I finished two of my books last night, so in the 24 hours of free time I have everyday, I decided to read the New York Times. Well actually, I just browsed different sub-reddits for news articles that looked interesting. This is much more efficient, and when you’ve got 24 hours to use everyday, efficiency is imperative.
This op-ed from yesterday’s NYT is my favorite. It’s about how your killing yourself because you’re too lazy to eat fruits and vegetables.
In the op-ed, Paul Offit, the chief of the infectious diseases division at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, explains how the vitamins you ingest every morning are killing you. Specifically, he explains how dozens of trials have demonstrated a strong link between vitamins and you getting cancer/heart disease.
You might be thinking “come off it bro, vitamins are definitely good for you, or at least not bad for you.”
1. No, you come off it bro
2. Paul Offit was prepared for your skepticism and has an explanation
So why don’t we know about this? Why haven’t Food and Drug Administration officials made sure we are aware of the dangers? The answer is, they can’t.
In December 1972, concerned that people were consuming larger and larger quantities of vitamins, the F.D.A. announced a plan to regulate vitamin supplements containing more than 150 percent of the recommended daily allowance. Vitamin makers would now have to prove that these “megavitamins” were safe before selling them. Not surprisingly, the vitamin industry saw this as a threat, and set out to destroy the bill. In the end, it did far more than that.
Speaking in support of F.D.A. regulation was Marsha Cohen, a lawyer with the Consumers Union. Setting eight cantaloupes in front of her, she said, “You would need to eat eight cantaloupes — a good source of vitamin C — to take in barely 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C. But just these two little pills, easy to swallow, contain the same amount.” She warned that if the legislation passed, “one tablet would contain as much vitamin C as all of these cantaloupes, or even twice, thrice or 20 times that amount. And there would be no protective satiety level.” Ms. Cohen was pointing out the industry’s Achilles’ heel: ingesting large quantities of vitamins is unnatural, the opposite of what manufacturers were promoting.
A little more than a month later, Mr. Proxmire’s bill passed by a vote of 81 to 10. In 1976, it became law. Decades later, Peter Barton Hutt, chief counsel to the F.D.A., wrote that “it was the most humiliating defeat” in the agency’s history.
As a result, consumers don’t know that taking megavitamins could increase their risk of cancer and heart disease and shorten their lives; they don’t know that they have been suffering too much of a good thing for too long.