Kimberly Goodwin 1). Do you take any vitamins or dietary

Kimberly Goodwin

1). Do you take any vitamins or dietary supplements?

Yes, I take vitamins. Since I am a kidney transplant recipient, it is extremely important that I take vitamins. While, the first month after my transplant: My body was in need of good nutrition right after my transplant. Both surgery and the anti-kidney rejection I will take for the remainder of my life demands healthy eating. Poor nutrition leads to slow, poor wound healing and more risk of infection. To help my body heal after surgery and regain strength, extra protein, calories. Mayo Clinic transplant team believes that “Vitamin K” supplements might top up the body’s stores, improve blood vessel health and reduce the risk of heart and vessel disease in people with kidney transplants. Although, “Vitamin K” alone does not improve vessel health.

2). Do you think vitamins and minerals can make up for a poor diet?

Yes, I actually took a class on this topic when I became a candidate for a kidney transplant. While vitamins and mineral supplements can’t replace a healthy diet, but a general multivitamin may be helpful if one’s diet is inadequate or where there is already a well-supported rationale for one to take one.

3).  Who should take vitamins and supplements?

Absorption of vitamin B12 and Vitamin D decreases with age, so adults should take supplements of these vitamins. People eating vegan and vegetarian diets should also take vitamin and nutritional supplements. This is because their diets usually do not have enough Omega-3s, Vitamins B-12,Vitamin D, Iron, or calcium. Also, Vitamin D supplements can be very much beneficial for older adults and people who don’t get much sunlight. Folic acid and supplements can also help pregnant women lower their child’s risk of birth defects.

4).How are vitamins and supplements regulated?

According, to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) through the FTC Act and the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), which was further strengthened in 1994 by the Dietary Supplement Health and education Act (DSHEA). The FTC purses deceptive, false and misleading advertising. The FDA is charged with inspecting manufacturing facilities, reviewing labeling and monitoring products for safety.

While the FDA once required dietary supplements to meet the same good manufacturing practices GMPs) as foods, that policy changed in 2007. Today, the FDA’s new GMPs for dietary supplements impose higher standards and are working to ensure supplements are produced in a quality manner and are accurately labeled.  The new GMPs became required for large manufacture in 2008 and are now in effect and being enforced for all manufacturers.

5). What are some safety consideration to consider when taking supplements?

Studies have shown before you purchase a dietary supplement, read the label carefully. Look at the claims, packaging, ingredients, and directions for use. It can be easy misread the claims that are being made about products. Makers of dietary supplements are allowed to make (3) three, kinds of claims on the label of their products (or in their advertising) such as: Nutrient content claims- For example, the product label may state that a supplement is “high Potency” or ” a good source” of a nutrient, such as a vitamin. Health claims: For example, claims such as “folate may reduce the change of pregnant women delivering an infant with neural tube defects “fall into this category”. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must pre-approve all health claims and requires that they be supported by scientific studies. Structure or function claims: These are claims about the effect of the dietary supplement on the structure of function of the body.

Keli Dziuba

When I was a child I used to take the Flintstones vitamins that tasted like chalk, but now as an adult I do not take any vitamins or supplements. Although I have been looking into possibly getting/trying some type of protein supplement as I have realized I am lacking in the amount of protein in my diet. So if anyone has any recommendations on possible protein supplements, I would love to hear them. 

I don’t think that vitamins and minerals can makeup for a poor diet in the sense that if you are eating really unhealthy food choices, the vitamins and minerals are not going to prevent the negative outcomes that are associated with a poor diet (ie- weight gain, heart disease, etc.). That being said, vitamin and mineral supplements can be super helpful and beneficial to someone who is not getting enough of what they need from their diet. A few groups of people who should take vitamin and mineral supplements include women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, elderly individuals, and people with certain medical conditions.

Vitamins and dietary supplements are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While the FDA does have a role in regulating vitamins and supplements, it is important to note that the FDA can take action after a product has reached the market but at that point it may have already caused harm. That is why it is very important for consumers to do adequate research and carefully read labels before taking supplements. Its also important for consumers to see if they are already getting enough of the vitamin or nutrient from their food because too much of certain vitamins or nutrients can be dangerous to one’s health. 

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