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The Madera Tribune

Value of vitamins still a question

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webmaster | 10/05/12

Another report has come out saying that a lot of over-the-counter food supplements are of no value to those who take them.

Remember when we were being told that taking vitamin E was good for you? The makers of vitamin E would tell us it was a good preventive for cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Well, vitamin E is good for you if you get it through a balanced diet. But if you get it through pills, it may make the conditions for which it is being taken worse.

Other supplements, such as those that are hormonally based, have no beneficial effects, say those who have been studying them. The claims made on the labels of these concoctions are often fabricated. Among those fabrications are assertions that “a scientific study” has proven that the pills, or syrup, will help the user lose weight, or become a better lover.

But here’s the truth: Those labels are just bait for suckers. And the stuff inside the bottles can cause harm, according to the latest issue of Consumer Reports.

Yet, those patent medicines continue to fly off the shelves. Those who use them believe information from the scientific community about the non-efficacy of their favorite pill or powder is a plot by the drug companies to scare you away. The drug companies just want to sell their dangerous pills to you, they believe. People do want to believe in the herbal remedies and vitamins they can buy over the counter, and you can’t blame them. But their belief reminds me of a coach I had in college who was part of a large blind study of multivitamin pills. Those in the study took large quantities of various brands of the vitamin pills.

“Vitamins only had one effect on me and on the others who were in the study,” he said. “We turned out to have the most expensive urine in America.”


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