I'm not anti-Vitamin supplements, however, without a healthy lifestyle and diet I doubt supplementation is a prevention for anything.
I saw a German documentary recently with a different conspiracy on Vitamins, which is that the advertising industry has made needless, worthless and
at times dangerous substances into money-spinning "anti-oxidant" cure-alls, while they are really often chemical preservatives touted as a miraculous
component of "functional foods".
Functional foodstuffs are all the foods that advertise themselves as quasi-medicinal (with a mixture of food and medicine as the next level of the
industry, often consisting of chemical junk-food promoted with "anti-oxidants" and "pro-biotics", for example).
Nowadays the vitamin industry is booming - they can be found in everything from sweets to soft-drinks.
The chances of getting too many is bigger than the chances of getting too few.
As micronutrients they can be beneficial to a few people with real vitamin deficiencies. To many customers they are simply ineffective in minute and
"safe" quantities (although certain organs must work harder to produce expensive urine), and to some who take large amounts, they seem to have a
long-term negative effect.
Studies have been done lately that have shown negative effects in prostate and lung cancer with some vitamins, although it appears Vitamin C is
neither harmful or beneficial.
(See: Vitamin E and increased lung cancer risk, especially in smokers: news.bbc.co.uk...
Vitamin E supplements and a negative impact on prostate cancer: www.cancer.gov...
Shockingly, folate and some common B-vitamins added to foodstuffs increased pancreatic cancer by a whopping 139 percent when taken as multivitamin
supplements, indicating that they may promote tumor growth!
Mineral and Vitamin supplements were linked to higher death rates in elderly women: www.medscape.org...
Deceptively, vitamins are often sold as a cultural antidote to "big-pharma", when major pharmacy companies sell these chemicals directly or via
As Nathan Geffen points out:
Micronutrient supplements are a huge multi-billion-dollar industry. Exaggerated claims and aggressive advertising characterize the marketing of these
products. Often they are marketed as a natural, non-pharmaceutical solution to healthcare, but they have to be artificially manufactured, just like
any other pharmaceutical product. Moreover, despite the anti-drug company approach of advertising for these products, some of the big drug companies,
such as GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer, are also sellers of multivitamin pills, with substantial markets in developing countries like India.
Micronutrients are cheap and easy to manufacture and very easy to sell at a high price, hence the size of the industry.
(Nathan Geffen: Debunking Delusions: The inside story of the Treatment Action Campaign
. Jacana Media: 2010. P.45.)
There are also a range of independent vitamin salesmen, like Dr. Rath, who still sell the same stuff under a more trendy label.
His usual mode of operation is publishing alarmist and mostly false adverts in newspapers, which are meant to appear as bona fide editorials to
Fortunately he's left South Africa, and I hope he's gone for good.
I take a micro-nutrient supplement most days of the week, so I'm not against this at all within bounds.
However, telling people in general that Vitamin C "cures" or "prevents" anything is not a message I would push.
Then, I'm also concerned that almost everything is already "vitamin enriched" these days.
So far studies have not shown the benefits of these chemicals as supplements and mega-doses, and the possible long-term risks of mega-doses are a
cause of great concern.
At least smoking a cigarette is more honest in getting your daily dose of shellac, and chemicals used in paints and nail polish.
Fruits and vegetables are good (as even Popeye knew, although there's a growing debate whether they are beneficial because of anti-oxidants, or
despite them); chemical vitamins and anti-oxidants are worrying.
Not only that, but some seem to be connected to the petrol-chemical industry.
edit on 4-12-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)