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Woman taking VitaminFrom an early age we have been told that we need to take our vitamins.  We all know the famous Flinstone’s vitamins jingle, “We are Flintstone kids! Ten million strong and growing!”  But are vitamins really good for you?  Many studies show that not only may vitamins be ineffective but they are actually harmful in high doses.

Diet or VitaminsThe real questions are “why do we need to take vitamin supplements?”, and “how much is healthy?”.  Nutrition experts say that all people need is the recommended daily allowance (RDA), typically found in a routine diet. The vitamin industry claims that foods don’t contain enough vitamins and that larger quantities are needed.

A recent study from the University of Minnesota concluded: “Based on existing evidence, we see little justification for the general and widespread use of dietary supplements.”

Woman with vitamin dilemmaIn fact, researchers found that women who took supplemental multivitamins died at rates higher than those who didn’t. A parallel study from the Cleveland Clinic found that men who took vitamin E had an increased risk of prostate cancer.

These were not new findings. Many previous studies had also shown that certain groups who took some vitamins  had an increased risk of cancer and heart disease, and a shortened mortality rate.  Still, in 2012, more than half of all Americans took some form of vitamins.

Why do we still take vitamins?

Do you take your vitamins?  Please share your thoughts!