Skepchick Quickies, 12.10


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. At this point in time, have vitamin supplements really been shown to do anything a sugar pill can’t?
    Each day it seems their success as a saleable item is readily attributable to a very market-savvy homeopath.

  2. Well, Linus Pauling used to praise citric acid to the skies and claim it cured all kinds of things. I never saw him present any data on that, though. Other than that, I pretty much go by what Isaac Asimov said abut megadosing on vitamins: “I fail to see the utility of taking large doses of vitamins merely to enrich the urine.” Not tomention, fat-soluble vitamins can be retained and poison you.

  3. OK, fine, I give up. I won’t take vitamin supplements because some studies say they’re useless or even harmful. I’ll just give up on trying to do something for my health, even if it involves taking supplements of vitamins which medical science claims are useful to our bodies. I guess vitamins aren’t useful after all.

  4. re: playing with your food

    It really bugs me when people mistakenly call condensing water vapor “steam”. Other than that, I’m totally in favor of learning science in the kitchen. Alton Brown is one of my personal heroes.

  5. @DMS: Not quite what I meant (I hope that you’re not singling out my comment. I didn’t mean it at be belittling anyone).

    What I was trying to get at was that ingesting too much of anything can be somewhere between useless to harmful, depending on the amount and substance. Vitamins are useful, but overdosing some of them can be of questionable value or even harmful. YMMV, of course.

    It’s a restatement of the wisdom that “The difference between a medicine and a poison is the dose.”

    You know, the way this site sounds lately, I may go hibernate until after the first of the year. People are starting to sound kind of touchy and irritated out there….

  6. @QA: My comment wasn’t directed at you. I agree with you about over-dosage of vitamins. Too much of anything’s a bad idea.

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