Arrow-right Camera
Subscribe now

Truth on supplements

It was disappointing to see Dr. Bob Riggs column of April 12 “Supplements may not be necessary” in which he dispenses outdated and inaccurate information about nutritional supplements.

First, his statement that the FDA does not regulate supplements is simply not true. The FDA’s own website states that “FDA regulates both finished dietary supplements and dietary ingredients under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994” and “FDA is responsible for taking action against any adulterated or misbranded dietary supplement product.” In addition, all supplement manufacturers are required to adhere to the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP’s), which are strict guidelines to ensure their products are safe, pure and effective.

Contrary to the alarmist tone of the column, nutritional supplements are very safe. In 2015, while there were 125,000 deaths from prescription medication in the United States, there were none resulting from vitamin or mineral supplements. And while there are definite differences in quality between various brands of supplements there is little cause for worry about adverse effects from contaminants or toxins.

An ideal diet is almost non-existent today due to a devalued food supply and our fast-paced lifestyle. Most foods available in supermarkets, even fresh produce, are lacking in important nutrients due to market forces that emphasize shelf life and appearance over food value. Packaged foods are worse, most being over-processed and filled with sugar, salt, fillers and flavor enhancers.

If you can grow your own food, preferably organically, and live a relatively stress-free life, then supplements may not be necessary for you (I would still take extra Vitamin D). For everyone else, it would be smart to take your supplements.

Richard League

Mother’s Cupboard Nutrition

Letters policy

The Spokesman-Review invites original letters on topics of public interest. Your letter must adhere to the following rules:

  • No more than 250 words
  • We reserve the right to reject letters that are not factually correct, racist or are written with malice.
  • We cannot accept more than one letter a month from the same writer.
  • With each letter, include your daytime phone number and street address.
  • The Spokesman-Review retains the nonexclusive right to archive and re-publish any material submitted for publication.
Unfortunately, we don’t have space to publish all letters received, nor are we able to acknowledge their receipt.
Click here to learn more.

Submit letters using any of the following:

Our online form

Mail: Letters to the Editor
The Spokesman-Review
999 W. Riverside Ave.
Spokane, WA 99201

Fax: (509) 459-3815
Questions?: (509) 459-5430