Truth Squad: Supplements for Eye Health
Vitamins and supplements are not inert substances, nor are they magic pills but they a purpose just like any medicine and should be treated that way. As we move forward, continued research is needed to find effective ways to prevent, detect and cure prostate cancer, and the billions spent on supplements might be better directed towards such efforts. David B. Samadi, MD is the Vice Chairman of the Departmentof Urology and Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. As a board-certified urologist and an oncologist specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of urologic diseases, kidney cancer , bladder cancer , and prostate cancer, he also specializes in many advanced minimally invasive treatments for prostate cancer, including laparoscopic radical prostatectomy and laparoscopic robotic radical prostatectomy.
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Vitamins and supplements, representing about a $27 billion industry , are necessary to convert food into energy, but it’s possible to take them in excess, Offit said. For instance, it’s not uncommon to hear of someone taking 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C, but that’s about the same amount in 14 oranges. “Vitamins live under this notion that you can’t possibly hurt yourself,” he said. “But you can, by challenging Mother Nature and taking these vitamins and concentrating them to these exceptionally large quantities that you would never normally eat.” Opinion: Alternative healing or quackery?
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Vitamins: Too much of a not-so-good thing?
It is expected that the number of people who have AMD will double by the year 2020. So, when a large study called the Age-Related Eye Disease Study , or AREDS, found that people at high risk for advanced AMD lowered their risk of the disease by about 25 percent when treated with a high-dose combination of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, and zinc, eye health researchers took heed. The 2001 clinical trial, sponsored by the National Eye Institute , also found that taking these supplements reduced the risk of vision loss caused by advanced age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, by about 19 percent. Supplements Still No Magic Bullet for Eye Health However, there is no evidence from this study to suggest that taking nutritional supplements can prevent people who currently do not have vision problems from getting AMD in the future, said Dr. Emily Chew, deputy director of the Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Research at the National Eye Institute, and a lead researcher in the AREDS study.
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