Vitamins -general approach

Vitamins in general (as supplements) not what you were told.

Since the days of Hippocrates physicians have been asked to recommend vitamins to cure what ails people. From poor eating for children to low energy in adults people want a magical vitamin pill to jump-start their health. All form of concerns seem to bring up this magic vitamin pill. But in reality other than the scientifically known disease associated deficiencies ( which by in large do not exist any longer in western society) vitamin supplements are rarely needed and of little true value.

Main points:

Vitamins are not as advertised. They have no magical healing or disease preventing properties in supplement form.

They are not a panacea for what ails you and in no way replace healthy nutritious whole food.

With the exception of b12 for vegans and possibly the new recommendations of vitamin d 3 , receiving the majority of vitamins from supplements are a poor substitute for real food as vitamin source.

Vitamins are not readily bio-available and as useful for what you need when you take them in a supplement form versus from food

Vitamins will not stimulate your appetite. Physician’s treat vitamins like a placebo. ¬†Doctors only give to children when parents request them to supplement a diet in order to encourage the parents stop pushing their kids to eat and relax. It takes the pressure off parents who are worried about adequate nutrition particularly vitamin intake. When parents relax and stop showing anxiety regarding the amount of food a child eats, regardless of the reason, ¬†then the children often actually start to eat better .

The real source of useful bio-active body enhancing vitamins is whole foods.

Enriched foods do offer an alternative to supplements but not nearly as valuable as in whole foods.

Vitamins like all supplements are not regulated for content, amount, value,claims, or quality.

Taking vitamin shots is not any more valuable than supplements. The rare exceptions are for true medical conditions like b12 deficiency anemia , pernicious anemia.

Organic whole fruits , vegetables, nuts , and seeds are the best form to receive your vitamins. Best method is to chew and eat them yourself.

Warren Krantz MD, FAAP

HealthfulMD.com