Unpacking the Real Facts about Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

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Season 1, Episode 27 Guest: Jeffrey B. Blumberg, PhD FASN FACN CNS-S

Vitamin and mineral supplements are the most commonly used dietary supplements by populations worldwide. They are called supplements because that is the intention: to fill in nutritional gaps in your diet, not to make up for a bad diet.

No supplement replaces a healthy plant forward diet but what should you take to help make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need for good health? The aisles are full of vitamins, minerals and all kinds of supplements – in all kinds of forms – promising all kinds of benefits.

Today we interview nutrient researcher Dr. Jeffrey Blumberg, Professor Emeritus in the Friedman School of Nutrition Science at Tufts University. He unpacks the real evidence on supplements to help you personalize what you should take.

Key Facts about Vitamin and Mineral Supplements:

Children, young women, older adults, vegetarians, and vegans are at the greatest risk of several deficiencies.

A diet rich in whole, nutrient-dense foods is the best way to prevent deficiency.

Taking more than the recommended dose could result in toxicity.

Consult your physician if you suspect you have a nutrient deficiency and to check if your medications could interfere with nutrient absorption.

Form doesn’t matter (eg pill vs gummy vs liquid). What matters is to take your supplements regularly.

Supplements do not prevent chronic disease.

Supplements lack standardization so one multivitamin can be very different from another.


Center for Science and Public Interest
National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements
Linus Pawling Institute at Oregon State University
Your physician, registered dietician and pharmacist

Headshot: Jeffrey B. Blumberg PhD FASN FACN CNS-S

Jeffrey B. Blumberg PhD FASN FACN CNS-S

Dr. Blumberg is an active Professor Emeritus in the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston. His research has been focused on the biochemical basis for the role of antioxidant nutrients and their dietary requirements in promoting health and preventing disease during the aging process via changes in the status of oxidative stress, glucoregulation, and inflammation.

He has published more than 400 scientific articles and serves on the editorial boards of several scientific journals. Dr. Blumberg is cited in Thomson Reuters List of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds (2015) and by Mendeley Data as among the top 1% of published authors in nutrition and dietetics (2020).

He has participated in activities relevant to the incorporation of sound nutrition science into public health policy, including work as a member of the Workshop on Health Promotion and Aging in the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General, Sports Medicine Committee of the U.S. Olympic Committee, Consultation on Preparation and Use of Food-Based Dietary Guidelines for the World Health Organization/Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Food Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration, and other committees.

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