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Analysis and Comment (15)

Vitamin jubes contain quite small doses of vitamins and up to 50% sugar. Vitamin jubes contain quite small doses of vitamins and up to 50% sugar. Ethan Hurd/Flickr

Vitamin supplements for kids: what are we really treating?

Australian parents spend $40 million each year on vitamin supplements for their children. It’s a big number; much smaller is the number of children who actually need them. In 2009, a large American research…
No one really knows whether taking large amounts of vitamins in tablet form is even the best way delivering them to the body. No one really knows whether taking large amounts of vitamins in tablet form is even the best way delivering them to the body. Shannon Kringen/Flickr

Health Check: four myths about vitamin supplements

People take vitamin supplements for all kinds of reasons, from maintaining general health to preventing cancer. But there’s no convincing evidence that vitamin supplementation benefits people who don’t…
Diet and a little bit of sun can give us vitamin D. Diet and a little bit of sun can give us vitamin D. Julian Colton

Vitamin D needed to fight comeback of childhood rickets

For most people, our standard diet provides all the necessary vitamins we need. However, childhood vitamin D deficiency in the UK – something that should be a headline from the distant past – has made…
Olive oil is associated with some healthy benefits. Olive oil is associated with some healthy benefits. garryknight

Proof that the Mediterranean diet is good for your brain

As life expectancies across the world steadily increase, the world’s population is inexorably ageing. Too often, with age comes difficult health problems such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. These…
Just eat them, they’re good for you. Just eat them, they’re good for you. PA/Ben Birchall

Taking high doses of vitamins can do more harm than good

Without vitamins in our diet we wouldn’t survive but taking too many can be harmful. There’s a limit to how much we actually need. However, since the discovery of vitamins - or “vital amines” as they were…
How can you tell what products might be of use and which ones will only lighten your wallet? How can you tell what products might be of use and which ones will only lighten your wallet? Image from shutterstock.com

CAM or sham? Let’s get the facts straight on vitamins and supplements

Australia’s complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) industry is worth about A$4 billion annually. Around two thirds of Australians use CAM – which includes therapies such as chiropractic and naturopathy…
There’s no evidence that diet supplements are a panacea for people who have cancer. There’s no evidence that diet supplements are a panacea for people who have cancer. Steven Depolo

Vitamin pills' role in recovering from cancer

Dietary supplements are big business, and often people are easily drawn in by marketing claims and anecdotes that vitamin pills may be the answer to all their health concerns. People with cancer tend to…
Up to one in three Australians take vitamin supplements, but few healthy people need them. Up to one in three Australians take vitamin supplements, but few healthy people need them. Brian Gaid

Monday’s medical myth: take a vitamin a day for better health

Forget an apple a day, vitamin manufacturers would have you believe it’s important to take daily vitamins to boost your health. And a surprising proportion of Australians do. Data from the last National…
The CHC Complaints Resolution Committee did not consider a $675 gift to be “undue influence, pressure or unfair tactics”. The CHC Complaints Resolution Committee did not consider a $675 gift to be “undue influence, pressure or unfair tactics”. Bradley Stemke

Swisse vitamins' sweetener to doctors: complaint resolution

In April 2012 Swisse made the following offer to GPs, “For those who on-sell full sized Swisse Practitioner products, Swisse will sponsor the full cost for you or one of your staff members to complete…
A vitamin C a day won’t keep colds away. A vitamin C a day won’t keep colds away. Owaief

Monday’s medical myth: vitamin C prevents colds

Vitamin C is so often suggested as a treatment for the common cold that it’s almost considered common sense. This well-known vitamin is primarily found in fruits and vegetables, with small quantities in…
Encouraging GPs to “on-sell” products to patients is likely to produce unnecessary or inappropriate prescribing. Encouraging GPs to “on-sell” products to patients is likely to produce unnecessary or inappropriate prescribing. fuzzirella/Flickr

Swisse Vitamins highlights the failure of industry self-regulation

Swisse Vitamins Pty Ltd has been in the news recently over their Federal Court action to suppress a determination of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Complaint Resolution Panel (CRP) about a number of…
The best way to guard against skin cancer remains covering up - and using sun screen. The best way to guard against skin cancer remains covering up - and using sun screen. Flickr/neloqua

Can Vitamin A reduce the risk of skin cancer in women?

A study that suggests vitamin A could reduce the risk of melanoma should be treated with caution, according to Australian cancer experts who say the results are inconclusive and involve potentially toxic…
The belief that supranutritional doses of vitamins will improve quality of life doesn’t match what science tells us. The belief that supranutritional doses of vitamins will improve quality of life doesn’t match what science tells us. Happy Sleepy/Flickr

Vitamins: myths, facts, use and misuse

When it comes to using vitamins to supplement diets, there’s a wide gap between what science says and what many consumers believe. A recent study, for instance, established that some 52% of the Australian…
Healthy people without a known deficiency shouldn’t take dietary supplements. Healthy people without a known deficiency shouldn’t take dietary supplements. Neeta Lind

Vitamin supplements: more harm than help?

A study published yesterday in the Archives of Internal Medicine has investigated the link between taking dietary supplements and an increase risk of death in older women. Associate professor Ian Chapman…
Cancer patients need to think twice before adding vitamins to their treatment. Cancer patients need to think twice before adding vitamins to their treatment. shannonkringen/flickr

A helping hand? Vitamins may be dangerous for cancer patients

Previously unthinkable questions about vitamin use by cancer patients are being asked following a series of recent clinical studies. Is it time for cancer patients’ love affair with vitamins to end? Might…

Research Briefs (8)

Vision dependent on vitamin A

The treatment of vitamin A deficiency can preserve vision and life. A review of a middle-aged man with impaired vision found…

Vitamin E reduces stroke damage

Regular doses of vitamin E may reduce brain damage in stroke victims, according to researchers at a US university. Researchers…