Achieving great health isn’t as easy as popping a pill – so say five physicians from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Warwick Medical School in a recent journal editorial in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The story has been making headlines this month because the news is shocking to many self-described “health nuts.”
For me, this news couldn’t be more exciting. I’ve been telling people for years that whole foods – WHOLE FOODS! – are what your body needs to process just the right amounts of nutrition. Whole foods are almost always naturally balanced so their healing, healthful properties work together, boosting each other and catalyzing each other. When you separate out and condense one good property from its support system, the result isn’t nearly as beneficial – in fact, it can even be harmful.
That vitamins can be harmful may be the real shocker in this revelation. The authors specify Beta-carotene, vitamin E, and high doses of vitamin A supplements as being particularly bad, and the physicians were not at all impressed with folic acid, B vitamins, mineral supplements and multivitamins either.
A balanced diet is the best approach.
No kidding! Antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients aren’t meant to be solo acts – they’re ensemble players. They need their supporting casts to do their work. In fact, the only vitamin not yet on the “Naughty List” is folic acid for pregnant women (and I’d still recommend a whole foods approach of leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli and citrus). Oh, and that vitamin D3? Get it from sunlight (you can overdose by pill, but your skin absorbs only what you need from the sun).
The journal article is titled “Enough is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements” and I recommend everyone read it. Then come in to Intelligent Gourmet and drink some nutrition-packed juice. It’s better than any vitamin!