Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: vitamin | supplements | too | many | diet | minerals | nutrition

Am I Taking Too Many Supplements?

Wednesday, 29 Aug 2012 09:24 AM


Question: I take a lot of supplements: Centrum Silver multivitamin with CoQ10, potassium, and calcium. Do you see any harm in this?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
You are likely doing yourself no harm, but you may not be doing yourself much good unless you eat a poor diet, have a specific deficiency, or have one of the few conditions shown to be treatable with supplements.
The majority of adults in the United States take one or more dietary supplements either every day or occasionally. Today’s dietary supplements include vitamins, minerals, herbals and botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, and many other products. Dietary supplements come in a variety of forms: traditional tablets, capsules, and powders, as well as drinks and energy bars. Popular supplements include vitamins D and E; minerals like calcium and iron; herbs such as Echinacea and garlic; and specialty products like glucosamine, probiotics, and fish oils.

If you do not eat a nutritious variety of foods, some supplements might help you get adequate amounts of essential nutrients. However, supplements cannot take the place of the variety of foods that are important to a healthy diet.

Scientific evidence shows that some dietary supplements are beneficial for overall health and for managing some health conditions. Use them in concert with advice from your personal physician. Try to use brands that have recognized quality control testing and review.
Some supplements can help specific conditions. For example, calcium and vitamin D are important for keeping bones strong and reducing bone loss; folic acid decreases the risk of certain birth defects; and omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils might help some people with heart disease. Other supplements need more study.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not determine whether dietary supplements are effective before they are marketed. Many supplements contain active ingredients that can have strong effects in the body. Always be alert to the possibility of unexpected side effects, especially when taking a new product. Supplements are most likely to cause side effects or harm when people take them instead of prescribed medicines or when people take many supplements in combination or try to substitute vitamin supplements for a nutritious high-fiber, low-fat, low-sodium smart diet.






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Vitamin supplements generally do no harm, but they may not be helping you, either.
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Wednesday, 29 Aug 2012 09:24 AM
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