Why vitamins are harmful
Vitamins - useful. This truth seems unquestionable. But what is the basis of this belief? Promotional videos of children's vitamins - the “innovative” composition is designed to help the baby become the most intelligent and strong. A photo of a pretty woman’s edited portrait in Photoshop and the name of a multivitamin complex with the promise that you, too, will certainly become more beautiful and younger if you take this drug. The stories of Soviet doctors about rickets and anemia, about tuberculosis from poor nutrition and other horror stories with a happy ending, when a big tasty vitamin came and cured everyone. Stories of fitons in instagram that muscles will not grow without vitamin supplements from a certain manufacturer.
A bit of theory
What are vitamins? These are such magic molecules that a person needs very little. They act as catalysts - “accelerators” of chemical reactions in the body - and help convert nutrients into energy.
Vitamins are in the food. Vitamin D is also produced in the sun.Obviously, there are more vitamins in fruits and vegetables that have just been picked, than in french fries or in a jam that has been stored for two years. On this the obvious facts about vitamins end. And the mythology begins.
Vitamins help in the prevention of influenza
The story of Linus Pauling's experiments - treating colds with high doses of vitamin C - still bothers minds. The study, which alluded to the benefit of askorbinki with the flu, was not a mess, as with assumptions and errors. Currently, the prophylactic effect of vitamin C or any other vitamins in relation to SARS and influenza has been disproved in large studies.
You need to take vitamins in the fall to "help the body"
The body functions approximately equally in summer, autumn, winter and spring. A slight decrease in vitality with the onset of cold weather is usually caused not by a deficiency of vitamins, but by a decrease in daylight. Because of this, the production of melatonin in the brain - the main switch of the body from the "wakefulness" mode to the "sleep" mode - spoils. Because of this, dopamine formation worsens, which inevitably leads to mild melancholy.And the vitamins will not help here, as if the producers of multi-colored jars with pills would not like to prove the opposite.
Anyway, harm from vitamins will not be!
Doctors sometimes tell anecdotal stories. Once the grandmother leads to the reception of the yellow child. The doctor grabs his head, begins to look for the causes of jaundice. But the body of the child is functioning quite normally, and the doctor falls into despair, trying to solve a clinical riddle ... Until the grandmother confesses that she pours a liter of carrot juice into her granddaughter every day. Vitamins are useful! And the fact that a child has hypervitaminosis is nothing. You can stop drinking carrot juice and start taking vitamin E. Pour capsules into your granddaughters with a shovel to get more vitamins in your body.
Today, funny stories about excessive consumption of vitamins have been supplemented with convincing scientific facts that standard doses of these drugs are not always useful. Studies have been conducted that showed that men who took beta-carotene for five to eight years were at greater risk of developing lung cancer or heart disease. And the combination of vitamin A with vitamin E increased by 46% to get a disappointing diagnosis of lung cancer compared with those who did not include vitamin pills in their diet.Another study, which was designed to show efficacy in the prevention of cancer, suddenly stunned completely opposite results. People who took a multivitamin supplement from selenium, vitamins E, A and C, risked getting a cancer more than those who neglected vitamin supplements.
All because of the antioxidant activity of vitamins: it turned out that this is not such an absolute good. Antioxidants and free radicals are irreconcilable enemies, of which advertising of anti-aging agents often tells. It turned out that free radicals not only damage cells and tissues and cause premature aging. They also inhibit the growth of tumor cells. Therefore, an excess of antioxidants is as bad as their lack. They eliminate free radicals, which causes uncontrolled growth of tumors.
In fact, the scientific justification for the additional intake of vitamins is only in a few cases.
Folic acid in the first trimester of pregnancy
This vitamin is proven to reduce the likelihood of neural tube defects in an unborn child.A neural tube is a thing from which all nervous tissue is then formed, including the brain and spinal cord. That is why folic acid is recommended to be taken from the first day of pregnancy. But the appointment of multivitamins in pregnant women "for health" and for "prevention of something incomprehensible" is unjustified. Given that in 99% of cases, pregnant women are assigned a vitamin complex with a certain name and rather high cost, there are suspicions that this recommendation is generously supported by the manufacturer.
Vitamin D in children
Rickets really have a place to be. And its prevention is a simple oil or water solution of vitamin D, the dosage of which depends on the age of the child. Given that the sun in our latitudes is not particularly affectionate, this drug is recommended to be taken all year round. Some studies show that many adults in Russia are also in a state of chronic vitamin D deficiency. To find out what kind of relationship you have with this substance, you need to be tested for 25-OH vitamin D. Then go to the doctor and get a recommendation on the best for you a dose of vitamin D.
Vitamin B12 for Vegetarians and Vegans
Alas, this vitamin is found predominantly in animal food. That is why the strict guardians of the vegetable diet risk acquiring an unpleasant form of anemia with neurological complications. Therefore, it is advisable for vegans to consult a doctor about the need for prophylactic intake of vitamin B12.
And other situations
In the modern world, scurvy and other diseases from vitamin deficiency are rare. And yet, sometimes you can meet a teenage girl with an eating disorder who just eats very little, and therefore does not receive the necessary amount of protein, vitamins and much more ... There are also elderly people who are poorly fed - sometimes due to age-related changes in the brain and accompanying pathological forgetfulness, sometimes from the fact that there is not enough pension for fruit or other “delights”. Fortunately, doctors see such patients on the go and it is easy to prescribe the necessary treatment.
If you are not in a combat zone for two months now, do not live in a bunker, if the end of the world has not happened yet and you at least try to make your food balanced - most likely you don’t need vitamins in tablets
Forget the teacher from the kindergarten, who tried to put a spoonful of fish oil in you. Throw out the yellow balls of ascorbine for prevention is not clear what: if you do not starve, scurvy, most likely, you are not threatened, but a change in the acidity of urine and the formation of kidney stones from the abuse of vitamin C - a very real prospect. Vitamins can be harmful. It is worth repeating yourself like a mantra, if the hand stretches to buy another multi-colored bottle with a miraculous multivitamin preparation.
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