Dumb Health Tips - Part 2: Vitamins Are Bad For You
February 17, 2015
The internet is an amazing and terrible place.
It allows just about any joker to write things and broadcast it to fairly wide audience. I probably fall into that category as well, but I always make an effort not to seem dogmatic about my views and recognize that everyone's body is going to work differently and will respond differently to pretty much any circumstance you can think of. I'm also not an expert, but I do have some personal experience to work from.
That said, I find myself reading - sometimes hatereading - articles on the internet with titles such as "7 Foods That Are Making You A Terrible Person!" Well, maybe not quite exactly like that. Recently though, I was reading through one about health misconceptions or something like that, so I knew I was getting into slippery territory.
What I was not expecting was to see the claim that multivitamins are bad for you.
Now, I know that science changes and opinions swing wildly back on forth on fad topics such as how much fat you ought to be eating (that's my next installment in Dumb Health Tips, by the way), so I was curious to see what basis they had for positing the claim that a daily intake of a vitamin supplement was bad for you.
Turns out, it is not bad for you.
Sure, there may be an argument that it's better to get your essential nutrients from good foods and whatnot rather than a supplement, but that isn't even remotely where this article went. They said that a study showed people who take a multivitamin have a tendency to feel "illusory invincibility" leading people to make unhealthy choices. You might be thinking, "but that has nothing to do with vitamins being bad for you, that's just poor decision making," and I would be inclined to agree with you. You could also make the argument that certain supplements don't do anything one way or another and I would believe you on that as well, but I am highly skeptical of any ill effects due to taking a daily multivitamin as it relates to the nutrients themselves.
This irks me because it's the same logical fallacy laden, dismissive attitude that I discussed in the first Dumb Health Tips post with regard to certain workouts. Some people do idiotic amounts of isolated lifts that won't help them towards their goals and could potentially hurt them, that doesn't mean that dumbbells are bad for you or that you shouldn't necessarily incorporate isolated lifts into your routine. As I said at the outset of this post: everyone's body is different. If you came to me with evidence that there is something in multivitamins that chemically is not good for you, I'd certainly take that into advisement, but if all you can muster is the bad decision making of some people who happened to be involved in an uncited study that you're referencing in an online article, I will continue taking my vitamin supplement.