For the last several decades (at least the last four), multivitamins have been promoted as the perfect solution for improper nutrition. Many reports and stories, mainly in the form of advertising and marketing, have portrayed vitamins as preventing various diseases and even being able to help cure others.
If you walk into any grocery store, drug store or “health store” you will find hundreds if not thousands of different brands and concoctions containing various amounts of vitamin cocktails. They range from heart health, eye care, joint repair, anti aging and bodybuilding/sports nutrition and everything in between. Over $20 billion per year is spent on vitamin supplements in the United States alone.
There was a time when Allopathic Physicians scorned vitamins and told their patients they were untested and unsafe, even while promoting synthetic pharmaceutical drugs. Even pharmaceutical companies, just 15-20 years ago would publish lengthy reports of the dangers of taking vitamins.
This all changed a few years ago when the pharmaceutical companies purchased most of the major brands of multivitamins, as a result vitamins became the must have item and a frequently prescribed item by Doctors and often recommended item from Nutritionists and Nurses.
An article featured on Forbes.com (Case Closed: Multivitamins Should Not Be Used, by Larry Husten); in the article Mr. Husten quotes three different papers that appeared in
“the Annals of Internal Medicine that find no benefits for the use of multivitamins – only the latest in a long line of negative findings – Eliseo Guallar and colleagues write: `we believe that the case is closed – supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful [emphasis added by NTE]. These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough.”
The first paper found “no evidence of an effect of nutritional doses on CVD, cancer, or mortality in healthy individuals without known nutritional deficiencies... (Larry Husten)”
The second paper involved approximately 6,000 physicians 65 or older and tracked their progress over a 12 year period using either multivitamins or a placebo. The tests included cognition, verbal memory and category fluency and reported no significant difference between the two groups.
The third group involved over 1,700 heart attack patients and after 4.5 years found no difference between the group given multivitamins and the placebo group.
Throughout this time and before, Taoism has always advised against vitamin supplementation and advocated eating a well Balanced Diet following Taoist principles and utilizing Strong Foods or the Forgotten Foods (Herbs).
Taoism has long recognized that there are major problems with our present dietary situation (The Tao of Balanced Diet by Dr. Stephen Chang):
- Since regular food represents only a small part of our food territory, it is possible for a human being to be deficient in some vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other substances that nourish particular parts of the body and regenerate special cells or tissues even though they eat the best of regular foods.
- There is evidence that proves that human beings cannot assimilate capsules of concentrated vitamins or synthetic nutrients that were invented to supplement or replace the inadequate regular diet. Nutrients can only be assimilated in natural food form, because every nutrient is balanced with other nutrients and is accompanied by substances which increase its effectiveness and its assimilation.
You can take all of the components of an egg or orange and attempt to reproduce them in a laboratory or even a 3D printer, but you will not produce anything even remotely similar to an actual egg or orange. Also, the resulting creation will not have the same affect on the body either.
We will discuss this further in another upcoming article regarding the Forgotten Foods and how the Taoist Diet has been able to help people for thousands of years.
The Annals of Internal Medicine article reminds us of several things and a few important questions for further reflection: how much do we really know about vitamins and minerals, how safe is it to use a substance that has not been thoroughly studied and proven over time, what are the long term risks involved etc...
In the Bible, Revelations 22:2, it is stated that “the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” We are supposed to eat and make use of all of the bounty earth provides, not isolated, synthesized components, created by man. Most of our dietary problems exist because we are starving our bodies, “since these chemicalized foods are not providing our bodies with the nutrients our bodies need. (Tao of Balanced Diet, Dr. Stephen Chang)”
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