Vita-Craving Is Vita-Deadly
The human body is one of the most complex machines in the world. And just like any other machine, we must take good care of our bodies for it to work properly. One of the most important factors of maintaining a healthy body is ensuring we receive the proper nutrients to keep it running smoothly. The best way to do that is to pursue a healthy diet, making sure to absorb all the different kind of nutrients a human body needs. In the sped-up technology filled world we live in today, more and more Americans are finding it hard to maintain a healthy diet. Understandably many Americans turn to multivitamins to ensure they are maintaining a healthy regimen. Unfortunately many people don’t know the facts about multivitamins. What if I said daily vitamin are useless, and may even be harmful in the long run.
Imagine owning a very nice and fast race car. Somebody comes up and tries to sell a product that he guarantees will make any car faster and more efficient. Although I did my research and I know for a fact that this product will not improve anyones car whatsoever. Would anyone purchase it? The answer, I would hope we would all say, is no. Multivitamins are the product that this guy is selling. A useless product that half of all Americans are wasting their money on. In an article called ‘Why Multivitamins May Do More Harm Than Good’ by Stephanie Stickel, she mentions how “The majority of scientific data available does not support the role of dietary supplements for improving health or preventing disease.” So why do Americans continue to purchase multivitamins when there is scientific evidence that they are essentially useless? In the same article the Stickel questions Regan Bailey, a nutritional epidemiologist in the NIH’s Office of Dietary Supplements. Bailey claims, “It’s not from the doctors.” I would sure hope my doctor doesn’t recommend me to take vitamins daily that wouldn’t positively effect my health. So who’s really behind the push for multivitamins?
All the producers, suppliers and merchants of multivitamins are reeling in a great amount of profit. The merchants also include any type of store that sells multivitamins. Grocery stores are making a surprisingly large profit from common multivitamins. In an article called ‘Americans Spend Billions on Vitamins and Herbs That Don’t Work’ by Cameron Scott, there are some eye opening statistics about multivitamins. First of all they make up for five percent of all sales from grocery stores. The profit they receive for vitamins is a whopping ten times higher than groceries alone. The supplements in fact help with the sales of many small grocery stores and may even be keeping them in business. There is an estimated twenty-one billion dollars in profit from supplements expected in 2015. With all of this profit it may be motive for the merchants to try and push vitamin sales even more, whether they are useful to us or not.
Another reason why Americans may continue to purchase multivitamins is to make up for their poor diet. America is among the least healthy of first world countries. We have unlimited resources to many ways to be able to maintain a healthy diet yet, us Americans decide stopping at a McDonald’s is the way to go. Nevertheless everyone thinks they are receiving all the nutrients they need by popping a vitamin in the morning then eating junk all day. Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that whatsoever. Sadly one reason why Americans waste money on multivitamins is because of our “easy-way-out” attitude. And in the end it could be vitally harmful to anyone who takes daily vitamins.
Doing more harm than good is what’s used to describe vitamins and I believe that’s an understatement. Calcium, for example, is one of the most common supplements taken daily. Calcium is an essential nutrient for your body and it helps build strong bones. In an article called, ‘Are You Taking Too Much Calcium, A or D?’ by Dr. Melissa Young some vital information about negative effects of multivitamins were revealed. Dr. Young from the center for integrative medicine did a specific study on calcium and the results are disturbing.“More and more studies are showing increased risks for heart attack and stroke among men and women taking calcium 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams (mg) per day as directed,” says Dr. Young. Heart attacks and strokes are among the leading causes of death among Americans and a simple multivitamin may be helping cause them.
Another way multivitamins can be harmful is when people continue to take synthetic versions rather than the natural version. This commonly happens with vitamin D.Vitamin D in it’s natural form strengthens the immune system and boosts immunity which can be very helpful. Although when you take the synthetic version it actually causes muscle pain, mood disorders, abdominal pain and kidney stones. It may also increase risk for heart attack and stroke. So here we are, back to having heart attack and strokes from multivitamins. “Most reports of toxicity involve patients taking synthetic vitamin D2, so we prescribe natural vitamin D3,” says Dr. Young.
Dr. Eliseo Guallar, a professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health conducted three specific studies with some not so surprising results. The studies are provided in the article ‘Experts: Don’t Waste Your Money on Multivitamins’ by Brenda Goodman. For the first study, researchers randomly assigned almost 6,000 male doctors over the age of 65 to take either a daily Centrum Silver multivitamin or a look-alike placebo pill. Every few years, the researchers gave the men a battery of tests over the telephone to check their memories. After 12 years, there was no difference in memory problems between the two groups.”No matter which way we broke it down, there was a null effect,” said Dr. Guallar. This study showed no negative effects but the results confirm the uselessness of this particular pill.
In the second study, researchers randomly assigned 1,700 heart attack survivors enrolled in a trial of therapy known as intravenous chelation to a daily regimen of high doses of vitamins and minerals or placebo pills. In other words, half of the participants took a multivitamin and the other have took a fake vitamin, so they could test the differences. After an average of fifty-five months, there was no significant difference between the two groups in a composite measure that counted the number of deaths, second heart attacks, strokes, episodes of serious chest pain and procedures to open blocked arteries. Yet another study proving that taking vitamins and supplements have no positive effect.
The third study, a research review, assessed the evidence from 27 studies on vitamin and mineral supplements that included more than 450,000 people. The study found no evidence that supplements offer a benefit for heart disease or that they delay death from any cause. Dr Guallar, seeming disgusted for conducting studies over and over again claimed,”The probability of a meaningful effect is so small that it’s not worth doing study after study and spending research dollars on these questions.” The results of these studies are very clear and consistent, and it seems time to not only stop wasting money on these various studies, but on multivitamins altogether.
Another common negative effect of multivitamins when someone takes too much of a given vitamin. As stated before our nation is among the least healthy, therefore many people will take vitamins as a filler for their poor diet. A large problem resurrects when people believe taking more pills can only help even more. People believe there can never be too much of a good thing. That may be true for some things, but certainly not when it comes to multivitamins. First of all, vitamins are not a positive thing to begin with, even when taking the correct dosage. When somebody overdoses, if you will, the effects could be devastating, even deadly.
In an article written by Martin Bagot titled, ‘Too Many Vitamins Can Give You CANCER, Major New Study Warns’ new studies are revealed that show just how harmful taking too much of a supplement can be. Their studies consisted of thousands of patients who were taking dietary supplements and placebos. Their overall results were as followed, “We found that the supplements were actually not beneficial for their health. In fact, some people actually got more cancer while on the vitamins.” Vitamins not being beneficial to ones health is expected at this point, but the fact that some people got more cancer is the scary part. In one specific trial, they tested 35,000 people between 2001 and 2014 in the States. The results found taking too many vitamin E tablets increased the risk of developing prostate cancer by 17%. An increase this large should be quite alarming. How can something that is supposed to enhance your body possibly have this large of a chance to harm you?
It would seem impossible if I said theres a way to save money and receive all the nutrients the human body requires in one simple technique right? Well there is, and it’s the way the human body is supposed to be receiving these nutrients; through digestion of healthy foods. Strategically purchasing various fruits, vegetables, and meats will provide humans with all the vitamins the body needs. Unless fasting, there is money being spent on food undoubtedly and this can subtract the numerous multivitamin costs that you would normally purchase saving loads of money. Continuation of this process consistently and efficiently will have any human body running like a well oiled, complex machine.
Stickel, Stefanie. “Why Multivitamins Might Do More Harm Than Good.” Greatist. Web. 1 Dec. 2015.
Scott, Cameron. “Americans Spend Billions on Vitamins and Herbs That Don’t Work.” Healthlines RSS News. Web. 1 Dec. 2015.
“Are You Taking Too Much Calcium, A or D?” Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic. 27 May 2014. Web. 1 Dec. 2015.
Goodman, Brenda. “Experts: Don’t Waste Your Money on Multivitamins – WebMD.” WebMD. Web. 1 Dec. 2015.
Bagot, Martin. “Too Many Vitamins Can Give You CANCER, Major New Study Warns.” Mirror. 20 Apr. 2015. Web. 1 Dec. 2015.