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The Vitamin Hype Essay

757 words - 4 pages

Do Americans really need the vitamin supplements they spend $23.7 billion dollars a year on? Vitamins and minerals do many essential things including releasing energy from our food, regulating metabolisms, forming strong bones, and balancing fluids. It is important that humans intake all necessary vitamins and minerals due to the fact that the body cannot create them on its own. Supplements are supposed to be the magical pill that gives the body a little bit of everything it needs. Yet, in reality, they are nowhere near as effective as a nutritious diet, a lot of common belief about them is false, and the vitamins hold potential harm.
Vitamins will never be able to replace what food ...view middle of the document...

This can lead to people taking too much of one vitamin and too little of another. Also, many people believe that supplements prevent fatal diseases such as cancer. In most experiments, there was little to no effect the vitamins had on preventing diseases. A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2007 found that supplements did not prolong life (“Researchers Expose Myths”). Last year, a study done by the Women’s Health Initiative “followed 162,000 women ages 50 to 74 who took multivitamins for eight years and found that the supplements did not reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases or any of the major cancers” (“Researchers Expose Myths”). On the other hand, certain foods have been solidly proven to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Although vitamin supplement companies claim their product to be safe and helpful, many people do not realize that the supplements could also cause a detriment to their health. “Supplements often provide double, triple, or even upwards of 1,000 to 2,000 percent of our...” Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) which can cause harmful effects (“Megadoses of Vitamins”). For instance, high amounts of vitamin B6 may lead to nerve damage, vitamin C to nausea and...

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