Prenatal vitamins in tablet form
(image by Wikimedia Commons)
Avoid Vitamins Says Editorial in Annals
My Vitamins Are Killing Me Part Two, by Jeffrey Dach MD
Link to original article
Every year or so, we are can expect an orchestrated media blitz funded by the drug industry to convince us that vitamin supplements are bad for us. They whisper in our ear the message that our lowly vitamin pill is not making us healthier, and instead may be killing us. The message tells us to stop our vitamin pill, and instead take a drug, since drugs are good for us and vitamins are bad for us.
Editorial in the Annals of Internal Medicine
This year, the news media is mindlessly parroting an editorial from the Annals of Internal Medicine proclaiming that "nutritional supplements do not prevent chronic disease, their use is not justified and they should be avoided". In addition, "the general population of supplement users have no micronutient deficiencies". (1):
"The large body of accumulated evidence has important public health and clinical implications. Evidence is sufficient to advise against routine supplementation, and we should translate null and negative findings into action. The message is simple: Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified, and they should be avoided. This message is especially true for the general population with no clear evidence of micronutrient deficiencies, who represent most supplement users in the United States and other countries."(1)
Conclusion is Not Supported by the Studies
Aside from the fact that the three vitamin studies published in the Annals do not in any way support those conclusions, and aside from the fact that all three studies are plagued with methodological flaws which have been pointed out by many others, let's look at a few obvious facts about vitamins.
Go to the Grocery Store and Look at a Few Labels
Go down the aisle to the Table Salt section of your supermarket. Take a look at the label on the box of Table Salt. (left image). The label says "Iodized Salt" which means a natural supplement, iodine, has been added to the salt.
If we don't need supplements in our food, then why did the government decide to add Iodine to Table salt in 1924 ? The reason is obvious. The American diet is deficient in Iodine, and segments of the population are iodine deficient leading to health problems, including mental retardation. Adding Iodine to table salt boosted the IQ of Americans and made us smarter. Health benefits of iodine supplements are discussed in my previous article on this topic.
Fortified Breakfast Cereals
Riboflavin, thiamine, iron, vitamin D, vitamin A, B6, B12 and folate have been added to the cereal. (left image)
Why does the cereal need to be fortified? This is explained by the cereal company. Here is a quote from the Kellogg Corn Flake Web Site explaining why they fortify their cereals with vitamins: