The Germans swallow too many supplements

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Older people often take too many supplements

More and more people are turning to vitamin pills and nutritional supplements, even though consumers in Germany consume enough important nutrients through regular foods. "A large proportion of the population uses dietary supplements," researchers from the Max Rubner Institute (MRI) at the Federal Research Institute for Nutrition and Food recently found.

The scientists used the "National Consumption Study II" in their analysis. It was found that around 30 percent of women regularly consume so-called supplements. The proportion of men was significantly lower at 19 percent.

Young women between 15 and 18 years of age are the least likely to take nutritional supplements. Here the proportion was a good 10 percent. The male proportion of 19 to 24 year olds was also low. Only 12 percent of young men use vitamin pills here. Seniors from the age of 65 very often take vitamins and minerals as pills. "This happens regardless of gender," said the study authors.

It was striking that those who are already sufficiently supplied with nutrients in particular regularly use food supplements. It is therefore not uncommon for the "tolerable daily maximum amounts specified by the European Food Authority" to be exceeded, "the institute says. This can be observed particularly frequently with magnesium and vitamin A. Many subjects had twice the reference value for vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C and for vitamin B12 via food plus pills. "It was three times as much with the substance niacin," warn the experts. “Vitamin C and E as well as magnesium and calcium were very popular. For example, many patients take magnesium with potassium to reduce uncomfortable heart stumbling. (sb)

Image: Martin Berk /

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