Daily Archives: February 8, 2012

The Self Improvement Chronicles: Defeated by a Pill

Our goal for this week was to take a multivitamin. One would not think that this would be such a hard task, but it was met by resistance. Emily, who had agreed to join the team last Friday sent this message when I informed her of the task: “Nope. I refuse.”

A pretty sassy response, but she has her reasons. A while back, Emily was mysteriously ill every morning with nausea. After exhausting all possible causes, she was obviously depressed and anxious when, by chance, someone mentioned that she’d felt that way when taking multivitamins in the mornings. Yep, that’s what it was. Emily stopped taking the vitamins and the nausea stopped as well.

Her distrust of vitamins did not abate, however. She sent me a second email with the results of a recent study:

“Older women taking multi-vitamins and supplements were more likely to die than nonusers during a 19-year study. Why? Supplements may deliver too much of a good thing, since nutrients can be toxic at high doses.” Time Magazine

Pam also did not take vitamins, claiming nausea as well, although she admitted she had not read the chapter for the week.

So the Jolly Librarian was the only who took vitamins this week because, let’s face it, with my eating habits, there is a little chance I’m getting enough of any vitamin in my foods, let alone an overdose. However, I also have to admit when I looked at the jar, I noticed they had expired last month.

So what is the deal with multivitamins? A few years ago, I read an article in which several doctors noted that their effectiveness was in doubt, but they would still recommend that their mothers take them. However, recent studies are finding very few tangible benefits. There is also a danger of getting too much of some vitamins, especially when taken with lots of fortified foods.

So my advice? Read up and decide for yourself.

But here’s the final say for us this week:

Emily–A (because she thought critically and did some research that informed her refusal).

Pam– C-.  (Although her refusal to take the vitamins was based on previous experience, she did not read the assignment, a “no-no” in the library.)

Jolly Librarian– F (Never take expired medicine!)