In this article I will be discussing the benefits of Pescatarian Diet and a few pitfalls people run into in following it.
A pescatarian is someone who adds fish and seafood to a vegetarian diet. There are many reasons people choose to forgo meat and poultry, but still eat fish. Some people choose to add fish to a vegetarian diet so they can get the health benefits of a plant-based diet plus heart-healthy fish. Others might be trying to curb the environmental impact of their diet. For some, it might be simply a matter of taste.
Most simply, a pescatarian is someone who doesn’t eat meat, but does eat fish.
Of course, just as vegetarian diets can vary widely, so can pescatarian ones. It’s possible to eat a meat-free diet that’s full of processed starches, junk food and fish sticks, rather than a healthier one based on whole foods.
Why Do People Choose a Pescatarian Diet?
There are many proven benefits to plant-based diets, including a lower risk of obesity and chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes . According to research, you can get many of those protective benefits from a pescatarian diet too. One study found that women who were pescatarians gained 2.5 fewer pounds each year than women who ate meat.
And people who shifted their diet in a more plant-based direction gained the least amount of weight, showing that reducing your animal consumption may be good for you no matter your current eating patterns.
Additionally, one large study looked at people who ate meat rarely or were pescatarians. They had a 22% lower risk of dying from heart disease compared to regular meat-eaters.
Raising livestock comes with a high environmental cost. According to the United Nations, raising livestock contributes to 15% of all human-made carbon emissions. In contrast, producing fish and seafood has a lower carbon footprint than producing any type of animal meat or cheese.
A 2014 study calculated that diets of fish eaters caused 46% less greenhouse gas emissions than the diets of people who ate at least a serving of meat a day.
What Do Pescatarians Eat?
A typical pescatarian diet is primarily vegetarian with the addition of seafood.
Pescatarians Do Eat
- Whole grains and grain products
(My Meal Delivery Service uses on gluten free grains)
- Legumes and their products, including beans, lentils, soy and hummus. I personally do not use soy as I have a severe allergic reaction to it and use 0only Tempeh in the service. I use Coconut Aminos as a substitute for soy sauce) I do use miso and tempeh and miso are both fermented foods that aid in developing good gut flora and are easier to digest than other forms of soy)
- Nuts and nut butters, peanuts and seeds
- Seeds, including hemp, chia and flaxseeds
- Dairy, including yogurt, milk and cheese
(my service a lactose and gluten free. I use coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, etc. I make these myself as they are much richer in taste as well as having to chemicals added as boxed milks do)
- Fish and shellfish
There are many health benefits of adding fish to a vegetarian diet.
Many people are concerned that completely excluding animal products or avoiding animal flesh could lead to a low intake of certain key nutrients (.In particular, vitamins B12, zinc, calcium and protein can be somewhat harder to get on a vegan diet (11Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).
Some plant foods, including walnuts and flaxseeds, contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fat. However, this type of ALA is not easily converted to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the body.
DHA and EPA have additional health benefits, helping not just the heart, but also brain function and mood. In contrast, oily fish, such as salmon and sardines, contains EPA and DHA.
Boost Your Protein Intake
Humans only need about 0.8 grams of protein per 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of body weight daily to stay healthy. That’s about 54 grams for a 150-pound (68-kg) person. However, many people prefer to eat more protein than that.
A high-protein diet can be hard to achieve with just plant proteins, especially if you don’t want extra carbs or fat with your protein.
Fish and other seafood offer an excellent source of lean protein.
Seafood Is Packed With Other Nutrients
Beyond omega-3s and protein, seafood is rich in several other nutrients.
For instance, oysters are extremely high in vitamin B12, zinc and selenium. Just one oyster delivers 133% of the RDI for vitamin B12 and 55% of the RDI for zinc and selenium (18).
Mussels are also super rich in vitamin B12 and selenium, as well as manganese and the rest of the B vitamins (19).
White fish varieties such as cod and flounder don’t deliver much omega-3 fats, but they are a source of extremely lean protein.
For example, just 3 ounces of cod provide 19 grams of protein and less than a gram of fat. Cod is also an excellent source of selenium and a good source of phosphorus, niacin and vitamins B6 and B12 (20).
You’ll Have Extra Options
Being a vegetarian can be limiting at times.
Eating out at restaurants often leaves you with a not-so-healthy choice, with dishes like cheesy pasta as the main “veggie” option.
If health at least partially motivates your food choices, then becoming pescatarian will give you more options.
And fish is generally a good one, especially if you get it baked, grilled or sautéed, as opposed to deep-fried.
Drawbacks of the Diet
There are not many health drawbacks of this diet.
That said, some people may be more vulnerable to high intakes of fish.
Fish, especially larger species, can contain mercury and other toxins. For this reason, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that young children and women of childbearing age, especially pregnant and nursing women, should avoid tilefish, swordfish, shark and king mackerel.
These populations should also limit albacore and yellowfin tuna to one palm-sized serving or less per week. Light tuna is lower in mercury and it’s fine to eat 2–3 servings a week.
Since this diet is primarily vegetarian, it’s subject to some of the other traps that frequently accompany vegetarian diets. For instance, it can be easy to overeat carbs, especially if you rely on lots of processed grains.
Thirty-Six years ago I started my Meal Delivery Service offering a Macrobiotic diet. I was newly divorced with a toddler and a nursing baby and a friend offered to let me take over her cooking service. I was involved with a group who met at the Granary Health Food Store in Orange Park once a week for meals. I accepted her offer and my clientele grew to thirty clients within a few months. At that point the owner of the Granary loaned me money to expand and I bought equipment and added a prep person and never looked back!
I was still on a search to figure out my health problems. I had had arthritis for years, I had been on medication for spastic colitis for 17 years and no one could give me any answers as to what was going on. Everybody told me I was eating healthy and just needed to keep doing that but that they had no answers for me. One doctor told me to eat lots of cheese and jello. I quickly learned that macrobiotics was not a great thing as it was primarily grain based and that definitely fed into the systemic yeast problem I had.
I transitioned off macrobiotic and went to offering a vegetarian diet that was lactose and gluten free. I did this for years. During this time, as I had since I was 15, I have studied nutrition. As there was no internet at the time I meant doctors who helped me study and gave me feedback as well as getting borrowing privileges from the universities in the town I live in. I also met someone during this time he started urging me to go off of Wheat and dairy. I didn’t see how that was possible and need a vegetarian diet and unfortunately my allergies kept getting worse. I finally added Seafood to my diet and started backing off on grains and went completely lactose in dairy-free. I finally got well. I have continued to research is slowly widened out to a more traditional diet the found that I felt better staying more grain based. I finally went back to a Pescatarian diet. Although my meal delivery service had been a traditional foods diet including meat I’m finding that my clientele has been moving more toward plant-based. So I am going back to a Pescatarian diet. It promotes long-term wellness; it includes seafood and fish, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds. You get all the benefits of vegetarian lifestyle but it includes lots of mega 3 fats which makes it far healthier than a plain vegetarian diet.
While I am aware that we need to be careful about not overfishing our oceans, we also need to take care of our own health if we are going to survive as a species and flourish. We humans absolutely have to have saturated fats, it is a building block of health and helps our immune system, our brains and our ability to absorb nutrients. I cook with ghee primarily because it gives us a depth of vitamin A D and E along with the mega fats from fish can meet our needs for the fats we need.
The price for food is getting scary, the impact a food production on our climate means that we should lean Almost 100% to work real food and not products. Having a moderate amount of non-gluten grains, Seafood, with a lot of fruits and vegetables including a good bit of raw food can meet our needs and balance taking care of our Earth.
My 40 Years of nutrition research, coupled with my extensive experience in cooking vegetarian food means the meals that I cook are flavorful and offer a great deal of variety. I have made a living cooking for Indian families, I’ve worked publicly as a chef offering Caribbean and Southwestern food. I cook several different styles a South American food as well as having extensive experience in cooking Japanese and Chinese food. It is hard to eat on a day-to-day basis depending or just standard American fare. While I offer a good bit of American food I also include a lot of different Cuisines giving you plenty of variety and taste.
I am very excited to be going back to offering a Pescatarian diet. I urge you to try the service and see if it’s something that fits for you.
Feel free to reach out with any questions you might have.
Here is a great watering system for those of you who like container growing. The inventor is a friend of mine and I have been really impressed by this product.
Here’ s how it works;
NIMBUS Technology keeps your plants healthy by alternating between wet and dry cycles.
1. Rain / Water Reservoir. The wet cycle mimics a rainfall in nature.
2. Wet Cycle. This is when the NIMBUS will provide your plants roots with water.
3.Evaporation / Aeration. As the roots absorb the water, it begins the dry cycle.
4. Dry Cycle. The NIMBUS allows air to pass through the roots before the next wet cycle allowing for healthy root growth.
5. Repeat. The cycle begins again.
MILTON B. WATSON
Born in Little Rock, Ark., in 1959, inventor Milton B. Watson was influenced by science and art at a young age. Growing up on his grandparents’ small farm in Jacksonville, Ark., each day he watched his parents water their chickens by filling a jar with water and turning it upside down in a pan. As the chickens drank, the water level was maintained at the mouth of the jar, a principle that would later become central to his first patented invention, the NIMBUS Intelligent Watering System™.
Watson’s knowledge of art and scientific principles allowed him to draft plans for a prototype almost immediately. Starting with his hand-drawings, he built custom acrylic prototypes in 2006. After his initial NIMBUS pot was rejected by an interiorscaper due to concerns over root rot, Watson catered to gardeners’ needs, altering NIMBUS’ design and function to eliminate common watering issues, as he wanted to introduce a product that was the total self-watering solution. The culmination of hard work and refinement came in 2010 when NIMBUS was granted a patent.
My GIR mask is now the only one I wear! They run a tad small and I ordered a medium, which fits me perfectly. BUT they run small!
All of you who follow my blog know that I very rarely endorse products. However I have to share this! We are 11 months in to the pandemic and I now have a fabulous collection of masks. But wearing glasses with them is tricky and so is he fact that every single mask has to be modified because my face and especially my nose is SO tiny. I wear children’s glasses and my nose width at the tip of my nose is only 1/2 an inch wide. I have long been a fan of GIR kitchen utensils. As a Chef and an environmentalist I do not use plastic and love the well designed silicone utensils.
And then when the epidemic started they added a mask to their repertoire. HOLY COW, it is perfect! The silicone seals the mask around my face, the ear straps are perfect and the cleaning is a cinch. Just wash with soap and hot water and you are set to go. All of my cloth masks are wearing out at this point, this solves that problem. My glasses do not fog up because no moist are is escaping EXCEPT through the vent in the front of the mask. That means I am breathing in and out completely filtered air!
The filters are great but are pricy, so I use my own charcoal masks with 2 non-woven paper filters.
hort bursts of physical exercise induce changes in the body’s levels of metabolites that correlate to an individual’s cardiometabolic, cardiovascular, and long-term health, a study by Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has found.
In a paper published in Circulation, the research team describes how about 12 minutes of acute cardiopulmonary exercise affected more than 80 percent of circulating metabolites, including pathways linked to a wide range of favorable health outcomes, thus identifying potential mechanisms that could contribute to a better understanding of cardiometabolic benefits of exercise.
“What was striking to us was the effects a brief bout of exercise can have on the circulating levels of metabolites that govern such key bodily functions as insulin resistance, oxidative stress, vascular reactivity, inflammation, and longevity,” said investigator Gregory Lewis, section head of Heart Failure at MGH and senior author of the study.
The MGH study drew on data from the Framingham Heart Study to measure the levels of 588 circulating metabolites before and immediately after 12 minutes of vigorous exercise in 411 middle-aged men and women.
The research team detected favorable shifts in a number of metabolites for which resting levels were previously shown to be associated with cardiometabolic disease. For example, glutamate, a key metabolite linked to heart disease, diabetes, and decreased longevity, fell by 29 percent. And DMGV, a metabolite associated with increased risk of diabetes and liver disease, dropped by 18 percent. The study further found that metabolic responses may be modulated by factors other than exercise, including a person’s sex and body mass index, with obesity possibly conferring partial resistance to the benefits of exercise.
35 minutes a day of physical activity may protect against new episodes, even in the genetically vulnerable
After six weeks, mice had lower levels of inflammatory leukocytes
“Intriguingly, our study found that different metabolites tracked with different physiologic responses to exercise, and might therefore provide unique signatures in the bloodstream that reveal if a person is physically fit, much the way current blood tests determine how well the kidney and liver are functioning,” notes co-first author Matthew Nayor of the Heart Failure and Transplantation Section in the Division of Cardiology at MGH. “Lower levels of DMGV, for example, could signify higher levels of fitness.”
The Framingham Heart Study, which began in 1948 and now embraces three generations of participants, allowed MGH researchers to apply the same signatures used in the current study population to stored blood from earlier generations of participants. By studying the long-term effects of metabolic signatures of exercise responses, researchers were able to predict the future state of an individual’s health, and how long they are likely to live.
“We’re starting to better understand the molecular underpinnings of how exercise affects the body and use that knowledge to understand the metabolic architecture around exercise response patterns,” says co-first author Ravi Shah of the Heart Failure and Transplantation Section in the Division of Cardiology at MGH. “This approach has the potential to target people who have high blood pressure or many other metabolic risk factors in response to exercise, and set them on a healthier trajectory early in their lives.”
Lewis is associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing Laboratory at MGH. Nayor is a cardiologist at MGH and instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Shah is a cardiologist at MGH and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Other co-authors include Ramachandran Vasan, professor of medicine at Boston University and principal investigator of the Framingham Heart Study, and Clary Clish, senior director of Metabolomics at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
The study was supported by the American Heart Association’s Grand Challenge Award and the National Institutes of Health.
HOW TO live longer: During these difficult times, less focus has been put on superficiality and more on one’s health and longevity. Consuming a certain drink daily could help boost your life expectancy. What is it?
Almost daily, new and innovative health products are thrusted in our faces claiming to be the holy grail of healthy living. It’s easy to understand how one can be confused by all the options. Often, it’s best to rely on the basics and when it comes to what to drink to help boost life longevity, there is one that could do just that.
Coconut water burst onto the scene and became a drink consumed not only while trekking through Asia.
Touted as an all-round miracle drink, leading health experts recommend getting in a daily dose of the water to help with a variety of health ailments and to boost life longevity.
Coconut water is the clear liquid, which is found inside green, immature coconuts and it’s these young coconuts which are flavored for their water.
Coconut water has less sugar and fewer calories compared to most juices and soft drinks and contains a type of ‘free’ sugar which means they’re not bound to fibre and are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream.
The drink also contains potassium, which is known for keeping the heart healthy and promoting muscular function.
The mineral has also been found to help regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions and nerve signals.
And it can reduce blood pressure and water retention and protect against stroke, osteoporosis and kidney stones.
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By Tori Sprung at inverse.com
As a society, we aren’t getting as much exercise as we should. In fact, current activity guidelines state that adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderately intense activity — or 75 minutes of vigorous activity — every week. But research has found that one in four adults aren’t active enough.
It’s easy to see why. Many of us drive to work instead of walking — and for those of us who work desk jobs, many are often so focused on what we’re doing, we rarely get up from our desks except to visit the bathroom or get a drink. In short, though we might be busy, we aren’t moving very much. But after dealing with the stress of work week after week, it’s easy to daydream about unwinding on a warm beach, doing nothing but lounging around for a fortnight. But this might not be what our bodies need. In fact, it might actually be more harmful than we realize.
Our research looked at what effect even short periods of physical inactivity had on our bodies. We found that even just two weeks of low activity actually increased participants’ risk of later developing serious health conditions such as cardiovascular disease.
We know that physical activity is good for us. This is irrefutable, and we’ve known this for a long time. As far back as the 1950s, the link between day-to-day physical activity and health was first identified in the London transport workers study.
The study found that bus drivers were more likely to experience a heart attack compared to their bus conductor counterparts. The main difference between these two groups was that conductors spent their working day on their feet collecting fares from commuters, while bus drivers spent their days sitting down.
Since then, some have branded physical activity a “miracle cure” for cardiovascular risk. Yet, as a society, we are more sedentary than ever, and cardiovascular-related deaths remain the leading cause of death worldwide.
While we know that having a physically active lifestyle will improve our health, surely we aren’t doing any additional harm, even if we choose not to be physically active? We decided to examine exactly what the harmful effects of being physically inactive are.
For our study, we recruited young (aged 18-50 years), healthy weight (BMI less than 30), physically active individuals (meaning that they take more than 10,000 steps per day on average). After carrying out assessments to measure blood vessel health, body composition, and blood sugar control, we asked them to become inactive for two weeks.
Researchers assessed study participants’ health results after two weeks with a step counter.
To achieve this, participants were provided with a step counter and asked not to exceed 1,500 steps per day, which equates to approximately two laps of a full sized football pitch. After two weeks, we reassessed their blood vessel health, body composition, and blood sugar control to examine what effects two weeks of inactivity had on them. We then asked them to resume their usual routine and behaviors. Two weeks after resuming their normal daily lifestyles, we checked participants’ health markers to see if they’d returned to where they were when they’d started the trial.
Our group of participants successfully reduced their step count by an average of around 10,000 steps per day and, in doing so, increased their waking sedentary time by an average of 103 minutes per day. Artery function decreased following this two-week period of relative inactivity, but returned to their normal levels after two weeks following their usual lifestyles.
We were interested in seeing how activity levels influenced blood vessel health, since this is where most cardiovascular disease starts. Most of us don’t realize that our blood vessels are a complex system. They’re lined with muscle and constantly adapt to our needs by dilating (opening) and constricting (closing) to distribute blood where it’s most needed. For example, during exercise, vessels feeding organs such as the stomach will constrict, as it is inactive at this time, and so blood is redistributed to our working muscles to fuel movement. One of the earliest detectable signs of cardiovascular risk is a reduced function of this dilatory capacity.
To measure this, we used an imaging technique called flow-mediated dilation or FMD. FMD measures how well the arteries dilate and constrict, and it has been found to predict our future cardiovascular risk.
We found that after as little as two weeks of inactivity there was a reduction in artery function. This indicates the start of cardiovascular disease development as a result of being inactive. We also observed an increase in traditional risk factors, such as body fat, waist circumference, fitness, and diabetes markers, including liver fat and insulin sensitivity.
Something we also observed — which we initially weren’t researching —was that resuming normal activity levels following two weeks of being physically inactive was below baseline. That is to say, our participants did not return back to normal within two weeks of completing the intervention.
This is interesting to consider, especially regarding the potential longer-term effects of acute physical inactivity. In real-world terms, acute physical inactivity could mean a bout of flu or a two-week beach holiday — anything that can have a potential longer-term effect on our usual habits and behavior.
These results show us that we need to make changes to public health messages and emphasize the harmful effect of even short-term physical inactivity. Small alterations to daily living can have a significant impact on health — positively or negatively. People should be encouraged to increase their physical activity levels, in any way possible. Simply increasing daily physical activity can have measurable benefits. This could include having a 10-minute walk during your lunch hour, standing from your desk on an hourly basis to break up sitting time, or parking your car at the back of the supermarket parking lot to get more steps in.
The impact of spending a large proportion of the day being inactive has received a lot of research in recent years. In fact, it has become a hot point of discussion among exercise scientists. As technology advances and our lives become increasingly geared towards convenience, it’s important this kind of research continues.
The health consequences of sedentary behavior are severe and numerous. Moving more in everyday life could be key in improving your overall health.
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well-documented that regular exercise is good for us. Being active can reduce your risk for a variety of diseases such as heart disease and cancer, as well as improving psychological well-being.
Current guidelines from the World Health Organization recommend getting 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week. This works out to about 20 to 30 minutes per day of activity like brisk walking, swimming or playing tennis.
It’s not much of a time commitment yet most people don’t achieve it. Barely 20 per cent of Canadians are considered physically active according to national guidelines. And if things in Canada are the same as in the United States, this number likely hasn’t changed in the past 15 years.
The good news is that the very best time to start exercising is now. Research from the United States and the United Kingdom reveals that middle-aged and older adults can reduce their risk of death by becoming more physically active, irrespective of past physical activity levels.
Why we exercise less as we age
Hidden among these statistics on physical activity is how much it decreases with age. As an adult, our activity usually peaks in our 20s. After that, there is a steady decline in vigorous activity (exercise that increases heart rate) throughout life, while light physical activity (such as easy walking) stays relatively constant until around 60 years of age and then declines. In addition, sedentary time increases.
Many will argue this is part of the ageing process: we get weaker as we age and therefore we can’t do as much vigorous activity.
However, the physiological changes in our body with age likely only account for a small portion in the decline in activity. People who remain active see only a fraction of the decrease in fitness compared to their inactive counterparts.
Much of this decrease in activity is due to conscious and unconscious changes in life circumstances. In our 20s, we’re more likely to have been engaged in competitive and recreational sports, rely more on transit and active transportation as we cannot afford our own car. Our entry-level jobs are more active, but as we progress up the career ladder, we’re likely to spend more time sitting at a desk.
Downsizing to an early death?
Retirement is also another significant stage at which time most people experience a further decrease in activity. Even if one’s job was sedentary, it usually provides a small amount of activity and unless a conscious effort is made to make that activity up in retirement, it will be lost.
Many people also downsize their home in retirement, perhaps moving to a one-story apartment and losing their yard. While there may be good reasons for downsizing, it also results in further decreases in activity as there are no stairs to take or yard to manage. Some people downsize purposely thinking they should be doing less activity.
As activity decreases, so does our fitness and strength levels. Because of those changes, we become even less capable of doing activities we did when we were younger, so we further decrease our activity, and the cycle continues.
As a result, risk factors such as high blood pressure, obesity and high blood sugar may appear — increasing our risk for disease and early death.
It’s how much you exercise now that matters
However, it’s not all bad. Our body can also adapt to increasing activity. And when it comes to exercise and health, what you have done lately is more important than what you did years or decades ago.
A study of more than 300,000 men and women aged 50 to 71 living in the U.S. divided participants into maintainers (high level of leisure activity throughout life), decreasers (high activity in teens and low in later life) and increasers (low activity in teens and high in later life).
Of the three groups, maintainers had the lowest risk for early death, but the increasers had a similar benefit. The decreasers didn’t fare much better than people who were inactive their entire life.
What matters is how much activity you do now.
When looking at total physical activity (leisure activity combined with occupational activity), similar results were reported among 15,000 people in the U.K.
Again, what mattered most was how much activity people were doing most recently, not 25 years earlier. Those who increased their activity had the lowest risk for early death, even if their previous activity levels were high to begin with. In addition, people with heart disease or cancer also benefited to the same extent as those without.
Walk for 20 minutes a day
Beginning, or even restarting, an exercise program in middle-age or later can be daunting. From time to time we’ll hear inspiring stories of people starting their first marathon in their 70s but these people are the exception and not everyone needs (or wants) to be exercising that much.
We demonstrated that as little as 20 minutes of brisk walking per day can result in a 20 per cent reduction in early death over seven years. If you increase to 90 minutes of walking or 25 minutes of running, you get a 35 per cent reduction.
However, the greatest gains come from doing nothing to doing something. And every little bit helps throughout the day, not just the time you go to the gym or do a run. Taking the stairs, going for a walk on your lunch or parking farther away all add up.
Scott Lear writes the weekly blog Feeling Healthy with Dr. Scott Lear.
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No one should EVER supplement with Calcium, it causes us to leach calcium from the bones as it is toxic to organs. But combining it with Vitamin D can cause problems.
Vitamin supplements taken by millions of people can increase the risk of heart disease, a large study suggests .
New research has found links between certain types of daily pills combining calcium and vitamin D and an increased risk of stroke.
US scientists believe the combination may be responsible for atherosclerosis, a disease whereby plaque builds up in the arteries.
Such pills are commonly marketed as necessary to preserve bone strength and aimed at middle-aged and elderly people, whose risk of stroke is already higher.
Overall, it is estimated that around 45 per cent of UK adults take some form of vitamin supplements every day, supporting an industry worth roughly £430 million a year.
Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the new data forms part of a wider set of results suggesting that few nutritional supplements protect against cardiovascular disease or death .
Based on a review of 277 randomised controlled trials comprising nearly one million people, the study also questioned the effectiveness of a Mediterranean-style diet for improving resilience against heart disease.
Dr Safi Khan, who led the research at West Virginia University, said: “A combination of calcium and vitamin D was associated with a higher risk of stroke.”
He added: “Other supplements did not seem to have significant effect on mortality or cardiovascular outcomes.”
The research looked at the effect of 16 different nutritional supplements and eight dietary interventions on mortality and cardiovascular outcomes in the adult participants.
It concluded that cutting down on salt and eating omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in oily fish, offered some protection against heart disease, meanwhile folic acid offered some protection against stroke.
Supplements combining calcium and vitamin D appeared to increase the risk of having a stroke by 17 per cent.
However, scientists have urged caution in interpreting the results as establishing cause and effect is the field of nutrition is notoriously difficult.
“We found out only a few of the 16 nutritional supplements and one of the eight dietary interventions evaluated had some protective effect in cardiovascular risk reduction,” said Dr Khan.
Supplements that did not appear to have any significant effect on mortality or cardiovascular outcomes included selenium, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin D alone, calcium alone, folic acid, and iron.
NHS advice states that most people do not need to take vitamin supplements because they should receive all the vitamins and minerals they need by eating a balanced diet.