Forbes, NBC, and CBS have all recently reported that multivitamins (and nutritional supplements in general) are ineffective and a waste of money. The latest Forbes headline announced “Multivitamins Should Not Be Used,” and both NBC and CBS proclaim scientific studies have confirmed that multivitamins “have no health benefits.”
I have mixed feelings about these articles when published by national news outlets. On one hand, they’re bringing attention to the fact that synthetic, chemically-derived vitamins laden with sugar, dyes, and unnatural ingredients are toxic and potentially dangerous. However, declaring all supplements are useless is destructive to human health and drives the general public away from a simple and easy (not to mention relatively inexpensive) means of disease prevention.
The fact is that certain nutrients are ESSENTIAL to humans. “Essential” is an actual term used for those nutrients which are not synthesized by the human body, but which are necessary for life and wellness. Magnesium, Calcium, Vitamin C, Omega-3 fatty acids, and dozens of others are examples of essential nutrients, all of which we must get from food and without which we develop disease and eventually die.
The vast majority of Americans are deficient in multiple vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and co-factors needed for basic function, health, and healing. This is a HUGE cause of our dismal global health ratings.
Whole foods are our best source of essential nutrients, and natural supplements made from whole foods are the next best thing. I know very few people who eat enough whole foods to supply themselves with adequate levels of vitamins and minerals, so supplementation for most of us is necessary, but a great deal of attention and care must go into finding legitimate companies that produce quality, useful, and non-toxic products.
Quality whole food supplements are NOT being used for the “studies” these news outlets are reporting. They are using synthetic, toxic, chemically-derived multivitamins and other supplements which do not act like whole food in the body. There is a BIG difference between the two.
If medications were held to the same standard, tests and reviews based on the same research parameters as these studies are applying to vitamins, they would ALL FAIL as well. Would Forbes, NBC, and CBS come to the same conclusion about the entire pharmaceutical industry as a result? Not in a million years.
Would it surprise you to learn that the largest vitamin producers are all owned by pharmaceutical companies? Did you know that 90% of the synthetic Vitamin C distributed in the U.S. is made by Hoffman-LaRoche? Or that Pfizer owns “Centrum” and Bayer owns “One-a-Day?”
There is plenty of scientific data showing the benefits of supplementing with quality essential nutrients like Vitamin D, Omega-3s, and probiotics for instance. I’ve cited a lot of it in the articles posted on my website. There is also a wealth of research linking certain vitamin deficiencies to a multitude of diseases.
In the end, most of these news “stories” are nothing more than sensationalism aimed at attracting readers, because I can’t remember the last time I saw an article by Forbes or anyone else reporting that supplementing with Vitamin D reduces the risk of breast cancer. In my opinion, this form of journalism is not only irresponsible, but potentially deadly.