Do we really need vitamin supplements?
How did vitamin supplements begin?
It was 1930 in Canada and 1940 in the USA when the first nutrient intake guidelines were established. It took the economic depression to spark this regime as food supplies were not substantial and the essentials were to be quickly discovered for the survival of the nations effected.
The nutrient intake values devised were required on a daily basis for adequate physiological function and prevention of disease. American nutritionist's Lydia J. Roberts, Hazel Stiebeling, and Helen S were the ones to first implement what is now called RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance). It was necessary to accomplish these nutritional values because the military and armed forces needed to be physiologically energised and healthy.
In a way you could say their investigations and surveying of available data was a version of weaponry - a bit like today's use of illicit drugs in sport - except back then it was new and not well understood and in war there are no rules and no one is going to hoist a red card over misconduct.
These nutritionists needed to make the healthiest warriors with the most economical and rationed portions of food possible.
From then on, every five years the RDA was updated and as we can now see has became very intricate. What started out as a method of strengthening individuals in a starved population has become one of the largest marketing frenzies. In the 1940's there were eight essential nutrients now it's not quite so simple.
Are vitamin supplements necassary?
So what started as a war meal plan has now become a marketing frenzy. With brands such a "Swisse" recommending we take a multitude of vitamins daily. Some of which include Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, Iodine and Selenium. And that is not all. They now have separate womens, mens, skincare, superfood, sports, and many more. Is this just a huge money making scam? I mean if people do not think they could ever possibly get the requirements from their food (because most of us just do not know what is in our food) then what is to stop them thinking they need vitamins?
On the other hand there is much debarcle about attaining adequate vitamins and nutrients from vegetables and fruits. The modern understanding is that between the picking of the vegetables, movement and time spent en route to supermarkets, washing, peeling and eventually cooking; there is a lot of nutrient elimination. A novel I read called "500 of the most important health tips you'll ever need" written by Naturopath Hazel Courteney says that nowadays there is no way to receive the recommended daily intake of vitamins without supplements. So maybe Swisse actually has it right? A little exacerbated but nevertheless they aren't lying when they say they can give you your requirements in a pill.
Raw vegan is not for everyone but my solution to avoiding pill popping would be to shop at local markets therefore you can be sure it is organic and fresh. Blanch briefly or blend your raw vegetables before eating. This way you can be assured that there was the least amount of tampering with your food and the best part about markets is that generally the farmer will be there and you can ask them direct questions about the produce.
I would recommend taking Vitamin K and A from supplementation as they are extremely hard to obtain from diet if you aren't a big green leafy vegetable eater.
Ball is in your court now - happy deciding what is best for you.
Have we taken supplements too far?
What will the future be like?
My estimate of a day in the life of a woman in 2150
It must have been a renewal day. I was cringing at the sarcastic tone in Mr Alexander’s voice “Hold still Victoria! How will you take this treatment otherwise?”. I lay still as a brick. The pain seeped. I heard three cracks and knew we were now half way through. Mr Alexander finalised the treatment. My ribs were blue; it was done.
Eliza came sprinting up the stairs, she must not have had her treatments yet. “Oh Vicky! Love, how are you this fine morning?” I responded “Why, brilliant it’s 2150 how could I be anything else?”- “Oh haha you silly girl! Come down, its feeding time!!!”. I walked to the bar my syringe awaited. “What’s today feeder?” the nurse replied “Iron, protein, calcium and potassium.” Straight into the system it went. Delicious!
Eliza is my biological clone; in other words my twin. We were designed together and replicated. They keep identicals whenever they think they have achieved a really good set of genes. I don’t feel hunger, my brain is entirely prominent in linguistically and mathematical mechanisms, my thermoregulatory systems are magnificent and my intelligence said to be exquisite. I feed off only one injection per day, my body makes use of every element. I am entirely promiscuous and have eight offspring awaiting birth in the fertility centre.
They keep us updated with steroids, collagen and botox. How else would I attract the superior males? I have had no infections since my construction, and only one mutation which created a slight mishap in the maintainance of genetic similarity between as many individuals as possible. A minor set back, I enjoy the sensation of dance.
I hope you have enjoyed my article and it has helped you in some way or another. If you have any further questions on any of the above information please feel free to contact me. I have studied human physiology and nutrient intake for four years now and even though I am yet to complete my post-graduate qualification until next year I am sure I will not only be able to answer your question but also give you further information on your query.
I welcome all opinions and feedback as I am constantly learning and what better to do that then with a debate?
Happy feeding everyone.