The latest study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in October 2011 reported that among 38,772 women that “several commonly used dietary vitamin and mineral supplements may be associated with increased total mortality”.
This study caused an attention to many healthcare providers, as it may seem to contradictory to medical sciences. I read a number of opinions from medical doctors and other scientists. Some are strongly disagree with the investigators. But not me.
At a lunch table, I posted this question: Why the study outcome could be true? Dr. Lilly Zhang smiled and said: High metabolism. I replied: Thank you!
As a trained doctor in medicine and PhD in nutrition, I’d like to add my opinion: This research is very useful. Why?
It is simple: Too much is bad.
Why too much nutrients are bad for health?
Our bodies just need certain amount of these nutrients a day. For example: as harmless as water, if one over-drinks it, that could cause harm! The same thing is true for nutrients. If any of these nutrients are over-supplemented, these nutrients can cause troubles for the body. Vitamin A or Vitamin D toxicity is a classic example.
Why too much nutrients are included?
Many manufacturers of dietary supplements of vitamins and minerals are in competition for business by adding more kinds with the larger quantity of nutrients in one tablet. It is to encourage consumers to buy “more” for the money worth. It is a unethical way of making money of doing this without considering the true health benefits. Here, more is not better.
Look at the “Supplement Facts” of these dietary supplements: How many nutrients are over 100% of Daily Value (% DV)? Why supplement more than 100%? The thinking is that all nutrients just come from the tablet, the three meals did not provide any nutrients. It is such a non-logical thinking. The term of “dietary supplement” then should be changed to “tablet replacement.”
Many nutrients are to speed up metabolism. Many people know that these little mice have the much higher rate of metabolism. Their life span is much short than the rats. Over supplement of nutrients is to let people to learn from mice to have a high rate of metabolism.
This practice must be stopped.