A long life free from chronic health problems cannot be guaranteed but an unswerving commitment to healthy lifestyle habits does help. While this may sound obvious, it is easy to neglect your health on a daily basis by not taking the long view. This is particularly true for supplements, which have benefits that accrue over time.
Regularly taking multivitamins – supplements that contain many different vitamins and minerals – have shown to provide some defence against life-threatening conditions.
Speaking to the Express.co.uk, Dr Sarah Brewer, Medical Director of Healthspan and Author of Live Longer, Look Younger, highlighted some of the most promising findings.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition, followed over 18,500 male doctors (who were aged 40 or over).
The study found that those who took multivitamins for at least 20 years were almost half as likely (44 percent) to experience a heart attack or stroke as those who hadn’t taken a multivitamin long-term.
As Dr Brewer points out, this suggests that long-term use of micronutrient supplements appeared to offer significant cardiovascular protection.
A similar study suggested that women who used multivitamins and minerals for at least three years had a 35 percent lower risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke than those not taking them, she reported.
Multivitamins have also shown some promise in reducing the risk of cancer.
One review examined five randomised, controlled trials in 47,289 people. It found a 31 percent lower risk of cancer in men who took multivitamins but no effect in women.
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Two observational studies, one including women and the other including men, tied long-term multivitamin use to a reduced risk of colon cancer.
What’s more, the Physicians’ Health Study II noted that long-term, daily multivitamin use reduced the risk of cancer in men with no cancer history.
Although, it had no effect on the risk of death during the study period.
General health tips
It is important to note that you should not rely on multivitamins alone to ward off the threat of chronic disease.
To reduce your risk of deadly diseases, such as cancer, it important to avoid certain decisions and pursue others.
Not smoking is the biggest thing you can do to reduce your risk of cancer.
Cancer Research UK explains: “Chemicals in cigarette smoke get in to our blood stream and can cause damage around the body.”
Being a healthy weight also has lots of benefits, including reducing the risk of cancer, notes the charity.
Being active can help you to lose weight, which in turn can stave off risk of heart disease.
As the NHS explains, regular exercise will make your heart and blood circulatory system more efficient, lower your cholesterol level, and also keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.
High cholesterol and high blood pressure are precursors to heart disease.
“Any aerobic exercise, such as walking, swimming and dancing, makes your heart work harder and keeps it healthy,” says the NHS.
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