Vitamins are they Vital?

Do you feel like the person you would like to be? Do you eat like you know you should? Does your diet lack some important nutrient? Of course you feel the answer might be yes. So take vitamins and you will correct this flaw in your life.

That is why vitamin and mineral supplements are such a big business in the US. The average American spends over $100 a year on such products. In fact I took my vitamin this morning. But then, is that really necessary?

As I have aged my metabolism has slowed. If I eat like I did at twenty, I would really be obese.  In fact I doubt I could avoid obesity if I eat as the dieticians recommend.  I am probably missing some vitamins or minerals.

Yet, much of the vitamin and mineral supplement I take shows up in my very yellow urine. Yes urine is yellow, but not that yellow. If you doubt this stop your vitamins for a week, and then restart them. Your urine will go from pale yellow to a bright yellow.

Is the American diet deficient in some vitamins and minerals?

Yes, the American diet is deficient. That is why milk is fortified with Vitamin D and salt with Iodine.  We debate about adding Calcium to orange juice.  The limited usual dietary supply of these three elements cause health problems in many Americans.

The average person suspects they are suffering from some other vitamin or mineral related ills and takes supplements “just in case.”  These illnesses are not as dramatic as scurvy or rickets. Neither are the vitamins or minerals toxic.

There are many problems with this debate. The science lacks the rigor of most medical studies. The products fail the quality standards of prescription medications. The motivation to correct these flaws is lacking.

Faced with all the marketing and uncertainty what are we to do?

What is causing you trouble? Is it the worry or the lack of vitamins? That is hard to tell. Worry and stress are part of our lives. Worry leads to many illnesses. Those illnesses are common and have many causes. They also have many potential ways of prevention. One can’t do all that  might be done, without spending so much time worrying as to have the worry become the problem. So, relax. Listen to a trusted source.  Try to follow that source’s advice.  Being relaxed will often help you better than more or less vitamins or minerals would.

When you get a cold you will want to do something. If you think Vitamin C will help take some. Just be sure to drink plenty of water. The first problem with high dose vitamin C is the possibility of kidney stones. Lots of water will reduce that risk. It is really hard to get too much water, and with a cold mild dehydration is common.  The second is possible rebound Scurvy when you stop. The Scurvy is transient and will be in the form of cracking at the corner of your lips. Now that your worry about whether or not to take Vitamin C is over, you will relax. Relaxing will help your body heal quicker.

As All Ways, Seek Joy,

Coach Dr. Dave

Ps. I welcome sharing and commenting.

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