Finding the Right Vitamins for You - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/08/07

Finding the Right Vitamins for You

The study didn't surprise Savannah mom, Dana Burnham. She takes vitamins every day, but doesn't see, or feel, all the health benefits listed on the bottle. " I just really can't tell a difference at this point right now," she said.

So do we even need vitamins? Yes said Internal Medicine Specialist, Dr.Paul Bradley. He also said you can find most of them in your refrigerator or grocery store. " The catch is, if you're eating anything close to a normal diet, you're going to get everything you need," said Dr. Bradley.

But Brighter Day Natural Foods Market Co -Owner and Certified Nutritionist, Peter Brodhead, believes that's hard for everyone to do. " If you can get fruits and veggies straight off the tree, that haven't been transported for weeks. If you're eating a lot of fruits and veggies, whole grains, probably a variety of meat products, because there are nutrients in that," explained Pete, "But it takes someone who's pretty diligent and pretty smart and making good choices."

While some have the drive to keep their diets in check, most of us need a little help. Dr. Bradley said that's when just popping a "One a Day" is good enough. " I think there's enough data, and even it's small, to suggest that a multi vitamin a day is helpful."

And a lot more convenient. One pill, instead of a handful of supplements. It's something Peter strongly urges his customers to take. " I always recommend people use a multi vitamin as a foundation, because you get everything, it makes it easy," said Peter," You've got to have nutrients, no matter what, to run the body."

Which is something Tony Crawford makes sure he does. In addition to working out at the gym three times a week, he makes sure to take his multi vitamin every morning. " I take it for the added nutrition supposedly, because I miss a lot of early meals, and hopefully, I make it up there," laughed Tony.

So how can you find the right vitamin for you? There are some web sites , like the National Health Institutes, that are helpful. But a lot of times, you're just going to have to pick one and see what happens. Just remember, not every supplement works the same way for every body. " Some of it is trial and error," explained Dr. Bradley, "But as far as really good data to show you if I take this vitamin, I'm going to be so much better off, it's really disappointing because we'd love to see it too, but the data's just not there."

Another issue Dr. Bradley brought up was there's no regulatory committee over the vitamin industry. So there's no quality control amongst vitamin manufacturers. Meaning a percentage of a certain vitamin listed on the label, may not in fact actually be in the pill.

Also, the cost of vitamins can sometimes be expensive. Which is why a multi vitamin can usually be helpful, to your pocketbook and to your health.

If you want to check out a vitamin chart, you can go to the National Institute of Health's web site at www.nih.gov

Reported By: Melanie A. Ruberti; mruberti@wtoc.com 

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