This subject is a big one and it will be over two blogs to cover everything, because even though it is not a glamorous subject it is extremely important when considering your health.
Firstly, can I make one fact very clear. If you eat a well balanced diet of fresh produce and with plenty of variety covering all food groups, you don’t need vitamin supplements and that taking large quantities of these do you far more harm than good! In fact they are very dangerous to your health. I will cover some of the reasons as to why I make this statement later…
Secondly, if you think you are covering your vitamin needs by having plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, think again! The fact that Vegan Vegetarians miss some essential nutrients in the type of diet they have is a given, but also if you are on any specific diet – of any kind – you are more than likely missing out on the essential nutrients the body needs for normal function. You need to cover ALL food groups to get the nutritional balance your body requires.
Another fact is that if you do overdose on any vitamins, it has side effects that are damaging. I presume you know that there are Antivitamins in most foods that can destroy the positive effects of vitamins themselves – but if everything in your nutritional habits are in balance , then all bodily functions work like they should. And when looking at Antivitamins please understand that the most important ingredients to keep away from are Caffeine (in both coffee and tea) Nicotine and Alcohol. Most essential is to understand that the Nicotine in smoking is the most lethal! Just one cigarette will destroy your normal daily intake of Vitamin C – and some extensive research has found that people who smoked and were taking supplements with large doses of Vitamin A had an increase in the incidence of Lung Cancer of 18% after eight years on their supplement regime. This increased to 28% after another one and a half years! Take home message here is if you smoke, don’t take a supplement with Vitamin A in it?
Just to mention another fact about Vitamin A here – if it is taken over a long period of time, it destroys your liver! Added to this is another fact that Sweden has the highest level of Osteoporosis in women in the world (New Zealand not far behind). In Sweden they have a diet high in calcium and Vitamin A because they eat large quantities of milk, cheese and fish. It has been found that large doses of Vitamin A destroys the bones of any animal and even only 1.5 milligrams of Vitamin A a day decreases bone density by 10% . This increases the risk of breaking your bones by 50%!
Our bodies need vitamins and minerals to survive and for normal function, but there is a balance in the amounts that should be taken and any tinkering with the natural way of ingesting them is playing ‘Russian Roulette’ with your health.
Next health blog I will look at other vitamins and how they affect your health…