The Truth About Vitamins

Vitamins without doubt are vital to our health. And it remains possible that high dose vitamin supplements will one day be proven to protect against illnesses like heart disease and cancer. But so far, definitive evidence for these claims remains largely elusive. And as we discover more about some vitamins, it is increasingly clear that in large doses they can have unexpected, and sometimes dangerous consequences.

Are vitamins doing us any good? Could they even be dangerous? Every year we spend £300 million on vitamin supplements, but do they actually do us any good? Some believe they offer the promise of preventing or even curing some of the world’s biggest killers, such as heart disease and cancer. Others claim that taking large doses of some vitamins may in certain cases be harmful. So what are the facts?

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  1. Hi, I am a scientist, and I have researched this issue at length.

    The film barely scratched the surface of the problem.

    Abundant clinical studies demonstrate that taking vitamin doses above daily recommended allowances/intakes interferes with the absorption of other vitamins. Furthermore, the body is only designed to absorb a certain amount of each nutrient. Beyond that amount excesses are stored in the liver where they inhibit the liver’s ability to cleanse the blood and interfere with glucose function – two VERY important processes – to just name two (there are more).

    Also, many “vitamins” occur naturally in food alongside other molecules that aid in their effectiveness. The evidence is not completely clear, so the safe bet is to only consume “vitamins” naturally in the foods we normally eat – so as to not lose any effect and cause unnecessary liver accumulations.

    Vitamin E has recently been shown to cause problems at high doses – this was not mentioned in the film. It is unethical to do the trials that would really expose the dangers of vitamins at this point. Also, the film didn’t mention that Pauling’s wife died of stomach cancer – and she was taking high doses of vit C regularly for many years before her unfortunate death.

    However, these things are universally agreed upon by scientists including nutrition scientists – first measure the amount of vitamins that you are consuming from your regular diet – chances are that you are already above RDI’s for most vitamins – but, more importantly – by doing so you can identify which foods to add/subtract in order to reach the right amount of daily intakes without needing vitamin pills. The only time when vit supplements are needed is when nutrients naturally found in food are being lost due to stomach problems, intestinal cancers, etc. Also, it is now known that taking vit supplements – ie large doses of singular, concentrated “naked” molecules rushes the natural nutrient processing methods and thereby prevents other things that are also necessary in trace amounts from food (that you likely forgot to include in your vit pill cocktail) from being properly absorbed in the small intestine. 

    I’d like to see a documentary that really addresses the problem of vitamins. It is truly unfortunate that there is such a huge knowledge gap between scientists and the general public.

  2. Nutrients are bad for you….Ummmm ok if you say so. I do not agree.

    • There is a difference between ingesting the nutrients of the food you eat and ingesting nutrients in a pill form which may or not have been derived from real food an example would be calcium supplements which can include crushed seashells.

  3. What’s the difference between a medicine and a poison? The dose.

  4. What’s the difference between a medicine and a poison? The dose.

  5. Take the vitamins in limit, then they are not harmful.
    Multi Vitamin Minerals

  6. You really possess a method of words about vitamins and minerals . Great type of delivering the knowledge and I could relate to it. This kind of an excellent information for me. Thanks for this and God bless. Discount Vitamins and Minerals

  7. Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients that your body needs in small amounts to work properly.