The Myth of Useless & Dangerous Vitamins

The renowned Mayo Clinic’s online efforts include a feature called NutritionWise.  The idea is to help people improve their health with improved nutrition.

In the piece, from March 5 the writer/nutritionist asked: “Multivitamins — Are they the best thing for you?” After slapping our forehead with disgust, www.mayoclinic.com/health/multivitamins/NU00651 NBN wonders if the clinic has lost a few marbles.

More and more we’ve been seeing stories asking questions about whether people should even bother taking vitamins at all.  These stories seem thoughtful. They cite recent negative studies casting doubt on the benefits of supplementation, while ignoring the many, many, previous studies done over the decades that have shown the opposite.

And most of them conclude with another myth, that of the well nourished American who eats well and uses food to maintain their healthy lifestyle.

Here’s what the Mayo Clinic piece concluded:

“Let’s look at this way — do you eat a well balanced diet? If so, you may not need a multivitamin and if you take one as a “safety net” know that you may exceed what your body needs or can use.”

How in the world can people still argue that America, a nation where food choices have led to an epidemic in lifestyle diseases such as obesity and diabetes, can thoughtful people still believe all you have to do is eat well.

Furthermore, given the growing number of adverse drug reactions, some leading to death, seem to NBN that we might be looking at how nutritional medicine can impact the spiraling twins of more and more money spent on health care with nothing but sicker and sicker results.

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