Do we really need vitamins to be healthy?



I remember when I was little, my mother forced me to take a spoonful of cod liver oil every morning to help my dry skin and other health problems I was facing.  Though it was not a vitamin pill, it was supposed to contain some necessary nutrients that were good for the human body and for a well nourished complexion.  I don’t remember when she stopped this practice.  But I do remember that it didn’t help me with my skin or the other problems.

I was reminded of the foregoing scenario with my mother when I read this recently: Most supplements do not prevent disease or death, their use is not justified, and they should be avoided.” This is according to two researchers from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore quoted in a USA Today article.

In fact, according to this same news story, “The latest studies on vitamins have some medical experts saying ‘case closed’ – it’s time for most consumers to stop wasting money on multivitamins and other supplements, because they have no proven benefits and some possible harms.”  The National Center for Health Statistics estimated that in 2010 alone, consumers spent over $28 billion on [vitamins and supplements].

So, if supplements and vitamins are not really going to do for our health what we’ve been led to believe for a long time, what should we be doing?  “There are other things that are of far greater benefit” states Dr. Robert Wachter, an expert in patient safety at the University of California, San Francisco, in the USA Today article, “including, not smoking, eating well and getting adequate exercise.”

Because I didn’t smoke, did eat well and exercised regularly, I began to search for other ways.  I knew there must be something else.

In my search for relief from the skin condition, which had been pronounced as incurable by a dermatologist, I began to explore my individual spirituality and discover more about the power of prayer. During my study, I came across a statement that reminded me that what I was learning might help with the skin condition and other health problems.  “The poor suffering heart needs its rightful nutriments,” Mary Baker Eddy, the author of a self-help book on spiritual healing, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures said.  And she finishes the sentence by saying, “such as peace, patience in tribulation, and a priceless sense of the dear Father’s loving-kindness.” (4)

So, peace and patience were perhaps the nutriments I was lacking; not, oil and vitamins.

This awakened me to the fact that I had to slow down my somewhat chaotic life as well as incorporate patience (not one of my virtues) into my daily living.  Forgiveness was another important piece of the puzzle.  I needed to forgive myself and others and realize that I was not alone – my spiritual source, which I call God – was present and actively loving me unconditionally.

Eventually, the skin condition from which I had suffered since childhood simply disappeared.

More and more studies are challenging the idea that the vitamins we’ve long been told will make us healthier actually have any impact at all.

If you’ve been taking supplements to improve your health and are now wondering what to do as more and more studies determine many of them simply don’t work, perhaps it’s time to consider new options. The nutriments of Spirit might have wonderful benefits in store for you like they have for me.

Research materials.


Medical journal: “Case closed’ against vitamin pills


How do Americans waste $28 billion a year?  On vitamins, doctors say, by Karen Kaplan


Should we Toss Our Vitamin Pills?  By Roni Caryn Rabin

4) Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, Page 365, Line 31.

Kate is interested in blogging about health, health care, spirituality, science, religion, the importance of prayer in maintaining a healthy mind and body.  She is a Christian Science practitioner and the media, legislative and public contact for Christian Science in the state of Maryland.