Stop the Vitamin Obsession!!! | Wednesday Checkup

– [Dr. Mike] Are you taking vitamins for absolutely no reason? Well that’s the topic of this
week’s Wednesday Checkup. Hit that intro. ♪ Upbeat music ♪ Odds are you’re probably
wasting your money if you’re taking a supplement. Here’s why. I just partnered with the
American Osteopathic Association to conduct a Harris
Poll where we found that eighty-six percent of
Americans are taking a vitamin or supplement and
only about twenty percent actually tested positive
for nutritional deficiency. Now this confirms something I’ve known in my heart all along, that people are taking these
supplements unnecessarily. Where does this craze come from? I think this obsession
with vitamins comes from the constant need to
improve our performance, this unrealistic body image
that’s pushed on us everywhere. I mean if you just go on Instagram, the unrealistic figures that
people have is crazy to me. Most of it is plastic surgery,
Photoshop or FaceTune, or maybe sometimes
performance enhancing drugs, but what marketers do is they
prey on your insecurities. They sell you products
with unproven claims. I mean how many times have you seen boost your immune system,
build muscle, fast abs, six hours of continuous energy on a label? This happens all the time and I have a serious problem with that. What upsets me most is when I see health professionals
transform into IKA experts. The epidemic of the I know all expert. There are too many of
these experts out there, claiming all of the answers, when the rest of the scientific community has questions. While I agree with this
guy, there are certain instances where evidence shows that vitamin supplementation is beneficial. If your doctor tells you you have very low levels of Vitamin D, it
makes sense to supplement. If you have a chronic health condition, like a malabsorption
syndrome where you can’t actively absorb vitamins, it
also makes sense to take one. In pregnancy, or if you’re even thinking about getting pregnant, I
recommend to my patients to take a prenatal supplement. And if you’re following
a restrictive diet, I’m talking to you vegans out there, I also do recommend
supplementation in that case. Hold up, hold up, hold up, hold up. Odds are you don’t have one
of these health conditions. Odds are your doctor didn’t tell you to be taking a supplement. So let’s get into it and take about the harms of taking these. First of all, most vitamins
have minimal proof, if any, of benefit. You’re spending money, but for what? I guess if you really
want expensive urine. Vitamins really give you this false reassurance where you may say, “Awh, I don’t need to
eat these vegetables, I’m going to take a multivitamin”. It doesn’t work that way. You’re better off spending
your time and effort on changing your lifestyle
in other meaningful ways. Surprisingly, even some
supplements have even been shown to decrease the effectiveness
of very common medications like insulin, or Xanax, so
you have to be really careful. It’s pretty rare to get toxicity
of water soluble vitamins, but for fat soluble vitamins, D, E, K, A, you can get yourself into
trouble with toxicity because they can build
up in your fat stores. The biggest risk when it comes to taking vitamins is the unknown. I know that sounds kind of funny. It actually sounds like a movie title. No, no. In all seriousness, the
FDA does not check this. Companies don’t need to prove the safety or effectiveness of the
product that they’re selling. I can, right now, create a supplement sitting right here, pour
it into little capsules, go and sell it in the store,
and it’s perfectly legal. Consumer lab has done
testing and found that the ingredients inside many supplements don’t match what’s said on the label. Proprietary blends of weight loss formulas have been found to be toxic to the liver. And some scary articles
have been coming out showing taking high
doses of certain vitamins increases risk of cancer. My bottom line when it
comes to vitamins is if your doctor recommended them for you, or you have a medical
necessity, continue taking them. But if you want to take
them just to stay healthy, or you’re having some kind of symptom that you’re ready to blame
on a vitamin deficiency, talk to your doctor first, because that’s usually not the case. And as any honest doctor will tell you, while we know a lot about vitamins, there’s a lot more that we don’t know. So anyone claiming to
have all the answers, is usually full of it. Stay happy and healthy. ♪ Upbeat music ♪