Food as the source of nutrients is linked to lower risks of death: Researchers

Washington: A new study has revealed that consumption of certain nutrients is linked to lower risks of death if the source of those nutrients is foods rather than supplements.

The study was published in the Journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

“As potential benefits and harms of supplement use continue to be studied, some studies have found associations between excess nutrient intake and adverse outcomes, including increased risk of certain cancers,” said Fang Fang Zhang, corresponding author on the study.

“It is important to understand the role that the nutrient and its source might play in health outcomes,
particularly if the effect might not be beneficial,” he added.

The researchers also found that excess calcium intake was associated with a high risk of cancer death. This was due to the supplemental doses of calcium exceeding 1000 mg/day.

Dietary intake of nutrients from foods was assessed using 24-hour dietary recalls. Mortality outcomes were obtained for each participant through linkage to the National Death Index through December 31, 2011, using a probabilistic match.

For the association between nutrient intake and risk of death, the researchers discovered that adequate intake of Vitamin K and magnesium indicated a lower risk of death.

An adequate intake of vitamin A, K and zinc indicated a lower risk of deaths from cardiovascular diseases.

While a surplus of calcium intake was associated with a higher risk of death from cancer.

When sources of nutrients (food vs. Supplement) were evaluated, the researchers found that an adequate intake of vitamin K and magnesium from foods, not from supplements had a lower risk of deaths.

A lower risk of death was associated with the intake of vitamin A, K and zinc from foods and not from supplements.

Similarly, calcium intake from supplements indicated an increased risk of death but when taken from food, there was no association with death.

“This study also confirms the importance of identifying the nutrient source when evaluating mortality outcomes.”