5 Myths & Facts You Should Know About Vitamins

With the magnitude of information that is relayed across our minds during the day, from the inundation of social media platforms, blogs, podcasts, TV and radio, it is no wonder why we sometimes have the facts mixed up about what is good or bad for our health. We are going to set the record straight about some common myths that you may have heard regarding vitamins. If you get these facts wrong in the future, you can blame us, we will take the heat.

Let’s start with the basics before jumping into some common myths. There are 13 vitamins in total (A,B1,B2, B3 B6, B12, C, D, E, K pantothenic acid, biotin, and folic acid (I hope you are taking notes, there will be a quiz later, No.2 pencil only).

These vitamins are divided into two broad classes which are water-soluble and fat-soluble. The importance of this division is linked to how your body processes and stores vitamins. This will be discussed in greater detail as we debunk our myths, so keep reading to be able to prove your friends wrong!

Myth #1 You Can’t Overdose On Vitamins.

FACT:

If one is good for you, two must be better, right? That would be a big loud “No!” We have been swayed by a pill-popping society that, in general, will take the quick easy-fix over the more arduous road to better health.

More than 50% of adult Americans take some sort of vitamin every day1. The belief that you cannot overdose on vitamins is a myth. By taking too many of the same vitamin, especially ones which are fat-soluble, can produce toxicity in your body causing varying harmful effects.

Out of the 13 vitamins, nine are water-soluble and four are fat-soluble. If a vitamin is fat-soluble, the vitamin is absorbed and stored in the fatty tissue of your body and can become toxic when taken in excess. Vitamins which are water-soluble, are those vitamins which are readily dissolved in water and easily absorbed into your body. These can also be replenished more often since they are excreted from your body on a more regular basis.

Myth #2 Organic Vitamins Are Better Than Synthetic Vitamins.

FACT:

Your body cannot tell the difference between a vitamin that is organic from one that is synthetic. Sorry to burst your green organic bubble. This has been an on-going point of controversy between naturalists and researchers who have been conducting studies involving synthetic vitamins for decades.

A great example of this vicious vitamin debate is one of the most intensively studied vitamins to date: vitamin C. Vitamin C in its natural state comes paired with bioflavonoids, an antioxidant which helps to enhance the action of this vitamin. Naturalists will say that synthetic vitamin C doesn’t compare to its natural counterpart, that it is simply ascorbic acid without the bioflavonoids and therefore, not as effective (and can even be harmful).

However, a study that is referenced in the National Library of Medicine2 concluded that there is little to no difference in the physical interactions with synthetic versus natural vitamin C in humans. So, dissolve that in your Kombucha and drink it!

Myth #3 Taking A Daily Vitamin Can Make Up for Poor Eating Habits.

FACT:

Supplements are not intended to replace food. Here is a quick breakdown for you.

Whole Foods give you:

  • Good nutrition: whole foods contain a variety of micronutrients.
  • Essential fiber: fruits, vegetables and whole grains provide fiber.
  • Healthy Chemicals: whole foods contain antioxidants and other beneficial chemicals.

Many people carry the erroneous belief that if they throw back a multivitamin and a couple of vitamin C’s that this will somehow magically counteract all of the Pork-Rinds, Mountain Dew and late-night fast-food escapades they may indulge in regularly. Sorry to break the news to you, but nothing can replace a well-balanced diet filled with nutritious whole foods.

There are some people who require additional supplements because of specific health conditions or diets that restrict certain food groups. But supplements should be used to enhance your nutrition not to replace it.

Myth #4 It Is Okay To Take Supplements With Prescribed Medications.

FACT:

Because supplements are sold over-the-counter and many are marketed as “natural” there is a growing misconception that vitamins cannot have interactions with prescribed medications. This could not be further from the truth.

Many vitamins contain active ingredients that can cause contraindications with medicine that has been prescribed by your doctor. It is always a good rule-of-thumb to check with your GP before beginning a regimen of any supplement.

Supplements can interfere with your prescribed medications from a minimal to a dangerous varying degree. There is not enough evidence yet to know for sure how your body will react to all supplements taken alongside prescribed medications. This is why it is important to consult a physician before starting a supplement.

Myth #5 Taking Vitamin C Will Help To Prevent A Cold

FACT:

Vitamin C has always been the “go-to” vitamin whenever you start to feel a cold coming on. Perhaps, you have even rushed out to a convenience store to grab a packet of Emergen-C or Airborne. These are all supplements supporting the false idea that vitamin C will thwart a cold from transpiring.

According to 29 studies with over 11,000 participants3 have concluded that supplementing vitamin C did not reduce the risk of catching a cold. Some studies have found that those who are highly physically active (i.e. marathon runners) who supplement with vitamin C have seen benefits in lowering the severity of the symptoms of a cold as well as boosting the function of their immune system.

For over 70 years this debate has continued with all studies disappointingly proving that vitamin C has little to no effect on the common cold.

Myths Will Continue…

Even in the age of the internet where we have an arsenal of the world’s information at our fingertips, myths will continue to perpetuate and pop-up. As consumers we can put some of this misinformation to rest by relying on trusted viable sources as our teachers and educators, or we can rely on rabbits feet and lucky pennies to use as our compass to sail into the sunset eventually falling off the edge of our flat Earth.

 

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**These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

References

  1. Is There Really Any Benefit to Multivitamins? https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/is-there-really-any-benefit-to-multivitamins.
  2. Synthetic or Food-Derived Vitamin C – Are They Equally Bioavailable?

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.

  1. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10796569/.

 

 

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