Nutritional Supplements – Can’t Be Much Safer

By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.

The newest annual report by the American Association of Poison Control Centers indicates, once again, that nutritional supplements are so, so safe, and not dangerous, as some “experts” claim.

The findings, based on nationwide reporting to government agencies, revealed no deaths from multiple vitamins, vitamins A, C, D or E, or the B vitamins niacin (B-3) and pyridoxine (B-6). One person supposedly died from some unnamed “other B complex vitamin.”

To see the annual report (on pp. 1197-1200), click here.

 My viewpoint: Mainstream medical journals, and their allies in the mainstream media, are forever bashing supplements as I recently reported. Researchers always seem to find easy money to fund statistical analyses purporting to show that supplements are ineffective or downright harmful. It’s pretty much hogwash. I’ve been using supplements effectively and safely for decades.  Some of my patients are still alive and enjoying a good quality of life because of them.

 What This Means to You: Nothing other than to have confidence in the safety of supplements. Other B vitamins are thiamine (B-1), riboflavin (B-2), folic acid, B-12, biotin, and pantothenic acid, for which no fatalities have ever been confirmed. If a vitamin was indeed involved, keep in mind that over half of Americans take daily supplements. Over the last thirty years there have been, in fact, less than one death a year on average attributed to vitamin intake. That’s a remarkable track record for safety.  Compare that to pharmaceutical drug intake. It’s no contest.

 My Recommendation: As I said before, keep taking your vitamins according to label instructions or the advice of a trusted nutritionally-oriented health professional.

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