February 28, 2007
I grew up in a family that worshipped the cult of the Vitamin. My mom read her Vitamin Bible every Sunday and filled all of us up with megadoses of every conceivable supplement. She took the largest doses herself, in giantic units every day that my dad called "horse pills."
I am convinced that this alphabet soup of supplements was not ingested without adverse effects. "I have a twitch in my eye and sores in my lips, and my memory is fading," she would complain. Her solution to her problems? More vitamins of course, especially more of those huge orange pills of vitamin B.
In this month's JAMA, there is a nice metastudy of the effects of popular antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin E, and beta carotine. The results? All these will shorten your life. Fortunately, vitamin C, of which I consumed vast quantities growing up, seemed to have neither a positive nor negative effect on mortality.
The abstract of the study is here. I know that this will not dissuade the antioxidant vitamin crowd. Followers are religious; there is nothing I could ever show my mom that would ever convince her to stop.
|Copyright 2007 © David Bau. All Rights Reserved.|