Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Vitamins Are Vital For Healthy Living

Did you happen to read that article in The Wall Street Journal this week that attempted to make the "case against vitamins?"

As someone who has seen a tremendous positive impact on my health since I started livin' la vida low-carb and after losing over 180 pounds, I just had to respond to this column. Special thanks to several of my readers for bringing this to my attention and I am very happy to respond to it.

The story makes the case that a majority of Americans take some kind of vitamin supplementation to aid their health and ward off potential disease to the tune of $7 billion annually. That's a lot of money, but dollars well worth investing in improving health and well-being.

Or is it?

According to the article, the vitamins we take "may be doing more harm than good." Studies are cited in the story that claim there are risks to taking vitamins, but people who support taking vitamins aren't convinced. Count me as one of them.

From day one of my low-carb lifestyle, I have taken calcium, fish oil, fiber, and a multivitamin to supplement my low-carb program. I recently added Vitamin C to that group of pills to keep me healthy and sick-free. Actually, since I started taking vitamins in January 2004, I have not been sick even once (not even a cold!). Achooo! :)

As someone who doesn't like the thought of taking ANY prescription drugs if they are not absolutely necessary, I am thrilled to spend my money on vitamins that are good for my body. It sounds like this move against the vitamin industry is a stealth attack by those in the pharmaceutical industry feeling the bite in their pocketbooks from people like me who try to avoid shelling out the big bucks for their overpriced drugs. Give me my supplements any day over poisonous prescriptions!

The article makes the case that people can get most of their vitamins and minerals from the foods they eat, but I strongly disagree. The soil has been depleted in recent decades of essential nutrients that our bodies need to function well. That is why we need to supplement our diet even when we are eating healthy while livin' la vida low-carb. The supposed "risks" of taking vitamins is just more needless scaremongering in my not so humble opinion.

Go ahead, read for yourself what the article says about why you shouldn't take certain vitamin supplements. They break it down one-by-one attempting to make the case against them.

But I believe they completely miss the vital role that vitamins play in a healthy lifestyle. That's one of the reasons why I dedicated an entire chapter of my book to the "Vitamins Vital For Vitality." Taking vitamins is just way too important to idly dismiss.

What the article ignores is the mountain of scientific studies in the thousands proving that vitamins are safe and effective for people to consume. Unfortunately, some people will read this article, throw their hands up in the air in pure disgust, and declare "the heck with vitamins" which will ultimately lead to a greater decline in health in the coming years.

Most people are severely deficient in meeting their basic vitamin needs especially if they are relying on the foods they eat alone to provide them with 100% of their recommended dosages. While people on the low-carb lifestyle eat lots of nutrient-dense foods such as fruits and vegetables, most Americans simply do not.

If this article in the Wall Street Journal were a witness in a trial, then it would be found guilty of perjury for not telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Conveniently leaving out critical information from the story negates the overall message of the story entirely. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that this group is behind this sudden assault on vitamins.

In the meantime, I'll keep popping my vitamins proudly in the name of my good health for many years to come!


Blogger Lowcarb_dave said...

There is moves all around the world by the Big Pharma companies to 'plant' stories like this one.

Every time I see one of these stories, I wonder why it bothers them so much that we are healthy ?

What are their motives ?

Most people say - follow the money!

3/21/2006 10:34 PM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

I take first, my medication from my doctor because it really does help. Vitamin-wise, I take B-50 (I SWEAR BY THIS!), and a packet containing calcium, ginseng, a muti-vitamin/multi-mineral, chromium, and vitamin E. Sometimes I take other things, too, like extra vitamin C when I get sick.

3/22/2006 1:11 AM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

Oh yeah, and fiber pills before bed. :)

3/22/2006 1:12 AM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

One more thing, lol! NEVER take fiber with your other viamins. They will bind with them and prevent absorbtion. I take my vitamins in the morning and my fiber at night.

3/22/2006 1:13 AM  
Blogger Geo said...

In particular, the article points to some potential "problem" vitamins. Chiefly vitamin A (beta carotine). It does appear it can be fairly toxic -- especially in large doses. I preferred the Atkins supplements because they never put a large does of vitamin A in their multi. Atkins Basic #1 multi only had 1,500 I.U. of vitamin A. Most multis on the market have 10,000 I.U. or more!

Also, most multis use the inexpensive form of vitamin E. This can work to prevent the body from absorbing the other varieties from food.

Nothing is ever as simple as the media paints it and that is why blogs like yours are so important. They offer the public an alternative and less dumbed down view of the world.

I continue to take vitamins but I am searching for an Atkins supplement #1 replacement without tons of vitamin A.

3/22/2006 9:52 AM  
Blogger Julia Havey said...

We are NOT vitamin deficient but rather whole food deficient. I encourage low carb readers of mine to add Juice Plus to their regime. The benefits of it are proven time and again in scientific peer reviewed journals. To learn more, see

3/22/2006 4:45 PM  
Blogger Sparky's Girl said...

I too dislike taking medications. I only take them when there are no other alternatives. I prefer to get my nutrients from foods, but since many of our foods today can be deficient of the vitamins we need, I do make sure to take a mulit-vitamin, calcium, fish oil, and chromium. One example is the fish oil and chromium. I take them both in the morning and evening to help with depression. They have made a world of difference for me and I'm not spending a fortune on anti-depressants that have awful side effects.

3/23/2006 10:34 AM  
Blogger Jae said...

I agree with you!! Vitamins, supplements, they are the building blocks to good health! Help your body along, for goodness sake! Good for you, writing this.

3/25/2006 10:52 AM  
Blogger David said...

Many consumers of nutritional supplements do not realize that there is an impending danger to their Right to take nutritional supplements. Codex Alimentarius, or 'Codex' for short, a part of the Central American Free Trade Agreement, CAFTA, could result in an international body, the World Trade Center (WTC), restricting or banning the personal use of nutritional supplements under the ‘harmonization’ of U.S. law to international standards. Supplement use is severely restricted in many European countries. To prevent this from happening here, consider supporting Dr. Ron Paul for the presidency of the United States. Ron Paul understands that individuals have rights and, as a Congressman, has introduced legislation to protect people's right to take nutritional supplements. Check it out at

9/29/2007 5:34 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

I'm well aware of Codex Alimentarius, David, and have blogged about it here before. CLICK HERE! As much as I may or may not like Ron Paul for president, he will not be the nominee. It would be interesting if he was, but he will not.

9/29/2007 5:55 PM  
Blogger jess8t8 said...

We don't need vitamins if our diet is perfect but its far from it. We need vitamins indeed.

12/02/2007 1:17 PM  

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