About Nutritional Supplements

Many people take nutritional supplements to enhance their health. In fact, Americans spend $25 Billion a year on them. For the most part, they have been proven to have almost no health benefits.

Recommended Supplements

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is necessary to supplement as the northern latitude of Michigan does not provide us with enough sunlight to make our own. Taking a Vitamin D supplement of 1,000 units per day is useful, especially in winter months. Most milk is fortified with Vitamin D, but that is not currently believed to be enough.  Some studies are indicating that Vitamin D can decrease arthritis pain by 25%.

Supplements NOT proven to have medical benefits

Supplements that have NOT been proven to have medical benefits include:

  • Multivitamins: 162,000 women took them for 8 years in the Women’s Health Initiative and had no decrease in disease.
  • Vitamin A: JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) found the death rate higher among vitamin A takers. There were 47 trials examined.
  • Beta-carotene: Actually increases lung cancer risk. Two studies have been done.
  • Calcium: There’s no evidence that calcium supplementation improves bone density, with or without Vitamin D.  One needs dietary calcium which is found in numerous dairy, fruits and vegetables.
  • Vitamin C: JAMA in 2007 found no benefit of megadoses in preventing heart disease. A study of 15,000 doctors found no reduction in heart or cancer risk.
  • Selenium: NCI (National Cancer Institute) had a study of 35,000 men and found no reduction of prostate cancer.
  • Zinc: Nose swabs and sprays containing zinc were pulled off the market due to users permanently losing their sense of smell. The lozenges are still available but have no medical proof of efficacy.