Health

Are Vitamins a Scam?

It’s that time of year, when colds and the flu run rampant. There’s always precautionary measures to prevent getting bedridden. Washing your hands. Drinking whiskey. Or, remaining a recluse, like yours truly. But, many companies will make you believe that ingesting endless amounts of vitamins and minerals will keep you fit, healthy and strong. They also make claims that taking said vitamins and minerals will prevent various forms of of cancer and heart attacks. And, we’re falling for it, even in these tough economic times. During the last several years, the vitamin industry has had annual of sales $23 billion. People are even choosing vitamins over prescription drugs, and fruits and veggies, because of their lower cost.

Unfortunately, it’s bologna. Research after research has found that vitamins and minerals can actually increase death. Patients suffering from colon, esophageal, gastric, pancreatic and liver cancer had a 6% higher death rate when taking beta carotene, selenium and vitamins A, C and E, compared to placebo users. People taking high doses of Vitamin E had a 4% increase in death, and a 13% higher risk of heart failure. Vitamin B doesn’t prevent heart attacks. Vitamin C studies found no assistance in preventing colds, unless you’re engaged in extreme activities. However, consuming multivitamins has been described as an “insurance policy,” which to me, means that they can’t help or harm you.

The same could be said about the Cocoa-Cola owned Vitaminwater. Each bottle contains two tablespoons of crystalline fructose, in English, cornstarch, which means unnecessary sugar. Vitamin also contains 125 calories. Doesn’t seem to healthy now, does it? There’s also very little actual vitamins. Finally, the vitamins that are in Vitaminwater are just excess and will be unused. Matter of fact, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a food-health advocacy group, is suing Coke. The CSPI’s class action suit claims that Coke is is violating consumer-protection laws by passing Vitaminwater as a health drink.

Does this mean that all vitamins will put you in the grave early. Not at all. Vitamin D and Calcium are well, just awesome for you. And, Americans aren’t getting enough of them. However, some women need Vitamin D and Calcium more than us men, because they eat less than men. For a natural dose of Vitamin D, you can always put down the X-Box controller for a bit and work on your tan, in moderation, of course.

Overall, all this vitamin business wouldn’t be booming if we took better care of ourselves. We’re talking about eating healthier and getting some exercise. Believe it or not, most of the vitamins and minerals we require come from food. Fruits, veggies, whole grains, and “good” fats will give you a solid vitamin fix. I know it’s tough, but instead of eating cheeseburgers everyday, mix it up from time to time with the good stuff, like tuna and apples, and stop wasting your money on vitamins and minerals.

Leave a Comment

  1. Glabga says:

    Fast food has so little nutritional value that most people are being undernourished at the same time that they are overweight. Vitamin deficiency is a big problem right now, so scaremongering about vitamin overdose seems a little odd. Too much is bad, but since no one's getting near enough, I wouldn't worry so much about excessive consumption. I think vitamins are sometimes sold as panaeceas, but their value isn't really in question. Vitamin deficiencies kill, too.