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Clin Interv Aging. 2006;1(1):81-91.

Vitamins in aging, health, and longevity.

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Division of Geriatric Medicine, Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center, Saint Louis, MO 63104, USA.


Evidence of epidemiological associations of vitamins and disease states have been found for nine vitamins. In observational studies, people with a high intake of antioxidant vitamins by regular diet or as food supplements generally have a lower risk of major chronic disease, such as myocardial infarction or stroke, than people who are low consumers of antioxidant vitamins. Prospectively, folate appears to reduce the incidence of neural tube defects. Vitamin D is associated with a decreased occurrence of fractures when taken with calcium. Zinc, betacarotene, and vitamin E appear to slow the progression of macular degeneration, but do not reduce the incidence. Vitamin E and lycopene may decrease the risk of prostate cancer. In other randomized controlled trials, the apparent beneficial results of a high intake of antioxidant vitamins seen in observational studies have not been confirmed. There is increasing concern from these trials that pharmacological supplementation of vitamins may be associated with a higher mortality risk.

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