Vitamins are a “panacea”?

Some people think that vitamins can “treat and cure disease without illness”, but is it really that amazing?

The medicinal tonic tide struck
Beginning with the era of coping with scurvy that is widespread in ocean waters, people have gradually realized the importance of vitamins. At the end of the 18th century, the British Navy supplied lemonade to its fleet to eliminate scurvy. But it was not until 1928 that Hungarian biochemist Albert St. Georgi really discovered that vitamin C in fruits and vegetables could cure scurvy. After that, the scientific community set off a wave of research aimed at unveiling the mystery of vitamins. Scientists have discovered 13 essential vitamins for the human body. Deficiency of any of them can lead to different diseases, such as lack of vitamin A can cause blindness, lack of vitamin B12 can cause severe anemia, and lack of vitamin D can cause rickets.

A health survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that more than half of Americans take at least one vitamin supplement. In addition, data from the U.S. Health and Nutrition Survey show that the most popular products are multivitamin and mineral supplements, which are used by about 40% of men and women in the United States.

The fallacy of a master of science?
Vitamins are essential for life, but can you rest assured to supplement them? Linus Pauling, who has won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, consumes 50 times more vitamin C per day than the average recommended daily intake for ordinary people. He believes vitamins can treat colds, flu, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, cancer, and even AIDS. In addition, vitamins can delay aging.

Pauling concentrated his views on vitamins in the best-selling book “How can I live longer and feel better?” His “coffee position” in the scientific world made the book “Luoyang Paper Expensive” for a while, and his views were widely propagation.

While people were attracted to Pauling’s concept of health, he even ignored that his Nobel Prize did not come from the field of biology or medicine. Pauling considers vitamin C to be an antioxidant, and members of this family also include vitamin E, beta-carotene, and folic acid. But his academic reputation has been compromised by his support for vitamins, because for many years the role of vitamin C and other dietary supplements has received little scientific support, and there is not much evidence that these supplements can bring significant benefits.

Eat more fruits and vegetables
In the 1970s and 1980s, many scientists added vitamin C, vitamin E and other antioxidants to the food of experimental mice, or injected these substances directly into their blood. Some scientists have even genetically modified mice to make them more active against certain antioxidants. Despite different research methods, the results are basically the same: increasing antioxidants did not delay aging or prevent disease.

In long-term clinical trials with humans, researchers are not optimistic about trying to figure out how antioxidants can affect human health and survival. A 1994 trial tracked nearly 30,000 Finns in their 50s. The subjects were smokers, and the study found that a group of volunteers who ate beta-carotene had a 16% increase in lung cancer.

After researching hundreds of thousands of scientists, although they confirmed the important role of vitamins in health, they also clarified that in the case of a healthy diet, vitamin supplements can hardly extend life.