When the Whole Is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts: Why Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Still Beat Dietary Supplements

January 9, 2015 5:09 PM

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Much of the marketing that is used to sell dietary supplements comes from the logic that if something has a favorable effect on your health, then it's base components must be the reason behind it all. Say for example, scientists and doctors notice that green and yellow vegetables help decrease your risk of cancer. And it just so happens that these same green and yellow vegetables also have high levels of beta-carotene. Does this mean that beta-carotene is the magic ingredient responsible for lowering your risk of cancer?

Going back to our green and yellow veggie example. Yes, it's true that there has been a noticeable inverse relationship between the consumption of vegetables high in beta-carotene and cancer. But studies focused on just beta-carotene supplements have been conflicted, with some concluding that the su...

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