“On need of supplement & vitamins- If you eat a balanced diet you get all the vitamins and minerals you need and you don’t need any supplement and overdosing can actually be more harmful.”
― Subodh Gupta
I don’t know about people in other countries, but we Americans love our dietary suppliments, otherwise known as vitamins and minerals; we spend some $28 billion a year on them, injesting them daily in the single multi- pill, or handfulls of individual vitamin/mineral types.
Even though the federal Food and Drug Administration does not test or regulate them and their efficacy is unproven beyond advertising claims.
They are touted to make or keep us healthy, fend off the common cold or flu (or reduce the length and severity of one, should one be caught anyways) or reduce or eliminate the risks of major diseases like heart disease or cancer.
And, I admit, I’ve recently been caught up in them as well – once I read about the especially severe outbreak of flu and even had my flu shot – I started the daily multi- pill and packaged high-dose of Vitamin C when one of the grandkids was showing the signs and I’d had a couple of nice hugs with him (the risk of catchin’ something is far outweighed by gettin’ a little lovin’!)
But to what avail? Apparently, none, I still caught the flu. Then I read this article:
Seems some 50 large-scale studies have shown that – for the most part – suppliments do no good, we’re flushing our money spent on them down the toilet – literally, experts tell us that a body can only hold and process limited amounts of vitamins and minerals, and when once the saturation threshold is reached for those that are water-soluable, any excess is excreted in our urine.
Like Vitamin C. There’s no good evidence that mega-doses of C can prevent a cold or the flu, or reduce the severity or duration and, as a water-soluable, any amount in excess of need is urinated out. And in large doses can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, even kidney stones.
And the non-soluables aren’t excreted and continue to be stored and built up until they reach toxic levels that can become highly dangerous to our bodies and health. Like Vitamin A (especially in pill form) which can cause liver fibrosis, or make lung cancer more likely for some. Or Vitamin E’s effect for prostate cancer.
Excessive amounts of suppliments, even otherwise benign, can also cause headaches.
According to Dee Sandquist, a registered dietician and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “As Americans, we think more is better, but that’s not the case with vitamins,” and we are putting our health at risk. “The best strategy is to follow the ‘choose my plate” method,” she says, referring to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s healthy food guide. If people do that, she says, “then they probably wouldn’t have to worry about a vitamin supplement unless they have a specific medical condition.”
But, all that said, if you still believe in daily suppliments, I would suggest that you not take any that are “100%” of the “daily recommended amount” of any vitamin or mineral – it will guarantee you’ll be taking excessive amounts when combined with your regular food intake.
Better yet, spend your money on eating healthier food.
And hope for the best when exposed to sick people.