As you may have seen, The New York Times recently published an op-ed titled, “Don’t Take Your Vitamins,” in which Dr. Paul A. Offit claims that supplemental vitamins—particularly antioxidants—can actually be harmful to your health when taken in large quantities.
Folks, what we have here is yet another example of conventional medicine teaming up with mainstream media to scare people into thinking their supplements are worthless and potentially dangerous. Here’s why I believe Dr. Offit’s position is unfounded.
First of all, none of the research he cites is new, and much of it has already been discounted. In fact, I have addressed the flaws associated with these studies here and in past issues of my Health & Healing newsletter. In a nutshell, the primary problems with some of these negative studies involve:
- Experimenter bias
- Poor participant compliance with the supplement regimen and/or inaccurate reporting of compliance
- Participants who weren’t healthy and were already likely to experience negative outcomes
- Use of synthetic rather than natural vitamins—this is especially important when it comes to vitamin E and beta-carotene
- Most of the vitamins in question were given in isolation—in other words, participants did not receive the vitamins along with their naturally-occurring compounds that support and enhance efficacy.
Furthermore, thousands of other scientific studies have established the safety and positive effects of antioxidants and other nutrients in multivitamins. A few of the proven benefits include: delayed onset of macular degeneration/cataracts; protection against cardiovascular disease; better insulin sensitivity; lower risk of bone fractures; and reduced risk of dementia.
That’s why I suggest that you follow my long-held advice—which is based not only on scientific literature but more than 35 years of clinical experience—that a quality, potent, daily multivitamin and mineral supplement is the foundation of optimal health.
Now it’s your turn: What are your thoughts about this latest attack on vitamins?