March 16, 2009

In The News: More Is Not Better

Today's Sydney Morning Herald briefly touches upon the problem of vitamin mega dosing among pregnant women, particularly since extremely high doses of vitamins A, D and E during pregnancy have been linked with birth defects.

Historically, the field of nutrition looked at health problems from an "undernutrition" standpoint; that is, what can happen when we don't eat enough or get a sufficient amount of nutrients?

We are now starting to see an increasing amount of studies focus on the problem of overnutrition.

Whether it's too many calories, or too much of one specific vitamin, it is important for consumers to realize that the key to health, much like Goldilocks' dilemma, lies in getting just the right amount.

Although harmless, the last wave of overconsumption I witnessed -- at least here in the United States -- was the bottled water craze. It's almost as if people forgot that their bodies had thirst mechanisms!

Drinking three liters of water a day doesn't accomplish much of anything other than more frequent trips to the bathroom.


Luise said...

What distresses me is the (claimed) amount of a given vitamin in supplements. Often I find that a serving has something like 30,000% daily value -- my body can't even absorb all that; it's a waste and a potential overdose.

Then again, who knows what and how much is in there, since there's no regulation on supplements. That needs to be remedied, but sadly even things that ARE regulated aren't REALLY regulated (meat industry, anyone?).

Vincci said...

Ooh, I liked that Goldilocks line...