Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Ok, I just have to write about this. Yesterday, my mom tells me "Did you hear on the news last night that taking all these supplements may actually lead to early death??" She says this to me because I take a number of supplements daily and I know she thinks I'm loony toons because of it.

"Well, what did it say? Why do they supposedly shorten your life?" I say supposedly because I'm not buying it.

She didn't know. She couldn't tell me. All that stuck out in her mind were supplements = death. And all the healthy eating and exercise I do every week doesn't matter apparently. I'll probably die early from supplements.

Well, of course my husband drudges up the same article on MSNBC, so I read it. It was a little funny to me because in the study, 40.something percent of people in this 20 year study who were taking a mulitvitamin died earlier than the 39.something percent of people who weren't. Is it just me or are the numbers 39 and 40 pretty close? Is that really enough to prove that taking a multivitamin every day increases your chances of dying early? And what about underlying conditions? Might the people who are taking supplements be doing so to help some kind of health condition?

I take a multivitamin to fill in any gaps in my pretty-darn-fantastic-already diet. I take a few extras also since I do weight bearing exercises and sometimes my workouts can get pretty intense. These things include: calcium, BCAAs, glutamine, chromium, glucosamine. But I also take an EFA because everyone knows that is healthful, vitamin C, and a milk thistle/dandelion combo (liver purifyer...although I probably don't need it anymore since I very rarely drink alcohol and stay clear of processed food). Oh, and 5 HTP for mood and sleep. I know that probably sounds like a lot, especially when I don't need to take any of it.  <----interesting view on the Renegade Health Show

So what do you think about this 'new' information? What do we think about any information we hear these days? For every study there is another with contradicting information, it seems. Don't eat eggs! Eat eggs! A glass of wine a day is good for you! No, even as much as one glass a day is too much!

Matt Lauer had someone on his show who did some random testing of one lot of different brands of vitamins, all price ranges, and found that one had a high dose of lead, one children's vitamin had way more of vitamin A than was necessary for a child, and some didn't contain the vitamin claiming to be in the package at all! Scary. And when it comes to price, one $3 a day brand failed compared to a nickel a day brand that passed. Not to say that all expensive vitamins would fall short but it's not always the most expensive brands that are best.

Of course, as with anything, too much of a good thing can be bad. More does not necessarily mean better. We have to research and be smart about what we are putting into our bodies. Some vitamins can be toxic in high doses, but I am guessing it would have to be a really high dose of something that builds up in the body over a long period of time. I guess I will bring my entire arsenal of supplements with me to my next appointment with my doctor, just to make sure.

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