Are Vitamins Worth Purchasing?

vitamins-supplementsThe Annals of Internal Medicine recently posted an editorial pretty much blasting the use of multivitamins and supplements. I originally came across the study in an article from Business Insider and the comment section was pretty universal in condemnation of the story.

I’ve long felt that supplements and vitamins were a waste of money and almost universally placebos but the recent studies and this article seems to affirm my opinions. Wikipedia also confirms this idea.

It is important to note that the studies do not address what are called micronutrient deficiencies. Those who suffer from such deficiencies benefit greatly from vitamins and supplements. The editorial specifically excludes them from the study and is talking only about otherwise healthy people who spend considerable money on vitamins and supplements.

And I do mean considerable. The vitamin and supplement industry generates over $28 billion in sales annually and that amount continues to rise each year. I think it’s important to understand that the vast majority of people spending money on multivitamins and supplements are simply spending money on a product that does them no good whatsoever and, in some cases, actually causes harm.

In addition, many of these supplements and vitamins are produced in foreign countries with China making up the lion’s share.

As you may or may not know, I’m a Libertarian. If people choose to purchase vitamins and supplements that’s their business. I’m merely suggesting that you stop. Spend your money elsewhere. Perhaps a food service that brings you healthy meals each day. I’m a big believer in capitalism as a driving force of making the world a better place. It is to the benefit of all of us to have a healthier population. More work is done, less healthcare is necessary, etc. If people transfer part of the expenditures from something that is not helping their health to something that is helping their health, I benefit. We all benefit.

I know quite a few people who take vitamins and supplements and I suspect I’m going to take some heat for my stance on this issue. That’s all right. I’m tough.

Take a look at the studies and decide for yourself.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Gray Horn
April 2017 Release: For the Gray

Do not take Stelara if …

stelaraI do most of my television watching on the computer using Hulu, ESPN3, and other outlets. Lately I’ve seen a commercial for a drug called Stelara quite frequently. There is something in that commercial that hit me right in my Libertarian breadbasket.

A few years back the federal government regulated advertisement for pharmaceuticals. One of the rules is that any such advertisement must list major side effects and contraindication of the drug in question.

In the rundown of side effects for Stelara, which includes death by the way, we get the following.

Do not take Stelara if you are allergic to Stelara.

What more do you need to know that the entire process is an exercise is silliness? The reason behind the rule about advertising is so people won’t take a drug that harms them. This relies on the idea that people won’t take a drug if they know it has harmful side effects or they won’t take it under certain conditions like after drinking. That idea is utter nonsense. People are idiots. If they are willing to take a drug whose side effect is death, what’s the point of any warning?

People will talk with their doctor and either make an informed or uninformed decision about taking medication. Stupid people will make bad choices more often than smart people, that’s reality. No amount of warning in a commercial is going to prevent stupid people from doing something stupid. Likewise, an intelligent person who cares about his or her health and what he or she put into his or her body is not going to trust a commercial, but will consult with their doctor prior to making such a decision.

It’s a rule designed to make us feel better about helping people when we’re not actually helping them at all. Do you think anyone bent on taking the medication is deterred by the warnings? Of course not.

Do not take Stelara if you are allergic to Stelara? You have to be kidding me.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition
Next Release: The Gray Horn