The Truth About Vitamins

The Truth About Vitamins

2004, Health  -   60 Comments
Ratings: 7.35/10 from 52 users.

The Truth About VitaminsVitamins without doubt are vital to our health. And it remains possible that high dose vitamin supplements will one day be proven to protect against illnesses like heart disease and cancer. But so far, definitive evidence for these claims remains largely elusive. And as we discover more about some vitamins, it is increasingly clear that in large doses they can have unexpected, and sometimes dangerous consequences.

Are vitamins doing us any good? Could they even be dangerous? Every year we spend £300 million on vitamin supplements, but do they actually do us any good? Some believe they offer the promise of preventing or even curing some of the world's biggest killers, such as heart disease and cancer. Others claim that taking large doses of some vitamins may in certain cases be harmful. So what are the facts?

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8 years ago

As Weston Price conlcuded in his masterpiece Nutrition and Physical Degeneration and then was confirmed by some studies (take a look at Weston Price Foundation) vitamin A shows all its benefits when it is consumed with Vitamin D and with what Weston Price called Activator X, which is now believed to be Vitamin k2. In fact, the combination of these 3 vitamins promotes rapid bone growth (≠ osteoporosis) and good health.

So saying that vitamin A promotes osteoporosis and other health problems is a half-true.

10 years ago

They didn't say anything about chemically derived or manufactured vitamins versus food derived vitamins ! Could make a big difference as I've heard for example vitamin E is derived from petroleum and is toxic and cancer causing in this form, versus when gotten from food.

10 years ago

Just a quick tip. Most people don't know .vitamins are useless with minerals.

10 years ago

Disliked, lack of information !!!

11 years ago

This movie is a propaganda.. they don't proof anything, don't even give a names of people who speak out! I'm not a big fan of vitamins in a pill but you can get them from superfoods

11 years ago

Hi, I am a scientist. I would like to mention a few things. First of all, how many people commenting here have actually read a basic nutrition textbook? I'm guessing not many. If you had read a basic nutrition textbook, then you would know just how easy it is to meet and exceed all of the suggested daily intake values for the vitamins and minerals. All one has to do is eat a standard American diet consisting of cereal for breakfast, some fruit, a basic lunch and a standard dinner - and chances are all of the RDI's for all of the vitamins and minerals will have easily been met. The only people who should really be taking vitamin supplements are those who have intestinal/GI disorders that interfere with nutrient absorption. That's the easy stuff. Now lets get into the more complicated material. If you have read a basic college nutrition textbook that has been published in the last 10-20 years then you should also know some additional things about vitamin pills. Vitamin pills are completely different than eating the vitamins naturally from food. In food, it is impossible to reach toxic or harmful levels of vitamin absorption because the vitamins are distributed throughout the bulky food. That's what our digestive tracts desire. On the other hand, a vitamin pill is a highly concentrated dose of a particular vitamin (which, as Paul Salmas correctly intuined below, are manufactured using toxic chemicals including benzene molecules that are known to cause leukemia) - our small intestine is not designed to absorb highly concentrated doses - so these pills over-work our metabolism processes - such that other natural vitamin metabolism/absorption is interfered with. In fact, it is now known that taking vitamin pills above the RDI can interfere with the absorption of other vitamins that a person would normally absorb from food. This is bad - since those other vitamins - the ones NOT included in the pill - are usually only available at limited amounts from food. Then there's the whole issue about how Linus Pauling's wife (very unfortunately) died of stomach cancer. She had been taking high doses of vitamin C supplements long before she developed stomach cancer. I think that was Pauling's first inclination that he might have, in fact, been wrong - and he was. I could continue here explaining in more detail exactly why it is a complete waste to consume vitamin pills when a person is capable of easily absorbing all the necessary RDI's from food naturally, but if write too much nobody will read my comment! So I will stop here - but I welcome any questions if people would like more information! In the meantime - get that old nutrition textbook out again - and look at the tables in the back that list all of the vitamin and mineral contents of common foods - compare that to what you eat in a day - you will see how easy it is to get all the vitamins you need naturally from food - the way your body was designed to work!

11 years ago

The information explained in this hour long video could have easily been condensed to 10-15 minutes. They really dragged this one out.

11 years ago

It would be interesting to see a side-by-side comparison of the toxic side effects reported of prescription drugs compared to those of vitamins. I think I'll take my chances with my vitamins, thank you. I have a feeling there are far fewer reports on the long history of all vitamin c supplements than on the relatively new drug Tamiflu for example. Just a thought.

12 years ago

i think it's a shame that poeple need to be told what to eat.we evolved as a specie for 50000 years with no one to guide us but our instinct,i think it's time for us to trust our instinct again.the solution to all our problems lie within us. do yoga,open up your chakras and eat what feels right and everything will be just fine...

12 years ago

I don't need to watch this to know it's crap. Watch the documentary Food Matters. Think about it. The daily recommended amount that we should get of these nutrients in the form of supplements is pretty low. Most people are not getting the amount of vitamins and minerals that they need from their genetically modified, fast food, processed, canned, t.v. dinner diets made from crops that are being grown on over depleted soil. We need more vitamins than we are even taking now to make up for this. Ideally, we should get what we need from foods, raw organic superfoods but this just isn't the case for most of us. There have only been 10 alleged (not even proven) deaths attributed to vitamins in the past 23 years and over 200,000 related to pharmaceutical drugs that were used properly as prescribed and were intentionally prescribed by a doctor to fix these problems that our body can fix on its own when it is detoxified and running on proper fuel.

fasffeaf geamna
12 years ago

Although I didn't watch this video I'd like to mention a little something on this subject, and that is the fact that vitamins make many people become nauseous and throw up, especially pregnant women because pre-natal women's vitamins are so much more concentrated. Our body doesn't digest the rock form of vitamins it digests the vitamins in food!! The greatest misconception of vitamins is the B vitamin myth, our body makes these vitiamins in our gut from bacteria!! Thats why we are all so low is because of anti-biotics our b level of vitamins drops 50% after a course of anti-biotics!

12 years ago

Well i just wanna say that it true that vitamin a in high doses are not good for you. But betacarotene i dont believe is bad for you in anyway, they just should tell if they informed the people that was on the study if they were taking suplements to prevent lung cancer because if they did it normal that people without doing on purpose smoked more.

12 years ago

I would be cautious to make claims that what we know now (scientifically) is all there is to know. Humans have always made this mistake, only to make new discoveries decades later that overturned the accepted thinking. Scientists are just starting to revisit the value of vitamin D, and are finding that larger doses of this can help prevent MS, Lupus, and maintain bone health. I just read that article and that is why im here. Who knows what else we will find in the years to come? One thing I agree though; vitamins shouldn't become a replacement for a balanced diet and regular excersize.

Jeremy King
12 years ago

It is appalling that people believe sincerely in all sorts of magic potions, based on research that hardly spans one lifetime, to escape aging and the ultimate consequence of that. Consider spending your time in contributing to society within the time that you have, rather than being self-centred, trying all sorts of potions that may do more harm than good. Rather than waste time and energy struggling with the same question day-in and day-out, accept the fact that you are going to die and that nothing you do will change that. Eat what your ancestors have been eating for countless generations. Take up activities like growing our own food with your own hands and not devices, playing with your children and your pets, walking around your neighbourhood talking to neighbours, and last, but not least, regular sex. The effort spent is all you need.

12 years ago

@Tony: I'm so happy I made you happy! :)) Actually, we have the same life story! I also listened to Cold water music in high school, it was the time when I discovered drum and bass! Good times! But I didn't know the title, so I sent a link of this documentary to a great DJ and he finally told me the name of the song! I was exhilarated! I recommend the whole album, it's pretty awesome! Kisses!

12 years ago

@Dina:THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR POSTING THE TITLE OF THE SONG! It has always been one of my favorites because I used to listen to it a lot in high school, but I forgot the name. You are a lifesaver and I am so happy to have watched this documentary to find the song again. Woohoo!

12 years ago

Total BS. All supplements are not created equal. Vitamins are some of the safest things you can take. Bio-availability varies from product to product but if you research well enough you can find a good brand.
This is another effort by big Pharma and Big brother to take your choices away from you by creating fear. DOWN WITH CODEX!!

12 years ago

@Dina: This sounds very much like the chords of a russian song by Mr.Credo/Medlyak. I love these chords.

13 years ago

this is disturbing,i am an athlete and have taken supplements for years .i hate this murderous codex alimentarius

13 years ago

I can't believe they put Patrick Holford in this and gave him time to speak. Seriously, read 'Bad Science' by Ben Goldacre.

13 years ago

I'm so glad there are others that see what a joke this video is!

The biggest problem I have with ALL of the arguments presented in this video is the underlying assumption that all vitamins are created equal. Just because a study was done where people were given "Beta-carotene", for example, does not convince me that beta-carotene was the culprit. What brand was being used, what process was used and what inactive ingredients are in the supplements? Children die from overdose of Flintstone vitamins not because of the vitamins but because it is a petroleum based, testtube supplement (not to mention full of sugar!). Most grocery store brand vitamins are more of the same. I'm sorry, but petroleum is carcinogenic and toxic. The other issue is with processing. You can take whole oranges full of natural C, and if in processing they are exposed to too much light, air or heat the vitamin C will be depleted. I could go on, but that should be enough to get the idea.

Dumb video! And how many times did they have to repeat those stupid images (effervescent C drop, swallowing a pill, etc), so annoying! End rant.

13 years ago

What's the name of the song at 22:07?Beautiful....

13 years ago

Ummm did any biology majors watch this crap...vitamin c boost production in Hydrogen Peroxide - H202 (water with EXTRA oxygen atom) also been noted for its many miracle works in medicine. Bacteria which enters your body from a cold finds its way to you throat and makes a colony of bacteria (plhem and bad mucus) which then blocks off your oxygen supply in your nose and vocal cords causing fatigue and other crap. Now Disease is anaerobic. It cannot exist in an elevated oxygen environment. Cancer, influenza, HIV, herpes, measles, the common cold- anaerobic.
Legionnaire’s disease, E-Coli, salmonella, staphylococcus- anaerobic. Arthritis, emphysema, asthma, chronic bronchitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Epstein-Barr, Candida and even heart disease- anaerobic one and all. This is why people do yoga and tai chi, and say mantras during meditation. Dont try to sh_t on vitamin c without research buddy...but yea too much of some vitamins are bad of course

13 years ago

Codex Alimentarius=very scary stuff. Land of the free huh. I'm about ready to move to China. At least there pharmaceutical companies and the FDA don't own everybody and their right to be free from vitamin deficiencies. This film is a joke I hope.

13 years ago

I always suspected these over priced vitamin pills to be just another trendy hype and they're no different from "Ab-Cruncher". Now, it's dangerous for you? Unbelievable! This doc may have been not-too-scientific but ask yourself if food can really come in the form of pills. And don't we already know that too much of anything is bad for you?


1. No more fast food
2. Eat your veggies
3. Learn what 'organic' means
4. Kiss your loved ones everyday
5. Cut down TDF :) and go out exercise
6. And recycle religiously

Nuff Said!

14 years ago

Tyne: "why did they use such a stupid experiment" - because this is one of the many ideas Codex Alimentarius is pushing. vitamins are poisons, all livestock need to be given growth hormones and sub standard antibiotics by the end of 2009 etc. This is not conspiracy but fact - look it up on their website. This is the begining of a propaganda caompaign which includes a desensitisation process whereby the population will end up totally malnourished and dying.

14 years ago

They used milk! Of course you arent going to absorb as much!! Everyone knows that... why did they do such a stupid experiment?!?