Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vitamins: Science Doesn't Always Match Policy

Date:
February 6, 2007
Source:
Tufts University
Summary:
A gap exists between scientific knowledge of vitamins and how they are popularly used. Translating emerging science to better policy will require a regulatory framework that addresses the content and labeling of vitamins and the effects on nutrient adequacy and chronic degenerative disease prevention.

Some one hundred years after the first vitamin was named, what is known about them has not translated into beneficial, standardized recommendations for public health, says Irwin Rosenberg, MD, University Professor, and director of the Nutrition and Neurocognition Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University. Based on his presentation at the National Institutes of Health State-of-the- Science Conference "Multivitamin/Mineral Supplements and Chronic Disease Prevention" in 2006, Rosenberg outlines challenges and opportunities to advancing the scientific knowledge of vitamins and minerals in an article published in a January supplement of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

"The evidence regarding vitamin use for prevention of chronic disease is still quite rudimentary, especially for multivitamins," says Rosenberg. Furthermore, Rosenberg points to research indicating that people who use multivitamins usually have better diets and participate in more physical activity. "Since multivitamin-users are generally healthier, it might not be feasible to attribute health outcomes to vitamin use until we have more information. The best source of vitamins is food," he adds.

To close the gap between the paucity of established scientific evidence and the widespread use of vitamin supplements, Rosenberg suggests that supplements be regulated, as they are currently subject to very little federal regulation. "Right now, the term multivitamin encompasses hundreds, if not thousands, of products with varied content and dose of vitamins and minerals. It's really difficult to guide customers if we don't even know what is in the vitamins they are taking. Standards would be helpful to both consumers and industry by rewarding those companies that do science-based marketing, rather than those that make unjustified health claims."

"In particular, issues needing more attention include the content and labeling of vitamin and mineral supplements and the effects of these products on nutrient adequacy as well as in chronic degenerative disease prevention. In this quest, the development of more and better surrogate markers of adverse effects will be critical. Dose-response assessments of safety are badly needed for updating recommended safe and tolerable Upper Intake Levels," he says.

Rosenberg also endorses a suggestion that multivitamins should be composed of clusters of vitamins and minerals that are presently supported by research to benefit public health. "We really need to encourage good study design and to establish indicators of efficacy and safety in vitamin research," he concludes. "At best, the research needed to translate scientific knowledge into policy will require a robust interaction between the public and private sectors in a regulatory framework that supports and rewards investment in good science."

Irwin H. Rosenberg, MD, is the 2006 recipient of the Conrad Elvehjem Award for Public Service in Nutrition from the American Society of Nutrition, which recognizes distinguished service to the public through nutrition science. Throughout his career, Rosenberg has participated in many national and international nutrition policy efforts, and has held positions on committees for the Food and Drug Administration and the Institute of Medicine. Rosenberg served as dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts for nine years and director of the USDA HNRCA for 15 years. Currently, Rosenberg is the director of the Nutrition and Neurocognition Laboratory at the USDA HNRCA, and is one of a small number of Tufts faculty members in the history of Tufts to be recognized as University Professor.

Reference: Rosenberg IH. "Challenges and opportunities in the translation of the science of vitamins." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2007 (January);85(supplement):325S-327S.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Tufts University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Tufts University. "Vitamins: Science Doesn't Always Match Policy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070206100531.htm>.
Tufts University. (2007, February 6). Vitamins: Science Doesn't Always Match Policy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070206100531.htm
Tufts University. "Vitamins: Science Doesn't Always Match Policy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070206100531.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins