Vitamins…what you should know

Swallowing PillIt’s a new year: I think I will add vitamins to my diet!

A whopping 40 to 50 percent of Americans use some form of a vitamin or dietary supplement on a daily basis. Seems like a good idea, doesn’t it?

Most people think that if they don’t eat fruits and vegetables, this is the answer. But they don’t realize that they are missing out on the fiber and other health benefits of them.

The United States Preventive Task Force reviewed 26 studies between 2005 and 2013, and found that there was insufficient evidence to link multivitamin usage to a decrease in heart disease or cancer.

If an individual consumes a normal Western diet with appropriate fruits, vegetables, fats, proteins and carbohydrates, there is no need for a multivitamin. In saying this, there are some groups of people, such as pregnant women, patients with Crohn’s, celiac disease and other malabsorption disorders, AIDS patients and other immune-compromised individuals, and those with osteopenia/osteoporosis and vitamin D deficiency, that benefit from vitamin supplements.

It is always important to discuss your personal needs with your healthcare provider before taking additional vitamins and supplements. Remember, “You are what you eat!”

About Lisa Michels

Lisa Michels, APNP, nurse practitioner, works collaboratively with the Agnesian Cancer Care team helping patients effectively manage symptoms associated with their cancer treatments. She also works with Agnesian HealthCare surgeons and radiologists to identify individuals at increased risk for breast and other cancers. Her passion is in early detection and prevention of breast cancer, as well as monitoring the status of breast cancer survivors.
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