Consumption of certain nutrients is linked to lower risk of death if the source of those nutrients lie in natural foods instead of supplements, revealed a latest study 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 findings also said that excess calcium intake was associated with a high risk of cancer death. This was due to the supplemental doses of calcium that exceeded 1000 mg/day.
For the study, the researchers assessed the dietary intake of nutrients from foods using 24-hour dietary recalls. Mortality outcomes for each participant were obtained through linkage to the National Death Index through December 31, 2011, using a probabilistic match.
The study analysed the association between nutrient intake and risk of death. The researchers said that adequate intake of Vitamin K and magnesium indicated a lower risk of death. Adequate intake of vitamin A, K and zinc was linked to lower risk of deaths from cardiovascular diseases. It must be noted that a surplus of calcium intake was associated with a higher risk of death from cancer.
When the scientists compared sources of nutrients: food vs. supplement, it was found that an adequate intake of vitamin K and magnesium from foods indicated a lower risk of death. Nutrients obtained from supplements failed to show such favourable results.
A lower risk of death was associated with the intake of vitamin A, K and zinc from foods and not from supplements. "This study also confirms the importance of identifying the nutrient source when evaluating mortality outcomes."