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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Does taking vitamins only result in "expensive urine"?

When I was studying exercise physiology at Otago University many years ago and, later, sports medicine and nutrition, my lecturers kept going on about vitamin supplements being of no value and all the taker was doing was producing "expensive urine".   

The assumed effect of taking supplements is they merely pass through the body and end up in the urine.  In conjunction with this, we were told a person can get all the nutrients they need by eating a "balanced diet" as per the Food Pyramid.

I believed them as I should; after all, who was I to question the conclusions of an esteemed doctor, let alone a professor.  I parroted the "expensive urine" mantra many a time over the years.  I was a fool.  I should have questioned and not merely accepted the statements from those on high as being fact.

Since being introduced to various procedures for testing a person's nutritional status, principally the ICL Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis and the Thyrodine test, I have had a complete change of view, including that it is as good as impossible to maintain balanced nutrition by food alone.  Ageing, disease, stress, pollutants, medications and depleted foods all conspire to produce nutritional imbalances.

By the way, I am cautious to believe any health professional who says somebody is deficient in a nutrient such as vitamin C or magnesium without this conclusion being supported by scientific testing.

How very wrong I was to accept the preaching of my lecturers which, with hindsight, are conclusions that are poorly supported by actual scientific testing.  Professorial, the "expensive urine" statement might be; but it is also very poor science.  The "expensive urine" statement is simple to refute.

I'll leave it for Linus Pauling to give an example of how ridiculous the "expensive urine" statement is:

Here is Linus Pauling announcing that he took ten grams (10,000mgs) of vitamin C and recovered less than 15% in his urine within 24hrs.

Pauling won 2 nobel prizes and was one of the world’s most eminent scientists, certainly no fool. Most all people never take in the optimal amount of Vit C from foods, supplementing with vitamin C makes real good sense. 

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