The article Too Much of a Good Thing (Mar 12) was highly misleading. The complex world of vitamin supplements and their effect on the body isn’t something that can be addressed in a poor quality article like this that has no numbers or facts or references to back it up. PS: My guess is that Indian supplement manufacturers go for the cheaper artificial versions of vitamins rather than the more expensive versions.
Just as excess of food causes obesity, excess of vitamins causes all manner of undesired side-effects collectively called hyper-vitaminosis. Our consumers are gullible and the fact is, all kind of misinformation is spread with a commercial intention to raise consumption of vitamins.
O.M. Parmar, on e-mail
In the whole article, I don’t see any evidence being quoted. While doing such pieces, please get someone with scientific training and provide evidence to support the conclusions.
A highly misleading article. As always the devil is in the details. First of all, there are several versions of each vitamin that are available in supplement form and they all do not have the same potency or level of toxicity. For example, Vitamin E has at least two forms d-alpha tocopherol and dl-alpha tocopherol. The dl version is the natural one and the d form is the artificial one which is not very well absorbed (look it up). Similarly, there are the D2 and D3 versions of Vitamin D. The D2 version is not as well regarded, a version of the D3 (D3 sulfate if I remember right) is what the body needs. Incidentally Vitamin D deficiency is extremely common both in India and abroad because people just don't get enough sun exposure (esp. the wealthier folks) on bare skin. It's not diagnosed in time because doctor's simply don't consider Vit D deficiency to be the source of problems (two cases in my immediate family)
My guess would be that Indian supplement manufacturers go for the cheaper artificial versions of the vitamins rather than the more expensive natural versions.
The complex world of Vitamin supplements and their effect on the body isn't something that can be addressed in a poor quality article like this that has no numbers or facts or references to back it up. Only arm waving by some supposed "experts" whose words we're to treat as gospel.
The advice of having a proper food balance to get the necessary vitamins is the right advice. Unfortunately, with very busy schedule many youngsters are giving little thought to the demands of the body. There are a growing number of cases of youth having diabetes or heart problems at the age of 30 or so. Obviously, time has come to have a close introspection of our life style. One long term measure is to make school going children aware of the dangers of an unbalanced diet and importance of having breakfast and meals at the right time.
In the whole article I did not see any evidence being quoted. We are aware thet share of applied translational research from India is almost negligible in the world. However at least the media while doing such pieces could do the least is to find a journalist with some scientific training and provide some scientific evidence to support the conclusions. It will go a long way towards educating not only readers but physicians as well. We hope by doing this physicians will learn the importance of shared decision making which is an alien concept in India.
Magazines must rely on research material, rather than quotes from people with teir own views. Research is different from 'view point' and the media must respect this.
After all, the percentages of those with overdose symptoms are insignificant.
There are so many OTC products (including nutritional drinks having variants for different age groups & sexes) endorsed by celebrities.. maybe some kind of a health warning is called for on the labels.. as the consumer isn't really aware as to which additional drink/pill is going to prove to be the proverbial last straw that underdid the camel's health (over)drive(l)?
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