(OMNS, Feb 27, 2007) Over a twenty-three year period, vitamins
have been connected with the deaths of a total of ten people in
the United States. Poison control statistics confirm that more Americans
die each year from eating soap than from taking vitamins.
Where are the bodies?
A 23-year review of US poison control center annual reports(1) tells
a remarkable and largely ignored story: vitamins are extraordinarily
Annual deaths alleged from vitamins:
The zeros are not due to a lack of reporting. The American Association
of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), which maintains the USA's national
database of information from 61 poison control centers, has noted
that vitamins are among the 16 most reported substances. Even including
intentional and accidental misuse, the number of alleged vitamin
fatalities is strikingly low, averaging less than one death per
year for more than two decades. In 16 of those 23 years, AAPCC reports
that there was not one single death due to vitamins.
These statistics specifically include vitamin A, niacin (B-3),
pyridoxine (B-6), other B-complex, C, D, E, "other" vitamin(s),
such as vitamin K, and multiple vitamins without iron. Minerals,
which are chemically and nutritionally different from vitamins,
have an excellent safety record as well, but not quite as good as
vitamins. On the average, one or two fatalities per year are typically
attributed to iron poisoning from gross overdosing on supplemental
iron. Deaths attributed to other supplemental minerals are very
rare. Even iron, although not as safe as vitamins, accounts for
fewer deaths than do laundry and dishwashing detergents.
1. Annual Reports of the American Association of Poison Control
Centers' National Poisoning and Exposure Database (formerly known
as the Toxic Exposure Surveillance System). AAPCC, 3201 New Mexico
Avenue, Ste. 330, Washington, DC 20016. Download any report from1983-2005
free of charge. The "Vitamin" category is usually near
the end of the report.
For 2005 http://www.aapcc.org/Annual%20Reports/05report/2005%20Publsihed.pdf
For 2004 http://www.aapcc.org/Annual%20Reports/04report/AJEM%20-%20AAPCC%20Annual%20Report%202004.pdf
For 2003 http://www.aapcc.org/Annual%20Reports/03report/Annual%20Report%202003.pdf
For any other year: http://www.aapcc.org/annual.htm
Nutritional Medicine is also known as Orthomolecular Medicine
Linus Pauling defined orthomolecular medicine as "the treatment
of disease by the provision of the optimum molecular environment,
especially the optimum concentrations of substances normally present
in the human body." Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective
nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information: http://www.orthomolecular.org
The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit
and non-commercial informational resource.
Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, July 11, 2006
DOCTORS SAY VITAMINS ARE SAFE
Follow-Up Report by the Independent Vitamin Safety Review Panel
(OMNS July 11, 2006) More and more practicing physicians are coming
forward in support of vitamins.
Drawing on decades of actual experience with many thousands of
patients, family doctors and specialists assert that vitamin supplements
are safe and effective even in high doses.
Peter H. Lauda, M.D., of Vienna, Austria writes:
"Over all the years I have prescribed vitamins for prevention
and treatment, for a huge number of patients including both adults
and children. I have never seen any serious problems or dangerous
side effects caused by vitamin supplements. Furthermore, routinely
performed lab analyses did not show any impairments or objective
signs of liver, renal and other organ damage caused by vitamin supplements."
Robert F. Cathcart, M.D., of California says:
"Vitamin supplements are safe. I have never seen a serious
reaction to vitamin supplements. Since 1969 I have taken over 2
tons of ascorbic acid myself. I have put over 20,000 patients on
bowel tolerance doses of ascorbic acid without any serious problems,
and with great benefit."
Allan N. Spreen, M.D., of Arizona, says:
"I can certainly state that, after many years of both hands-on
practice and personal research, vitamin supplementation is extraordinarily
safe, even in doses far higher than published daily recommendations.
They are also infinitely safer than any prescription medications."
Richard P. Huemer, M.D., of California, writes:
"Reports of vitamin toxicity, rare as they are, are sometimes
based on flimsy evidence. Such fallacious reports may appear in
medical journals. In one, it was asserted that a rather unimpressive
chronic dose of vitamin A had caused liver failure, but certain
histologic features of vitamin A toxicity were not described, nor
was any attempt made to quantify vitamin A in the liver or even
in the blood."
Jerry Green, M.D., Canada, says:
"After practicing orthomolecular medicine for over 35 years,
I have seen that vitamins are extremely safe particularly when one
compares them to other patient choices such as drugs, surgery, or
doing nothing and thereby suffering from vitamin deficiency from
our modern devitalized foods."
Erik Paterson, M.D., also of Canada:
"As a family doctor, I often see serious adverse effects in
my patients from conventional drugs. I have yet to see any such
thing from megadoses of vitamins. I believe myself to be alive because
of the large doses of vitamins which I take on a daily basis."
Klaus Wenzel, M.D., Germany, writes:
"For more then 20 years I have used vitamin supplements for
an increasing number of patients and medical problems. And from
all these years of medical practice, I can state that vitamin supplements
are very safe."
Chris M. Reading, M.D., in Australia, says:
"I have had measurement done of serum vitamin levels in over
ten thousand patients since 1978, and have safely corrected low
levels with supplements in amounts far higher than the RDA. Vitamin
supplements are safe and essential to correct low vitamin levels
and to correct ill health. In my experience, vitamin supplements
can save people from premature death, depression, suicide, dementia,
psychosis, and heart failure."
Karin Munsterhjelm-Ahumada, M.D., from Finland, writes:
"After nearly 20 years using only conventional medicine, I
have an additional 10 years experience working with high dose vitamins.
I can assure you that not only have they been very safe, but vitamins
are also very helpful in my work with all kinds of very ill patients."
From Sweden, Bo H. Jonsson, M.D., Ph.D., writes:
"Vitamin supplements are very safe, especially when compared
to xenobiotic drugs. Used with knowledge, vitamins are enormously
important for prevention and treatment of disease."
The educators and physicians of the Independent Vitamin Safety
Review Panel assert that:
- There is not even one death per year from vitamins. (Watson
WA et al. 2003 annual report of the American Association of Poison
Control Centers Toxic Exposure Surveillance System. Am J Emerg
Med. 2004 Sep;22(5):335-404.) http://www.aapcc.org/Annual%20Reports/03report/Annual%20Report%202003.pdf
- Consumers are not getting a fair picture of vitamin safety and
efficacy from government-sponsored sources, particularly the National
Institutes of Health. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v02n05.shtml
- When they do have all the information, consumers see that vitamin
supplements are safe, far safer than drugs. (Lucian Leape, Error
in medicine. Journal of the American Medical Association, 1994,
272:23, p 1851. Also: Leape LL. Institute of Medicine medical
error figures are not exaggerated. JAMA. 2000 Jul 5;284(1):95-7.)
- Public access to vitamins should not be restricted. (Testimony
before the Government of Canada, House of Commons Standing Committee
on Health, regarding nutritional supplement product safety. Ottawa,
May 12, 2005). http://www.doctoryourself.com/testimony.htm
- Vitamin supplementation is not the problem. It is under-nutrition
and over-medication that are the problems. Vitamins are the solution.
INDEPENDENT VITAMIN SAFETY REVIEW PANELISTS:
Abram Hoffer, MD
Robert F. Cathcart, MD
Michael Janson, MD
Thomas Levy, MD, JD
Erik Paterson, MD
Woody R. McGinnis, MD
Allan N. Spreen, MD
Bo H. Jonsson, MD, PhD
Chris M. Reading, MD
Bradford Weeks, MD
Karin Munsterhjelm-Ahumada, MD
Jerry Green, MD
Stephen Faulkner, MD
Klaus Wenzel, MD
Richard Huemer, MD
Peter H. Lauda, M.D.
Jonathan Prousky, ND
Michael Friedman, ND
Wilddam B. Grant, PhD
Harold Foster, PhD
H. H. Nehrlich, PhD
Steve Hickey, PhD
Gert E. Schuitemaker, PhD
Andrew W. Saul, Editor
Editorial Review Board:
Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D.
Harold D. Foster, Ph.D.
Bradford Weeks, M.D.
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D.
Erik Paterson, M.D.
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D.
Steve Hickey, Ph.D.
Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D., Editor and contact person. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org