The government health people this week told us for the 1,200th or so time that you could dump all your vitamin pills in the toilet without it making any difference to your health. But amazingly, vitamin pill sales are higher than ever.
We just don’t believe the government dietary scientists. We would prefer to believe that taking vitamin D and vitamin B and vitamin C and vitamin A and calcium and all the other over-the-counter supplements makes us healthier.
Sometimes, of course, it does. Occasionally, a doctor will prescribe a vitamin regimen for a patient for a particular medical condition. But for everyone who takes vitamins because a doctor prescribed them, there are many thousand who take them because they believe it to be a good idea.
In most cases, the vitamins don’t hurt you. But they can be expensive, and some people believe taking vitamins makes up for the fact they live on hamburgers and french fries. That is not the case, and taking vitamins then becomes potentially dangerous.
One is supposed to get one’s vitamins and minerals by eating balanced diets. Your body would prefer to get vitamins from food rather than pills, and the vitamins come free with the food.
You can get vitamin A, for example from broccoli and carrots; various vitamins in the B family also come from fruits and vegetables, along with meats, poultry and fish; vitamin C comes from citrus fruit, spinach, broccoli, tomato juice; vitamin D comes from broccoli, fortified milk and good old Mr. Sunshine; vitamin E comes from sunflower seeds, shrimp, avocados and tofu; vitamin K comes from cabbage.
It doesn’t matter whether you eat the foods raw or cooked, just don’t fry them in grease.
Dieticians also tell us taking too many vitamin pills, such as vitamin E, could actually do harm.
But in general, vitamin pills don’t do much harm, if any, to anything but your wallet.