There has been a long history of competition between conventional medicine and proponents of nutritional supplements. Conventional medicine spends a lot of time “debunking” the utility of nutritional supplements. You know what I’m talking about; you’ve heard it; you’ve heard the medical “experts” on T.V. say that taking vitamin supplements is useless. I’ll bet it confused you.
It confused you because common sense tells you that vitamin supplements are helpful. It also confused you because you’ve heard from so many people–your chiropractor, your acupuncturist, your trainer, your nutritionist, other medical doctors, the same T.V. news program reporting on a different story–that taking vitamins is good for you. So which one is it: good for you, or not necessary?
Well you won’t get a straight answer any time soon, as the mainstream medical machine is stepping-up the propaganda. According to new reports, vitamins C and E are useless for cutting the risk of heart attack or stroke. So are vitamins B12 and folic acid, according to another report. However, a third report shows that the statin drug Crestor cuts the risk of heart attack and stroke as well as reduces deaths from both, even in people with normal cholesterol. Wow! Frickin’ drugs, man…they’re miraculous!
Okay, here’s my problem with these studies. Taking nature and trying to squeeze it into a faulty paradigm is erroneous at best, and dangerous at worst. Vitamins are substance not produced by the human body, but necessary for life. We get most of our vitamins from the foods we eat. But the important point is: we need them. We do not need drugs. Drugs are useful, but we don’t need them. We’ve gotten through ~200,000 years of evolution (or 99.9% of our existence) without drugs…but not without vitamins. True, we have been supplementing for a far shorter time than we have been taking drugs…but we need vitamins. So the real questions should be: Do vitamins supplements work, and what do they work for?
The problem with the types of studies mentioned above is that modern researchers are trying to fit a natural and essential substance into a medicinal paradigm. Today’s medical paradigm is a disease treatment paradigm, not a health paradigm. Nothing wrong with fighting disease, but it’s entirely different than enhancing health. To look at vitamins for their disease fighting properties alone is nonsensical. They are life giving substances, health-enhancing material–taking vitamin supplements promote life, they don’t necessarily fight disease. That’s where medicine goes wrong; with medicine everything is about fighting disease.