9.6 Vitamins

General Notes

  • Vitamins are used for the prevention and treatment of specific deficiency states or where the diet is known to be inadequate; they may be prescribed in the NHS to prevent or treat deficiency but not as dietary supplements.
  • The use of vitamins as general ‘pick-me-ups’ is of unproven value and, in the case of preparations containing Vitamin A or D, may actually be harmful if patients take more than the prescribed dose. Mega-vitamin therapy with water-soluble vitamins, such as ascorbic acid and pyridoxine, is unscientific and can be harmful.
  • Claims that vitamin C ameliorates colds have not been proved.