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Verkerk, vitamin supplements

Show 876: The Great Vitamin Debate

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What Is the Value of Vitamin Supplements?

For years, doctors have been divided on the value of vitamin supplements. Many contended that supplementary vitamins are a waste of money and potentially even dangerous. They agree with Public Citizen, which headlined a recent issue of its newsletter, ÒDietary Supplements Offer Little to No Benefit and May Be Harmful.Ó

Are Americans Eating Their Vegetables?

Others, surveying the typical American diet with its emphasis on processed foods and paucity of vegetables, consider vitamin tablets a form of nutrition insurance. They usually emphasize that vitamin pills are not a substitute for vegetables, whole grains and other components of a healthful diet.

Will Supplements Lead to an Early Death?

The balance was upset late in 2011 when results of the Iowa WomenÕs Health Study were publicized. This epidemiological research uncovered a frightening link between taking vitamins and dying prematurely. The one exception was calcium tabletsÐbut other studies suggest that supplemental calcium may contribute to arterial plaque.

We hear from both sides of the great vitamin debate. What is your take on vitamins?

Guests for This Episode:

David R. Jacobs, Jr., PhD, is the Mayo Professor of Public Health at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. He is a principal investigator of the Iowa WomenÕs Health Study and co-investigator of CARDIA, a national study on the development of cardiovascular disease from an early age.

Robert Verkerk, PhD, is founder and director of the Alliance for Natural Health, a natural products advocacy group based in the United Kingdom. His website is The photo is of Dr. Verkerk.

Tieraona Low Dog, MD, is Director of the Fellowship for the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona. Her latest book is Life Is Your Best Medicine: A WomanÕs Guide to Health, Healing and Wholeness at Every Age. Her website is

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