Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Vitamin Confusion

As long as I am pontificating on vitamins, I wanted to take the opportunity to let you know that not everyone needs all vitamins at all times.  There are tons of supplements that can be added to the diet, and we can easily go over the edge trying to keep up with them!  Therefore, I wanted to provide a few hard and fast rules:
1.  Make sure your doctor knows which vitamins/supplements you take daily.  Nothing is completely harmless.  B12 comes close, but we have already covered that.
2.  Recommendations change as information changes.  Remember when vitamin E was all the rage?  New studies associate it with stroke, so only use this if your prescriber directs.
3.  Even aspirin is getting a second look.  Last year, everyone over 40 was supposed to be taking an aspirin a day.  This year, new studies point to the risk of increased bleeding in enough patients that the risk outweighs the benefit in a patient who has not been diagnosed with a medical need.
4.  Remember that all these vitamin suggestions are the equivalent of going to a cafeteria.  Just as no one takes all items from the line, no one needs to take all vitamins.  Take specific vitamins for specific needs based on your prescriber’s recommendation.
5.  Essentials:  In my opinion, it is great to have a vitamin D level and I would suggest vitamin D for anyone over 45 if levels are low.  I think Co Q 10 is great for anyone over 45, and I personally love the B vitamins but if your energy level is fabulous and you have nerves of steel….not necessary!
6.  Other than that, eat a balanced healthy diet and exercise.  More next week.

Healthy living with John Hollis Pharmacy!

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