Should you take supplements? - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Should you take supplements?

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Vitamins? Fish oil? If you take a supplement, you're not alone. But nutrition experts say watch out.

"Supplements on the market are not regulated the same way drugs are or even as food. A supplement can go on the market before it's proven safe or effective," said Emily Piazza, a nutritionist at Fletcher Allen Health Care.

And getting reliable information about them online can be tricky.

"It's good to have someone help you navigate what's true and what is a bunch of garbage," Piazza said.

Fletcher Allen offers free help finding good websites for your specific needs. Staff at the Frymoyer Community Health Resource Center can direct you. The medical library is open to anyone and hundreds of people visit every month.

"What are the good sources to go to? What is a good website that will give you reliable up-to-date scientific information?" Piazza said.

Everyone has different health concerns, but Fletcher Allen says two reliable websites for supplement information are Science Daily and the Food and Drug Administration.

But nutritionists say most people don't even need supplements. The best way to know for sure is to check with your doctor.

"So, people that need to consider taking a supplement or multivitamin might be someone who is pregnant or breast-feeding or someone who has a GI disorder," Piazza said.

Frymoyer Community Health Resource Center at Fletcher Allen Health Care -- 802-847-8821 -- resourcecenter@vtmednet.org

Supplement info -- www.fda.gov -- www.sciencedaily.com

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