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Are Multivitamins, Supplements Right For Everyone?

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Taking multivitamins or dietary supplements is a routine practice for many people. But, what may be beneficial and safe for one person, can be ineffective or even potentially dangerous for another.

Researchers and physicians at the Ohio State University Medical Center are utilizing the genetic-based information of individuals to assist in developing tailored medical and therapeutic treatments. The innovative research program is transforming the delivery of health care using a more personalized, cost-effective approach to wellness.

Dr. Clay Marsh, executive director of Ohio State’s Center for Personalized Health Care says vitamins and supplements should not be necessary for those living healthy and active lifestyles, while maintaining regular well-balanced diets. In addition, Marsh cautions that it is not well-known or understood under which circumstances certain supplements prove to be safe and effective.

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“Our program aims to identify, at an individual level, the medications and treatments appropriate for each person based on their age, environment and other co-existing factors,” says Marsh.

“Some patients may already be getting enough nutritional benefits from the foods they eat, and too much extra can be dangerous” Marsh adds.

Multivitamins provide the body with minerals not consumed when eating processed foods. Supplements have proven to be beneficial for individuals who do not consistently get their nutritional content from the six basic food groups, and also assist with building a strong immune system. Research has proven the added benefit of taking a multivitamin or supplement in order to obtain the daily recommended servings of fruits, vegetables and minerals.

The downside is that multivitamins and supplements can interfere with other medications and may cause adverse reactions including bone density, hemorrhaging, abnormal heart beats and birth defects.

“Patients should always do some research and seek medical advice from their primary care physician or a nutritionist when determining which vitamins and/or supplements are suitable for them,” adds Marsh. “In addition, always keep a list of dosages and types of medications you are taking to keep members of your health care team informed.”