News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Better balance needed in vitamin and mineral deabte

Media coverage over potential health threats arising from vitamin and mineral consumption could ironically be doing consumers more harm than good according to Natural Products NZ Chief Executive Alison Quesnel.

“Natural Products NZ (NPNZ) and our members welcome discussion and debate that creates better-informed consumers, but unbalanced coverage of one-off studies suggesting potential problems could backfire by scaring consumers off taking supplements that benefit their health.

“It is important that people discuss any concerns with their health professional rather than simply stopping or changing the supplements they are taking,” she says.

Ms Quesnel referred to the current debates about the potential pros and cons of using vitamin D and a study that raised questions about fish oil.

Although occasional studies questioned fish oil’s benefits, the vast majority have shown that fish oil in supplements and/or food can help to lower high levels of triglycerides (unhealthy blood fats).

She also notes many studies show that, when combined with calcium, vitamin D helps to maintain good bone health and protect against osteoporosis.

Significantly, The Lancet medical journal recently recommended large clinical studies are undertaken to properly assess vitamin D’s effects on other health conditions such as heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, dementia and inflammatory diseases.

NPNZ welcomes robust evidence that increases understanding about vitamin and mineral supplements’ roles in promoting good health.

Although it is always best to meet one’s nutritional needs through a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle, this is not always possible.

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can have severe and potentially life-threatening effects, which is why supplements such as folate (to prevent spina bifida) and iodine (to prevent conditions associated with poor thyroid function) are routinely added to food products.

Ms Quesnel comments that many media articles about the potential risks associated with particular nutritional supplements are based on selected excerpts from studies that do not actually conclude the extent to which the supplement affects health conditions.

“In reality, many of these studies simply demonstrate the need for more research.”

Consumers understandably may be feeling anxious and confused about some of the supplements they are taking.

NPNZ advises that more is not necessarily better and taking excessive amounts of any substance - whether it is a prescription-controlled drug, a vitamin supplement or water – may carry a degree of risk. People are strongly advised to read labels thoroughly and consult with a health professional beforehand.

“We also advise those taking supplements to be wary of sensationalist and negative media reports that undermine advice they have been given by their health professional,” she says.

Why the focus on vitamin D and how to boost levels naturally?

Vitamin D deficiency is becoming increasingly common in New Zealand and the Ministry of Health believes that around 5 per cent of Kiwi adults are deficient and a further 27 per cent have below the recommended vitamin D blood level.

People with low vitamin D risk developing a range of conditions, including rickets (bone deformation), weak bones and heart disorders.

Vitamin D can be boosted through sensible sun exposure or by choosing foods that contain it, for example: oily fish (e.g. salmon, tuna, sardines, eel and warehou), milk and milk products, eggs and liver.

Some foods may also have vitamin D added, including: margarine and fat spreads, some reduced-fat dairy products (e.g. milk, dried milk and yogurt), plant-based dairy substitutes (e.g. soy drinks) and liquid meal replacements. Remember to check the ingredients lists on these foods to see if extra vitamin D has been added.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Review: “Salute” By Royal New Zealand Ballet In Wellington

The Royal New Zealand Ballet performed “Salute” for a final time in Wellington on Sunday night, and it was nothing short of spectacular. More>>

ALSO:

NZ on Air: More Funding For TV Captions To Increase Access

More funding for TV captions to increase access NZ On Air has increased funding to provide more captions and audio description on television programmes for the hearing and sight impaired. More>>

Music: So Laid Back Country China Album Release

On Friday night, So Laid Back Country China held a gig at Meow for the release of their new album With Knees of Honey in Goodbye Canyon. I briefly spoke with Harriet lead vocals, keyboard) and Michael (lead vocals, guitar) before the gig More>>

Art: Wellington Region Celebrates Matariki

Eight Wellington museums and galleries have joined forces to present a major programme of exhibitions and events to celebrate Matariki 2015, the Māori New Year. The Wellington Matariki Festival will host more than 60 free events and activities between Saturday ... More>>

Wellington: TEDxWellingtonWomen Speakers Unveiled

The lineup is announced today for the highly anticipated upcoming event TEDxWellingtonWomen. Speakers include local women and men who have lived extraordinary lives and have ideas worth spreading. More>>


Books: Witi Ihimaera To Address ‘State Of NZ Literature’at Festival

6 May 2015 MEDIA RELEASE Witi Ihimaera to Address ‘State of NZ Literature’ at Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival The New Zealand Book Council has chosen the 2015 Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival as the stage for its annual address, which ... More>>

Culture: Historic Māori Portraits Travel To The Czech Republic

Image credit: Gottfried Lindauer, Wahanui Reihana Te Huatare, oil on canvas, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Mr H E Partridge, 1915 More>>

Art: Something Felt, Something Shared - Enjoy

Gabrielle Amodeo, Ruby Joy Eade, Clare McLean, Kalya Ward Curated by Emma Ng May 7 – 30, 2015 Opening: Wednesday May 6, 5.30pm Strange frequencies are channelled through personal narratives and poetic placeholders in Something felt, something ... More>>

Culture: Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015

Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015 Images from New Zealand Defence Force Click for big version A bugler plays The Last Post Click for big version A View from the top of the Carillion Click for big version Faces old and young Click for big ... More>>

Television: MediaWorks Announces Dancing With The Stars Hosts

MediaWorks and BBC Worldwide ANZ are delighted to announce host Dominic Bowden alongside co-host Sharyn Casey for the hit series Dancing with the Stars. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news