We’ve all been advised to take vitamin supplements from a young age, but are they really that good at making our health condition better? The billion-dollar industry is popular among health enthusiasts. Claims to provide wonders to the human body as they are consumed, many resorted to the said pills. For long-term health goodness, the National Institutes Of Health stated that one-third of all Americans rely on these nourishment pills for an easier gateway.
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So, supplements and vitamins: where did the supplements come from? How does it really work in the biology of our bodies as we consumed them? There are many questions where the answers may or may not be satisfactory to all. In fact, it can be either beneficial or detrimental to some. It is different for every individual as every condition of the body is not the same.
Here are the myth, conspiracies, and other interesting facts about supplements that may pique your interest:
Taking Supplements Can Improve Our Health
The thing is, it does not really help anything. Multiple types of research have been conducted about these supplements and concluded into the same hypothesis: supplements do not actually improve our health, nor do they contribute or play a large role in enhancing our well-being. Despite that, the question remains: why are we still including them in our diet anyway? This leads to our second point.
The Linus Pauling Effect
Have you heard about a statement suggesting the capability of Vitamin C can alleviate the common cold? This description is from the founding father of molecular biology, Linus Pauling, through his publication of a widely influential book in 1970. . It is believable when it comes from a big name who won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1954. Since then, it has duped Americans into taking Vitamin C and quadrupled the sales of the supplements. It does not stop there, as Pauling deduced that the vitamins could treat pretty much any kind of diseases, such as minor illnesses like the flu, or even the most chronic condition like cancer. Claims like these created by him were featured in a Time magazine article dated back in 1992, which the writer who is a health reporter, recorded to be the year’s bestseller. Thus, the propagation of such information affected the boom in the supplement industry. You could say the man of molecular biology is responsible for the supplement craze.
The More Supplements Consumed, The Better The Results
Going back to Linus Pauling, his reasoning with the vitamin supplement being a cure-all revolves around two things: antioxidants and free radicals. Antioxidants are formed naturally in our bodies, while free radicals are harmful and cause aging and disease. These free radicals which are inevitably exposed to us can be neutralized by these antioxidants. Hence, more vitamins contribute to more antioxidants, which could lead to fewer disease infections. However, it was proven by scientists that these are not up to the claims of the father of molecular biology. It was put to the tests to further the relevancy of his statement, but unfortunately, it did not live up to it. Apparently, numerous studies have reached a conclusion that vitamin supplements which contain antioxidants are not accurate, rather they can cause adverse effects.
For instance, Finland recorded an 8% higher mortality rate from taking beta-carotene supplements by subjected smokers. There is also a similar case in the US where the study was put into a halt as beta-carotene and Vitamin A supplements were discovered to cause the mortality rates to increase at 17% high compared to those who did not take them.
It Is All Not Bad News Around Supplements
Refrain from taking all this negativity about supplements too seriously. In fact, we still do need to include them in our diet. Especially for those with vitamin deficiencies who can benefit from taking these supplements. Vitamin D can be taken for those who lack exposure to the sun, or, folic acid, in other names Vitamin B, for pregnant women to lower the risk of birth defects. It may be detrimental to some, but it can be very helpful for those who actually need it. Different people require different conditions.
If you are one who does not favor swallowing the hardness of the pills, take the old fashioned away by getting those nutrients from foods, which are already dense with necessary vitamins and other nourishments.