By Tiffany DavisSpecial to CSMS MagazineWhen speaking with patients, doctors attempt to base their recommendations on the scientific data. There aren’t any definitive studies about the benefits of vitamin supplements yet, but what some physicians usually say is based upon prior knowledge on vitamins and minerals. Each month, dozens of reports come out on the studies of vitamins and minerals. Despite all the information, many gaps in our knowledge remain. We know, for example, that people who eat diets high in certain nutrients like beta-carotene and vitamin C have lower rates of some cancers. Does that mean taking a dietary supplement containing these vitamins will reduce your risk for cancer? No one really can say for sure. Many medical professionals say it’s wrong for doctors to recommend something to their patients before there’s scientific proof of its effectiveness. The problem is, people can’t wait. In the “material” society, we often have to make choices based on biased information. Even if the hard science isn’t in yet, people want to know what makes the most sense now. Experts fail to recognize that there can be serious consequence to withholding recommendations until the information is available. There are extensive reasons why to take antioxidants such as vitamins C and E. They consume up free radicals, ubiquitous molecules that are both cancer and heart disease. The proof is that the risk of taking moderate doses of these vitamins is pretty small. In that case, here are some educational suggestions you should consider. Every morning, in addition to a multivitamin with minerals, take about 250 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C, 400 international units of natural vitamin E and 200 micrograms of selenium. Whenever possible try buying the generic brands instead of the brand name product to prevent you from spending too much on medicine.Also see Valuing Buildings Over Employee Health America’s LossThe EPA’s Unconscionable SilenceAmerica’s Illusion of Health and SafetyNote: Tiffany Davis is a physician living in Alexandria, Virginia. She wrote this piece exclusively for CSMS Magazine
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Hi! First let me thank you for your blog and all the conversations (minus the spam) that it generated. If you would allow me to interject, I ran into a joint supplement review site that is recommending a new vitamin that might be the cure to all my joint pains and stiffness. I was wondering if anyone has any more information regarding it, or has tried it and can give some feedback. I believe the site was http://jointsupplementreview.org
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