Science Academy calls for more scientific research on vitamins

The audio is in isiZulu. See English summary below.

MABUTHO: Ukwanda kwezikhangiso zamakhambi aziwa ngama multivitamins kuleli sekuholele ukuthi ongoti kwezesayensi ngaphansi kwe Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) banxuse ukuthi kwenziwe ucwaningo lwezesayensi kuloluhlobo lwamakhambi ngaphambi kokuba anconywe ukuba asetshenziswe ngabantu. Ama multivitamins angena ngaphansi kohlobo lwemakhambi aziwa ngama Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAMs). Ama Complementary and Alternative Medicines uhlobo lwemithi okanye amakhambi ukusebenza kwawo okungahloliwe mayelana nokwelapha izifo. Kepha abantu abaningi bayawasebenzisa ama multivitamins. Futhi ngenxa yokuthi abiza kangcono anesasasa kubantu abaningi. Esikhathini samanje esinezifo ezifana negciwane le HIV,sebekhona nabancoma ama multivitamins ekulapheni igciwane le HIV. UProf Wieland Gevers oyi Chief Executive Officer kwi Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) esanda kwenza ucwaningo lweminyaka emibili ngomthelela wezakhamzimba  emzimbeni womuntu onegciwane le HIV kanye ne TB, uthi kufanele kekubhekwe ukuthi ngabe lenqwaba yama multivitamins enzani emzimbeni womuntu nokuthi kungenzeke yini abe nomthelela ongemuhle ezimpilweni zabantu.

PROF WIELAND GEVERS: We need to know all the claims about the multivitamins. We need to know what is the fate of these large amounts of vitamins? How do they interact with your nutrients in your food? What happens when you take one as opposed to taking them all at once? We need more understanding of what happens to people’€™s bodies when taking these multivitamins.

MABUTHO: Khonamanjalo uProf Jimmy Volmink wasenyuvesi yase Stellebosch naye ongumunye wabacwaningi ebebebambe iqhaza kulolucwaningo naye uyafakaza ngokubaluleka kocwaningo lwesayensi kuma multivitamins. Uthi ukucwaningwa kwawo kungadalula izinto eziningi ngoba kunamavitamin afana no vitamin A angaba usizo kwabanye kodwa angaphinde adale umonakalo kwabanye ikakhulukazi komama abakhulelwe abanegciwane le HIV. Lokhu uthi kungenxa yokuthi uVitamin A wandisa amathuba okuthi owesifazane okhulelwe onegciwane alidlulisele kumntwana wakhe.  

PROF JIMMY VOLMINK: Some studies have reported that vitamins and some minerals can, in fact, have some negative consequences. For instance, vitamin A, if given to pregnant mothers who are HIV-positive, may, in fact, increase the mother-to-child transmission.

MABUTHO: UProf Volmink uqhuba athi isidingo socwaningo sikhulu ngoba kunobufakazi obuqinile obubonisa ukuthi inhlanganisela yama vitamin engenawo uvitamin A ingaba nemiphumela emihle kowesifazane okhulelwe kanye nomntwana wakhe.

PROF JIMMY VOLMINK: There is very strong evidence that in the case of pregnant women, multi-vitamins excluding vitamin A improve the outcomes of both disease progression, AIDS-related mortality and adverse pregnancy outcomes.

MABUTHO: UProf Gevers we Academy of Science of South Africa uthi okunye okubenza ukuthi babe nongabazane ngalemithi yama multivitamin ukuthi ubufakazi bokusebenza kwawo isikhathi esiningi kwenziwa kubantu basemazweni athuthukile afana neNorth America kanye nasemazweni ase Europe lapho abantu bedla ukudla okunomsoco. Uthi kungenzeka ukusebenza kwawo kube nemiphumela ehlukile kubantu basemazweni asathuthuka afana ne Ningizimu Africa ngenxa yobubha kanye nendlala.

PROF GEVERS: Another reason why we are mistrustful of the evidence that comes from Europe and North America is that their populations generally do not have hidden hunger. They are well supplied with micronutrients and macronutrients. Most of our populations have hidden hunger or malnutrition. Therefore, we need to know how they react when given supplements.

MABUTHO: Khonamanjalo uDr Ali Dhansay ovela kumkhandlu ocwaninga imithi kuleli iMedical Research Council (MRC) uthi nabo njengomkhandlu ebhekele ukwenziwa kocwaningo kwezemithi bahambisana ngokugcwele neziphakamiso zocwaningo lwe Academy of Science of South Africa zokuthi kwenziwe ucwaningo olunzulu kwimithi ngaphambi kokuba ikhangiswe kumbe ithengiswe emphakathini.

DR ALI DHANSAY: The MRC and other players, too, are recognizing the responsibility that we have, that we must adopt a scientific approach and investigate whether they do good, nothing at all or might be doing harm.

MABUTHO: Nakuba ngezinye izikhathi abasekela ama multivitamin kanye nolunye uhlobo lwamakhambi olungena ngaphansi kwama Complementary and Alternative Medicines bayaye babonise uhlu lwama locwaningo oselwenziwe ngamakhambi abo emazweni ahlukeni, kodwa abagxeki balemithi noma amakhambi bahlala benombuzo wokuthi lungaki ucwaningo ngaloluhlobo lwamakhambi oluseka ukusetshenziswa kwawo.

English summary.  

Call for scientific research on multivitamins

The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) has emphasized that more scientific research on multivitamins and their interaction with HIV  and TB.

The call comes at a time when the South African public is being bombarded with a plethora of advertisements promoting various supplements as cures for a number of illnesses. Multivitamins fall under a type of medicines classified as Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAMs). Although they haven’€™t undergone rigorous scientific testing to determine their medicinal qualities, they remain popular.

 

According to Prof Wieland Gevers, Chief Executive Officer of the Academy of Science of South Africa, which recently released a report on the role of nutrition on the human immune with special reference to HIV infection and active TB, there are still many unanswered questions about multivitamins.

 

‘€œWe need to know all the claims about multivitamins. We need to know what is the fate of these large amounts of vitamins, which are taken in. How do they interact with your nutrients in your food? What happens when you take one as opposed to taking all them at once? We need more understanding of what happens to people’€™s bodies when taking these multi-vitamins,’€ said Prof Gevers.

 

Prof Jimmy Volmink of Stellenbosch University, also one of the scientists who participated in the research, concurs with Prof Gevers about the importance of scientific research on multivitamins.  

 

‘€œSome studies have reported that vitamins and some minerals can, in fact, have some negative consequences. For instance, vitamin A if given to pregnant mothers who are HIV-positive, may, in fact, increase the mother-to-child transmission,’€ said Prof Volmink.

 

He, however, says, ‘€œthere is very strong evidence that in the case of pregnant women, multi-vitamins, excluding vitamin A, improve the outcomes of both disease progression, AIDS-related mortality and adverse pregnancy outcomes’€.

 

Prof Gevers also pointed out that most of the evidence on multivitamins is based on studies that were conducted in North America and in European countries. He says the outcome of these studies might not have similar findings in developing countries.

 

‘€œAnother reason why we are mistrustful of the evidence that comes from Europe and North America is that their populations generally do not have hidden hunger. They are well supplied with micronutrients and macronutrients. Most of our populations have hidden hunger or malnutrition. Therefore, we need to know how they react when given supplement,’€ said Prof Gevers.

 

 

 

 

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