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Speaking Skeptically About Vitamins

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The scientific understanding of vitamins has evolved over time, from the identification of frank deficiencies, to exploring the value of supplements to prevent chronic diseases. Among health professionals, taking a multivitamin “for insurance” has long been considered to be a reasonable strategy. But as more robust evidence has emerged about the benefits and possible harms of vitamins, even that advice is facing scrutiny.

This Friday, June 11, I’ll be appearing on the Skeptically Speaking radio show, giving a science-based perspective on vitamins. Call in, listen online, or submit your questions in advance. The show is live at 6pm MST (find your time here).

Posted in: Pharmaceuticals, Science and Medicine

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6 thoughts on “Speaking Skeptically About Vitamins

  1. BillyJoe says:

    If god had wanted us to have vitamins, he would have put them in the foods we eat.

    ..oh wait

  2. DevoutCatalyst says:

    Is bright yellow pee destined to be the sign of a dullard?

  3. Millicent says:

    My family are all heavy vitamin and supplement consumers and take every opportunity to recommend them to me. They all spend a lot of money on these things and I’m always being told nonsense like, “food is now depleted of nutrients”.

    The fact that I don’t take any supplements at all and yet somehow manage to remain extremely fit and healthy (I’m probably the healthiest of the bunch) doesn’t dent their enthusiasm one bit, even though it shouldn’t really be possible by their reasoning.

    It drives me up the wall, but at least I can console myself a bit by remembering that I have more spare cash in my pocket which I didn’t waste on unecessary supplements.

    I’ll try and listen to the show.

  4. mdarby says:

    Scott,

    I would be interested to learn about how complex molecules like vitamins survive the harsh environment of the digestive tract intact.

    My family is a big fan of wheat grass juice, among other reasons because it has chlorella and chlorophyll. Putting aside whether chlorophyll has any benefits to animals which don’t photosynthesize, do we know if it even reaches the blood stream without being metabolized?

    Thanks,
    Michael

  5. BillyJoe says:

    “My family is a big fan of wheat grass juice”

    And you have to wonder: why wheat grass juice?

    Why not Noni juice? Why not Acai or Goji juice?
    You know what, I’ll bet they haven’t even heard of Noni, Acai, and Goji juice. I’ll bet someone who sounded authoritative to them simply recommended wheat grass juice and they just believed it without question.

    If this person had recommended Noni juice, well then they would be big fans of Noni juice!

  6. linda5508 says:

    yeah my dad takes plenty of vitamins and kept pestering me to take them as well. I refuse to take them and find that a healthy diet rich in veges and fruits is more than enough.

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