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What can you do to stay safe when taking vitamins and supplements?

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The FDA does not review supplements for safety or efficacy before they hit the market. Do your research and be careful when you’re shopping for new products. Other ways to stay safe:

  • If you eat a balanced diet rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, you likely do not need to take a multivitamin. Talk to your doctor to see if you need any specific vitamins if you have a restricted diet.
  • Although these nutrients are essential to our bodies, some can be harmful in high doses. It’s especially important to avoid getting too much of vitamins A, D, E, and K, because these build up in your body and can become toxic.

SOURCES:

U.S. Department of Agriculture, MyPyramid.gov.

Fairfield, K. Journal of the American Medical Association, 2002.

National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements: “What Dietary Supplements Are You Taking?”

Dee Sandquist, MS, RD.

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Herbal Products and Supplements: What You Should Know.”

Gail Cresci, PhD, RD, Cleveland Clinic.

FDA: “Tips for the Savvy Supplement User: Making Informed Decisions and Evaluating Information.”

National Institutes of Health: “State-of-the-Science Conference Statement on Multivitamin/Mineral Supplements and Chronic Disease Prevention,” May 15-17, 2006.

Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2005.

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on February 20, 2020

SOURCES:

U.S. Department of Agriculture, MyPyramid.gov.

Fairfield, K. Journal of the American Medical Association, 2002.

National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements: “What Dietary Supplements Are You Taking?”

Dee Sandquist, MS, RD.

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Herbal Products and Supplements: What You Should Know.”

Gail Cresci, PhD, RD, Cleveland Clinic.

FDA: “Tips for the Savvy Supplement User: Making Informed Decisions and Evaluating Information.”

National Institutes of Health: “State-of-the-Science Conference Statement on Multivitamin/Mineral Supplements and Chronic Disease Prevention,” May 15-17, 2006.

Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2005.

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on February 20, 2020

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