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The Vitamin Myth

Many people take a vitamin supplement daily – believing in the power it has to increase health.  However, how true is this and should we really be taking a ‘magic pill’ daily?

People take vitamins and minerals for all kinds of reasons.  Some take it for maintaining general health, whilst others take it in the hope of preventing certain diseases.  However, it you eat well and don’t have a vitamin deficiency, there is little convincing evidence suggesting that vitamin supplementation is beneficial.

Most people completely misunderstand the nature of vitamins and how the body absorbs them.

Vitamin Myths

Myth One
If a certain vitamin deficiency causes disease, surely taking a supplement of that vitamin will prevent disease.  This is not true in all cases.
Consider those who have severe vitamin B12 deficiency due to a condition called pernicious anaemia.   These people have an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation in the stomach and at the same time, it blocks vitamin B12 uptake in the gut.  A vitamin B12 supplement will therefore not benefit.

Myth Two
A normal and healthy diet still needs to be supplemented.
A vitamin deficiency in those who have a normal, balanced and healthy diet is extremely rare.

Myth Three
Vitamins are safe.
This is correct on the whole.  However, there are those extreme cases where an excess of vitamins can cause harm.  This is true in the case of vitamin A, where an excess amount can be toxic to the body.

Myth Four
Supplements are safe.
Although some supplements are sourced from natural sources, others are chemically synthesised.
In conclusion, we ingest vitamins and minerals from food.  A healthy gut will delegate its gut bacteria to also makes them for you and then absorb them.  Either way, your vitamin stores are continually being replenished without you knowing it.

Vitamins can be very costly. If you are healthy and eat a balanced and varied diet, you should not need vitamins.  It is therefore important to re-evaluate whether the cost of vitamins is really worth it for you.  Based on evidence, a healthy diet and lots of exercise is a much better way to promote good health.

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