Vitamin Myths: 7 Things your doctor won’t tell you and you won’t find out on the internet

By Romy Block M.D. and Arielle Levitan M.D.

Vitamin Myth #1:Taking a Vitamin Mythsmultivitamin is of no use

Recently, there was a lot of press regarding a study comparing a large group of people taking a generic, off the shelf multivitamin to a group who was not taking a vitamin. The study found that the group taking the vitamins did not live longer than the other group. From that, the “vitamins are of no benefit to you” vitamin myth was born. We do not believe the study disproves the value of vitamins for all individuals. We believe the study is flawed for many reasons – one being that generic, off the shelf multivitamins contain too little of many of the nutrients most of us need, while they may contain too much of certain ingredients which may be harmful at those levels.

The take away from the study should be that not all people or their vitamins are created equal. Many people can benefit from the appropriate all in one vitamin. Figuring out what vitamins you should take, based on your individual diet, health history and lifestyle is the important part. To find out what you may need take our vitamin survey and receive your custom vitamins.

Vitamin Myth #2: I can take lots of vitamins and my body will just absorb what it needs, the rest will just not be absorbed.

Vitamin Myth: Taking lots of vitamins is OKActually, certain vitamins can harm you in high doses. Specifically, the fat soluble vitamins (i.e., those that hang around for a long time in your system because they are incorporated into the fatty parts of your cells) such as Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin A and Vitamin K can cause toxicity if you take excessive doses. Symptoms of excessive vitamin toxicity include severe headaches, liver function abnormalities and many other consequences. One large study also suggested that even moderate doses of Vitamin A can increase rates of cancer in certain populations. Likewise excessive heavy metals may play a role in certain liver diseases and dementias such as Alzheimer’s. Don’t overdo it – getting enough, but not too much, is the goal. Many of the popular custom vitamin packs are guilty of too many pills with too much of certain ingredients. A custom all in one vitamin regimen that is doctor created and medically sound like Vous Vitamin® can assure getting safe and proper doses. Our vitamin quiz allows you to tell us about yourself and get a custom vitamin that is safe and beneficial.

Vitamin Myth #3: All brands of vitamins are equivalent. If they are sold in the store, they must be safe.

Unfortunately the vitamin manufacturing process is not regulated by the FDA in the same way that prescription and other over the counter medications are. Therefore, the quality control in the supplement industry can be poor. Studies analyzing off the shelf vitamins have shown that some products contain contaminants and other unlisted ingredients that can cause serious health problems. Finding a reputable, high quality brand that adheres to extreme standards of purity in their manufacturing is essential.

Vitamin Myth #4: I can take the same vitamins as my kids, spouse or friends.

Do you eat the same diet, have the same health conditions and live the same lifestyle? Probably not. At each stage of life we have different deficiencies depending on our health status and what our bodies need. Even where we live is a factor in what we need since the amount of sun exposure we get helps influence our levels of Vitamin D . We are not all the same. Some of us eat red meat, others do not and we may have different needs for iron supplementation as a result.  Some of us may be in search of vitamins that help you sleep, some of us may not. The best approach is clearly not one size fits all. Take our vitamin survey to get a daily (two tablets) all in one vitamin to meet your exact needs.

Vitamin Myth #5: My doctor will tell me what vitamins I should take.

Doctors will often take the time to discuss your specific vitamin needs. However there is not always an opportunity to go through a detailed enough analysis of your diet and lifestyle at a routine visit. Also, many doctors hesitate to make recommendations about vitamins because they are concerned about recommending products that are not FDA regulated and they cannot be certain you will take a well-made, quality brand. Sometimes physicians will check certain vitamin levels as part of your visit. But, these can be costly and often not necessary, since a detailed history will usually reveal what deficiencies you may have. Unfortunately, our current medical system does not make this discussion an important part of our health care delivery. Please take our vitamin survey and find out what custom vitamin meets your needs.

Vitamin Myth #6: If I eat a healthy diet, I probably do not need any vitamins.

While it is possible to get everything you need via diet, it is not probable that you will. For example, people who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables get many essential nutrients (i.e., Vitamin A, Vitamin C, etc.), but tend to eat less of certain other nutrients since their diets often tend to lack in red meat (they then may lack Vitamin B12 and iron). Additionally, certain other vitamins are hard to come by in most diets. Vitamin D3 is one such vitamin because the only food that contains it in significant amounts is wild caught salmon (not farm raised). Consider the iodine dilemma of the healthy eater. In using natural sea salt or Kosher salt and avoiding processed foods, the healthy eater may be missing out on the recommended daily allowance of iodine (found in iodized salt) – which is essential for thyroid health. But taking the correct amount of iodine is important and taking too much can be harmful.

Vitamin Myth #7: I should always take the same vitamins.

If your diet and lifestyle varies significantly from month to month or day to day, your needs will naturally change. You should reevaluate your all in one vitamin composition at least every 6-12 months as your health and nutrient intake evolves. Likewise, certain days may call for extra boosts in certain vitamins. Situational Supplements™ can come in handy. For example, an intense workout or excessive alcohol intake may require more electrolytes and other nutrients like Power Up™. Feeling run down or coming down with a cold may require an Immune Blast™.

What vitamins are right for you? Find out by taking our vitamin survey to Find Your Vous®. Get a doctor created, medically sound custom vitamin that will meet your individual needs.

 


Romy Block specializes in Endocrinology and Metabolism and is mother to three active adolescent boys. Arielle Levitan is a Doctor of Internal Medicine with a special interest in Preventive Medicine and Women’s Health.  She is a mother of three teen agers. As professional women with active family lives, they recognize that people often neglect their own health needs and are uncertain about what vitamins to take. Each person is different in her diet, exercise and health history, and will benefit from different nutrients.  After years of advising their patients about the proper vitamins to take,  Drs. Block and Levitan created Vous Vitamin® to provide people everywhere with quality vitamins that are suited to their individual needs. They are authors of the award winning The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors Clear Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health (She Writes Press, 2015). Take your vitamin survey now to get exactly the right vitamins for your needs.

photocredit: clearskinacne

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Nothing contained herein is intended to be a diagnosis or constitute medical advice. The symptoms described in this Blog may be a result of a serious medical condition which requires medical treatment. You should consult with your doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in this Blog and before beginning any vitamin or supplement regimen.

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