Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

Tell Me More
Stay Connected
December 23, 2013

Dear Mark: Are Supplements Useless?

By Mark Sisson
59 Comments

VitaminsIt’s December 2013, which means it’s time for another round of popular news articles proclaiming “supplements are useless and maybe even dangerous.” This time they’re based on a recent editorial published in the Annals of Internal Medicine entitled “Enough is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements” in which the authors looked at (some of) the research on vitamin and mineral supplementation and prevention of various ailments. Understandably, I got a bunch of emails from people worried that their supplements were useless or might even be hurting them. Let’s look at one of them and see what people are saying:

I thought Mark might want to write a post on this article:

Multivitamin researchers say “case is closed” after studies find no health benefits

Thanks,

Dain

Hear that? The “case is closed.” Or not.

One of the papers the authors examined was pulled from the Physicians’ Health Study II (PHSII), a long-running study of nearly 15,000 US doctors at least 50 years of age or older. Researchers have run a number of studies using this data, mostly examining how taking supplements (either a Centrum Silver multivitamin, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, placebo, or some combination thereof) affected various end points like cancer, cardiovascular disease, visual decline, or cognitive decline. The study the authors of the editorial chose to examine looked at the effect of multivitamins on cognitive decline and memory. Turns out multivitamin intake had no effect on cognitive decline or memory when compared to placebo.

Of course, even if multivitamins have no effect on cognitive health it doesn’t say anything about other health conditions. Just last year, a study using the same PHSII data found a beneficial effect on cancer incidence from multivitamin use, with daily multivitamin use predicted a moderate but significant reduction in overall cancer risk, particularly in men with a history of cancer. And although an early PHSII study on cardiovascular disease found no overall effect, multivitamins did reduce the risk of fatal myocardial infarction (your basic heart attack). I’d wager that most people are highly interested in avoiding heart attacks that kill them. Wouldn’t you?

That’s actually pretty impressive when you consider that Centrum Silver is a cheap, relatively low-quality, poorly absorbed multivitamin. That Centrum Silver is a known quantity and inexpensive makes it a good candidate for large trials, but a poor candidate for someone interested in improving their nutrient status when there are so many better options are on the market.

You also have to consider the population studied and how that impacts the effect of a supplement. How do the male doctors included in PHSII differ from other types of people?

According to the latest research (much of it culled from the PHSII), male physicians are a generally healthy bunch. They tend to be wealthier and better-educated than average, which usually results in better health and a greater life expectancy. They rarely smoke, drink, or do (illicit) drugs. They’re thinner than most and rarely suffer from obesity-related diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. They have higher cholesterol than average men, which could actually be a good thing depending on how high it actually is and which lipids are responsible for the elevated readings. High cholesterol could also be a function of access to health care; other Americans may be “free” of high cholesterol simply because they’ve never had it checked. They drink a lot of coffee, which is a great source of antioxidants and has been consistently linked to better health outcomes.

In other words, doctors are starting from a healthier spot than the rest of us. They have less ground to make up. Their diets are less likely to leave them vitamin or mineral deficient, and multivitamins are less likely to have an effect on the vitamin and mineral replete.

You’ll notice that supplement critics usually sneak in an important qualifier that drastically changes the context: “nutrient deficiencies.” As in, “multivitamins may be helpful in combating vitamin or mineral deficiencies, but those are incredibly rare in today’s food environment.” They seem to assume that because so many people are overweight or obese, they couldn’t possibly be missing anything because they’re eating plenty of food to cover their bases. Is it really so rare to have a vitamin or mineral deficiency, though? Are Americans and other people from industrialized nations really eating healthy, nutrient-rich diets? I’m not so sure. Just look around at the way people eat. Obesity doesn’t mean nutrient-replete. An immense macronutrient intake doesn’t ensure a high micronutrient diet if you’re eating modern, industrial foods designed to taste good. Most homeless people I see are sadly overweight, but they overwhelmingly suffer from nutrient deficiencies just the same.

People may not be dying of pellagra or beriberi or getting scurvy or rickets (well, maybe rickets) in industrialized nations, but that doesn’t preclude deficiencies. The true face of modern nutritional deficiency is a subtle one that sneaks up on you and saps at your health over the long term.

Vitamin D deficiency is widespread, which the authors acknowledge. We’re either actively avoiding the sun, using sunscreen at the slightest hint of it, or spending most of our hours indoors. Vitamin D supplementation lowers the risk of falls in susceptible populations (high doses only; lower doses weren’t very effective), reduces body fat, and lowers the risk of fractures (in case you do fall). It and prenatal folic acid were the only supplements given the green light.

Magnesium deficiency is epidemic, too, with a number of factors negatively affecting a person’s serum magnesium levels, including high stress, sweating, alcohol intake, a low selenium intake, and low vitamin D. The biggest factor in magnesium deficiency, though, is inadequate intake, either from poor diets, soft, low-mineral drinking water, or depleted soils.

Should people not obtain more of those nutrients, either through lifestyle modification (diet, sun) or supplementation, if they are deficient? After all, magnesium supplementation has been shown to improve beta cell function in diabetics, insulin sensitivity in non-diabetics and type 2 diabetics, and blood pressure in people with low magnesium status.

And multivitamins themselves have had positive effects. Three recent clinical trials (AREDSAREDS2, and LAST) found that specifically-formulated multivitamins can help prevent age-related macular degeneration. Multivitamin supplementation can also positively impact fertilitypsychological health (mood, perceived stress which is really just stress in the end), and neural efficiency. The problem is that the endpoints that supplementation seems to undoubtedly help aren’t cancer or cardiovascular disease. Improved insulin sensitivity and lower body fat, better vision and lower stress are all well and good, but they aren’t sexy clinical endpoints with the impact of death from cancer or cardiovascular disease. A “lower risk of fractures and falls” doesn’t make headlines.

There are also nutrients that are difficult to obtain from food alone. Take vitamin K2, which can be found in natto (slimy fermented soybeans), goose liver, and gouda, but not in the amounts shown to be protective or restorative in clinical trials. Supplements will help fill in the blanks.

You know, I actually have no beef with the title of the editorial. People absolutely should not be wasting money on mineral and vitamin supplements they don’t need. That’s just common sense. Where we differ is how to define a wasteful supplement. They think all supplements qualify. I don’t. You can find plenty of evidence showing that supplementation of certain nutrients is unhelpful, harmful, or barely helpful in nutrient-replete, healthy populations. You can find plenty of evidence showing that smart supplementation of certain nutrients is extremely helpful or even life-saving in other groups. So-called skeptics love pointing to the former as resounding evidence that supplementation is pointless for everyone. More reasonable folks naturally see the totality of evidence as supportive of a more nuanced position: some supplements are good for some people, some are bad for some people, some are good for most.

Talking about “this study” or “that study” invalidating (or universally validating) the consumption of supplements is ridiculous. Specific supplements work in specific cases. Multivitamins can be helpful for certain conditions, particularly if you eat a poor diet, or they can be mostly useless. Supplement quality matters, too. There’s a lot of research to parse when it comes to evaluating the worthiness of supplements, too much for nice neat headlines – or even two page articles.

What do you think, folks? Be sure to share your thoughts below.

Thanks for reading. Take care and Grok on!

TAGS:  dear mark

Subscribe to the Newsletter

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

Leave a Reply

59 Comments on "Dear Mark: Are Supplements Useless?"

avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Groktimus Primal
2 years 9 months ago

Context!

Paige
2 years 9 months ago

I always find it interesting on how the media takes the most attention grabbing part of the study and just runs with it. But I do agree with with that supplements we don’t need simply are a waste of money, and if we don’t want to waste money, we need to actually do what it takes to find out which supplements we do need.

Tamara (New Orleans)
2 years 9 months ago

I eat healthy and take vitamins to fill the void. Vitamins are cheap enough (even the best of the them) to take regardless of the study. Am really are the extra vitamins and minerals going to hurt anything? I’m all for the results of a study but when the day is done, I have to make my own decisions.

Verdict for me is I’ll continue taking them! My life is just better with a full tank of magnesium and D!

Tai Chi Gal
Tai Chi Gal
2 years 9 months ago

What about the article on the front page of the Sunday, December 22 edition of the New York Times which said that supplementation is dangerous because of the lack of oversight? The article stated that some people are seriously harmed by supplements, and their example was a teenager who took green tea extract that permanently harmed his liver. I take some supplements such as Vitamin D3, Vitamin K2 and magnesium, but how do we know that the products we buy actually contain what they say they do, or even worse, that they aren’t filled with contaminants like heavy metals?

Darcie
Darcie
2 years 9 months ago

Search for “supplements” on bengreenfieldfitness.com. He has a couple if really good podcasts and/or articles on that.

Tai Chi Gal
Tai Chi Gal
2 years 9 months ago

Thank you for pointing out that site — it’s really good!

Erin
Erin
2 years 9 months ago

We don’t. The supplement industry isn’t FDA regulated (which BTW I don’t think is a good idea). You have to take the manufacturer’s word for it. Don’t be a stupid consumer. Personally, I think supplements are not a good investment and for the most part just end up in the toilet anyway. Literally.

ShivaD
ShivaD
2 years 9 months ago
Unfortunately Tai Chi Gal that’s applicable to most things we consume in this modern economy. Unless you make it yourself you really don’t know what your getting yourself into. It’s kind of scary when you think about it! We also don’t know the back story of these people – who they got the supplements from, what doses they were taking, if they were on other medicine or had a pre-existing health problem that could exacerbate the issue, etc. I also want to point out that the teen was taking a weight loss supplement – very different, IMO, from a nutritional… Read more »
Tai Chi Gal
Tai Chi Gal
2 years 9 months ago

I think you’re right about needing to do research on the food and supplements we take. I’m getting pretty good at the food part — buying beef from a local farmer and joining a CSA — but I need to look more into who is making my supplements.

D. M. Mitchell
2 years 9 months ago
I agree about prescription medicines causing problems. Here’s a link to doctoryourself.com about prescription medicine and hospital problems that should scare everyone. http://www.doctoryourself.com/deathmed.html And here’s a link, again, from doctoryourself.com, to an article about the safety of vitamins versus prescription drugs. http://www.doctoryourself.com/effectiveness.html Just go to doctoryourself.com and start looking around if you are concerned about vitamin safety. I developed exercise induced angina about 5 years ago. A cardiologist prescribed a beta blocker, a statin, and spray nitroglycerin. I did not fill the prescriptions. I read Dr. Shute’s book on vitamin E (he was a cardiologist) and Linus Pauling’s book on… Read more »
Nocona
Nocona
2 years 9 months ago

I only trust a couple vitamin companies. Synergy has all organic, whole foods supplements. Very pricey stuff, but the real deal. NOW brand is OK as is Jarrow. I believe synthetic vitamins and minerals are not good for us at all. I’m a C, D Magnesium and occasional protein powder guy myself.

Zenmooncow
Zenmooncow
2 years 9 months ago

The editorial also recommends “Beans” and “Low-fat dairy” . Thats a good demonstration of their awareness of the nutrient landscape.

But the article is a good for a few reasons:
-You shouldn’t be wasting your money on something that doesn’t do what it claims.
( I don’t take supplements to prevent death , I take them to improve performance and recovery)
-I don’t think you can supplement around an inherently bad diet .
-It helps us generate better questions to ask.

Grokster
Grokster
2 years 9 months ago

There is a treasure trove of studies on individual vitamins & minerals and their positive health benefits. Almost always, the positive response is dose dependent.

Therefore, a multivitamin approach to seeking a desired health outcome should be built on these individualized doses, not with throw-in to the mix mentality of just adding ingredients (case in point, Centrum multivitamins).

That’s how, for example, Ray Kurzweil has built his 100+ supplement pill multivitamin approach to anti-aging.

Karyn
Karyn
2 years 9 months ago

Two years ago when I was severely anemic my doctor recommended Centrum Silver (because of its added iron. I ignored that and got a better iron supplement. At some point several years ago he recommended D3. Just last week I saw him and he quoted the party line about vitamins – yep, just vitamins. I asked if he meant multis or ALL vitamins. He said ALL VITAMINS ARE USELESS. If I had somewhere to look I’d be looking for a new doc.

Alicia
Alicia
2 years 9 months ago

Hey Mark,

Just wondering what you think about this doctor’s take on multivitamins. He is pro-multivitamin, but says you need to be taking the right one (he also seems to be on the same page as you regarding diet, fyi). He says there are 5 pitfalls. For example, he says that most multi-vitamins contain the wrong kind of vitamin e.

http://truttmd.com/is-your-multivitamin-doing-more-harm-than-good/

Jason M
2 years 9 months ago

The problem with multi-vitamins is they are one size fits all. Of course food is the best place to get nutrients, but after that individualized supplements are your best bet. Luckily come January getting high quality individualized supplements is about to be very easy.

rdzins
rdzins
2 years 9 months ago

Also many vitamins are fat soluble, when you are on a low fat diet your body can not absorb any of these nutrients. There was really nothing said about what these people eat, I would bet it is low fat, high carb sad diet.

There are many things that play in to well being, looking only at one piece of the puzzle really tells you nothing.

Larry
Larry
2 years 9 months ago

Doctors and nutritional needs advice ??
Are these the same doctors who tell their diabetic/obese/cardiac patients to eat whole grains, margarine and diet soda everyday ?
The same doctors who watch hospital patients drinking diet sodas, eating cake, cookies, cereals, bread, etc ?
There are many things that doctors do very well.
They save countless lives.
We owe them a lot of latitude and respect.
But taking their nutritional advice isn’t on that list.
I’ll keep taking my supplements.

Shary
Shary
2 years 9 months ago

Doctors are good with trauma. I haven’t found them to be particularly useful for chronic conditions. Their knee-jerk reaction is invariably a prescription for some toxic drug that I refuse to take. Apparently eliminating the cause (often through better nutrition) versus medicating the symptoms is discouraged in medical school.

Andis
Andis
2 years 9 months ago

Supplements aren’t good or bad, problem is using them as some magical remedy without understanding “Why?”; just because some advertisement or “expert” says you need them (or don’t). Use your mind to understand what you really need and don’t try to outsupplement bad lifestyle choices. Of course it’s always better to choose them in natural “package”, already Hippocrates knew it.

George
George
2 years 9 months ago
I have been studying and using nutritional supplements for 40 years. I’m past the point of responding to every lame “vitamins are a waste of money” forum out there (not referring to MDA, this is one of the best health resources IMO and glad Mark brought up this topic) and a proper response would take at a minimum several paragraphs if not pages (if not a book) but in our society everything must be reduced to a bumper sticker or a tweet. Co-enzyme Q10 (Ubiquinol) reversed / eliminated my MVP. Quercetiin supplements have tremendously helped my sinus problems. l-theanine (with… Read more »
Sam
2 years 9 months ago

Never had any luck with supplements.

The Way We Were
The Way We Were
2 years 9 months ago

I am always amazed by all those bottles and pills by the pharmacy side of Costco…Every week, they are demoing something “new to the market” and “good for you”….

Jason M
2 years 9 months ago

Supplements is a tough topic. What works for some doesn’t work for others, there are tons of co-factors for absorption, timing matters, dosage requirements are widely unique.

Most folks don’t have the time to do the research to figure out what they’re needs are. Unfortunately Doctors often know as much about Supplements as Nutrition (since they naturally go hand in hand).

There are some folks though that are tackling these exact issues. It’s pretty exciting.

Jason M
2 years 9 months ago

– just wanted to add. Doctors often know as LITTLE about Supplements as Nutrition. 🙂 Didn’t want to confuse anyone.

Glenn
Glenn
2 years 9 months ago

Like any other product there is both good and bad in the marketplace. Doing your research before putting a supplement into your body is a must.

For a long time I was using a cheap B complex vitamin with no improvements. I recently switched to a higher grade B complex and can’t believe the improvements in my health. No more cheap stuff for this guy.

jay
2 years 9 months ago

no way multivitamins are useless. some people can absolutely use the boost in things they are deficient in.

Shary
Shary
2 years 9 months ago

I dislike popping a load of capsules, gelcaps, “bullets” and horse pills. Instead I use a high-quality powdered green drink every other day. It’s unsweetened and tastes like grass clippings but it’s very nutrient-dense, and I do notice an increase in well-being and energy since I started using it. A good brand is Garden of Life, but there are quite a few good ones to choose from. Steer clear of the bottled fruit and veggie drinks. They are loaded with sugars and light on nutrition.

Terri
Terri
2 years 9 months ago

There are nutritional/supplement programs out there…the research is done for you…synergistic (balanced) and high levels of absorption are key…the powdered patented nutritional supplements I take are awesome and backed by science/research…epigenetics!

Ash Simmonds
2 years 9 months ago

I’ve collated a whole bunch of studies and articles on this very thing here:

http://highsteaks.com/forum/health-nutrition-and-science/vitamin-and-multivitamin-supplementation-risks-benefits-370.0.html

Basically:

“If you believe your diet is unhealthy or insufficient to meet your nutritional requirements, then change your diet instead of adding supplements.

Supplements should be reserved for when there’s an actual dietary deficiency or medical need that cannot be met through diet.”

Jessie
Jessie
2 years 9 months ago

I’d love to hear Mark’s take on prenatal vitamins. I eat primal and generally follow the primal/ WAPF recommendations for fertility and pregnancy (liver, pastured eggs and dairy, lots of veggies and meat) and I couldn’t decide whether to take a prenatal multi or just supplement with folate and magnesium. I’m currently taking a multi plus Natural Calm in the evenings, but not sure if the multi is really necessary or even beneficial.

Cat
Cat
2 years 9 months ago
Totally agree, Mark. Certain supplements in certain cases are extremely useful, and a couple, like vitamin D and magnesium, are useful for everyone due to widespread deficiency. Of course if you’re vitamin and mineral replete then you wouldn’t take any, but it’s a pipe dream to say that everyone is replete LOL. Some people also have really high nutrient needs. Personally, I would need to eat kidneys everyday or drink 4 cups of milk to get the riboflavin I require, which isn’t always possible. So for me, a supplement is very useful in this case. But different people have different… Read more »
Jura16157
Jura16157
2 years 9 months ago

Being a relatively newby to vitamins – 1 yr or so – until reading this, I didn’t know there were low-grade and high-grade vitamin options. I’m going to keep taking a multi vitamin, but definitely do some research to find the best choice for me. For my Omegas, I take Nordic Natural’s Ultimate Omegas. I DID do my research on those, but never thought to research my multi vitamin. Duh.

Janice James
Janice James
2 years 9 months ago

I wonder how much food a person has to eat to get all the nutrients they need? I can’t eat more than 1200 calories a day of anything without gaining weight.

tkm
tkm
2 years 8 months ago
I find it helpful to track my food on Fitday.com, which breaks down the macro and micronutrients of the foods I am eating. In doing this, I learned that it is surprisingly easy to hit the RDA of vitamins and minerals–not that the RDA is gospel, but it’s a standard to shoot for–by eating strategically. There are some minerals I always have difficulty getting into my diet, but the majority were taken care of if I ate, for example, 4 ounces of liver, a cup of sautéed spinach, and a grapefruit. And since liver is so nutritious, I was well… Read more »
Todd
2 years 9 months ago
Mark, I agree with you that “People absolutely should not be wasting money on mineral and vitamin supplements they don’t need.” and that ” Specific supplements work in specific cases. Multivitamins can be helpful for certain conditions, particularly if you eat a poor diet”. We can agree that in cases of overt illness and proven deficiency, supplements may make sense. But that’s not the way supplements are usually pitched: as a prophylactic “health guard” to be taken regularly for the rest of your life. The idea is out there that we “may as well” take daily supplements, even if we… Read more »
Christine
Christine
2 years 9 months ago
It’s not so much what you eat, but what you absorb, so if your digestion is not up to scratch, then you may not be getting all the nutrients from your food that you think you are. Also, the quality of the food matters & the soil things are grown in, so a quality Multivitamin may be a good assurance. Then there are people with allergies which may mean that they don’t get all the nutrients in their diet, due to being more restricted for choice. I have a condition called pyroluria, which means that I have a higher than… Read more »
tam
tam
2 years 9 months ago

Byron Richards – Anti-Vitamin Propaganda Hits a Fever Pitch
http://www.wellnessresources.com/freedom/articles/anti-vitamin_propaganda_hits_a_fever_pitch/

michaelspsp
michaelspsp
2 years 9 months ago

Vitamins work if they are well made vitamins. Doctors I know use them and the blood tests show results. BUT they use Top quality vitamins. If the vitamins they use for the research are sold in a box store, grocery store, etc. they are probably garbage. They need to break down inside the body, many have caranuba wax coating them, would you eat car wax? Also Vitamin E studies use synthetic Vitamin E not natural Vitamin E. It has been know for years the synthetic Vitamin E will cause major damage but natural vitamin E does great things.

Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
2 years 9 months ago
Question: if they are so ineffective, then why does the PDR have an entire separate volume devoted to them? Answer: they can and sometimes DO work, but need to be used correctly, and in the right setting. I looked at a lot of sites carrying this article and I found it rather intriguing that NOT ONE OF THEM HAD A PLACE TO COMMENT AFTERWARD. I was all itching to get on and say that with multiple food allergies, I for one am NOT going to stop taking vitamins or supplements unless one or more has been proven to make my… Read more »
L Olsen
2 years 9 months ago

Thanks for the down-to-earth opinion. Where I’m from, herbal supplements are considered to be a pointless “hippie thing.” I started taking a high potency cranberry supplement (prescribed by my urologist) and it has considerably helped me in my fight against my chronic UTI. Do your research and speak with a doctor if you have questions about supplements and what you should or should not be taking!

Brian Smith
Brian Smith
2 years 9 months ago

I hate to break it to you but Doctors no absolutely nothing about supplements. MDs at least. They are only trained in drugs, cutting, and burning. They do maybe 1 day in their entire medical school careers where they learn about nutrition and it isn’t anything that is beneficial. Doctors are not the people to see regarding supplements. Instead, see a naturopath, holistic doctor, or an herbalist.

Brian Smith
Brian Smith
2 years 9 months ago

*know….sorry

Natalie
Natalie
2 years 9 months ago

I feel like if your diet and lifestyle are crap, vitamins aren’t going to be the magic pill that’s going to save you. More interesting would be to take two groups of people eating real food and moving around outside and give one of them some vitamins and minerals.

Bois
Bois
2 years 9 months ago
This is a tough topic. Simplistic answers are not helpful. There are too many variables and issues – it is hard to simplify them easily. I am convinced that vitamins are in fact abused, but that doesn’t change the fact that the right vitamins are probably needed in certain situations. My daughter, who is Celiac, simply cannot absorb sufficient iron yet. On the other hand, ingesting additional iron can negatively affect zinc absorption. Sometimes the balance is more important than the quantity. Unfortunately, for good or bad, talking to doctors is useless as their knowledge on vitamins is hit and… Read more »
John
John
2 years 9 months ago
When it comes to supplements, iron is the one that should never be blindly supplemented. On the one hand, if you suffer from iron deficiency anemia, supplementation could be crucial, and make an enormous difference in your overall well being, as in your daughters case. On the other hand, iron overload is a very serious condition that is often overlooked, and had an associative (and very likely causal role) in some very serious conditions, including heart disease, cancer and arthritis. Iron overload is very common in men and post menopausal women (although both can suffer from anemia too). In this… Read more »
Zorica Vuletic
Zorica Vuletic
2 years 9 months ago
I use vit D3 and I love it. I also use magnesium which I find helpful at times too. That’s really about it, and I take zinc but not a whole lot. I think that’s a nice small amount of vits that are harder to obtain from the diet and/or to help the diet when extra sugar or alcohol are added ie. Christmas (the magnesium). I took a lot of vitamins last year after I made myself sick and I do believe they definitely helped, but I took out certain ones over time until I dwindled them down to what… Read more »
john
john
2 years 9 months ago

My father started taking nutrilite in the 1960’s…when his doc told him that calcium supplementation caused calcium build up in the joints…and arthritis. He was also told by other doctors that he would have arthritis from injuries he received……He die from lung cancer after drinking and smoking excessively(3 packs a day) – but no arthritis – and very active till the end……and took nutrilite most of his adult life. He seemed far healthier than he should have been…. of course that is not a study – just anecdotal…but good enough for me.

Brian Smith
Brian Smith
2 years 9 months ago
You also have to look at who funds the studies. Natural vitamins and supplements threaten Big Pharma and the medical industries profits. Also, what the article fails to state is that the products they used are synthetic, isolated supplements. The body does not recognize these synthetic, isolate vitamins and simply eliminates them as waste oppose to using them for nutritional deficiency. If you use whole food vitamins that are in the ratio that nature intended instead of fake synthetic isolated supplements made in a lab, they are incredibly beneficial. Surprised Mark didn’t hit on this. The truth of the matter… Read more »
Bharat
2 years 9 months ago

I think the usefulness of supplements actually depends on conditions, in some situations it works wonders but in a few cases it hardly shows any result. So you just can’t say that supplements are useless.

Geoffrey
Geoffrey
2 years 8 months ago
People (including our beloved Mark Sisson) who sell supplements promote their benefits, and question the scientists and doctors who publish in peer-reviewed journals who find that some supplements are not helpful. The Paleo movement has been popular in part (and especially among younger people) because it takes on the medical establishment who are quick to prescribe medicine versus taking a whole view of the patient. I think one needs to use common sense and one’s own experience to guide. I personally believe in the scientific method, AND in taking a holistic view of the body/person. I think the system of… Read more »
Victoria
Victoria
2 years 8 months ago

Since starting the Paleo Diet 8 weeks ago I can tell you honestly that multivitamins now make me very ill. Head pressure, head aches, nausea, liver pain, digestive distress. They are awful. If you eat a natural diet with a variety of meats, veggies, fruits, nuts, good fats then you do not need any additional supplements.

Don’t waste your money on these things; instead invest it in a healthy diet, good exercise, and plenty of restful sleep.

Javier Lozano Jr
2 years 8 months ago

Such a controversial subject! But I’m glad that MDA embraced it and challenged us to see where we stand on it. It’s tough to find a quality product out there that provides a variety of supplements from multi-vitamins to protein shakes. Personally, I take supplements to help fill the voids that I’m not able to obtain with my balanced diet.

pitdoug1998
pitdoug1998
2 years 8 months ago
Since I started supplementing with zinc several years ago I haven’t had a common cold, not once and the bouts I’ve had with the flu have been very short and didn’t require antibiotics. Also my quality of sleep went up with my cal, mag, zinc regiment. My father from 70- 73 would yearly get something akin to walking pneumonia that he couldn’t shake for weeks even with rounds of progressively stronger antibiotics. Last winter I got him to buy the Earth Fare branded cal, mag, zinc and take a calcium ascorbate supp along with eating an orange EVERY DAY along… Read more »
Roy
Roy
2 years 7 months ago

Any opinion on moringa? It’s said to be rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals.

A.Scott.Brown
2 years 6 months ago

In one of the studies that looked at the methodology used in the research the doctors had a quote I liked:

“it’s foolish to suggest that a multivitamin which costs a nickel a day is a bad idea.”

wpDiscuz