Most of the people take vitamin supplements for granted as safe even if they are not effective. Vitamins are sold in the pharmacies in different formulations such as individual vitamins and minerals or in combinations of both as multivitamins. Households all around the world buy multivitamins regularly for treatment or prevention of chronic disease. The prevalence of added vitamins and minerals in common foods and cosmetics is also on the rise especially in breakfast cereals, energy drinks and dairy products.
A general perception has been established among people that vitamin deficiencies are the reason behind all the diseases, therefore, higher doses of vitamin and minerals may cure and prevent diseases. Ignoring the undeniable evidence that the human body is not designed to process these vitamin supplements in higher doses. Vitamin manufacturer’s uncontrolled advertisements, physician’s groundless higher dose recommendations and large-scale availability contribute to the higher consumption that is causing vitamin poisoning among sick and healthy individuals. People are also becoming vitamin addicts without being aware of this vitamin abuse which requires serious mindfulness.
Most of these vitamin supplements are synthetic vitamins that are made artificially from chemicals in a laboratory setting or industrial manufacturing process and uses petroleum as a key ingredient. For example, Calcium supplements use calcium carbonate as the main ingredient which is really cheap, similar to limestone or cement and also used in cement production, adhesives, sealants, personal health products, antacid, phosphate binder and base material for medicinal tablet.
According to the dietary guidelines from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2008, multivitamins should not replace healthy eating, or make up for unhealthy eating. In 2015, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force analyzed studies that included data for about 450,000 people. The analysis found no clear evidence that multivitamins prevent cancer or heart disease, helped people live longer, or “made them healthier in any way”. In spite of numerous researches in the cellular biologic function of vitamins and interesting massages about their roles in health, the long term health consequences of vitamin consumption are unknown.
According to Larry Appel, M.D., (director of the Johns Hopkins Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research) Pills are not a shortcut to better health and the prevention of chronic diseases. Other nutrition recommendations have much stronger evidence of benefits—eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing the amount of saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and sugar you eat. The exception is supplemental folic acid for women of child-bearing potential. Folic acid prevents neural tube defects in babies when women take it before and during early pregnancy. That’s why multivitamins are recommended for young women. The amount of iron in a multivitamin may also be beneficial for women of child-bearing potential.
Synthetic vitamins can also be used for a short term detoxification program to help push out toxins. But you cannot use synthetics for maintenance. They can be too toxic to be taken for a long time. When you hear about vitamins cause’ cancer or various health hazards they are always using synthetic vitamins.
When buying vitamins or dietary supplements it is really important to read the labels to make sure that it comes from whole food sources either concentrated or dehydrated. Natural vitamins always come in complex forms (e.g., enzymes and co-factors). Natural and synthetic vitamins have different orientations. Natural vitamins could come as an individual part of the complex which is better than synthetic vitamins.
Researchers concluded that multivitamins don’t reduce the risk for heart disease, cancer, cognitive decline (such as memory loss and slowed-down thinking), or early death. They also noted that in prior studies, vitamin E and beta-carotene supplements appear to be harmful, especially at high doses.
It is really the fertility of the soil that makes vitamins healthy. To make food-based nutrition is really expensive. Money might be better spent on nutrient-packed foods like fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. Dietary vitamin supplements cannot be a substitute for natural food. If you follow a healthy diet, you can get all of the vitamins and minerals you need from food.