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What's new on... vitamins
The 200 websites listed here are part of GP's unique A-Z directory. The full list can be found at GPonline.com. Here, A-Z author Dr Keith Barnard investigates the new Vitamin Information Service site
www.vitaminfo.com I am always sceptical about sites on topics that are peripheral to mainstream medicine. Here, my scepticism was not allayed by the fact that I could not find out who was behind this new site.
There is no 'about us' button, so I had to chase down every corner of the site until I came across Nutrivit - a Swiss association formed to raise awareness of the link between nutrition, vitamins and health.
Nutrivit was founded by Roche Vitamins Europe. But is there a connection between Nutrivit and the Vitamin Information Service? Well yes, because if you want to send an e-mail from this site to ask a question, you send it to Nutrivit.
So why am I still continuing with this site that hides its pharmaceutical connection so carefully? Because it is rather good. It looks bright, it is easy to navigate and there is no advertising.
The all-important content is relevant and the importance of vitamins is not overblown. There are no claims here that a massive dose of vitamins A to Z will turn you into an insatiable Lothario.
And on every page there is a link to the DoH table of recommended daily amounts of each vitamin, just in case you are tempted to take a hundredweight of vitamin A and wreck your liver.
There is a bit about other 'micro-nutrients' such as minerals, carotenoids and flavanoids. Omega-3 fatty acids get a whole section to themselves with a table of how much you need and where you can get it from - good old oily fish, of course. Your age and lifestyle are the headings for separate sections that deal sensibly with diet and activity, and it is all illustrated with pleasant pictures.
An 'at your service' section offers various leaflets on topics such as eating well in pregnancy. You can send away for them, or download them as PDFs.
All in all a pleasant surprise - an advertisement-free, sponsored site, and with some helpful information. Well done Roche, but why not be more upfront about it?
A-Z OF MEDICAL WEBSITES A Abdominal pain in childhood gut1.peds.uiowa.edu/educate.htm Slides of case histories from University of Iowa Abuse, child www.yesican.org Detection, prevention, links Acne www.telemedicine.org/stamford.htm Electronic Textbook of Dermatology Acupuncture www.medical-acupuncture.co.uk British Medical Acupuncture Society Addiction www.hubplace.com/addictions Resources guide AIDS www.bmaids.demon.co.uk BMA Foundation Alcohol-related problems www.alcoholconcern.org.uk Resources guide Alzheimer's disease See Dementia Angina hebw.uwcm.ac.uk/cardio/index.html Health Evidence Bulletin of Wales management options Angina, stable …