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Commentary
November 9, 1998

Battling QuackeryAttitudes About Micronutrient Supplements in American Academic Medicine

Author Affiliations

From the Center on Aging, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston.

Arch Intern Med. 1998;158(20):2187-2191. doi:10.1001/archinte.158.20.2187

THROUGHOUT THE 20th century American academic medicine has resisted the concept that supplementation with micronutrients might have health benefits. This resistance is evident in several ways: (1) by the uncritical acceptance of news of toxicity, such as the belief that vitamin C supplements cause kidney stones; (2) by the angry, scornful tone used in discussions of micronutrient supplementation in the leading textbooks of medicine; and (3) by ignoring evidence for possible efficacy of a micronutrient supplement, such as the use of vitamin E for intermittent claudication.

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