Vitamins & Supplements

Vitamins & Supplements Articles

When it comes to protein, how much is too much?

You've probably heard the claims by now:  Here's a diet that's delicious, easy to stick with, and guaranteed to help you lose weight effortlessly.  Or, perhaps it's supposed to build muscle, protect your joints or prevent Alzheimer's.  Whatever the diet and whatever the claim, there's a good chance that it is, indeed, too good to be true. In recent years, high protein diets are among the most popular, whether the protein is consumed as a supplement (protein shakes for body builders!) or simply a larger than usual portion of a balanced diet (such as The Zone, Atkins or Paleo Diets). More »

Managing your medications before a medical procedure

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), anticoagulants, and certain herbs and supplements can increase the risk of bleeding with surgery. They may need to be stopped before a procedure. However, some medications, such as those taken to manage blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease, or type 2 diabetes, may need to be taken on the day of surgery. Instructions for stopping or restarting medications and supplements should come from one’s doctor, at least one week before the surgery. (Locked) More »

Can vitamin K supplements help protect against heart disease?

Some research has suggested that eating foods rich in vitamin K, which helps the body make blood clotting proteins, can protect against heart disease. However, vitamin K supplements have not shown the same benefit and are not recommended for preventing heart disease. (Locked) More »

Gut reaction: A limited role for digestive enzyme supplements

Prescription enzyme products can help when natural production is low because of a health condition such as chronic pancreatitis or cystic fibrosis. Likewise, taking an over-the-counter lactase supplement (such as Lactaid or Lactrase) can help manage lactose intolerance, and taking an alpha-galactosidase supplement (such as Beano or Bean Relief) may reduce gas and bloating for people who have a hard time digesting the sugars in beans. But for other common gut problems, like heartburn or irritable bowel syndrome, there is little evidence that nonprescription digestive enzymes are helpful. (Locked) More »

Ask Dr. Rob about vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 is a B vitamin that is essential to good health. A major reason that vitamin B12 is so important is that it is needed to make red blood cells. If you have too little of this vitamin, you may be unable to make enough red blood cells, a condition called Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia. And because red blood cells carry oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, anemia can make a person feel terrible. In addition, vitamin B12 is required for normal nerve function in the brain, spinal cord, and extremities. So, deficiency of this vitamin may also cause problems with sensation, muscle strength and thinking. Because the human body cannot produce its own vitamin B12, we must consume it via our food or supplements. More »

Should you consider taking a fish oil supplement?

Fish oil is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids known as DHA and EPA. These fats have biological effects that may benefit the cardiovascular system, potentially including easing inflammation and preventing blood clots. Fish oil supplements might slightly lower the risk of dying after heart failure or a recent heart attack. But they do not prevent heart disease, according to a 2017 advisory from the American Heart Association. In addition, they are not necessarily free of risk. Some fish oil supplements may contain trace amounts of contaminants. And too much fish oil may increase bleeding risk, especially in people who take anti-clotting medications. (Locked) More »

B vitamins may raise risk of lung cancer in men who smoke

High dosages of vitamin B6 and B12 supplements were associated with three to four times the lung cancer risk in male smokers compared with smokers who did not use the vitamins. However, men who quit smoking for at least 10 years prior to the study, and also took the high dosages of the B vitamins, did not have a higher risk of lung cancer. More »

Taking too much vitamin D can cloud its benefits and create health risks

In recent years, there has been more research into the role vitamin D plays in the development of chronic diseases. While evidence showing vitamin D as a cause for disease or a means to prevent it is far from conclusive, vitamin D supplements and testing have seen a surge in popularity. It is important to stick to recommended doses, unless a doctor advises otherwise. Taking too much can be harmful. More »