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This article may be reprinted free of charge provided 1) that there is clear attribution to the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, and 2) that both the OMNS free subscription link and also the OMNS archive link are included.

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, May 22, 2006


Abram Hoffer, MD
Michael Janson, MD
Thomas Levy, MD, JD
Carolyn Dean, ND, MD
Harold Foster, PhD
Erik Paterson, MD
Andrew Saul, Chairman

(OMNS, May 22, 2006) An independent panel of university faculty, medical researchers, and physicians experienced in nutritional therapeutics says that vitamin supplements are exceptionally safe for the public. A new report by the expert Vitamin Safety Review Panel rebuts a recent US National Institutes of Health report that attempted to cast doubt on food supplement safety.

"Over half of all Americans take vitamins every day," said Andrew Saul, Assistant Editor of the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. "One cannot help but ask, where are the bodies? The NIH panel ignored pharmaceutical drug dangers, while concentrating on unfounded concerns over your daily multivitamins. This indicates bias."

According to statistics compiled annually by the American Association of Poison Control Centers (1), multivitamins kill no one. Gross overdose of iron (not a vitamin) has been associated with perhaps two deaths per year. On the other hand, in 2003, there were 59 deaths from aspirin alone. That is a death rate nearly thirty times higher than that attributed to iron supplements. There were still more deaths from aspirin in combination with other pharmaceutical products. In 2003, two people died from caffeine. Three people died from dishwashing detergent. There was also a death from "Cream/lotion/makeup," a death from granular laundry detergent, and one death from table salt.

On the other hand, says the Vitamin Safety Review Panel, there is not one death per year from any vitamin in the alphabet. Not from A, B's, C, D or E. Michael Janson, MD, said, "In decades of people taking a wide variety of dietary supplements, few adverse effects have been noted, and zero deaths as a result of the dietary supplements. There is far more risk to public health from people stopping their vitamin supplements than from people taking them."

Another Vitamin Safety Review panelist is Abram Hoffer, MD, who also has a PhD in nutritional biochemistry. Dr Hoffer said, "Vitamin supplements are extraordinarily safe and effective. This is based on fifty years of clinical experience without seeing any life-threatening side effects and no deaths. It is pharmaceutical drugs that are dangerous. Perhaps the US Food and Drug Administration is getting tired of all the bad news about drugs, so instead they are going after nutritional supplements."

Carolyn Dean, ND, MD, agrees. "784,000 people are dying annually, prematurely, due to modern medicine,” she said. “These are statistics from peer-reviewed journals and government databases."

"Focusing on so-called 'vitamin overload risks' is lot of prattle," commented consumer Nancy Watson Dean of Rochester, NY. "What is risky is not taking vitamins. I take lots of supplements every day, and absolutely no prescriptions at all. I have no ailments, and I will be 91 next month."

For a copy of the Vitamin Safety Review Panel's draft report, please email

Reference: 1. Watson WA, Litovitz TL, Klein-Schwartz W, Rodgers GC Jr, Youniss J, Reid N, Rouse WG, Rembert RS, Borys D. 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. What is 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: The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource.

Andrew W. Saul, Editor. Email

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