Skip the supplements: Vitamin pills should be avoided, journal editors say

A Dec. 16, 2013 CBC article is entitled: “Vitamin pills ‘should be avoided,’ journal editors say.”

The subhead reads: “Billions of dollars wasted on vitamin supplements, U.S. doctor says.”

The opening paragraphs read:

  • Most vitamins such as antioxidants don’t help to prevent cancer, heart disease and dementia, and some supplements could be harmful, say doctors who advise people to stop wasting their money on the pills.
  • Tuesday’s issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine includes three articles on vitamin and mineral supplements and an editorial concluding that despite sales of more than $20 billion US a year, most supplements provide no benefit.
  • The use of vitamin and mineral supplements should be avoided, Dr. Lawrence Appel says.
  • “Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified, and they should be avoided,” Dr. Lawrence Appel of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore and his co-authors concluded in the editorial, titled “Enough is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements.”
[End of excerpt]

Exercise, eat what’s healthy, get sufficient rest

By way of summary: We have to change our diet; we can’t fix lack of vitamins by taking vitamin supplements. Another key message is that in some cases vitamin supplements can be harmful. As well, a distinction exists between evidence-based practice and the practice of depending on intuition or anecdotal evidence.

Dietary supplements

A Dec. 14, 20132 opinion article in the New York Times suggests that dietary supplements should as a rule be avoided.

CBC Radio’s The Current

The larger context concerns the overuse of pharmaceuticals and the underlying motivations that lead patients to seek pathways toward health outside of the framework of allopathic medicine.

A Dec. 18, 2013 CBC Radio’s The Current podcast highlights these topics; I recommend the podcast highly:

Doctors call on consumers to stop taking vitamin supplements


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