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The Multivitamin Myth – Do Multivitamins work?

The Multivitamin Myth - Do Multivitamins work?

Today we’ll delve into the world of multivitamins, a booming industry that could be worth $300 billion by 2024. We’ll explore the history, benefits, risks, and the regulation (or lack thereof) surrounding these popular supplements.

What are Multivitamins?

Multivitamins are supplements that contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. They are designed to compensate for any deficiencies in your diet. If your body is Batman, the multivitamin is like Robin, essentially a sidekick. Not getting enough sunlight? Take a vitamin D. Is your immune system weak? Pop a vitamin C. Looking for better eyesight? Vitamin A can come to the rescue.

The History of Multivitamins

Supplements were first introduced in the 1930s and 1940s as a way to address nutrient deficiencies and cure diseases like Rickets or Scurvy. During the 2nd World War, when medical treatment was expensive, supplements were seen as a good alternative, a way to avoid hospitals and expensive treatments. The Multivitamin Myth - Do Multivitamins work?

In recent years, their popularity has boomed. People became more health-conscious but were making poor lifestyle choices, so they turned to vitamins and supplements to undo the damage. Over half of all Americans take some sort of vitamin or supplement.

The Booming Market

The supplement industry was worth $37 billion in 2017 and is projected to be worth $300 billion by 2024. In India, Multivitamins topped drug sales for the first time in 2020, during the pandemic. People wanted to be armed with nutrients to fight the virus, and the industry raked in billions. The Multivitamin Myth - Do Multivitamins work? The Multivitamin Myth - Do Multivitamins work?

The Placebo Effect

Despite the popularity of multivitamins, there’s very little evidence to suggest that they help. Studies show that there is no clear health benefit. Many people take them due to the placebo effect. When you take these supplements, your mind is thinking health, so you tend to adopt a healthier lifestyle as well. The Multivitamin Myth - Do Multivitamins work?

The Risks

High doses of vitamin A and D can be harmful. They increase the risk of cancer, heart diseases, and lower lifespans.The Multivitamin Myth - Do Multivitamins work?

In the UK, more than 23,000 emergency room visits are linked to supplements. In the US, poison centers get 1 call every 24 minutes about supplement poisoning.

The Multivitamin Myth - Do Multivitamins work? The Multivitamin Myth - Do Multivitamins work?

The Lack of Regulation

The multivitamin market is unregulated. You don’t need a prescription, you don’t need supervision, and you can buy them almost everywhere. Often, they don’t even come with instructions, so you never really know what is the safe limit.

Conclusion

While multivitamins may seem like a magic wand to fix all your problems, in reality, it’s more like sprinkling fairy dust on your health. They won’t turn you into the Hulk, and if you are suddenly turning green, maybe it’s time to ditch those pills. The real hero is not these pills, it is a balanced diet. Instead of relying on an army of vitamins, rely on fruits and vegetables. And if you still feel the need for a pill, call your doctor first. Remember, there is No secret formula to good health.

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