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Vitamins & Supplements

Dietary supplements, which are largely unregulated, may contain potentially dangerous ingredients not listed on labels.

Specific supplements bought online may contain dangerous ingredients

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to consumers regarding 46 specific weight loss and male enhancement products. Laboratory analysis of these products found active pharmaceutical ingredients not listed on the labels. Many of these hidden ingredients are approved for use by prescription only and could cause potentially serious side effects […]

High-Dose Omega-3 Supplements and Cardiovascular Health

A recent large, randomized controlled trial (coauthored by Friedman School Dean and Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter editor-in-chief Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH) evaluated the impact of a new omega-3 fatty acid supplement on cardiovascular health. The researchers tested the high-dose (4 grams/day) prescription-only formulation of omega-3 fatty acids in patients who were on statins, had […]

Turmeric: The “Golden” Supplement

Turmeric, the golden-orange spice commonly known for imparting a yellow hue to curries and mustards, is now trending in golden milk lattes, juice bar boosts, and dietary supplements. This plant rhizome, which resembles ginger root, has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Today, curcumin, a polyphenol compound partly responsible for turmeric’s color, is getting […]

Q. Why do you say it is better to get nutrients from foods rather...

A. Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, executive editor of Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, answers: “Optimal health is dependent on consuming the appropriate quantity of nutrients and energy (calories). When scientists learned how to separate nutrients from foods or synthesize them in a laboratory, there was hope we could prevent malnutrition and maximize health simply by […]
Vitamin D

Vitamin D Supplements Do Not Help Cholesterol Levels

Researchers from Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center have found that taking vitamin D3 supplements has no effect on serum cholesterol. Their randomized controlled trial, published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, does not support results from observational studies that found an association between serum levels of vitamin D and LDL or HDL […]
Pregnant Women

Prenatal Vitamin D Does Not Prevent Childhood Asthma

A study published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine found that vitamin D supplementation during the prenatal period alone did not influence...
Iron

Q. How can I get more iron in my diet besides eating lots of...

A. Kelly Siverhus, a dietetic intern at the Frances Stern Nutrition Center, answers: “Adequate iron intake is essential for the transport of oxygen from...

Vitamin D Supplementation Does Not Improve Insulin Action

While observational studies have suggested that low blood levels of vitamin D are associated with higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a clinical trial recently published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that supplementation with vitamin D3 had no effect on insulin action in people with prediabetes.

Q. Are prunes high in vitamin K? I am on blood thinners and was...

Q. Are prunes high in vitamin K? I am on blood thinners and was told I need to limit vitamin K intake.

Common Medications and Vitamin B12 Levels

Vitamin B12 plays many crucial roles in the body. It is involved in neurologic function, red blood cell production, DNA synthesis, and a number of important chemical reactions. Vitamin B12 deficiency, while not common, can cause megaloblastic anemia (a disorder of the red blood cells that can cause symptoms such as fatigue, pale skin, and lightheadedness) and neurological and cognitive disorders.