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FDA raises concerns about potentially harmful dietary supplements


The FDA is warning about harmful dietary supplements. The agency is alerting consumers about false claims, unknown ingredients, and potentially harmful products. Americans spent more than $40 billion on supplements last year, and three out of four Americans regularly take a supplement. Dr. David Agus joins “CBS This Morning” with more on the supplement regulation.

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Delivered by Norah O’Donnell, Gayle King, John Dickerson, and Bianna Golodryga, “CBS This Morning” offers a thoughtful, substantive and insightful source of news and information to a daily audience of 3 million viewers. The Emmy Award-winning broadcast presents a mix of daily news, coverage of developing stories of national and global significance, and interviews with leading figures in politics, business and entertainment. Check local listings for “CBS This Morning” broadcast times.

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Dietary Supplements: What You Need to Know


Where can you get reliable information on vitamins, minerals, and other dietary supplements? Wonder which ones might or might not be good for you, and which are safe to take? This 2-minute video tells you where you can find answers to your questions. It features experts from the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) at the National Institutes of Health. The ODS website has reliable, science-based information on dietary supplements for both consumers and health professionals. Information on the website is primarily in English, with many fact sheets for consumers available in Spanish. Visit the ODS website:

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The Difference Between Vitamins and Supplements


Vitamins or supplements? It’s a question pharmacist Kacie Brubaker gets all the time. “With dietary supplements, it’s really an umbrella term that contains vitamins, supplements, minerals, any dietary supplements, and it really refers to anything you are taking to supplement your regular diet,” said Kacie Brubaker, a pharmacist with Lee Health.

But she says there is a difference between taking vitamins and taking supplements. “Vitamins are natural substances that are required for your body to function normally and remain healthy, whereas your more traditional dietary supplements are not essential, they are to promote health in other areas,” she said.

While some patients may only need a vitamin or supplement for a limited time, others may need one long-term. Patients who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, for example, will often have a low vitamin B12—so it’s important they add that to their daily diet. “We want to make sure you’re getting enough, but we don’t want too much because certain vitamins can build up in the body and cause problems later on,” Brubaker said.

Before taking a vitamin or supplement, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor to make sure it won’t interact with other medications. Knowing what your body needs before you take a vitamin or supplement is important to improving your overall health.

View More Health Matters video segments at LeeHealth.org/Healthmatters/

Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health – Caring People. Inspiring Care.

Visit LeeHealth.org

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Thinking About Taking a Dietary Supplement?


Wonder whether you should take vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements? With more than 50,000 of these products on the market, do you know which ones might or might not be good for you, and which are safe to take? In this short animated video, the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) at the National Institutes of Health introduces the ODS website–the place for reliable, science-based answers to your questions about dietary supplements. Information on the website () is primarily in English, with many fact sheets for consumers available in Spanish. This video is also available in Spanish: ¿Debería tomar suplementos dietéticos? ()

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What dietary supplements should people be taking?


7th Annual Dubin Breast Center Fact vs. Fiction Luncheon and Symposium

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Dietary Supplements Video – Brigham and Women’s Hospital


JoAnn Manson, MD, DrPH, Chief, Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, discusses the need for dietary supplements.

The main purpose of dietary supplements is to treat deficiencies of vitamins and minerals or to prevent such deficiencies. For people who are concerned that they may not have an adequate diet, it’s very reasonable to take a multivitamin or to take relatively low doses of different nutrients. Megadose supplementation, very high dose supplementation of any vitamin, mineral, or other nutrient, is not recommended due to the health risks.

Groups that will benefit from dietary supplementation include women of reproductive age and pregnant women. Folic acid is extremely important in preventing neural tube defects and other birth defects so these groups should be encouraged to take a supplement of a folic acid.

Also, calcium and vitamin D supplementation may be helpful for bone health, especially in older individuals who are at higher risk of osteoporosis and osteoporotic fracture or people who have lactose intolerance and tend to get very low intake of calcium or vitamin D-fortified foods. There are also some individuals, especially older people, who may have deficiencies of vitamin B-12 and could benefit from supplementation.

It’s important to select a high quality supplement. There are a couple of things that will indicate whether a supplement has a high level of quality control. One is looking for the GMP label which stands for Good Manufacturing Practices. The other is USP, which stands for United States Pharmacopeial Convention. These labels will indicate that the supplement has been certified in some way in terms of quality control, that it has gone through a certain audit in terms of the good manufacturing practices, and that it’s been tested for contents and for quality control.
It’s recommended you speak with your physician before taking any dietary supplement.

Learn more about the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital:

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