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 WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Every American should now use dietary supplements based on the strength of the scientific data published in recent years supporting the health benefits of vitamins and minerals, physician and television news commentator Arthur Ulene, M.D., told the Council for Responsible Nutrition's 20th anniversary conference today.
 "Vitamin supplemenatation has important positive implications for public health," said Ulene, president of Feeling Fine, a company that develops and distributes health information programs for health professionals and the general public. Ulene, a former NBC-TV Today show health correspondent, currently appears on ABC-TV's Home show weekly.
 "I am one who now believes that every adult and, perhaps, every child should be using vitamin supplements," Ulene said. Supplements represent, he added, "an opportunity to reduce morbidity and mortality in what looks like a very cost effective manner."
 Ulene cited his own transformation as a supplement non-believer into someone who not only takes supplements, but advises others to do so as well. "There is no need for the average American to take supplements," Ulene recalled he said on television in 1975. "Looking back now, that statement looks awfully naive," he admitted, adding: "In fact, it sounds stupid."
 By 1977, Ulene said, he was telling people to take supplements for some uses, by 1985 he was advocating higher-than-RDA doses and by 1990 Ulene was taking vitamin supplements himself.
 "My change was motivated by compelling scientific evidence supporting the need for and the efficacy of nutritional supplements," Ulene said. "I am typical of my medical colleagues. The very same factors that influenced me to change my attitudes and behavior about nutritional supplements are likely to change the (attitudes of other physicians)."
 Ulene cited scientific studies showing that vitamin E can reduce the risk of heart attacks by more than 40 percent, that folic acid can reduce the incidence of spina bifida and other neural tube birth defects by more than 50 percent and that a beta-carotene, vitamin E and selenium supplement reduced stomach and esophageal cancer by 13 percent in a recently published clinical trial in China.
 Ulene said 74 percent of women and 45 percent of men between ages 19 and 24 fall short of the recommended daily allowance for calcium. Forty-one percent of women and 34 percent of men between the ages 25 and 50 fail to consume two-thirds the RDA for vitamin E. And one-third of both men and women over the age 50 get too little vitamin A.
 "The key to success," Ulene advised his CRN audience, "is a commitment on the part of the vitamin supplement industry to build its future on solid scientific evidence. It is time for the nutritional and medical communities to recognize their common goals and to work together more effectively" to improve the public health.
 Ulene also told CRN he is exploring ways to become personally involved with the nutritional industry.
 -0- 9/20/93
 /CONTACT: Mary Burnette of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, 202-872-1488/

CO: Council for Responsible Nutrition ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA SU:

TM-LD -- NY113 -- 3922 09/20/93 23:47 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 20, 1993

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