If you are anything like me, the ever-growing vitamin and mineral section of the pharmacy or supermarket is nothing short of confusing.


It seems that every second celebrity in Australia currently has an endorsement deal for a multivitamin, but it’s not as if you can turn to your favourite hot celebrity to ask for their personal recommendation on the best vitamin to take.

This is not surprising as the vitamin industry is worth an estimated billion dollars in Australia alone. Despite this, the big question that still remains is whether vitamin and mineral supplements actually work.

Unfortunately there is a harsh reality looming that may suggest that many of us may simply be flushing our hard-earned dollars spent on various vitamins and minerals down the loo. Literally.

If we think back to the days of Captain Cook and sailors diagnosed with scurvy after months and months without access to fresh food, vitamin supplementation has been used clinically for hundreds of years to correct various vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Today various dietary supplements can be found in hundreds of different mixtures and concoctions, ranging from simple individual nutrients such as Vitamin B or zinc or as formulations of positive lifestyle mixes such as the “anti-stress” or a “rest and restore” nighttime sleeping aids.

This has kept the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) busy trying to regulate the claims and advertising associated with supplements. Now while such miracle pills may sound like the perfect addition to your attempts to achieve perfect health and longevity, unfortunately the jury is still out on whether or not vitamin and mineral supplements improve health, wellness and lifespan.

There’s a surprising lack of scientific findings to show that supplementing the diet with specific nutrients improves health outcomes long-term. And there are even some papers that show supplementation may actually reduce lifespan (although this is an association only and more likely linked to poor dietary habits underlying the need to take the vitamins in the first place, rather than the vitamins themselves).

When it comes to certain diseases including cancer, evidence to support vitamin supplementation as part of a treatment option is also surprisingly lacking.

In fact, in some cases, vitamin and mineral supplementation is actually not advised. Various early studies found the aggressive supplementation of antioxidant rich vitamins actually made some conditions worse. Sure, a good diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables is protective against certain disease states but unfortunately it seems not these nutrients in isolation.

While this may sound somewhat disappointing as we all seek ways to be healthier and live longer, in individual cases, vitamin and mineral supplementation may be necessary.

Vitamin D deficiency is relatively common in Australia (which you also need to take with fat to be absorbed properly, by the way) as are low iron levels both of which require active supplementation to restore the levels required in the body for optimal physiological functioning.

The same can be said for fish oil and there is nothing wrong with some Vitamin B or C for a boost when you are not feeling 100%.

The issue with vitamin and mineral supplementation is over-doing things. We take multiple supplements, not knowing exactly what we are taking in what doses or how these nutrients may be interacting if they are taken in high doses.

While a general multivitamin is likely to pose no risk and may even act as a safeguard against a poor dietary intake, it isn’t the case that more is better.

This is particularly true when we start to pop more than a few different multivitamin pills, on top of our fortified breakfast cereals and various shakes and powders that already might contain a range of vitamins and minerals. While we may be trying our best to be healthy, what is actually happening is that we are ingesting really large doses of key nutrients that we really only need in small amounts, and we do not know if this is safe into the future. 

So check what you’re taking. A single multivitamin or shake isn’t an issue.

But if you are ingesting large volumes of these nutrients and supplements throughout the course of the day, it is time to pay more attention to what you are ingesting.

If you still have questions, check your supplements with a dietitian or GP to make sure you are actually taking what you need in the right doses.

And when it comes to special formulations that promise that your stress will be alleviated, your sleep with be better and your whole life changed by taking a vitamin, keep in mind that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Even if Jennifer Hawkins says so.

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    • Mark Rolls says:

      06:07am | 28/05/12

      The other recent concerns include Blackmores and the Pharmacy Guild getting together to “value-add” their products whenever certain type of prescriptions are presented. I realise that after a bit of an outcry the plan was dropped but I remain deeply concerned by the number of untried, untested and, on occasion, entirely useless homeopathic/CAM remedies that many pharmacies now supply. Others may think differently, but I think our pharmacists should behave as shining examples of science and research- not as modern purveyors of witchcraft.

    • craig2 says:

      07:45am | 28/05/12

      I wasn’t aware of that relationship until the story broke. I used to promote, as a GP rep, a iv treatment to Drs who in turn would recommend a vit D to go with it. When I spoke about this with Pharmacists, some mentioned Blackmores, some mentioned other brands as their preferred choice but I guess at the end of the day, it’s pretty easy money and why would you not sell it irrespective of the claims behind it or how the claims were arrived at?

    • Tedd says:

      07:00am | 28/05/12

      A wwek without vitamins would not affect any of us - the rate of depletion is slow, and missing several days of a so-called daily dose would be easliy reversed.

      We are being conned. Big. Time.

    • Emma says:

      07:01am | 28/05/12

      I heard that as well - that all those vitamin supplements are actually not just not beneficial but can be rather bad for you. But when I picture the size of industry behind all those vitamins - its unbelievable. I think it works so well, because even if you live of fish and chips and know vegetables only as addition between the bun and the meat patty in your burger, then it makes you feel instantly better about your diet, because you have been taking “vitamins”. Thats healthy, right?

      We have free fruit at work, which I find awesome, because it makes me eat more. I think its such a simple and cheap idea and has so many benefits.

    • Larry Czarnik says:

      07:12am | 28/05/12

      Susie,

      Oh where do we start!  Why do you choose to propagate the line of the “educated” medical “profession”.  There are lots of studies on traditional medicines and the derived supplements and vitamins, but the medical “profession” chooses to claim there are “insufficient” or “not comprehensive” studies.  Why?  Because the pharmaceutical lobby would loose millions and then the medical “profession” would loose it’s lerks and perks.

      We could direct you to sites we know and products we trust, but I don’t want to make this into a platform for just one vitamin and supplement company.

      And mind you, we certainly would not call all in the medical “profession” blind.  We personally know of several that have studied both western and “traditional” (frequently associated, but not completely with Chinese medicine) and offer a holistic approach to cure and more importantly prevention.

      Sure there are “fundamentalists” in both camps.  But to scare people from taking vitamins and supplements because it made some conditions worse is scaremongering.

      For example, when my wife was ready to have chemo as a treatment for breast cancer, our holistic doctor reminded us to stop taking anti-oxidants.  Since “chemo” is a oxidant (that’s how it fights the cancer), taking anti-oxidants at the same time would reduce the effectiveness of the chemo.  However my wife took many other “supplements” which boosted her immune system and made the effects of chemo and improved her “recovery” time between each session.

      Anyway, we could go on, but think you get our point.  And I wish I could find that presentation slide of a well know medical professional who takes a holistic approach.  The slide essentially is - build a fence at the top of the cliff [holistic preventative] rather than wait with ambulance at the bottom [medical “profession”]

    • Tedd says:

      08:06am | 28/05/12

      ” .. ‘chemo’ is a (sic) oxidant ..” - Rubbish!

      So is the notion taking so-called ‘anti-oxidants’ reduces the effectiveness of chemo.

      The notions there are “supplements” that universally boost the immune system is unproven nonsense, too.

    • Rose says:

      08:37am | 28/05/12

      Larry, what you appear to be talking about is the educated use of vitamins, most people I see in my work in pharmacy are definitely NOT educated about what they’re taking. There are so many people who just take things that they’ve heard could be good for them, either on TV or through friends etc, without actually knowing what they’re taking and why. On top of that are the people on significant medications who supplement with vitamins, without knowing what the interaction is with their prescriptions and often completely unaware of contra-indications.
      Of all the Naturopaths who double as Vitamin sales reps, there was only one who ever made any sense to me, she advocated only taking vitamins as necessary, not routinely. Many people re now taking things like acidophyllis daily, when in fact it should only ever be taken when you are coming off antibiotics or illness. This Naturopath spoke of the laziness of the human body, she explained that if you artificially took over a body function on a long term basis, the body stops trying to perform that function, i.e. laxatives taken long term will damage the muscles that make you go to the toilet and you lose control of that function, sometimes permanently.

    • Rose says:

      08:45am | 28/05/12

      (Sorry, pressed submit too early).
      Bottom line is there is some benefit to some supplements, but only if taken if and when you actually need them. Make sure your doctor and Naturopath are fully aware of EVERYTHING you are taking and steer clear of health professionals who are either too gung-ho with their advocacy of multiple long term supplements and also those who are completely dismissive of all supplements.
      I just wish that more customers who walked into the pharmacy spent a bit more time getting to really know what they are taking and why, that a friend of a friend isn’t their source of information and that they actually understood their needs and their diet.

    • acotrel says:

      09:15am | 28/05/12

      I like aromatherapy the best ! I wonder if anyone has ever got tetanus from acupuncture ?

    • E says:

      10:21am | 28/05/12

      Hi Rose, it can take weeks or months for the good bacteria in your gut to be replaced after having antibiotics. I know as for many weeks after being given a pescription for antibiotics for a flu I didn’t feel quite right and was badly fatigued, it ended up being candida, an overgrowth of yeast in the gut. The bad bacteria also love sugar and I find the only thing that has made me feel great is having a probiotic pill every day.

      Also the soil our vegies and fruit get grown in are mineral depleted so we should be looking at taking zinc, selenium & magnesium if we are consuming a typical Western diet.

    • Al says:

      04:40pm | 28/05/12

      E - Taking anti-biotics for the flu is useless, as influenza is a virus you would need anti-virals.
      It may not have been the flu though but just flu like symptoms.

    • E says:

      06:53pm | 28/05/12

      Hi Al, well I was just going to the doctor to get a certificate for work and she suggested antibiotics, so I took them thinking that I must need them because they were offered! I am very wary of doing this again as it makes me feel worse for longer. Society wants to ‘fix’ our diseases and symptoms with pills, when we should just be looking at overhauling our diets.

    • Larry Czarnik says:

      11:39am | 29/05/12

      Rose,

      Thanks for your comments.  Yes, MORE education.  And guess the sub-topic of my comment was that Susie’s article does nothing to EDUCATE and is more aimed at sensationalised scaremongering.

      Larry
      2012MY29 11:40

    • M says:

      07:27am | 28/05/12

      What ever happened to just eating a healthy and varied diet full of vegetables, fruit, meat, beans and nuts?

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      02:04pm | 28/05/12

      They made a pill for it.

    • Gordon says:

      02:38pm | 28/05/12

      Reading the Punch and the Drum daily gives me a varied diet of both fruits and nuts. Also snags, spuds, and the occasional watermelon.

    • GODSKY says:

      08:26am | 28/05/12

      I only take a reg multivitamin daily, and zinc only if i feel a cold coming on.
      Eat right, move and all will be good.
      We lived without them for a long time. why now do we stuff ourselves full of them?

    • Emma says:

      08:48am | 28/05/12

      Hmm but our diet has changed. If you eat McD one day and BK the other, then that is not a balanced diet. So I get how they make people eat supplements. Its the guilt trip. After all popping a pill is so much easier than eating better.

    • Shane* says:

      09:12am | 28/05/12

      People can go through as many vitamins as they want for all I care, it’s their choice.

      Where the government and regulators need to step in is in situations where vitamin companies make claims the evidence cannot back up.

      “Our multivitamin may help with energy levels.” Yeah, and they also MAY help with telekinetic abilities. And they also MAY help with your ability to play Minesweeper. Tell me what they WILL do.

      Man oh man I cannot WAIT until the government review (currently underway) comes back in 12 months or so and takes 95% of ‘alternative’ medicines off private health insurance rebate scheme.

      It will be glorious watching homeopaths and reiki practitioners (reikologists? reikiolopaths?) inwaving their placards: “LET US SELL OUR SUGAR WATER TO CANCER PATIENTS AND CONVINCE THEM THAT THEIR ONCOLOGISTS KNOW JACK ALL ABOUT THEIR DISEASE”

      That will be a good day.

      Next up: Chiropractic.

    • Emma says:

      11:47am | 28/05/12

      @ Shane - there is absolutely nothing wrong with Chiropractic if used when required. I know it has made the world of difference for me, and I am no longer suffering constant back, neck and shoulder pains nor constant headaches.  A doctor would have simply given me a pain medication or put it down to a pinched nerve (which they did!)

    • godsky says:

      12:34pm | 28/05/12

      @Emma.
      Well yes there is that too!
      Maybe McD or BK can start selling vitamin enriched burgers!!

    • Shane* says:

      01:35pm | 28/05/12

      Emma, Chiro has been shown to have some moderate benefit for people with lower back pain. Some. Moderate.

      Where I draw the line is hearing about back-crackers claiming they can cure diabetes or colic, and telling mums not to vaccinate their kids.

      Vertebral Subluxations (the backbone of chiropractic, if you’ll excuse the bad pun) are absolute hogwash. They’re as fictional as Frodo.

    • Tim the Toolman says:

      09:01am | 28/05/12

      From The Big Bang Theory:

      “Sheldon: Well, there’s some value to taking a multi-vitamin but the human body can only absorb so much. What you’re buying here are the ingredients for very expensive urine.

      Penny: (sarcastically) Well, maybe that’s what I was going for.

      Sheldon: (trying to be helpful) Well then you’ll want some manganese.”

    • Kika says:

      09:16am | 28/05/12

      From what I’ve been told, by a scientist, is that vitamins only help is you are missing that vitamin. Your body absorbs the vitamins mostly from foods you eat. Most of what you ingest from a vitamin pill goes straight down the toilet. Ever had a vitamin B tablet?

      What I would like to know is this. Babies are being born with higher rates of allergies and intolerances than ever before. Not only are women being told by all and sundry what to avoid, not eat, skip altogether they are also being marketed to an array of pre-conception, conception, pregnancy and post-pregnancy multi vitamins in ways women have never been subject to before. Yes, folic acid and iodine is crucial to a developing embryo - but only up to the 7 week mark. At that time the neural tube is closed and spina bifida has already set in by that mark anyway (if it was going to happen). And if your thyroid is going to be out it’s going to be out before you get pregnant anyway. Passing on thyroid conditions to your child is dangerous, but would be around prior to falling pregnant anyway.

      I would like to know whether the increase in multivitamins and complete abstinence of certain foods during pregnancy is leading to the increase in allergies and intolerances in children. I mean my mother never took all these vitamins when she had me, nor was she told to avoid eating peanuts, ham, chicken and all these sorts of things which are now being told that you will instantly miscarry if you eat them. Plus she drank 1 cup of tea a day and I am still around.

      VITAMIN D = what the? Don’t we get enough from the sun? With all the scaremongering about skin cancer we’ve forgotten that sunshine is good for us. What’s with supplementing that?

    • M says:

      09:32am | 28/05/12

      I’m led to believe that the spate of allergic children has more to do with mothers keeping their environment obsessivly clean and not giving the kid a chance to excercise it’s immune system. Apparently letting them roll around in the dirt isn’t such a bad thing.

    • Emma says:

      11:51am | 28/05/12

      Kika - sure you get enough vit D from the sun - if you aren’t stuck in an office all day arriving prior to the sun really being up and leaving after it has set! By the time you manage to make it outside at a lunch break, have some lunch and soak up some vitamin D it’s time to head back inside for another 5 hours or so of fluro lights and computer screens

    • Kika says:

      12:37pm | 28/05/12

      Yeah my friend was Vitamin D deficient - but she lives an indoor sort of life really and has very pale skin, so she can’t sit in the QLD sun for very long. We have an open sort of office with lots of windows so we get natural light coming in.

      @M - Yeah that’s funny too isn’t it. I can see that happening first hand as well… Maybe it’s mothers being overly paranoid.

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      02:14pm | 28/05/12

      The vitamin D deficiency stat surprised me also. It was my understanding that you can get your daily requirement simply by so much as being in the proximity of an open window for 10-15 minutes per day.

    • Maybe says:

      09:59am | 28/05/12

      “Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA)”  Jesus, really? Like wotht the whole breast implant thing they havn’t been in the news enough…

      It’s the Therapeutic Goods *Administration*

    • Kassandra says:

      11:53am | 28/05/12

      A vitamin is an organic compound needed by the body which it can’t manufacture for itself so has to be supplied in the diet. Other essential nutrients the body needs from the diet are minerals, fatty acids and amino acids. The body gets all it needs from a balanced diet.

      None of these has any magical properties nor does the body get any additional health benefit from excess amounts - they just go down the toilet.

      Also, things that are vitamins in humans may not be vitamins in other animals, like vitamin C.

      There are many clinical trials of vitamins in a variety of conditions - these are uniformly negative, or in the case of some like antioxidants in dementia, initial promising results in small open trials turned out to be negative after larger controlled prospective trials were done. It’s quite easy to check this for anyone interested.

    • Rob says:

      01:05pm | 28/05/12

      Vitamins come in 2 forms Organic and synthetic.
      Most sold in health food shops are synthetic not as good for you and in some cases dangerous. Always go for an organic brand and you will notice the difference.

    • Richard says:

      01:24pm | 28/05/12

      There are some rock-solid facts that everyone seems to be ignoring here.

      FACT: Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) lowers systolic blood pressure significantly

      FACT: Coenzyme Q10 increases cardiac output, cardiac index and cardiac stroke volume significantly

      FACT: Fish oil reduces risk of heart disease

      FACT: St. John’s Wort is equally as effective as pharmaceutical interventions for the treatment of diabetes (at a fraction the cost)

      And these are just the compounds that are in vogue at the moment and have thus been extensively studied.

      Never entrust your health to someone with a vested interest in big industry profits, like Doctors and Pharmacists have for the Pharmaceutical industry. Sure, seek their advice and knowledge, but do your own due diligence and seek information from as wide a variety of sources as possible, don’t just narrowly accept the dogmatic word of the conventional drones.

      After all, your health is your most valuable possession. Treasure it, nurture it, and seek as many ways as you possibly can find to try and enhance it.

    • Richard says:

      01:39pm | 28/05/12

      Sorry, I meant depression re: St. John’s Wort, not diabetes (obviously).

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      02:19pm | 28/05/12

      Because people become doctors in order to profit from pharmaceuticals….. I don’t believe you, even a little bit.

    • Richard says:

      02:34pm | 28/05/12

      Admiral Ackbar, as if people didn’t become Doctors because its a highly paid position. Yes, its also highly respected, and I’m sure that also played a role in influencing people to become Doctors, but I guarantee that if the average wage for Doctors was $40k per year, hardly any of the people who are currently Doctors would have chose the same career path.

      And anyway, I never said “people become doctors in order to profit from pharmaceuticals”, you have a serious problem with reading comprehension. I said that there are big corporate vested interests in the health care industry, who would like consumers to be ignorant of the benefits of products that aren’t pharmaceutical in order to maximise the sales of their own pharmaceutical products.

      But the modern GP is an agent of the pharmaceutical industry, there is no denying it, just walk into their office and see what mouse-pad they use: it will say “Bayer” or “Pfizer” or “GlaxoSmithKline”, or something like that, guaranteed.

      And what exactly do you mean when you say you “don’t believe me”? Believe me about what? The FACTS I have stated are beyond dispute. You cannot dispute those facts and retain any semblance of credibility. So what, in fact, DO you disbelieve in what I’ve said?

    • Kassandra says:

      02:56pm | 28/05/12

      In what way do you imagine that doctors have a vested interest the pharmaceutical industry making big profits? How do you think doctors get paid? If what you say is true, why then would all of the specialist medical colleges (and now many universities) be trying so hard in recent years to increasingly distance their organisations and their members from drug company sponsorship in all its forms?

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      05:15pm | 28/05/12

      @Richard: Apologies for the vague reply, I meant I don’t believe you when you say that there is a vested interest in the medical profession. I can think of a few professions that pay considerably more than doctors for far less effort. I still don’t believe that becoming a doctor would be a choice made simply for the pay packet alone, and to benefit by selling out to pharmaceutical companies. Not too many people are that much of a jerk I’d like to think, particularly those interested in becoming doctors. I can see what you’re saying, I think, but I’d still hazard a guess that the money wouldn’t be first and foremost in the minds of those inclined to become a medical professional.

      The GP I see has no such advertising, and is hesitant in prescribing anything before he gets to know his patients, but I’ve also seen ones that you’re talking about, so maybe it wouldn’t be all that surprising that a few would benefit from over-prescribing. There are arseholes in every profession.

    • Mike Matthews says:

      02:02pm | 28/05/12

      Dear Richard,
      I am a doctor and I am sick of being routinely insulted by individuals such as yourself. I DO NOT have a vested interest in prescribing drugs, nor do I have any interest in supporting the ‘pharmaceutical industry’. It boils my blood to hear time and again (and it is in the above comments a few times) how we doctors are trying to hide the facts, how we are simply following some government or pharmaceutical line. If there is some giant conspiracy nobody has told me about it- and millions of other doctors around the world have all managed to keep their mouths shut. Some of the facts you have stated above are true, but guess what, they have all been reviewed and analysed by the doctors/pharmacists/scientists that you take aim at. It’s all we ask of you- tell us what it is, then show us evidence that it works. Seems pretty straight forward to me…

    • Richard says:

      02:49pm | 28/05/12

      I haven’t insulted you dude, (yet). Seems like you’re a little bit over-sensitive about this issue… Guilty conscience perhaps? I never said you try to hide the facts, what an exaggeration, but now that you’ve raised the issue, you have to admit dude, despite your massive god complex, that you’re not the harbinger of all knowledge and truth.

      No one is. Think about how much science has advanced in the last 200 years since Napoleon was sent packing from Moscow by a bunch of Cossacks on horse-back, especially medical science. Can you seriously say with a straight face that its impossible for science to advance at least that far again, if not more, over the next 200 years? No you can’t, so stop pretending you are privy to the infallible source of all truth.

      Yes, all those facts I mentioned were true, and guess what: they were true even before you and your crew of conventional drones got around to verifying them as facts. You’re in the peleton of knowledge, dude, you’re not in the front of the pack. You’re not on the cutting edge. There are things that are true that science is not even capable of verifying yet at its current stage of advancement, just like the science in 1812 wasn’t capable of verifying things like the existence of bacteria, etc.

      Just an open mind and humble curiosity about the unknown instead of dogmatic dismissive pooh-poohing of people’s real world experiences is all we ask of you. Seems pretty straight forward to me.

    • Maybe says:

      03:25pm | 28/05/12

      Congratulations Richard, you have just made yourslef look like a complete idiot in your reply, dude.  I read nothing into Mike’s comment that implied that he thought he, or those of his profession, are the harbingers of all knowledge.

      And Mike, I hear you with the “tell us what it is, then show us evidence that it works”.  I fail to see why anyone would think this is unreasonable.

    • Richard says:

      03:42pm | 28/05/12

      Its unreasonable Maybe because their are things which are true which are as yet unverifiable.

      Just like I wrote in my reply (which you think made me look like an idiot… Really? I thought “you’re in the peleton of knowledge” was a pretty huge piece of imagery…), in 1812, the existence of bacteria was unverifiable by science. Does that mean that bacteria didn’t exist in 1812? Of course not.

      And its foolish to think that there are no more phenomena likewise to be discovered and verified by some future branch of science that nevertheless exists today right here and now, completely beyond our current capacity for knowledge.

    • Maybe says:

      05:00pm | 28/05/12

      Rishard, the reason why I said your comment made you look like an idiot is because you are puting words into people’s mouths.  Neither I, nor Mike even so much as implied that we already know everything there is to know. I don’t believe that at all.

      I hold that it is not unreasonable that claims made for medical treatments or supplements have some basis in fact.  Evidence that it works, for the record, does not necessarily mean to describe the exact action by which it works, just that it can be shown to consistently (and preferably safely) produce a certain outcome.

    • Ailsa says:

      05:13pm | 28/05/12

      Thankyou for writing this article, it bothers me that people routinely take a daily mulit vitamin and blindly think that it will make them more healthy, I hope this article wakes a few people up!  I agree that there is strong scientific evidence for the benefits of taking things like acidophyllis when coming off antibiotics, or vitamin D in the middle of a rainy winter (personally I have only done this on the recommendation of my GP after a blood test). The problem with taking a daily multi is that the science of understanding the human body is constantly changing and evolving I for one think daily mulit’s are doomed to cause long term problems. For one, as the article states, the dosage is very high and we don’t even know what the long term effects will be, for example a “lazy body” might be one of them, it may become less efficient at taking up nutrients if we constantly overload our body with vitamins. secondly we are just fools if we think that nutrition science has the full picture, there are components to the nutrition of fresh fruit and vegetables (beyond fiber, protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals) that science doesn’t yet fully understand. How can people honestly think that in extracting the components we CURRENTLY understand as being important in our nutrition is the same as eating the fruits and vegetables themselves?

    • Al says:

      05:39pm | 28/05/12

      Richard - you seem to have some issues with people asking for evidence.
      St. John’s Wort - proven to be an action of the active ingredients (chemistry in action) just like willow bark, not something we don’t know.
      Fish oil - subjective evidence but still highly likely true.
      Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) - only of benefit if there is an issue, and availble from sources other than suplements.
      Coenzyme Q10 - Not sure about this, I haven’t looked into it so I will let it go.
      So the majority of what you claim has been shown to be effective by science, yet you always seem to deride scientists as closed minded and not to be trusted, I realy don’t get this attitude.
      It is people who make claims that are not supported by any evidence as being effective (or more effective than a placebo) that I deride. Like bach flower remedies or swallowing pure gold (yes, some people claim this will make you healthy and improve your immune system) despite it being useless.

    • Joan Bennett says:

      08:00am | 15/06/12

      We probably wouldn’t need vitamins if we were living exactly how nature intended.  All this over-breeding has caused the soil to be leached of goodness due to over-farming.  When you think what the human population was in paelolithic times (what it was meant to be), it’s a no-brainer we all have issues now.

 

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