Do Vitamins Really Shorten Lifespans?

2018-10-07 528 words 3 mins read

I always wonder how the FDA sets recommended amounts of food and vitamins.


Recommendations for vitamins and foold consumption have never completely made sense to me. Look at what the previous iterations of the FDA’s food pyramid looks like! Special interest groups absolutely sway recommendations. Vitamins are a multi-billion dollar industry that is expected to grow to roughly $220 BILLION by 2022. That is the kind of money that can buy some influence.

I used to take a multi-vitamins until they started making me sick every day. I had to stop taking them and it took years before I figured out that it was iron that was causing it. This experience made me question their importance anyways, since I went most of my twenties without a single one. Do they really do make a difference, and if so shouldn’t studies easily prove it? The quick grey answer is no. Unless if you are low on something specific or have an underlying medical condition, then the body does a pretty good job of adapting to what it gets. In fact, there are numerous studies showing a correlation that people who take vitamins have shorter lifespans. In my opinion, this might not be because of the vitamins themselves, but I get into that below.

Fun facts:

  1. Only 2 percent of all imported vitamins and other supplements are inspected.2
  2. China’s top vitamin and supplement production areas are among the most polluted in the country (and thus in the world).2
  3. Even those labeled as “organic” are not safe, since USDA organic standards place no limit on levels of heavy metal contamination for certified organic foods.2

Vitamins that seem to increase death:

  • Beta-carotene produced an approximate 7% increased risk3
  • Vitamin E a 4% increase3
  • Vitamin A, a 16% increase3

Beta-carotene increased lung cancer


Vitamin D and Calcium Safety ( Side topic on knee replacements is interesting to me too, since my dad had both knees replaced. Was it necessary? ):

Nutrtion Supplements Peter Attia, MD


I think several things are going on and probably more with why vitamins could lead to earlier deaths in humans. First, too much of a good thing is bad. Taking way to much of a vitamin just can not be good for you. Second, people take vitamins and subconsciuosly feel like they can now eat whatever the rest of the day, because they know that regardless of what they eat, they at least got their ‘recommended’ daily dose. This in turn causes them to make more unhealthy choices leading them to die earlier than people who don’t take them.

The FDA’s recommendations are probably not right. That is just the way it is; we don’t know everything and there are outside influences, because there is a lot of money involved. It’s easy to justify that it’s just vitamins and what harm can taking extra actually have on the human body?

Possbile Solution

Take them a couple of times per week, but really focus on getting them from eating healthy whole foods.
Simply eat a balanced diet of foods that contain vitamins, save some money, and add a few years to your life!


Tags: vitamins

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Authored By Tim Brown

Have the attitude and honest belief that if you give it your all it will be done. One day or day one.

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