Could Supplements Be A Ticking Timebomb?
Supplements. Every day you’re bombarded with ads extolling their virtues. To make you live longer, feel healthier, and live a happier, sexier, more attractive, and invigorating life.
But could supplements be making us sick? From billboards to spam overflowing in your mailbox, ads for supplements are everywhere. For good reason. They are a quick way to make a lot of money. Promoting weight loss through a pill is one of the most lucrative scams ever. And they prey on our desire to boost our looks, and solve our problems, without drastically changing the way we live.
That makes supplements the ideal scam.
Of course, some supplements are genuine and can be vital. Those with severe deficiencies in vitamin and mineral uptake can rely of credible science to show their worth.
But an awful lot of supplements are either unnecessary, ridiculous, or just plain dangerous. I mean, if you peddle glue capsules because it works like viagra, people will buy it. But, urghhh! Glue?
You can get sick as a dog taking dodgy supplements. They can poison you. And dying as a result of taking some suspect “got it off the Web” tonic is never going to be pleasant. Bit like shoving rare timber sticks in your mouth and trying to swallow them whole. Even if the promoters guaranteed they’d make you look like Twiggy, it’s not recommended.
Of course, that’s naïve. With a mult-gazillion dollar industry in supplements, big manufacturers are in it for big profits. So they apply some kind of science to their supplements. Simply to boost their credibility and cover off on risk.
Sounds sensible enough. But watch out! These seemingly mundane tablets can do tremendous harm, whatever their source.
Either that or do nothing at all. Like massive doses of vitamin C, which some people swear by (or ‘at’) as a means of curing colds and other viruses. It reaps a fortune for supplement makers.
Yet, medical science says the body can only take up a certain amount of vitamin C. Meaning, the rest quickly gets peed out. The result? Your toilet water looks a lovely shade of yellow.
Nice. And colourful too!
Still, belief in the power of certain supplements isn’t going to vanish easily. Thanks to long term advertising, some hold a religious fervour for them (much like the unshakeable faith people had in cod liver oil – which actually turned out to be dangerous in quantity – for both the recipient and the fish).
Supplements can of course be beneficial if the placebo effect kicks in. This mysterious phenomenon has nothing to do with the supplement. But everything to do with belief. When we believe something is healthgiving, a mysterious force for boosting our wellness can kick in with measurable benefits. The supplement might just be a sugar pill. But the placebo effect can work wonders.
Sometimes. I mean, it’s not going grow back a lost leg. Or, change you from an A cup to a C cup, is it?
All cold comfort for the poor fellow recently. He ended up needing a liver transplant after taking green tea tablets he bought as a dietary supplement (courtesy of that massive supplement market hosted by the worldwide Web).
Seemingly innocent, some supplements have been scientifically identified as “bloody dangerous.” And who needs to pay for pills that poison you slowly so you die in gradual agony? You should be able to do that for free!
Which makes these supplement “little helpers” turn out to be “little demons.” It’s just not worth the risk.
If supplements promise the miraculous, question the motives of the sellers. Are they really keen on helping your health? Or, are they applying crafty deception to exploit you for their own gain? Let’s work it out: eeny-meany, miney, moe…
Back in the 1970s and on into the 80s and 90s, vitamin supplements were touted as the magic elixir for everything. Some physical feature not big enough? Try a vitamin!
Companies pushed vitamins hard simply because they’re hugely profitable. Top level company representatives would boast they took double, triple, or even ten times the recommended dose of particular vitamins. Because, they declared, they made them healthier, have more energy, resist illness, and even live longer.
Stupid, isn’t it?
Scientists were alarmed by the prospect of people poisoning themselves with vitamin overdoses. But lacking the power of corporate advertising, they struggled to get their message out. So, no doubt people got sicker while supplement selling companies got richer.
Kind of like the con artists of the late Nineteenth Century. Traveling from town to town selling magical cures in a bottle was a matter of spin not substance. It worked then. And, despite everything to help us know better, our abiding romance with supplements still pulls us in.
So, be careful. Even those so-called indispensable requisites called multivitamins are totally unnecessary. If you eat a regular diet of fresh foods, multivitamins are pointless.
Still, the myth persists.
So, if you are keen on taking a particular supplement, do yourself a favour and check with your doctor first. Please.
Sticking supplements into your system is not without risk. Even if the most benign result is you lose your money and the environment suffers.
Remember fish oil capsules? Totally bogus. While we got conned, loads of Antarctic krill and oily fish got taken to supply this pointless supplement scam.
So check, check, and then check again. What are the risks (often supplements omit that bit) and what are the side-effects? If they mention nothing that’s a clue something not right. Because supplements are not totally 100% safe for every single person who takes them.
Again, minimise the risk. Talk to your doctor and seee what they say. If they it’s okay, then sure. But don’t assume. Because when it comes to assuming supplements are safe, scammers are always out to make an “ass” out of “u” and “me.”