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JAMA. 1987 Apr; 257(14): 1929-36.

Vitamin preparations as dietary supplements and as therapeutic agents. Council on Scientific Affairs.


Healthy adult men and healthy adult nonpregnant, nonlactating women consuming a usual, varied diet do not need vitamin supplements. Infants may need dietary supplements at given times, as may pregnant and lactating women. Occasionally, vitamin supplements may be useful for people with unusual life styles or modified diets, including certain weight reduction regimens and strict vegetarian diets. Vitamins in therapeutic amounts may be indicated for the treatment of deficiency states, for pathologic conditions in which absorption and utilization of vitamins are reduced or requirements increased, and for certain nonnutritional disease processes. The decision to employ vitamin preparations in therapeutic amounts clearly rests with the physician. The importance of medical supervision when such amounts are administered is emphasized. Therapeutic vitamin mixtures should be so labeled and should not be used as dietary supplements.

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