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Supplement Advertising: Buyer Beware. Also: New Research on Vitamin C, Ginger and Vitamin E
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Supplement Advertising: Buyer Beware. Also: New Research on Vitamin C, Ginger and Vitamin E

Evidence of Value of Vitamins
Caveat Emptor
The following is an excerpt from the Willner Window radio program, originally airing on April 18, 2004.

Arnie: Good afternoon everyone, this is .... Welcome to The Willner Window. For those of you who might be first-time listeners, the focus of this show is nutritional supplements–vitamins, herbs, homeopathic remedies–and their proper usage. With me this afternoon is . .
Now, to start off the program today, here is Don:
Don: Thanks, Arnie. First, I want to thank those of you who sent your comments about the show we did a couple of weeks ago on carbohydrates . . . You can find that information on our web site. . .
Today, I want to provide you with some good news about nutritional supplements–news that supports our continued advice to you that taking daily multivitamins and multiminerals, at the very least, is the proper thing to do.
And one point that I want to make is that the emphasis can be, and should be, on the vitamins, minerals and herbs themselves–not on the final product.
Sam: What Don is getting at is that there is abundant research supporting the value of individual vitamins and minerals, as well as combination, for good health, and the prevention of disease. Why do some widely advertised products make impressive claims, but fail to mention what the product contains.
Here is an example:
Hi, I'm Don Goldberg, and I'm a New York City bus driver. Here's the thing. I sit there in the bus all day, and have to put up with all these sick people. They come on the bus, and their coughing, and sneezing, ...drippy noses. Spreading those germs all over the place. I used to get sick all the time. So I decided to do something about it. I invented a product that prevents me from catching colds. I call it busstop. It's just amazing. Guaranteed to work. Just listen to this.
Hi, my name is Be Ware. At the first sign of a cold last week, I took Busstop. Within one hour the cold was gone!
There you go. What more proof could you ask for? Busstop, guaranteed to cure the common cold. Science couldn't do it, but a bus driver could! If you call now, you can get a free bottle to try. Just pay 29.95 for shipping and handling, and I will send you a free bottle of busstop. Limit one free bottle per household.
And, by the way, results may vary, and Mr. Be Ware's results are not typic