Vitamins are the key to health and perhaps the cure for the common colds. Now how many of you have ever heard of vitamin megadoses? Vitamin supplements don’t cure colds, they don’t prolong your life, and in some cases they may actually be harmful. So, what are vitamins? Huge pills that smell like old olives?: Candy that’s shaped like cartoon characters. You’re both thinking of vitamin supplements. What are the vitamins themselves? Little bits of goop that your body needs. Exactly, they’re a collection of various micronutrients that are essential for your body to function normally. Yes! So vitamins make us healthy, except that by definition vitamins are nutrients we only need a tiny little bit of, and normally we get plenty of them from the food we eat. But what if I contract scurvy? You won’t, scurvy is caused by an extreme lack of vitamin C. Pirates used to get it because they ate nothing but hardtack biscuits for months. But if you eat normal food, in normal quantities you’ll be fine. Like, just eat a lemon ever.
But getting more vitamins is even better. No it isn’t, Vitamins are sorta like cats, if you have no cats you’ll be lonely, if you have a cat or two you’ll feel better, but that’s enough cats. No one needs to load up on cats and just like with cats you don’t want to overdo it. Studies show that taking too much of some vitamins like A, D, or E can actually make you sick. Vitamin C does not treat or cure the common cold, and products that claim it does are nonsense. Remember Airborne? Sure, the cold medicine created by a school teacher. It keeps you from getting colds from touching the magazines on airplanes. That is not true. Airborne is a cocktail of plain old vitamins that was marketed as a cure for the common cold but in 2006 they were sued for false advertising and ended up paying out million dollars. Airborne doesn’t cure anything, it’s basically just bubbles. But when I take vitamin C it makes me feel better, yes the placebo effect is very powerful but that’s all it is.
In reality, at least different studies have concluded that vitamin C does not treat the common cold. Hey, it’s not my fault everyone believes vitamins are magic, its Linus Pauling’s fault. Linus Pauling was a genius chemist and the only person in history to be awarded two solo Nobel prizes. He was one of America’s true scientific celebrities. In early 70’s Pauling became obsessed with the idea of living forever and basically went vitamin crazy.
He began claiming that massive doses of vitamin C could prevent the common cold, prolong your life, and even cure cancer. and because he was a celebrity scientist the media trusted him. So these vita-pills will cure my sniffles? That’s right, and gets this, you’ll also never get sick or die. Sounds pretty far out, but if the smartest cat in America’s saying’ it, it must be true.
But repeated studies have proven that Pauling was totally wrong. There is no medical basis for his claims and he actually died of cancer, the very disease he claimed vitamins would cure. You’re telling me that vitamin supplements are a lie and we only believe in them because one man went crazy? Yeah, Pauling was the Michael Jackson of nutrition. He totally changed the game, we had no idea how crazy he was, and years later we’re still humming’ the tunes.