Medical Journal

Can health be maintained by Vitamin?

Experiencing degraded health due to vitamins

Contrast to common belief, overdosing on vitamin can worsen your health, such as increasing the chance of a diagnosis of cancer or heart disease. Tim Byers, MD, MHD, a well-known director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center, has conducted an experiment on 35,000 Americans for the past 10 years on the effects of vitamins. He concluded that nutritional supplements don’t result in drastic improvement in health but rather, growth in the number of cancer patients among the experimented population.

Likewise, in 2013, a study from Harvard University has announced a similar conclusion on the effects of multivitamins on cognitive skills (tested 6,000+ seniors for 12 years). Comparing the group who has taken multivitamins steadily with the group who have taken a placebo, the difference between the two groups is medically insignificant.

Moreover, ‘JAMA’(short for The Journal of American Medical Association) which is one of the top three medical journals, released a shocking conclusion a few years back on the correlation of multivitamins and diseases. After testing 14,000 people, they not only concluded that there is no significant effect on the diagnosis of heart disease, stroke, or cancer after taking the multivitamins for 11 years compared to placebo group but also supported the conclusion of Dr. Byers’ experiment, concluding that overdosing certain vitamins is rather harmful to one’s health. This experiment states that Vitamin E and B are found to significantly raise the risk of certain diseases.

Those who have been taking vitamin E for 12 years experienced a 17% higher diagnosis rate of prostate cancer than those who didn’t.  Heart disorder patients that took vitamin B complex for more than 3 years experienced a 22% higher rate of a resurgence in heart disease.

Extracted vitamins react differently from vitamins consumed through a natural ingredient

Omega-3 is a nutrient well known to prevent cardiovascular disease. When Omega-3 is consumed by eating fish like Mackerel, which has a lot of Omega-3, twice a week, it reduces the death rate by heart disease by 36%. Contrast to its effective results, when Omega-3 is taken in the form of an extracted pill, it is not effective at all.

Similarly, an experiment at Johns Hopkins University stated consumption of vitamins and minerals has no effect in preventing heart disease like a heart attack. A fascinating thing here is when the vitamins were consumed directly from natural ingredients like fruits, vegetables, and nuts, there were significant positive results that were not seen from taking vitamins and minerals through extracted pills.

The argument on the effects of vitamin has a long history

The pharmaceutical industry has quickly counteracted on the results and strongly rebutted that the experiments are biased due to inconsistent controls. They tried to follow up with experiments but nonetheless, the public was already consumed in the wave of theories on the uselessness of vitamins.

Although the public is just starting to catch up to the wave, this is no news in scientific research. The effects of multivitamins have been persistently questioned and argued for the last 10 years. Consistent conclusions on the effects of multivitamins have been proposed but it is just now surfacing up to establish its ground in the interest of the public, due to the nature of scientific research where experiments must be conducted in long-term to confirm its validity.

It’s better to consume nutrients directly from food

An interesting argument concluded from the series of experiments is that it’s certain that nutrients consumed directly from food positively affects our body but when certain nutrients (vitamins, minerals) are extracted from the food and consumed indirectly, it shows no significant improvements but moreover, cause side effects. All in all, it’s only proper to expect positive results from consuming vitamins directly in its natural state. Simply taking one or two supplements do not show improvements but rather cause harm to our body.

Compatibility of components is more important than individual characteristics

Why do the same nutrients react differently in our body when consumed in other forms than food? Though nutrients are the same, when the components of nutrients consumed changes, it reacts differently to the body. This fundamental belief in the compatibility of components is what Korean Medicine stress and emphasize, rather than focusing on one nutrient or component.

For example, Saponin, a chemical compound found in ginseng, is only effective in the form of ginseng, producing a synergetic reaction with other nutrients in it. But when Saponin is specifically extracted and put into a capsule, it affects our body differently.

This is a piece of notable evidence that explains the difference in the effects of multivitamin pills from that of vitamins consumed through food.

 

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