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Nutritional Supplements Have Health Benefits
Human health is a matter of vital importance. Prior to 1960, the main focus of this field was on the prevention and treatment of acute nutritional deficiency disorders, such as scurvy, Rickets, or pellagra. There were 50 essential nutrients identified (vitamins and minerals, antioxidants as well as cofactors, essential amino acid, and essential fatty acid). These nutrients also have recommended daily intakes. These recommendations were useful in eliminating acute nutrient deficiencies.
In the last decade, the focus has shifted towards nutrition and diet in terms of long-term health. Long-term health includes heart, bone, joints, eyes and nervous system.
These associations can be difficult to study due to the timeframes involved. These interactions can take years (or even lifetimes) of research to understand. Research that spans more than a few years is difficult. However, clinical and epidemiological research has provided a wealth of information on the effects of diet and nutrient intakes upon long-term health.
Researchers have been more interested in nutritional supplements over the past few years as possible parts of a healthy diet. The studies used a variety of research methods, and produced both positive and negative results. Modern healthcare practices have accepted supplementation as a part of their daily routine. This includes the role of vitamin D and calcium supplements in maintaining bone density, and the role of folic acids supplements in preventing certain birth defects. Other areas, such as the role of antioxidant supplements in heart health, have seen less consistency and remain open to debate.
Below is a collection of peer-reviewed research that examines the health benefits of functional foods and nutritional supplements. This is not a complete list. The papers were selected based on scientific merit and relevance to their field, regardless of whether they have produced positive or negative results. This list contains a broad range of scientific literature that will help you gain a better understanding about the state of nutrition research.