January 5, 2014

Should You Spend Money on Vitamins?

[note: for any health related topic you should consult your doctor as they would have more knowledge of your personal health]

Every day I take a single mult-vitamin and a extra dose of vitamin D.

Articles like this editorial Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements published in the Annals of Internal Medicine might make me believe that I'm wasting my money.   The editorial seems based on these three studies :
Oral High-Dose Multivitamins and Minerals After Myocardial Infarction: A Randomized Trial Long-Term Multivitamin Supplementation and Cognitive Function in Men: A Randomized Trial Vitamin and Mineral Supplements in the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer: An Updated Systematic Evidence Review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

I read those as meaning that vitamins in high doses won't stop heart attacks, vitamins won't keep you from losing mental abilities in older age and that vitamins don't prevent cancer or heart disease.   OK.   I wasn't expecting that vitamins would stop cancer or heart attacks.    My purpose for using vitamins is to prevent a common vitamin deficiency.   I don't have any specific reason to think I'm prone to have a vitamin deficiency but how do you know?   There are a significant number of people with deficiencies and most don't know it.   I figure vitamins are a fairly cheap way to make sure that doesn't happen.   I don't expect them to stop cancer.  Do people really expect their multi-vitamin to prevent heart attacks or fend off dementia?  

If you do take a multi-vitamin then make sure to shop around and get a reasonably priced one.   If you get store brands like Kirkland or similar or hunt for sales then you can find tablets for about 3¢ each.  

You can get a Kirkland muti-vitamin for $14.49  with 500 tablets or about 3¢ a day. or get it at Amazon for $17 or so if you don't belong to Costco.  Similarly  you can get  a NOW Foods Vitamin D-3 1000 IU  supplement at Amazon for under 3¢.    I'm spending abut $2 a month on vitamins.  Thats not too much money really.

Maybe its a waste of money but I don't know.   In fact I actually hope it is a waste of money because that would mean I'm not deficient in any vitamins.   In my opinion the cost of reasonably priced vitamins is quite small and I think that its worth it just to make sure you don't end up deficient with something like vitamin A or vitamin D or iron for example.  

Whether or not you want to take vitamins is up to you.   

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