Some patients love their vitamins, spending hundreds to thousands of dollars annually. At times, they will even forgo proven medical therapy. As more Americans go without health insurance coverage while others face higher office visits and copays, increasing numbers of patients are seeking alternative, natural therapies instead of medical care. Are vitamins really the scientific breakthrough and secret that doctors refuse to recommend or are they simply marketing hype? As any medical school student will tell you, the correct answer to any question is: it depends.
For certain groups, pregnant women, patients with macular degeneration, and vegetarians, vitamins and minerals may be recommended as research finds them helpful. Prenatal vitamins have more folic acid which has been found to decrease the risk of neural tube defects in the fetus. Vegetarians may need to supplement their diet with vitamin B12, iron, and vitamin D, which are absent in their food choices. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Saving Money and Surviving the Healthcare Crisis*