Nurse-specific Vitamin: Boon or Bust?

According to Employee Vita, a company that produces vitamins and supplements, nurses need a vitamin designed specifically for their profession’s needs.

Consumer question of the day: would you buy a vitamin that has been designed specifically for a nurse’s needs? Is there a need for such a thing?

According to Employee Vita, a company that produces vitamins and supplements, nurses need a vitamin designed specifically for their profession’s needs. To accommodate this need, the company has come up with the answer: Nurse Vita.

In a press release issued on August 19, they state, “Nurses' needs are different from those in other occupations.” In order to address these needs, “Nurse Vita contains specific ingredients that support nurses' immune systems, while also caring for skin and enhancing energy and stamina.” The company also makes Teacher Vita, Firefighter Vita and Trucker Vita.

A few things came to mind when reading that press release. Women and men have different vitamin needs. Women, themselves, have differing vitamin needs according to their stage in life. So, how can a “nurse’s vitamin” cover the needs of both male and female nurses, as well as the varying needs in general? One can make the same argument for the Firefighter Vita, Teacher Vita, and so on.

A quick look at the Employee Vita website shows a testimonial from a “Dr. Cummings, MD” from the Washington University School of Medicine. A search of WUSM shows only one Dr. Cummings (the MD after Dr. Cummings is redundant), and he is an instructor in radiology and cardiothoracic imaging. Not to take away from Dr. Cummings’ qualifications (if this is the same doctor), but I’d have more faith in a testimonial from someone whose background is more fitting to nutrition and associated issues that would back up some of the company’s claims.

In the company’s FAQ (frequently asked questions) section, they answer this question: “Do supplements alter body chemistry?” with this: “Not in a detrimental manner. Supplements are not drugs. They have been carefully designed for use within the program to improve body chemistry. We do not recommend or produce supplements for medicinal purposes. That should only be done by a qualified clinical health care professional. Our supplements are for supporting your health and should enhance normal body functioning.”

The problem is, although supplements are not medications — some supplements can and do alter the body in a detrimental manner. Natural does not mean safe. Many substances on this planet are natural – yet they will kill you if you ingest them. I’m not saying that the supplements in this product fall into the same category – but what I don’t like is their misleading (in my opinion) statement about supplements not being harmful.

One could argue that these products are not any different from dietary and health supplements such as Airborne®. However, although Airborne was developed by a teacher, there’s no claim for it to be occupation-specific. Its effectiveness is also under fire, although it does have a very loyal following.

So, back to Nurse Vita. What do you think? Does something like a profession-specific vitamin or supplement make sense? Is there a future in this type of product? Would you buy it?