It wasn’t until I was well into my twenties that I first started taking daily vitamins and supplement, and even then it was because I was just jumping on the band wagon.
I saw my parents taking a series of vitamins that their doctors had told them would be beneficial to their heath, and I thought that I should be proactive and take them, too.
Now, I wasn’t eating more than a gummy vitamin — I had a hunch that my calcium levels were low thanks to my never drinking milk — but others swear by their supplements.
But here’s the thing, new research shows that perhaps we should think twice before indulging ourselves with a vitamin and supplement-rich diet. It could be causing more harm than good…
Nearly 40 percent of Americans admit to taking at least one type of vitamin tablet, that number nearly doubles when it comes to American athletes, who find it easier to pop supplements than find time to eat a meal.
“I see a lot of athletes overloading on supplements. It’s often not even intentional. It’s just part of their lifestyle,” said Lesli Bonci, a sports nutritionist from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Large quantities of vitamins and supplements taken at one time are often referred to as megadoses.
By the time an active person finishes taking their daily supplements, eats three to five meals a day, and consumes protein bars and other supplemental snacks, they could very easily consume five or six times the daily recommended value.
When it comes to sports vitamins and supplements, there’s no evidence about which pills and how much of them you should take for them to be beneficial. There aren’t even government regulations set in place in regards to megadoses of vitamins.
Vitamins that work for one athlete, may prove to be absolutely useless to another.
Taking megadoses of vitamins like A, D, and E can actually make you sick. There’s also no evidence that supports consuming high doses of vitamin C will prevent the common cold.
The misconceptions associated with vitamin C actually began with celebrity scientist Linus Pauling.
This two-time Nobel Peace Prize winner published a study that stressed to readers that taking 3,000 milligrams of vitamin C everyday could help fight off diseases such as the common cold and cancer. This dosage was more than 50 times the daily recommended value.
Unfortunately for Pauling, his research was disproven multiple times. Inevitably enough, he later died from the very disease he said could be cured.
Here’s the truth…
The foods and beverages that we eat and drink provide almost all the nutrients we need to stay happy AND healthy. So just don’t overdo it.