Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - Chances are, you or someone you know swears by vitamins as a way to stay healthy and live longer. But new studies show that buying multi-vitamins may just be a waste of money.
So what's the verdict on vitamins?
Pharmacist Brad Arthur of Black Rock Pharmacy says that despite what new studies may say, vitamins can still be useful to many people. "Generally speaking, there's a very valid purpose for vitamins in the marketplace, because if you are depleted of nutrients or vitamins you need to replace them."
While Arthur says that an average healthy person should be able to get the vitamins they need through their normal diet, many Americans don't consume a diet that is nutrient-filled, and others may take medication that depletes the body of a certain vitamin.
However, this isn't to say that vitamins are without their hazards. "The vitamin market, unlike prescription drugs, is largely unregulated, so it behooves the customer to become educated and make certain that what they're purchasing is legitimate" Arthur said.
Dennis Galluzzo is the Executive Director of the Pharmacists' Association of Western New York, he agrees that vitamins should be used as supplements to make up for something your body may be depleted of.
Galluzzo says that vitamins work best when you have the right expectations. "There's a lot of folklore medicine out there" Galluzzo said. "So Aunt Betty says 'Oh, I took vitamin c and it cured my cold, you have to take vitamin c all the time.' That might be true for her, but it doesn't necessarily mean there's any scientific basis to any of these stories going around."
Galluzzo also added that people should be suspicious of any vitamin that labels itself as "pure" and is much more expensive than other vitamins. He says that your body does not know the difference between an inexpensive vitamin that was made in a lab and one that comes naturally.
Getting the Verdict on Vitamins
Do you take vitamins?
Certain Kinds of Vitamins with Minerals Seem to Work
There have been different supplement packets that I have taken
in the past that seem to work. The evidence has shown in my
fingernails. However, I did not notice how much stronger my nails were, until I stopped taking them, and noticed a pronounced ridge in the area that was growing when I stopped taking them. Otherwise, how would you know if they work or not?
Getting the Verdict on Vitamins
As we age, our ability to absorb vitamins and nutrients from the food we eat decreases dramatically. eg. vitamin D is made by exposure to sunlight. We put our elderly in nursing homes where they aree deprived of exposure to the sun's rays. The only way to get enough to maintain your bodies ability to function properly is by supplementing your diet with vitamins. Statins deplete Magnesium and calcium. Both are needed for proper muscle function. Statins also deplete CoQ10 which is necessary for energy production in all the cells of the body and must be replaced via suppliments.
You will never get a validation for vitamins as there is too much money in big pharm against them.
Most vitamin studies use either low dose or as a single vitamin. Both of these study techniques are flawed!
Vitamins can be useful for some people but first as Tom B. likes to point out; KNOW YOUR SELF... Most vitamins are synergistic. Vitamin A, C, E and D work together! The B vitamins work together! High fat diet? Take lecithin to help break it down.
Beta Carotene (Vit A)(60-100mG, 4 times a day) will handle ANY sinus issue, Flax Seed oil (omega-3, from Wegmans) will handle muscle ache (tea spoon to tablespoon before / after strenuous activities. Biotin for hair (Tom :) )... And yes, I am a firm believer in Vit D, 1000 IU min / day; Vit C, 1000mG min / day; B complex as needed; Flax, as needed.