Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Vitamins Schmitamins

As an open skeptic, I sometimes have a reputation among my friends and family as a chronic naysayer who doesn't believe in anything. And to that I say nay. I believe in some things. I just doubt I'm correct in those beliefs. But I really get some eye rolls when I publicly poo-poo the flagrant use of vitamin supplements. Everyone seems to be popping these pills, simply because they hear that vitamins are good for them. But what they don't realize is that even though certain doses may be good for them, that doesn't mean any dose will do. Science, it turns out, backs this up. Several major studies recently have revealed that vitamin supplements often don't do what they claim to and can even hurt you if abused. Vitamin E, for example, was found to do nothing to prevent cancer or heart disease. In fact, those taking excess amounts of vitamin E via supplement pills were found to have increased instances of various cancers. Turns out too much vitamin C, which people take thinking it will stave off cancer and other illnesses, can also increase your cancer risk. And vitamins aren't the only potentially useless pills cluttering up your medicine cabinet. The popular herbal supplement ginkgo biloba, which is touted as helping with memory loss and fighting off dementia, doesn't do squat to keep your mind sharp. And it can raise your risk of internal bleeding. Read all about these studies and more here.

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