Why You Should Stop Taking Vitamins

David B. Agus, MD, author of the New York Times and international bestsellers The End of Illness and A Short Guide to a Long Life, is a professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California and heads USC’s Westside Cancer Center and the Center for Applied Molecular Medicine. He is one of the world’s leading cancer doctors and pioneering biomedical researchers, and is a CBS News contributor. He lives in Beverly Hills, California.

DoctorandVitamin_400Studies show your multivitamin may actually be doing more harm than good. Here’s why getting your nutrients from fresh, whole food is vastly preferred. From A Short Guide to a Long Life.

If you look at all the vitamin studies done on groups of more than a thousand people in the last few decades, many of them have shown that taking vitamin supplements is correlated with an increased risk of diseases such as cancer and produces little benefit to health. Some of these results were statistically significant, but some were not. The interactions of supplements and the body are very complex, but a simple explanation may be that the body likes to create free radicals to attack “bad” cells, including cancerous ones. If you block that mechanism by taking copious amounts of vitamins, especially those touted as antioxidants, you block your body’s natural ability to control itself. You block a physiological process. You disrupt a system we don’t fully understand yet.

Simply put, we cannot expect a pill or packaged food product to satisfy our nutritional needs in the same way real food can. I don’t care what the label says, go for the foods that don’t come with labels! And stop taking vitamins.

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