Vitamin Supplements

(Are They Really Necessary?) 











     Many people today believe that they must take vitamins to be healthy.  The controversy of whether or not supplements are necessary could fill a book of its own.  How did we manage for centuries without them?  The manufacture and sale of these supplements is one of the largest businesses in the United States.  Supplement sales now generate over two billion dollars a year! 

     Has our actual need for vitamins and minerals been grossly exaggerated?

     Vitamins and minerals have always been supplied in fresh foods; process and combine them in a variety of products, and come up with anything equal or better than the original.




    Most people who take vitamins regularly have little or no real understanding of what vitamins are and what their function in the body is.

          Vitamins are an organic molecule needed in the diet in tiny amounts.  The body only needs x amount of vitamins and minerals and beyond this minute amount, the vitamin or mineral becomes surplus and must either be excreted or stored—an energy wasting process.  Vitamins cannot be manufactured by the body (with few exceptions); therefore, they must be supplied by food.  In their absence, disease will develop.

     When scientist speak of “excess” vitamins, they mean dosages in excess of the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) set by the Food and Nutrition board of the National Research Council.  RDAs are not ”minimum” value;  in fact they are more than most people require.

     The fact that vitamins are not used up explains why they are needed in only tiny amounts.

          It is important to remember that vitamins are only one of a group of natural accessory food factors very important in the maintenance of health.

           It is crucial to understand that scientists have not isolated every substance in food that is essential for normal functioning of the body.  Thus, we must depend on food, not vitamin pills for good nutrition.  There is no vitamin pill that contains all the vitamins the body needs.

     Foods as delivered by nature are, as a rule, complete foodstuffs.  When fragmented they quickly oxidize and become rather useless, even toxic, in the system.  The idea that ”deficient” foods can be fragmented into vitamins and then better furnished to the body in pills, powders and potions is questionable.








          Megavitamins—especially the fat-soluble ones—when taken in large quantities, can be dangerous to your health.  In fact, taking megavitamins can carry risks similar to those of other drugs.  Just as with other medications.  The taking of large amounts of vitamins can cause side effect.  There are very reliable scientific and biochemistry studies on vitamins confirming these dangers.

     In large doses, vitamins act like drugs, not nutrients.  If you eat more than the amount required, your body won’t b able to use them.  To retaliate, the body will try to eliminate the excess, but too much of an overload may cause the excess to remain in the bloodstream, causing drug-like effects.

           Our bodies are capable of using nutrients supplied in the proper amounts.  But when a nutrient is supplied in too great an amount, havoc is the result.

     Many substances that are harmless in small or moderate doses can be harmful in large amounts or by gradual buildup (body storage) over months or years.  Just because a substance (such as a vitamin) is found naturally in food does not mean that it cannot be harmful.  Vitamin supplements taken in large amounts can also be toxic to the body.

          Interestingly,  a recent study by the U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention showed that Americans who took supplements had exactly the same mortality rate as those who did not.






   The role of vitamins in nutrition is one of the most widely misunderstood subjects today.  In our age of technology, industry, food products, pills, vitamin supplementation is considered essential for good health in most circles.  Some advocate a multiple vitamin each day from the drug store, while others promote several bottles of a variety of vitamin tablets from the natural food store or distributors.

     Dr. David Reuben in his book, Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Nutrition, disdains our preoccupation with vitamins by pointing out that is we took all the vitamins we need in the quantities recommended (RDAs) a whole years supply would not fill a thimble.

        Americans think in terms of deficiencies when, as Dr. Reuben says, almost no American physician has ever witnessed a case of beriberi, pellagra, rickets, scurvy or other diseases due to vitamin deficiency.

             Also, just how vitamins and minerals should be balanced and formulated has led to many differences of opinions. Many experts, in processing and manufacturing of pills, disagree as to how the many billions of pills should be made.  They all have different formulas and each claim theirs are the best even though much is lost in the processing.  Without any clear consensus as to their value or harmfulness, the vitamins are manufactured and processed; therefore, they must be sold with no thought as to possible side effects from overdosing or imbalances.  Millions and billions of dollars are made by the producers and the sellers with little regard for the true needs of the consumer.





     Once the vitamins are inside the body they take their proper place in a tremendously complicated scheme of life about which we actually know very little.  The vitamins do not just work alone but they require other factors for them to be effective at all (another reason why our foods were created to remain in their whole state), factors like fats, minerals, hormones, etc.  When the body becomes accustomed to the vitamin supplements and their stimulating presence, when deprived of it, the body will sink into an unexpected and quickly felt lower level of well-being.

     Animal studies and human observations (in a Philippine concentration camp during World War ll) reveal that deficiency signs appeared sooner in the animal/humans who had been receiving supplements, before the vitamins were withheld.  The body became wasteful in its use of the vitamins, where there was no excess.

     An article about Jim Kaat, a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, described how he had eliminated most meat from his diet and added B-15, zinc, potassium, magnesium and Stress tabs.  Mr. Kaat was quoted as saying,  “I think what’s a good gauge for results of foods you eat and the vitamins you take is how you feel after you stop using them.  When I stop taking my vitamins I feel drained.”  Oddly enough, coffee drinkers, cigarette smokers, drug addicts, and meat eaters say that too!

     We know so little about life within the cell, and scientific information is just coming to the surface through microbiological studies.  What we do know strongly suggests that the indiscriminate taking of vitamins could and perhaps does disturb delicate internal nutritive balance causing metabolic problems.  Health is then reduced to commensurate to the imbalance.

     There are yet realms of the human life motif to be explored and resolved.  It could very well be that millions of people who are presently taking vitamins are willing guinea pigs, and the results are completely unknown and unpredictable until they have been in use for a long-term.

     The vitamin pushers have led us to believe that the vitamin supplements are natural ingredients.  If you read the labels on supplements, you’ll find that most of them are synthesized in laboratories from petroleum derivatives or other chemicals. The chemical and mechanical processes of extraction of nutrients from plants destroy food components.  The truth is that vitamin supplements are 90 to 98 per cent synthetic, even if the are called organic or natural.

     Many Americans have been conned by the health-food industry into taking vitamin supplements instead of changing their lifestyle and adopting a wholesome natural food diet.

            Man-made supplements a simply not what was intended for the human body.  In the process of extracting and fractioning elements, they are rendered worthless.  The body can most efficiently use vitamins and minerals that are consumed along with all the other constituents of any given food.  Once removed and isolated, vitamins lose their value.

     I do not believe God ever intended for us to receive our nutrients in mega-doses or in pill form—but rather I believe that “vitamins” in this form are actually harmful drugs and are received as foreign substances by our bodies.

        On the average, people who consume mega doses of synthetic vitamins, mineral supplements and protein powders still have physical problems.

          Vitamins are essential to the health and life of man.  The precise amounts of the commonest vitamins needed by man is undermined. Yet as usual, they are heralded by wishful thinking men as the cure-all of physical and mental ills.  Without doubt many more of these essential chemical compounds will be discovered as medical research advances.  The quantity apparently needed can be secured by eating enough of natural foods including some raw fruits and vegetables.  All of the vitamins are stored  to a certain extent in the body organs of men and animals, so that a fast or short famine does not bring on any vitamin deficiency detectable by our present test.  That is to say, in time of plenty we store against a season of scarcity, so that without fresh foods we will not have scurvy, rickets, beriberi, by noon of the same day, or even the following week.

     A person eating a diet of whole unrefined foods, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains, has no need of supplements.


    Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever he do, do all to the glory of God.

1Corinthians 10:31.


Katy Chamberlin