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Common Misconceptions about Vitamins

Submitted by Stella Morgan on July 27, 2007

Common misconceptions about vitamins exist, in addition to their therapeutic effects. They are not drugs and fail to cure any condition or disorder. Supplements are used as an alternative to combat stress and cure smaller complications, such as common cold. Vitamins are organic compounds and play a vital role in the body’s metabolic processes, in the form of coenzymes. Vitamins are recommended, from their original source, food.

Vitamins fail to possess any magical effect on any kind of ailments.

Vitamins are advised in the recommended levels, as excess results in accumulation, thereby causing toxicity, in the case of fat soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A, D, E and K. Increased intake of Vitamin B and C, result in their elimination through urine, as they are water soluble.

Excessive supplements, affects the body. Large doses of pyridoxine cause nerve degeneration.  Fat soluble vitamins can be stored in the adipose tissue and liver, whereas, water soluble vitamins are stored for a very short span of time, owing to their solubility.
Portrayal of symptoms in case of deficiency, takes a long time. A variety of foods with all the major and minor nutrients help in preventing deficiency.  Supplements are required in special cases.

Vegetarians deprived of animal foods face cobalamine deficiency. Neural tube defect is common in infants of mothers with folate deficiency. 400 mg of folate is recommended during pregnancy.

Low fat diets result in deficiency of fat soluble vitamins, as fat is essential for their solubility. Smokers require double the amount of ascorbic acid, in comparison to non-smokers. Convalescence calls for increased needs of vitamins. Obese people on weight loss programs require supplements, in addition, to those suffering from pancreatitis, diarrhea and celiac diseases. Surgical procedures have to be followed with supplements.
Misconceptions exist regarding the prevention of common cold infection, by taking vitamin C. Excessive intake of vitamin C results in renal stones, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramps, fatigue and headache. Vitamin intake fails to have any effect on depression or stress. Vitamin E plays a vital role in anti-ageing creams and maintenance of a youthful look. Research reveals the absence of correlation between the two. Excessive vitamin A fails to cure cancer and can be life-threatening. Long term supplementation of beta carotene reveals the incidence of cancer. Isolating the ultimate ingredient, responsible for any cure is not favorable.  Bowel polyps are greater in subjects supplemented with beta carotene supplements. Long-term supplementation is life threatening.
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