Seniors Warned against Dependence on Vitamin Supplements

Big medicine and big drug manufacturers. There's a widespread suspicion that the two support each other. What's often left out of the equation is big vitamins. Supplements are often hailed as an alternative to mainstream health care. But others point to them as a multi-billion-dollar industry that should be handled with care by seniors and young people alike.

Dr. Gloria Hakkarainen, Medical Director of Palm Beach Weight and Wellness, told abc 25 "If you're taking a combination of high-dose vitamins and supplements without any sort of surveillance with your health-care provider and a number of prescription drugs, it's difficult for your liver and kidneys to know what to do."

Dr. John Abramson, a Harvard lecturer and author of the book "Overdosed America" told the media source "We know 70 percent of our health is determined by our health habits, whether we exercise routinely, eat a healthy, Mediterannean-style diet, don't smoke and drink in moderation." Abramson added. "That's the most effective way to ensure you will stay healthy."

Health care advocates don't oppose the use of supplements, just recommend that users make sure they tell their doctors know about it. There's a danger that  supplements can counteract medications and invalidate the treatments, some doctors claim.

Assisted Living and Continuing Care communities actively monitor the vitamin and drug interaction of in-house residents.