Vitamin Myth? Why We Think We Need Supplements

There is a great article in The Atlantic on the benefits of vitamin supplements. It argues against the need for dietary supplements, and asserts the rich multivitamin/mineral business is based on just another myth: that our food supply doesn’t contain enough nutrition to survive.

There have been numerous studies with popular vitamins showing the standard, healthy patient probably doesn’t need a dietary supplement at all. That we get everything we need nutrition-wise from a well-balanced meal for a well-functioning body. This isn’t discounting people who really do have low levels of certain vitamins and minerals in their body and need the extra boost for a short term, but overall, most people do not need to take that daily vitamin, according to the studies listed in this article.

However, the piece goes a step further and outlines several anecdotes of serious illnesses or deaths brought on or hastened by the use of dietary supplements. For example, the author writes:

“Researchers from the University of Minnesota found that women who took supplemental multivitamins died at rates higher than those who didn’t. … Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic found that men who took vitamin E had an increased risk of prostate cancer. … Seven previous studies had already shown that vitamins increased the risk of cancer and heart disease and shortened lives.”

Share Your Thoughts Below

Take a read for yourself, and let us know what YOU think in the comments! Do you take a daily vitamin? Do you agree that the benefits of vitamin supplements are overrated? We’d love to hear from you.

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