RANT: Do I need Vitamins?

We Americans have a pill for everything: feel stressed? take a Xanax. Cant sleep? take an Ambien? Can’t get it up? take a Viagra.


We even take our vitamins, which should come from our diet, in a pill form.  We don’t even think of vitamins as being a part of food anymore. We think of vitamins as, well, vitamins.  Those hard to swallow pills.

Now, I’ve got nothing against vitamins; I even take about 10 of them each day myself. But A) we should be getting them from vegetables and B) most store bought vitamins have all kinds of additives and corn derivatives; many are made in China and have petroleum products in them. Yikes!

So I recommend buying them from a health food store or buying brands that you trust.  I take the USANA  Vitamins and USANA BioOmega fish oil as well as their Vitamin D

Try the online True Health Assessment at this link to determine which vitamins are essential to your health.

I still believe vegetables (and fruits) are the BEST way to get your vitamins; deep green veggies and red/purple/blue fruits are best ‘bang for your buck’.  They are packed with thousands of phytochemicals, minerals and nutrients, almost impossible to create in a lab. But if you aren’t getting 5 servings a day, and even if you are, to optimize your nutrition, I highly recommend supplementation.

Good sleep, low stress and a healthy libido, however should not come from a pill.

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Madeleine Vanstory attended Duke University and began her post-graduate journey at The Elaine Clark Center working with special needs children. She went on to work as a Clinical Research Scientist running clinical trials for the CDC and developing medical devices for Welsh Allen, Abbot Labs, Roche and Johnson & Jonhson Her work included non-invansive cervical cancer detection, continuous diabetic glucose monitoring, non-harmful infant bilirubin level detection and studying Vitamin C's anti-aging effects on the skin. Madeleine attended Medical school at The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and completed a residency in Family Medicine at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro NC. Dr. Madeleine Vanstory is a board certified Family Physician who has practiced all over the world. She has lead medical missions in Kenya and Honduras. She has participated with Operation Smile in Russia, she has patients in North Carolina, Maine, Oregon and New Zealand. Dr. Vanstory has worked the medical tents in the Marine Corps marathon in Washington DC and at the Kona Ironman World Championships. And Dr. Vanstory has marched with the Surgeon General promoting "Exercise is Medicine" at the World Congress Sports Medicine Conference. Disillusioned by the current health care system and armed with the realization that culture, nutrition and emotional well-being have a profound impact on health, Dr. Vanstory now motivates clients and patients to discover the healthiest versions of themselves through humor, counseling in her "Upgrade Your Health" Wellness Program.

4 thoughts on “RANT: Do I need Vitamins?

  1. I have been a member at ConsumberLab.com for several years — they provide independent test results for vitamins and supplements. It is amazing how many supplements either don’t contain what is claimed on the label, or have added ingredients that you would never want to consume (like the vitamins that come from China).

    1. There is little clinical evidence that vitamins offer any value to your diet. There are several papers indicating that they do harm – David Agus wrote about this in the book he published last year “the end of illness” and references a few of the studies. As referenced in the article – we should be consuming the foods and not the pills. – Just imagine what the fish looked like that was sent to the fish oil factory – if it was a healthy fish it would be sold to a sushi or other consumer grade distributor.

      1. Thanks Brian for your comment. I both agree and disagree. There are loads of studies supporting Vitamin D supplementation, as deficiency can cause bone and kidney disease (google rickets, for starters!), depression, fatigue, Msk pain etc; even some on Vit D for breast Ca prevention; Calcium for bone health, fish oil for cardiovascular health. and tons more … magnesium for migraine prevention and restless legs syndrome, B12 for paresthesias, iron for anemia…the list is comprehensive. I totally agree that we should be getting our vitamins from our diet! But there is also data now stating how our land has been over-developed and soils have been so over-farmed and depleted of so many nutrients. Some believe vegetables today, even organic and locally grown, have 30% of the nutrients they have just 4-5 decades ago! (Not to mention the mercury levels in fish meat–where you’d ideally be getting your fish oil)

        As mentioned in the blog, many vitamins out there are contaminated and can even be harmful, so quality is of utmost importance if you choose to supplement! There are fish oils not dissimilar to fish sewage! but there are high quality supplements, monitored by 3rd party regulatory agencies that cost more (bc like you said good fish used for sushi—YUM!)

        I used not to supplement at all, but started taking USANA when, after much research, I learned their products have met the highest international standards (bc the US does not regulate), for over a decade! Im sure there are others that are worth taking as well, but for me, these products round out my nutritional needs and and I feel great! That’s an n=1, but they work for me!

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