Vitamins Shortening your Life?
By Anthony G. Alessi, MD – Healthy Rounds
Over half of all adults in the United States take some form of vitamin or supplement regularly. Shockingly, this practice may be shortening their lives.
Vitamins are organic components to food that the body requires for growth and activity. Vitamins and other organic supplements are generally required in small amounts that are adequately supplied in a normal diet.
Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling began writing about high dose Vitamin C in 1970 when he published “High Dose Vitamin C and the Common Cold.” He later advocated for large doses of Vitamin C as a treatment for cancer. Despite being unproven, these initiatives by a respected scientist led to widespread “megavitamin” use.
Vitamins and other supplements are most useful in patients who have a documented deficiency. Some patients are unable to absorb sufficient quantities of these essential elements due to alterations in the gastrointestinal tract.
Some medications will diminish vitamin levels and require specific supplementation. The health benefits of Vitamin D and calcium have been well-documented in post-menopausal women and in several medical conditions.
A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine associates the use of multivitamins and vitamin B6, folic acid, iron, zinc and copper with greater mortality. The study involved over 38,000 women.
While this study is far from conclusive, it serves as an alert. It reinforces that the “some is good but more is better” theory is not a good policy in medicine. Vitamins are medications and should only be taken on the advice of a physician.
Anthony G. Alessi, MD, MMM ,graduated from the University of Rome and completed his residency and neuromuscular fellowship at the University of Michigan. He is in private practice in Norwich, CT, specializing inneurology, electrodiagnosticmedicineand sports neurology. He is board-certified in neurology and electrodiagnostic medicine. Dr. Alessi received his Masters degree inMedicalManagement from the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University in 2001.
He serves as a neurologic consultant to many athletic organizations including the University of Connecticut Athletic Department, Norwich Free Academy and the Connecticut State Boxing Commission.Dr. Alessi also serves as neurologic consultant to the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, CT Sun (WNBA) and Hartford Colonials (UFL).>He is medical director of the William W. Backus Hospital Stroke Center, writes a syndicated column, “HealthySports,” for the Norwich Bulletin and is host of “Neuro Frontiers” on Reach MD XM 160 and “HealthyRounds,” syndicated through WTIC 1080, the Hartford CBS affiliate.Dr. Alessi’s book, “Healthy Sports: A Doctor’sLessonsfor a Winning Lifestyle,” is a compilation of instructive columns.His most recent book, “Lift Up Your Hearts: Healing Haiti, Land of Hardship,” recounts the work of Dr. Alessi and other medical volunteers after the earthquake in Haiti.Reach him at www.alessimd.com.
Executive Director, Acupuncture Physician
Dr. Riggin is FitFM - Family Wellness , is the Founder and Director of Healing Touch Oriental Medicine. As an inspiring health educator, in-demand speaker and doctor of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Dr. Mary has helped thousands of people completely turn their health around. Dr. Mary co-hosts and produces the wildly popular radio show "Food is the First Medicine" and her presentations and viewpoints on natural healthcarehave made her an in-demand and innovative expert in the natural health world.
Dr. Mary Riggin, produces and hosts Food is the First Medicine Talk Radio Show, and is a popular speaker. Since 1996 she has practiced natural medicine in the Tampa Bay area; her passion and purpose is to help as many people as possible. Listen to her weekly on TanTalk 1340AM in Tampa Bay, or online anytime, anywhere at www.foodismedicine.org.
She is former Vice Chair of the Florida State Board of Acupuncture and was appointed to this gubernatorial position by Governor Lawton Chiles and Governor Jeb Bush. She has been featured on various TV and radio shows and frequently teaches free classes at community and recreation centers throughout Pinellas County.
She is a published author and was featured in the book A Woman's Guide to Vitamins, Minerals and Alternative Healing, writes and publishes educational newsletters and brochures, and was elected to serve two consecutive terms as President of the Florida State Oriental Medical Association.
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