Vitamins

Recently Answered

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    ARobin Miller, MD, Integrative Medicine, answered
    Are multivitamins a waste of money?
    The best way to get vitamins is from food, except for vitamin D, magnesium and calcium, which are sometimes hard for people to get into their diets. In this video, Robin Miller, MD, talks about where to get your vitamins.
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    APenn Medicine answered
    Prenatal vitamins do not increase the chances of becoming pregnant, but you should still take them every day. They are important for the health of a baby and can prevent specific birth defects in babies.
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    AManuel Torres, MD, Family Medicine, answered on behalf of Baptist Health South Florida

    Your family doctor can be an excellent person to talk to about all of your nutritional needs, including taking vitamins. Family doctors specialize in general medicine and can offer advice on a broad range of health issues.

    If your doctor determines that you need a more specialized nutritional consultation, you may be referred to a dietitian. Often family doctors and specialists, including dietitians, work together to optimize their patients' medical care.

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    ADavid L. Katz, MD,MPH, Integrative Medicine, answered
    What are the risks involved with vitamin injection therapy?

    Most people take vitamins orally, but some turn to injection therapy. In this video, preventive medicine specialist David Katz, MD, reveals why these injections might be risky.

     

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    APhilip J. Landrigan, MD, Occupational Therapy, answered on behalf of The Mount Sinai Health System
    Iron is one of the most toxic substances for children and represents one of the most common types of childhood poisonings. And we’re not just talking about adult iron supplements, either. Those yummy-tasting cartoon character or dinosaur-shaped vitamins with fruit candy flavors can just as easily cause iron poisoning. An overdose of iron causes abdominal cramps accompanied by stomach bleeding, followed by a quiet phase when the child seems fine. Then liver toxicity and breakdown of red bloodcells can occur. Iron poisoning can be deadly.
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    AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    While ideally the majority of your nutrients should come from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, a multivitamin makes sure nothing falls through the cracks. Making sure you get the vitamins you need can boost your immunity, prevent accelerated aging, and help you lose weight.
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    AStacy Wiegman, PharmD, Pharmacy, answered
    B vitamins may enhance the effects of certain pain relievers. Some research indicates that in people who suffer low back pain, taking a supplement containing vitamins B1, B6 and B12 along with a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) provided better pain relief than the NSAID alone and reduced the need for the NSAID among study participants. Ibuprofen is one example of an NSAID.

    B vitamins may also have direct effects on the nervous system. There is some evidence that taking B vitamins may reduce the pain of neuropathy (nerve pain) in people with diabetes or in people who are deficient in these vitamins. Talk to your doctor about whether taking B vitamin supplements is right for you.
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    AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that taking a multivitamin may reduce one's risk of cancer.

    Researchers followed nearly 15,000 male U.S. physicians over the age of 50 over 11 years. Compared with those who took a placebo pill, men who took a daily multivitamin had a modest but significant reduction in developing cancer. Of the men who took the multivitamin, 17 men per 1,000 developed cancer, compared to the 18.3 men per 1,000 in the placebo group. The study even showed a reduction in cancer among the 1,312 men who had a past history of cancer before the study.

    The authors claim that this data from the National Physicians Health Study II (PHSII) represents "the only large-scale, randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial testing the long-term effects of a common multivitamin in the prevention in chronic disease." The researchers also assessed side effects of multivitamins and found a slightly higher number of rashes, but no difference in the number of gastrointestinal symptoms, like nausea or vomiting.

    However, as the researchers analyzed different types of cancers separately, they found no difference in specific cancers, including prostate cancer or colorectal cancer. They also failed to find a significant difference in cancer mortality.

    This study comes out at a time when many physicians disagree about the overall benefits of multivitamins. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans didn't officially recommend multivitamins due to a lack of evidence suggesting that multivitamins "[prevent] chronic disease." Other studies, including the Women's Health Initiative and the Cancer Prevention Study, have failed to connect multivitamins with lower rates of breast cancer and cancer, respectively.

    However, this most recent study further fuels the need for more research on the effects and benefits of long-term multivitamin use. Until then, the choice of taking multivitamins is up to you.
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    AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    A vitamin B12 supplement boost helps to ease your back pain by encouraging your body to thicken its protective coating around your nerves, so they don’t “short circuit” and cause pain. Take just 1 to 2 mg daily.
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    AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    Ideally, the majority of your nutrients should come from a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables—but a multivitamin makes sure nothing falls through the cracks. A multi ensures that you get all the essential vitamins and minerals recommended for each day, keeping your engine running smooth and adding protection against chronic illnesses such as breast cancer, colon cancer and heart disease.