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Supplemental Knowledge: 3 Myths About Vitamins!

by Victoria Marian Belmis / Apr 08, 2022 04:10 PM EDT
Pills and Supplements

Vitamins and supplements are both essential nutrients. They work in tandem to bolster, heal, and promote proper body functioning. While in no way do they completely outweigh a healthful diet, having them can support our body's defenses and formation. Here are some misleading myths that underplay the benefits of vitamins and supplements:

 Vitamin C prevents a cold

You may have the habit to take Vitamin C moments before you felt a cold coming. Vitamin C does help out but not exactly in the way some common knowledge dictates. In 2013, a Cochrane review dove into existing evidence to find out whether vitamin C "reduces the incidence, the duration, or severity of the common cold." 

The scientists found that vitamin C supplementation did not prevent the common cold in the general population. However, results show that it reduced the severity of symptoms and the duration of the cold. In other words, vitamins might be best used as the cold is happening.

More vitamins are always better

As many vitamin and mineral supplements are accessible without a prescription, more can sometimes be dangerous. According to the American Cancer Society:

"[T]oo much vitamin C can interfere with the body's ability to absorb copper, a metal that's needed by the body. Too much phosphorous can inhibit the body's absorption of calcium. The body cannot get rid of large doses of vitamins A, D, and K, and these can reach toxic levels when too much is taken."

Like many things, moderation is still key. It's best to always ask for advice from your doctor on the proper dosage of easily available vitamins.

Probiotics and prebiotics cure everything

Gut bacteria do have health benefits. However, the science of the microbiome is still relatively young, and has proven beyond doubt that it is incredibly complex.

Scientists have shown that probiotics might help with several health issues, including reducing diarrhea associated with taking some antibiotics. However, outside of a few specific conditions, there is little evidence that probiotics or prebiotics can benefit health. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH):

"[I]n most instances, we still don't know which probiotics are helpful and which are not. We also don't know how much of the probiotic people would have to take or who would be most likely to benefit. Even for the conditions that have been studied the most, researchers are still working toward finding the answers to these questions."

In conclusion, it's always advised to seek expert help in making medical decisions. It's also important to check the labels of your medications and focus on the essential vitamins your body needs. For example, multivitamins (Aronamin Gold Tab) is a multi-active vitamin preparation composed of the active forms of B1, B2, B6, and B12, and Vitamins C and E. Details on its usage and side effects can be reviewed here.

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