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One of the great medical discoveries of the last century involved the identification of the nutritional substances necessary for life. Along with the “macronutrients” (fat, carbohydrate, and protein), these “micronutrients” make up the essential ingredients of a healthful diet.
Vitamins and minerals have been available as supplements since at least the 1930s. In the 1960s, however, a new way of using them came into vogue: so called “megadose" therapy. The megadose approach involves taking supplements at doses far above nutrition needs in the hopes of producing a specific medical benefit—essentially, using nutrients as natural drugs. 1 Each individual supplement article in this database explains what is known about the potential risks and benefits of megadose therapy.