Vitamins are a broad subject, but there is no evidence that
one needs to take supplements in most developed countries.
Vitamin A is poisonous to the liver in high doses. Coenzyme
Q10 does have some benefit in heart patients and Parkinson's,
but it is extremely expensive. DHEA was reported to help
retard aging and help in dementia. It does not work.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin do help in arthritis, but there
may be kashrus questions. Melatonin may help night shift
workers, but its effect is minor. Omega 3 fatty acids are
good for reducing triglycerides. The best way to get these is
eating fish. Selenium has no proven benefit other than in
dandruff control. Vitamin B1 is essential in alcoholics who
do not get enough of this and it may help against diabetic
neuropathy - the loss of feeling they develop.
Riboflavin B2 may prevent migraines. Niacin — which is
Vitamin B3 — can help against cholesterol, but it
causes flushing, and this is the cause of many people
stopping therapy. B6-Pyridoxine is good for lowering risk for
heart attack, nausea and vomiting of pregnancy and is
actually an antidote against TB drug overdoses. Folate is
essential to prevent some birth defects, so it is often taken
in pregnancy. It may lower risk of colon cancer.
Vitamin B12 is lacking in vegetarians who do not eat any
animal products (eggs, milk etc) and this can cause anemia.
Vitamin C probably helps little in colds, and can cause
kidney stones. Vitamin E has been touted for everything. The
good news is that it is safe. Vitamin K is for clotting, so
no one recommends taking too much of this one.
What happened to Vitamins F, G, H, I and J? Vitamin K was
discovered by a German scientist who called the Koagulation
vitamin, shortened to Vitamin K.
Again, a good healthy diet full of vegetables provides you
with most of these nutrients.
Meningitis is a scary disease, with a high mortality. Those
who survive it often have many deficits. Recently we have
learned that the use of steroids can help prevent these
deficits, but still, it is a disease for wich antibiotics
must be started at once, and often that is not enough.
Dormitories are a common place for this bug to spread, but
there is a vaccine to at least one type of this disease.
Signs include confusion, stiff neck and rash with high
A recent New England Journal of Medicine article
challenges whether epidurals cause a slowing of labor and
more c-sections. Is your obstetrician buying it? See the
article in the February edition. Write me in care of the
Yated or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A message from GlaxoSmithKline, sponsor of this
column. I have a cold now, and my usual migraine, but
Imitrex came to the rescue. These medications work for
migraines, but should be started early. These are the best
medications for migraines.