published Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Ask a doctor: Are there any products, vitamins or herbs that would benefit me?

Dr. Jeffrey Jump

Q: I am a middle-aged male. Outside of a daily multivitamin, are there any products, vitamins or herbs that would benefit me?

A: Start with this question: Could this product be expected to help prevent disease, prolong life or generally make someone feel better -- meaning, help to optimize your health? The foundation for optimal health is a healthy lifestyle, including a proper diet, physical activity, good sleep and a healthy social network. I do recom-mend: 1) A basic, not too expensive multivi-tamin. It is unclear if vitamins help prevent disease, but they can make up for deficiencies in your day-to-day diet. 2) A fish oil supplement, especially for men. Fish oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation, help the cardiovascular system and improve mental health. 3) A daily probiotic. Probiotics are live microorganisms that are beneficial to the host. We humans play host to billions of microorganisms, the majority of which live in our intestinal tract. Research has shown potential benefits from probiotics to include lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, reduced risk of colon cancer and improved immune system function.

• Dr. Jeffrey Jump, Center for Integrative Medicine; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society

Readers: To submit a question for a medical doctor, e-mail it to Clint Cooper at ccooper@timesfreepress.com. See this space each week for answers.

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