Do Nutritional Supplements Really Work?


In our last post we looked at the nutritional gaps in our food supply and concluded we are overfed yet undernourished, and must consider nutritional supplementation as a solution to today’s health challenges.

In this post we  continue with a reproduction of an edited version of  a booklet that had a profound effect on my life many years ago. In “Your Health is in Danger” by Robert G. Allen,  he challenges five myths on nutritional supplementation.

Myth #1. Nutritional supplements are not necessary if you eat right.
Myth #2. Nutritional supplements don’t work.
Myth #3. Nutritional supplements can be dangerous in large doses.
Myth #4. All nutritional supplements are the same.
Myth #5. Nutritional supplements are too expensive.

In this post we will look at the second myth.

Myth #2. Nutritional supplements don’t work.

Eminent researcher, Dr. Walter Willett of Harvard is quoted as saying:

“Until quite recently, it was taught that everyone in this country gets enough vitamins through their diet and that taking supplements just creates expensive urine. I think we now have proof that this isn’t true.”

In 2002,  the ultra-conservative  Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reversed a long-standing anti-vitamin stance by publishing two scientific review articles recommending multivitamin supplements for all adults.


Still, people repeat ancient myths about vitamins they learned from television years ago. For example, Dr. Art Ulene, the famous TV medical reporter in his recent book, The Vitamin Strategy, confesses, and I quote,

“I was wrong about vitamins. Twenty years ago, I told my television viewers that most people didn’t need vitamin supplements. If you were eating well, I said, buying and consuming vitamin pills was a waste of money. I certainly wasn’t alone in this belief. At the time, few people in the medical community supported vitamin supplementation. Even today, most physicians, and perhaps most registered dietitians and nutritionists, insist that people in the United States get all the vitamins they need from their diet alone. It’s not surprising that health professionals feel this way. After all, that’s what we were taught in school….I now know that many of the pronouncements I heard about the uselessness of vitamins simply aren’t true. No matter what your age, no matter what your health status, according to new research, optimal doses of vitamins and minerals can improve the state of your health and reduce your chance of developing many diseases and disorders once considered to be almost unavoidable”

According Dr. Michael Colgan of  The Colgan Institute,

“The scholarly journal, Nutrition Review, the bible of nutrition science….showed unequivocally that it is impossible to get sufficient vitamins from our degraded food supply, and criticized the FDA for failing to permit companies to tell the public how vitamins prevent cancer.”

In the face of all this new scientific research, I still hear people say silly things like this, “Well, let me try your vitamin for a few weeks and see if I feel any different.” It’s true, some vitamins can actually make you feel better. But “feeling better” is the least important reason to take vitamins. You take vitamins to protect yourself from deadly chronic degenerative diseases like cancer, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

• You don’t feel heart disease. It slowly clogs your arteries until POW! and your heart stops.
• You don’t feel cancer. It grows for decades undetected and then, BOOM!….it explodes.
• Stroke is called the silent killer because it goes completely unnoticed until BAM!….and you’re disabled for life.
• You don’t feel osteoporosis leaching your bones until SNAP!….you break a hip and the damage is done.
• You don’t feel Alzheimer’s. It just silently destroys your brain cells and steals your life little by little until you don’t even know your own name.

Recent scientific evidence proves that vitamins and minerals begin to strengthen your immune system almost immediately — whether you feel it or not. If taken regularly, they can absolutely help protect you from chronic degenerative disease.

According to Dr. Michael Colgan, unlike drugs which act quickly with usually toxic side effects…

“nutrients have few immediate effects that you can feel. Mostly they have to wait on Nature for deficient and defective cells to die off, and be replaced by new and better cells that grow from the improved nutrient mix….Your blood cells take three months for complete renewal. Many cells of your muscles and organs take 6 months. The matrix of your bones and teeth takes about a year. That’s what improved nutrition through supplementation is all about. You have to wait until the nutrients are built into your structure for their real benefits to show….and if even one vitamin is missing or deficient, it adversely affects the function of all others.”

But it’s worth the wait. Research on vitamins, minerals and antioxidants proves that,

• They lower your cholesterol.
• They lower your blood pressure.
• They protect you from heart disease.
• They reduce the risk of cancer.
• They protect against Parkinson’s disease.
• They make your children smarter. Studies show that children taking supplements become smarter than those not taking supplements.
• There are even supplements which improve your memory. (But I forget which ones!)
• And finally, nutritional supplements help you live longer. A study at UCLA showed that just 300 mg. of Vitamin C daily extends the life of a man by 6 years and a woman by 2 years.

There is a mountain of evidence – no, a mountain range of evidence — that antioxidants work to protect against killer diseases. Dr. Michael Colgan reports,

“The evidence is now irrefutable that the right use of the right antioxidants can prevent and even reverse many forms of cancer, heart disease, atherosclerosis, adult-onset diabetes, and a host of other diseases whose primary cause is excess (free radical) oxidation, including cataracts, lung disorders, liver disorders and degenerative diseases of the brain.”

Would you like to add more years to your life? The fastest, easiest, cheapest way to do this is to take nutritional supplements.

But still, even today, there are still some who say taking vitamins is dangerous. This is yet another vitamin myth we will cover in our next post.

Myth #3. Vitamins can be dangerous in large doses.

(These posts are  not meant to be scholarly in nature, but references of quotes are available upon request).

Be Well

Ken Waite

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