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Show 1124: Should You Be Taking Vitamin Supplements?

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How healthy is your diet? Listen to the experts explain why some people should take vitamin supplements while others may not need them. Call in your questions.

What is the value of vitamin supplements? There is no consensus on whether most people would benefit. Much of the research on multivitamins does not show a strong effect in preventing cardiovascular disease or cancer. Consequently, doctors often conclude that vitamin supplements are unnecessary.

What Is a Well-Balanced Diet?

Instead, they suggest that everyone follow a well-balanced diet. That is certainly good advice, but it doesn’t seem to be practical for all Americans. For one thing, not all experts agree on exactly what constitutes the healthiest eating patterns. How do you define a well-balanced diet? Do you think you meet the criteria most of the time?

The Experts Evaluate Vitamin Supplements:

We talk with two outstanding physicians in this arena, with very different perspectives on whether vitamin supplements can be helpful. Dr. JoAnn Manson is heading two large studies on supplements, but she believes that most people don’t need them. Dr. Tieraona Low Dog is one of the country’s leading experts on supplements; on the contrary, she says, too many Americans don’t eat properly and could benefit from multivitamins as nutrition insurance. Both agree that people taking certain medications such as acid-suppressing drugs really benefit from targeted supplementation such as vitamin B12 and magnesium.

Call Us:

Listen to our experts explain their approaches and think about whether or not you would benefit from a multivitamin or other supplement. Ask Joe and Terry about whether your medications create special nutritional needs and tell us about your experience with supplements. 888-472-3366 on Saturday, June 2, 2018 from 7 to 8 am EDT or email radio@peoplespharmacy.com

This Week’s Guests:

Tieraona Low Dog, MD, is the founder of Medicine Lodge Ranch: A Natural Medicine Academy. She is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of integrative medicine, dietary supplements, herbal medicine and women’s health. Dr. Low Dog is a founding member of the American Board of Physician Specialties, American Board of Integrative Medicine and the Academy of Women’s Health. She was elected Chair of the US Pharmacopeia Dietary Supplements/Botanicals Expert Committee and was appointed to the Scientific Advisory Council for the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Her books include Healthy at Home: Get Well and Stay Well Without Prescriptions and Fortify Your Life: Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals and More.  The photo is of Dr. Low Dog. Her website is drlowdog.com

JoAnn Manson, MD, DrPH, is chief of the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She is a physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Michael and Lee Bell Professor of Women's Health at Harvard Medical School.

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