What about the newly popular supplements like fish oils and omega-3 fatty acids?

Rimm said for people with heart disease and those at risk for heart disease consuming enough fish or taking a fish oil supplement is definitely beneficial. And even for healthy people, Rimm stresses the importance of having fish in your diet. Rimm said that one to two servings per week should do the trick. He suggested salmon, tuna and shrimp for additional omega-3 fatty acids.

So what's the bottom line? According to the experts, eat a healthy diet, but a generic multivitamin is a good nutritional safety net, and don't forget to add 1,000 units of vitamin D. Rimm reminds people to watch their weight, exercise and stop smoking. It's still the best way to stay healthy.

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