2005, the year the worlds fascination with taking Multivitamins died?
Sounds controversial I know and may be a slight exaggeration but actually it is not too far from the truth. 2005 and latterly 2006 have not been good years if you happened to be in the Multivitamin Business as not one but a whole series of reports emerged from one Scientific Research Establishment after another about the apparent uselessness of taking mass amounts of Multivitamins as forms of dietary supplements to aid and support a poor dietary regime.
When you look at it objectively, the daily vitamin pill is no substitute for a well structured and put together diet but as we all know, none of us are perfect when it comes to a healthy intake and sensible eating.
We all know (or should do by now) about the usefulness of eating all our greens, other vegetables, whole grain this and that but lets be honest the pressure of everyday life does tend to make it slightly difficult at times and convenience can be a mighty useful lure if we are not careful.
Enter stage left, the Multivitamin. This type of pill is almost too good not to appear as at least partial protection from our dietary lapses. It is almost too easy to act as a way to add surplus vitamins and minerals to our diets when we are lacking or are deficient in certain types of Vitamins or Minerals.
If you look at it objectively, by definition, Vitamins are organic (that is to say, carbon based) compounds needed in only small amounts. Minerals serve a similar purpose to Vitamins but the difference is that Minerals are inorganic.
The upshot of all of this is that historically, correct nutritional planning was all about ensuring that we were never deficient in certain types of vitamins that could increase our exposure to disease, hence the concept of vitamin fortification, that is to say the addition of nutrients, chiefly vitamins to our food supply.
The logic was that if we could correctly control the amounts of vitamins and minerals our dietary requirements needed then in certain cases and with certain vitamins and minerals if we increased that intake then we might find ourselves being given additional protection against conditions such as Heart Disease and Cancer.
The daily vitamin pill is our nutritional insurance policy that says (some say, more in hope than actuality) if we take enough we are more than guaranteed Good Health or so we thought.
The trouble was that in 2005 researchers at John Hopkins University published a whole series of reports that found rather disappointing results by and largely to do with the intake of Vitamin E.
Indeed their findings went as far as to say that in certain cases, large daily doses (400 IU and over) actually went as far as increasing the risk of Mortality.
This was followed in 2006 with the results published in the New England Journal of Medicine of a study by and largely to do with the intake of Vitamin B.
The study showed that despite the various properties that the Vitamin B types displayed, they were no more likely to reduce the incidence of Heart Attacks or other cardiovascular problems than the placebos given as part of the same study.
Perhaps it is all in the mind, perhaps therein lies the real benefit of the Multivitamin Pill. The psychological prop that we all need from time to time to help us through our weakest moments and our darkest of Hours. Who knows?