Read the bolded statements and check your gut reaction: do you agree with it? Many people do and their health is worse for it.
Vitamin Supplements Are Natural
The vitamins in supplements aren’t always extracted from natural sources, as that is very expensive. Especially their vitamin C is often artificially manufactured.
They Make You Perform Better
Many hobbyist athletes but also some professionals believe that vitamin supps increase their athletic performance.
But, among others, a 2008 paper came to the conclusion that vitamin C decreased training effect for endurance athletes.
They Are Safe
As 16th century physician Paracelsus said, “the dose makes the poison,” and many vitamin supplements come with amounts much higher than the recommended daily allowance. Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K also have the ability to accumulate in your body, over time reaching the overdose amount.
The result? In the case of vitamin E, to name but one, it’s skin reactions, blurred vision, diarrhea, heart conditions including cardiac arrest, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, nausea and more.
They Are Healthy
Multiple studies found that men supplementing vitamin E and selenium to lower their risk of prostate cancer increased it instead. Another very large study found that women using vitamin and other supplements increased their general risk of cancer.
In most cases, vitamin supplements do nothing. In the worst case they lead to the results above. Vitamin supplements are just that: supplements. They aren’t substitutes for a healthy and balanced nutrition.
You Don’t Have To Tell Your Doctor
You should, especially if you take other medications. High vitamin dosages can interact with them and either block the medication’s effect or make it much stronger than desirable.
Vitamin A, for example, reacts with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding (aspirin, blood thinners etc.) and the likelihood of bleeding gets worse.
Without Them You Have Deficiencies
If vitamin deficiencies were as common as supplement companies make us believe, half of the population would be hospitalized. But when was the last time you heard of a case of scurvy (caused by a lack of vitamin C) in the US?
Of course those companies will tell that your tiredness (a symptom in scurvy) is caused by a lack of vitamin C. The overwhelming chances are that you are just that: tired.
They Replace Veggies And Fruits
Vegetables and fruits contain tons of vitamins. The mental shortcut goes “if vitamins are what make veggies and fruits good, then I can beeline to the vitamins.”
No, because vitamins are only a tiny fraction of the good stuff living in produce. Your average apple contains about 2,000 physiologically active substances and vitamin C is only one of them. The others are so-called “phytonutrients” – nutrients not classified as vitamins, but beneficial for human health and working in concert with the vitamins.
Isolate the vitamins from the phytonutrients and they don’t work as well.
The Cheaper And Better Solution
Let me ask: why do you think you need vitamin supps? It doesn’t do you much (if any) good and will never replace vitamins and nutrients from real food. And getting them from there is neither complicated nor expensive!