Are Vitamins & Minerals Necessary for Health?


The headlines are grabbing everyone’s attention:

2 new medical studies show no improvement in preserving brain function and preventing heart attacks in individuals who use multivitamins.

A few medical experts jumped on the bandwagon to inform the public: “Stop wasting money on vitamins!”

I’m a little surprised and very unimpressed with the experts. If I changed my opinion every time a new study came out, I wouldn’t be able to practice medicine.

Here’s what I do think: Vitamins and Minerals have a wide range of medical usage, but not for everyone. If you are a healthy 20 or 30 year old and you eat a very well-balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, along with meats and fish, you probably don’t need a daily multivitamin or mineral supplementation. If you workout regularly you probably would benefit from a whey protein shake with key amino acids to help repair the muscles from exercise. So, no not everyoneneeds Vitamins!

However, in my daily medical practice at Mitchell Medical Group, I see an array of medical conditions which can highly benefit from vitamin and mineral supplementation.

Some medical conditions that benefit from vitamin and mineral supplementation:

· Vitamin B deficiencies due to a vegetarian diet

· Lack of absorption from powerful acid blocking medications

· Chronic illnesses such asfibromyalgia andchronic fatigue

My belief is that you target the area where the patient may benefit the most.



· Patients taking thyroid medications should be on Selenium (200 micrograms daily) to improve the effectiveness of the thyroid medication.

· Patients with chronic eczema benefit tremendously from Vitamin D supplementation.

· Vitamin C has been repeatedly been shown to help fight infections (if taken regularly).

· Iron is critical for red blood cell formation and I find many young woman deficient if they have heavy menstrual cycles (this can lead to generalized fatigue).

My guiding light on the importance of vitamins and minerals comes from Dr. Linus Pauling, a two-time Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry and Peace. He described many of the metabolic pathways in the human body. Unfortunately, many doctors tried to discredit him because he became an outspoken supporter of vitamins, especially vitamin C, to promote a healthy life. I know many doctors would laugh at Dr. Pauling, but I think he got the last laugh: he lived past the age of 90 in robust good health taking his regimen of vitamins and minerals!

To summarize: Yes, vitamins are not necessary for everyone, but many patients dealing with medical problems can certainly support their nutrition with vitamins and minerals. My job is to pick out the correct ones.

Dr. Dean Mitchell
Mitchell Medical Group, NYC & Long Island

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