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: vitamins | supplements | harmful | diet | immune | system

Should I Take Vitamins?

Wednesday, 15 Feb 2012 10:34 AM

Dear Dr. Hibberd: I’m a man of 57 who has long taken a multivitamin. I’ve also started taking vitamin D. But now I see there have been news stories that supplements might be harmful. I am very healthy and I believe vitamins help me. What do you think? Should I stop taking them?

Answer: If you are taking a healthy balanced diet and are otherwise healthy, supplements are not necessary. However, supplements can be a reasonable way to meet recommended levels — as long as you pay attention to how much you take. Too much of anything is a bad thing and cause harmful effects. Remember that supplements are supplements to a diet or environment deficient in XYZ....Do not expect supplements to prolong your life. They will not. Do not believe your immune system will improve with random supplement use. It will not...These are facts. Some of us do need supplements to prevent or retard disease UNDER PHYSICIAN DIRECTION. Self prescribing often wastes your money as well as place you at risk for deficiency syndromes caused by UNBALANCED use of vitamins or minerals. The supplement industry is a multi-billion dollar extravagance that most of us could do just as well without.


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