New Study: Vitamins Make People Feel Invincible
By Laura Hogg
From the FitChatter Blog Series
Welcome back to FitChatter! In this week's news:
Ahhh, supplements. Whether you pop your daily multivitamin religiously or scoff that they're useless, it does seem that they're here to stay; the supplement business raked in $20 billion in sales last year. But despite their widespread usage, these little pills and capsules and tablets apparently come with little-known side effects not mentioned on the bottle.
No, I'm not talking about the studies that are trying to show vitamins lead to increased risk of mortality. I'm talking about a recent study that confirmed some unusual side effects. What are they?
Recklessness and feelings of invincibility.
The study, conducted by Taiwanese researchers, gave sugar pills to 82 participants. While half knew that the pills were a placebo, the other half were told that they were being given a multivitamin.
The "supplement" group reported back that they felt "a greater sense of invulnerability and less of a desire to exercise." As compared to the other group, they were more likely to consider binge drinking, tanning, and casual sex. All participants were given the option to eat a healthy meal or attend an all-you-can-eat buffet. You'll never guess which option most of the "supplement" group chose...
While these results sound odd at first, they actually make a strange kind of sense. We live in a culture that generally operates on the motto of "a pill for every ill." We want the benefits that come with being healthy, but heaven forbid we actually have to, you know, make healthy decisions. In the words of Dr. Andrew Leuchter, professor of psychiatry: “People feel like they can take a pill and it will almost immunize them from any unhealthy lifestyle choices."
It goes without saying that popping one pill isn't going to negate the effects of a reckless lifestyle. Exercise and a healthy diet are always your best bet - and you're probably better off aiming to get most of your vitamins and nutrients from food sources rather than a manufactured capsule.
Yup, more research telling us to exercise and eat right. When are these guys going to come up with something new?!