Who’s Hyping Who?


An online article suggests that most vitamins are not worth the bottle they came in, aptly titled “Most vitamins are totally useless—here are the ones you should actually take.” The article, by Erin Brodwin, downplays the benefits of vitamins for a healthy lifestyle, even going so far to say that some could be toxic and have adverse effects. This viewpoint seems a bit skewed, in several ways.

Welcome to the real world

First, in recommending against taking a multi-vitamin, Brodwin claims that we can get all we need from the foods we eat. What she doesn’t mention is that in order to attain the recommended daily allowance for many of these nutrients, one would have to consume massive amounts of the required foods. Moreover, much of today’s soil where these foods are grown is sorely depleted of its mineral content, thereby minimizing nutrient quality.

Also, given our fast-paced times and with a McDonalds on every corner, most of us just don’t take the time or have the inclination to maintain healthy, balanced eating habits. So vitamins can fill in those holes of our lackluster diets. Also, in giving a thumbs up to Vitamin D, one of the few she does suggest taking, Brodwin misses the mark. Because what she fails to mention is that Vitamin D should be taken in conjunction with magnesium, otherwise any deficiency will not allow the body to metabolize the nutrient properly, making it, in her own words, “useless.”

Depends who you ask

Brodwin also speaks out against taking antioxidants such as Vitamin C and E, claiming they can lead to a number of maladies, from cancer to kidney stones, respectively. Well, there is plenty of information out that one can find to back about any side of an argument. It’s just as easy to find results promoting the consumption of Vitamin E to help prevent liver cancer, or stating that the only risk too much Vitamin C poses is a case of diarrhea.

Furthermore, I also know first-hand of someone diagnosed with a dysfunctional thyroid who became symptom free after high doses of intravenous Vitamin C. (There were also other factors, such as following a strict diet, free of processed sugars.) Brodwin does a great disservice by trying to dissuade any use of these nutrients without recognizing that, individually, some people might actually be benefitting from them.

Got to serve somebody

In fact, one would have to consider Brodwin’s motives in her overall approach of the article. After arguing against the taking of these vitamins, almost without fail and in the same breath, she turns around and promotes eating the proper foods to get them. So, in her own way, Brodwin isn’t saying outright that you shouldn’t take these nutrients, but telling you how you should. Given the fact that the online news service for which she is writing is Business Insider, I can’t help but wonder about the extent of Brodwin’s expertise on this topic. Or, in her repeated returns to the subject, which major food conglomerate might be padding her pocketbook.


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