[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
November 9, 1998

Battling Quackery: Attitudes 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.