Expats may benefit from taking vitamin supplements

When people move abroad, whether they make the transition for professional or personal reasons, they often think carefully about how they can protect their health. As part of this, many individuals secure expatriate medical insurance. By sourcing international health insurance, they can rest assured they will be able to fund any treatments they need.

Meanwhile, to reduce the likelihood they will fall ill in the first place, some people may opt to take vitamin supplements.

Commenting on this tactic in the Daily Mail recently, Dr Max Pemberton noted that he used to be doubtful about the effectiveness of supplements like this. However, after an experience involving his grandmother, he has changed his mind.

He noted that when his elderly relative fell and broke her pelvis, the combination of vitamins C and D, zinc and calcium she took helped to speed up her recovery.

The medic added: “Initially I was sceptical – these things are not part of medical training and I assumed the herbal remedies and vitamin pills in health food shops were little more than placebos. But I was wrong. With some research I discovered many supplements have a good evidence base to support their use in specific conditions. “

Dr Pemberton noted that vitamin B is important for brain function. Evidence for this, he pointed out, was provided by the Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Ageing, which found that tablets containing Vitamin B12 and B6 and folic acid slowed brain shrinkage by an average of 30 per cent a year in patients who suffered from possible early stage dementia.

He also pointed to the benefits of multivitamins for male fertility. He remarked: “Much has been written about antioxidants in preventing cancer but the real news is the emerging evidence that they can improve male fertility.”

The doctor noted that trials have shown men who took a combination of oral antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, zinc, selenium, folate, L-carnitine and carotenoids, showed an improvement in either sperm quality or pregnancy rate in their partners.

Another form of supplement he recommended was zinc. This, he suggested, can help people to fight infections because it is involved in the production of white blood cells.

Meanwhile, another tip that expat medical insurance customers may want to bear in mind concerned vitamin D. This supplement can promote strong bones, Dr Pemberton claimed. He remarked: “Numerous studies have found that elderly adults who take Vitamin D supplements have stronger bones. Many orthopaedic surgeons recommend supplements to those recovering from fractures. This is because Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of bone-building calcium and phosphate in the body.”

Also, a recent review of all the scientific literature concerning this vitamin suggested it might reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease and diabetes in later life, he added.

By making sure they look after their health by watching their diets, exercising, taking supplements and sourcing the relevant expat insurance, people should be able to enjoy peace of mind that they are promoting their wellbeing.

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