December 16th, 2013
09:58 PM ET

Dr. Sanjay Gupta weighs in on whether you should be taking multivitamins and using antibacterial soap

New reports question the benefits of some healthcare items millions of Americans use everyday. The FDA is proposing a new rule that would require companies making antibacterial soaps and washes to prove they work and are safe. Also, new questions about whether multivitamins have any benefits at all. Anderson discusses both issues with Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

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  1. Casey

    It seems very likely to me that the study is comparing two groups that are both getting a balanced adequate diet, and, lo and behold, if you already get a balanced diet the multi vitamins don't help much. In the real world, many people use the vitamins instead of, not in addition to, a balanced diet.

    January 9, 2014 at 7:08 pm |
  2. salharm

    When you gave this report you mentioned antibiotic resistance as a possible outcome of using antibacterial soaps. To my knowledge companies do not currently include antibiotics as ingredients, so how would antibiotic resistance develop? There has been one research study claiming that triclosan use could lead to antibiotic resistance, but that study has since been contradicted by 7-8 other studies. This can be very misleading to the general public.

    December 18, 2013 at 10:47 am |
  3. JD

    This story was very poorly done. Klaus, brings up some very good points. Also why only have MD's on to discuss the topic? Why not someone that is a part of the industry(vitamin) or who would disagree with the study?
    "Some people take them and think they don't have to eat as well", is this any different then taking lipitor and not eating well? How many doctors discuss with their patients the importance of eating well while being on this drug? Are all supplements made of the same quality? I expect Anderson to interview some people that are on the other side of the fence on this issue. There has been plenty of research done on the benefits of taking multivitamins and this one study should not suddenly be used as the authority on this matter.

    December 17, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
  4. Julie Annduze,RN

    Dr. Gupta, I am ashamed that you would talk about vitamin supplementation as you did on the air. If the food we eat was adequate in providing the nutrition we need, then NO we wouldnt have to take vitamins. Even organic foods are losing nutrition on the way to the store. just eating fresh veggies and fruit will NOT give us what we need, especially if they are GMO's. The pharmaceuticals are thrilled about this because they know that the more unhealthy we are the more of THEIR products we will have to take. I wish someone would stand up for what is really healthy, but I guess it is not you

    December 17, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • tpr42345

      You are right on target, Julie. These studies that purportedly have shown that vitamins are useless and could be dangerous are just total garbage. The oft-quoted SELECT study has been shown to be highly flawed and the Harvard School of Public Health has pointed out in an article that the conclusion from the Iowa study that vitamins could be dangerous for women over 55 is nonsense. And so on. Yes, some supplements are indeed garbage. Check out the label for Centrum Silver and you see that it contains the colorings Red #40 and Yellow #6. Those colorings contain known carcinogens. Nothing like putting carcinogens in a vitamin product, right?

      You are quite right to be suspicious of these alleged study results. A hospital two miles from me closed its doors in July because it didn't have enough business. Think about what would happen to doctors, hospitals, Big Pharma, etc., if 90% of the people in the United States suddenly became extremely healthy.

      Believe me, Julie, there ARE people and organizations who are taking a stand against the unscrupulous people who are trying to deceive the American general public.

      November 28, 2014 at 7:10 am |
  5. Klaus

    Was it your general mill of the road multi vitamin, like Centrum, or drug store brand? Not all supplements are created equal, and some are just down right crap. If the body doesn't absorb it, how can it be beneficial? Some brands are known to literally go straight through the intestine, to the colon, then straight to the flusher. Who sponsored or paid for the study? Was it the Pharmaceutical industry? Many people do not eat the required daily intake of good macro and micro nutrients needed on a daily basis, so it only makes sense that nutritional supplements may assist this void, which benefit the consumer, provided they are a decent quality. Many people are just too busy o cook and prepare a meal every day that meets these nutritional guidelines. Supplements should never replace real food, but I can not see how they hurt people. I have yet to hear of people dying from taking supplements and / or nutriceuticals. Can't say the same about pharmaceuticals. Just a little food for thought.

    December 17, 2013 at 3:45 pm |

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