Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Who are we to believe?

30 or so years ago university nutritionists and health food advocates were at one another’s throats. At that time I went to a seminar in which a university nutritionist and a health food advocate were accusing one another of jeopardizing people’s health. During the question period I said, “You are debating these issues, and to you it may seem like an academic debate. But what’s at stake is my health. What am I supposed to do while I wait for you to agree?” They were speechless. That controversy is still playing itself out today, although government and the nutrition establishment have made some concessions to organic foods. But the controversy is far from resolved. Dr. Mirkin ( recently quoted some research that claims taking some vitamin supplements can actually shorten your life ( Drs. Roizen and Oz, in their website, recommend specific amounts of various vitamins, including the ones Dr. Mirkin recommends against taking in supplement form. While Drs. Roizen and Oz recommend getting as much as possible of your daily vitamin and mineral intake from food, they recommend making up any deficits with supplements. I have considerable respect for both Dr. Mirkin and Drs. Roizen and Oz, but they disagree and what’s at stake is my health.

Someone needs to evaluate the conflicting claims in layman’s terms and help laymen develop a sensible strategy for eating and supplementation.

For my part I intend to continue taking vitamin pills, while trying to get as much as possible of my nutritional needs from food. The experts change their minds too frequently for me to follow every recommendation.

No comments: