When it comes to matters of human health, there are fewer subjects that more contentious and more prone to misunderstanding. It only makes sense that we would want to live as healthily and as long as possible.
But this very desire can render us subject to all manner of hoaxes and scams, particularly when it comes to the many health supplements and “miracle cures” that are available on the market. Here’s a list of the ten worst vitamins and health supplements that people have relied upon in the past – and should educate themselves about in the present.
9. Vitamin E
Vitamin E used to be touted by the media as the ultimate, knock down, drag out, cure. But it’s taken quite a tumble from its former lofty heights, with some authorities even proposing to ban it altogether from the marketplace. While this isn’t likely to happen, one thing remains true: People are approaching Vitamin E with far more moderation than in the good old days.
The reason Vitamin E fell so firmly from grace had to do with the fact that a scientific study of people who swore by copious amounts of it were 17 percent more likely to get prostate cancer, rather than avoid it. That’s a heck of a disappointment, to say the very least. Of course, Vitamin E still does a fine job when taken in moderation – a concept that many folks admittedly have trouble understanding.
8. Vitamin A
What’s the deal with Vitamin A? Among other things, it gives carrots their special magical visual enhancement powers – powers that, we presume, enable the likes of Bugs Bunny to clearly foresee and humorously defuse every threat posed by the likes of Elmer, Daffy, and Sam. Does Vitamin A, taken in ridiculously overstated quantities, do anything worthwhile for humans?
As it turns out, it certainly does. Vitamin A contains many essential properties that are vital for reproductive health, bone growth and maintenance, and human immunity to diseases. So, it’s a good idea to have plenty of Vitamin A in your system. But where does the danger come from?
The most popular form of Vitamin A is the beat-carotene pill. It’s been touted in the past as a major source of anti-cancer immunity. But, it turns out, that when taken in pill form, it seems to promote, rather than discourage, the development of cancer.
Male smokers who relied on beat-carotene were, in the end, 18 percent more likely to get lung cancer than those who avoided it. Is there a lesson here? In the end, health experts strongly recommend that Vitamin A be obtained through natural sources in the diet, rather than taken in pill form.