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Supplements Grossly Overused On Sick Kids

There's no question supplements can compensate for some of the damage that people do to themselves. In my practice, however, I've found most people use them to justify their poor choice of foods. No matter what you spend or what dosage you take, there is NO SUBSTITUTE for proper eating.

That's why I was quite concerned about the results of a new study that found parents were giving their chronically ill children with serious conditions dietary supplements without telling their doctors. Researchers believe this can be problematic because the safety of many supplements, when taken along with standard medications, can be uncertain.

Sixty-two percent of the parents who were surveyed (of some 500 sick children) had bought vitamins, herbs, amino acids or other dietary supplements in the past year for their kids, and 30 percent had taken supplements that were not prescribed as part of their treatment. Only 20 percent of the parents polled had discussed it with their child's doctor.

The serious childhood diseases parents attempted to treat on their own with supplements:

  • Cancer at some 46 percent.
  • Cystic fibrosis, type 1 diabetes or neuro-behavioral disorders -- such as autism, Down syndrome and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder at around 35 percent.

Yahoo News January 6, 2005

American Dietetic Association December 28, 2004

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