Tag Archives: Vitamins

Are Vitamin Drinks a Bad Idea?

ID-10020546The vitamins and minerals are in the news again, with all this being related to their addition to sports drinks, water and juices. Scientists suggests that consumers might be ingesting higher than necessary (and sometimes potentially harmful) amounts. When consumed in excess, water-soluble vitamins like B and C are in the urine, but fat soluble-vitamins including A, D, E and K, accumulate in tissues, posing potential risks. Some people (for example, pregnant or lactating women) will require additional vitamins and minerals, but for the majority of the population, these nutrients should be primarily acquired through daily diet. This discussion extends to antioxidants and the lack of information on the long-term supplementation effects. Scientists state that it is impossible to consume too much from foods but the exposure through supplementation may be too great. How do you counsel your patients about healthy diet and vitamin/mineral/antioxidant rich foods? For those who require supplementation, what are your typical recommendations?

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There is Not Enough Evidence in Using Vitamins and Supplements to Prevent Heart Disease and Cancer

spoon-with-colorful-vitamin-medicine-pills-10036718The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has published its recommendations in the latest issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (draft released in November of 2013.) The recommendations suggests that there is not enough evidence to show if there is benefit or harm in taking multivitamins to prevent heart disease and cancer, aside from two exceptions. They recommend against the use of vitamin E and beta-carotene in preventing heart disease and cancer. People who are at a high risk of lung cancer, such as smokers, had a higher chance of developing lung cancer when using beta-carotene. The task force focused only on heart disease and cancer and there are no recommendations on taking vitamins and supplements for overall health and wellness or for filling nutrition gaps.

What do you usually take and recommend vitamins and supplements for? What are your thoughts on these recommendations?How would this change the way you take or recommend vitamins?

For additional information please visit  WebMD

Image Courtesy of [ Kittikun Atsawintarangkul]/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Daily multivitamin associated with decreased risk of cancer in men

A recent randaomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial published in JAMA evaluated the effect of long-term daily multivitamin supplmentation and the risk of cancer in 14,641 older men.  During this 14-year study, researchers found that men who took a daily multivitamin had a small decrease in risk for cancer compared to those that had placebo.  Do you have any experience using or recommending food-based multivitamins?

For more information, please read the article in JAMA.

Vitamin D supplementation does not prevent the common cold

A randomized double-blind,placebo-controlled trial published JAMA evaluated the use of Vitamin D supplements for 18 months for the prevention of the common cold.   The study concluded that vitamin D supplementation did not reduce the number, duration or severity of upper respiratory tract infections.  The results did not change due to seasonal variation or baseline Vitamin D levels.  How do you protect yourself from the common cold?

For more information see JAMA

Safety Reminders for Vitamins and Supplements

Consumer Reports magazine just published a new release discussing “surprising dangers of vitamins and supplements”.  More than half of Americans take supplements, and between 2007 and mid-April 2012 the FDA received more than 10,300 reports of serious adverse events, 2,100 hospitalizations and 115 supplement related deaths (many of those linked to substances (e.g., ephedra) which are banned). The article reminds the importance of discussing the use of products with health care practitioners and purchasing from companies with strong brand reputations. What are some of your strategies in recommending vitamins and supplements? How knowledgeable are you about reputable companies in this field?

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Diets rich in antioxidants may be associated with lower pancreatic cancer risk.

In a cohort study published in the journal Gut, researchers analyzed food diaries of more than 23,000 patients aged 40 to 74. The study found that patients whose diets had higher amounts of vitamins C, E and selenium had a decreased risk in the development of pancreatic cancer. What are your favorite dietary sources or products containing antioxidants?

For additional information, please click here.