Are Vitamins harmful or helpful?

There has been a lot of alarming headlines in local and national newspapers this past two weeks regarding the safety of vitamins.
First: It is important for all of us to read the entire article and not just the headline. In the world of tweets and texts we tend not to read entire articles, nor do we look for further research that supports or refutes the information.
Second: It is important to understand that many of today’s vitamins and supplements are fractions of the whole. In other words they are made in a
laboratory and are not from whole food.
Third: Vitamins are not an insurance policy against poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle. The best nutrients for the human body are whole fresh foods that are found in nature.
Fourth: If you think you need a particular nutrient such as Iron or Calcium speak to your health professional to see if you infact need it. They can also help you understand how these nutrients work in the body from a physiological perspective. For example calcium requires adequate stomach acid to be absorbed into the system and not all forms of calcium are absorbable. Some forms such as calcium carbonate (chalk) are a total waste of money and harmful.
Fifth: It is always important to read the labels of supplements and fortified foods. If the supplement does not list whole foods as the source then it is chemical and can be harmful. There is a lot of hype and marketing and if it sounds too good to be true? Then …… As many of you know I am food first advocate and if needed and based on individual needs I would suggest the use of whole food supplements and herbs from organic sources.
I Have included the link to the various articles if you would like to learn more and as always should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
Happy halloween and take it easy on the candy!!!
Dr Pia