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Beware of Vitamins

Posted 6/25/2013

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  Yes, there can be too much of a good thing. Many of us began taking a daily multi-vitamin as children and probably gave them to our children, too. I remember being grateful that my daughters could get the vitamins from a little tablet that they were not getting from the vegetables they refused to eat. Personally, I have not taken a multi-vit for years, probably decades, but not because of any thoughtful reason, really just from neglect.

  There has been growing evidence that too many vitamins, too large doses of them, can be actually harmful. People are routinely told not to take vitamin or mineral supplements during chemotherapy or radiation therapy because of concerns re negative interactions with the treatments. The usual advice has been that it is perfectly okay to resume the regular intake after treatment ends. Maybe that isn't right.

  Here is a short article from The New York Times that describes the concerns. I give you the beginning and a link to read more:

Don’t Take Your Vitamins
By PAUL A. OFFIT
PHILADELPHIA — LAST month, Katy Perry shared her secret to good health with her 37
million followers on Twitter. “I’m all about that supplement & vitamin LYFE!” the pop star
wrote, posting a snapshot of herself holding up three large bags of pills. There is one disturbing
fact about vitamins, however, that Katy didn’t mention.
Derived from “vita,” meaning life in Latin, vitamins are necessary to convert food into energy.
When people don’t get enough vitamins, they suffer diseases like scurvy and rickets. The
question isn’t whether people need vitamins. They do. The questions are how much do they
need, and do they get enough in foods?
Nutrition experts argue that people need only the recommended daily allowance — the amount
of vitamins found in a routine diet. Vitamin manufacturers argue that a regular diet doesn’t
contain enough vitamins, and that more is better. Most people assume that, at the very least,
excess vitamins can’t do any harm. It turns out, however, that scientists have known for years
that large quantities of supplemental vitamins can be quite harmful indeed.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/09/opinion/sunday/dont-take-your-vitamins.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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