Do vitamins really prevent disease?

Vitamins are a daily routine for many people, especially the young and the old, who are force fed vitamins as a magic pill against bad things happening to them.

I didn't mind as a kid, though... I had Flintstones chewable vitamins and they tasted great. I didn't care what they put in there, vitamins, spinach, liver, amphetamines, as long as they had that great synthetic grape flavour. Mmm-mmmm.

We've become accustomed to taking them, so much so that the vitamin industry
is raking in massive profits from our belief that consuming vitamins will help prevent disease.

Several recent studies have come out that suggest that certain vitamins do not offer protection against the diseases that they are marketed towards.

CNN on Which Vitamins to take?

"In the largest and longest study of its kind, researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, found that vitamins C and E do nothing to protect against heart disease in men. The study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, also found that vitamin E even appeared to raise the risk of bleeding strokes, which, while rare, are often the most deadly."

And, further on:

"A study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute this week found that a daily regimen of vitamin D and calcium did not offer any protection against invasive breast cancer."

CNN asks several 'experts' about their vitamin regime, but I'm always skeptical of the experts that the news networks drum up... the first is a Dr. Weil, who takes a shocking number of vitamin pills every day. He doesn't place much stock in the results, saying that they should be taken with a 'grain of salt', and

"I believe vitamins E and C are important as part of our antioxidant defenses, even if we have not yet documented specific preventive effects," says Weil."

That's insane for a scientist to say, as it amounts to nothing more than religious fever about vitamins. Well, Dr. Weil, I can also suggest that you take a healthy dose of cocaine every day, even though there's no 'documented' benefits.

The Washington Post chimes in on the disconcerting results:

"Why didn't the supplements prevent cancer, as some earlier research had suggested? One theory, Lin said, is that they might be effective in people who are poorly nourished, but not in well-nourished people such as the women in the study. She said some research has shown that diets lacking in antioxidants -- found in fruits and vegetables -- can lead to higher cancer rates.

The study isn't the final word, Lin said. "More studies need to be done to see who may benefit from antioxidant supplements. One trial study has suggested that men, compared with women, were more likely to gain benefits from supplementation with antioxidants in reducing cancer risk. However, such findings need verification." "

Basically, it comes down to age-old common sense - you're better off just eating your fruits and vegetables for a robust diet, rather than relying on pills. Vitamins pills are likely to offer some positive effects in people with awful diets, or those that are malnourished, but it's just money thrown away for the rest of us.
Do vitamins really prevent disease? Do vitamins really prevent disease? Reviewed by Admin on June 25, 2019 Rating: 5

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