As we've seen fat may not be a villain, but what else? Should we be consuming more vitamins because we are not eating enough fruits and vegetables?
If we took supplements and multivitamins could we mitigate our risk of disease?
It turns out taking supplements is actually deleterious to your health. Not only does it just make expensive urine, it's actually harmful. In a meta analysis study of primary and secondary prevention trials studying the effect of vitamins on cardiovascular death, it was found that beta-carotene increased the risk of cardiovascular events.
Vitamin E supplementation doesn't prevent vascular events either and antioxidant supplements may increase mortality.
Stroke is known to be associated with increased homocysteine, which results from low vitamin B-12. In a study where vitamins that lower homocysteine, such as folate, B-12, and B-6 were administered to decrease the risk of stroke, it was shown that these vitamins do not reduce stroke occurrence and may increase vascular events.
However, vitamins coming directly from fruits and vegetables are shown to be anti inflammatory. For instance, in a randomized controlled trial, non-smoking men consumed a diet that included less than two servings per day of vegetables or fruits for four weeks. The subjects were then randomly assigned to one of three groups to consume two servings per day, five servings per day, or eight servings per day of carotenoid rich vegetables and fruit for another four week period.
Plasma concentrations of vitamin C and E and carotenoids were measured.
The high intake, or eight servings per day of vegetables and fruits, significantly increased total carotenoid concentrations in plasma, compared with the low intake of two servings per day. Whereas concentrations of vitamins C and E did not differ between week four and week eight. Immunological markers were not significantly modulated. In contrast, C-reactive protein was significantly reduced at week eight in the subjects who consumed eight servings per day of vegetables and fruit compared with those who consumed two servings per day.
Despair not, I know all of these is confusing. Over the next few lessons, we'll go through some dietary interventions that have been shown to reverse insulin resistance and promote brain and heart health.