Written by Barbro Brost, D.C. The Brost Clinic
Many people take vitamins and food supplements to optimize their health and to have more energy. In the US, the sales of dietary supplements totaled 37 billion dollars in 2014 and the number of supplement users in the US has reached 68 percent of the population.
The opinion of the American Medical Association used to be, “you can take vitamins if you want expensive urine”, meaning that it was useless and a waste of your money. About ten years ago, even they came out with the recommendation that every adult and child needs to take a multivitamin to ensure that we get all needed nutrients, since our food supply has been drastically depleted of nutrients because of standard farming practices.
The more health conscious of the population, which is about 20% of the us, often take much more than just a multivitamin. This is also the part of the population that exercise regularly, are weight conscious and often choose natural forms of healthy care such as chiropractic, acupuncture and massage therapy.
With planned regularity, we see segments on television and read articles in papers or on the internet that this vitamin or that supplement may be dangerous and you ought to talk to your physician about taking it. Vitamin C, E and fish oils among others have gone through these media campaigns. The reason for this is that the pharmaceutical industry is pushing to have vitamins regulated under the same rules as prescription drugs.
This has already happened in Europe, where many of the vitamins and supplements we can buy freely in the US, are now under control by the European Union Codex. The only thing you can buy in Europe now are very low potency supplements that are regulated and pharmaceutically controlled.
Is this a good idea? Do we really want an industry, that is responsible for 106,000 deaths per year as a side effect of medications taken as prescribed, to control what vitamins we take? Yes, that number is actually the latest statistic: pharmaceuticals are now the 3rd leading cause of death in the US.
Vitamins and supplements are basically very concentrated food. It should not be regulated differently than food. When you read or hear the media complaints about the possible danger of this supplement or that, pay attention to the careful wording and use of words like “may” or “can possibly” and “use caution”, etc. You never hear statistics and facts quoted, because there are none!
But just as you would consult a medical physician if you are sick, it’s a good idea to consult someone educated about supplements, if you want to be healthy and optimize your energy. It is also important to know the manufactures quality control, since there is a big difference in quality of ingredients and potency of different brands.
So, the answer to the head line is no! Vitamins and supplements are not dangerous. They are “super foods” that help to optimize your health!