There are three possible reasons why someone would take vitamins. First, you might take them because your mother told you to!
Really, that’s a very legitimate reason, and probably accounts for a large percentage of the actual reasons people take vitamins.
Of course, I don’t mean your mother, literally, but rather someone who you respect and whose advice and suggestions you often follow. Each of us has a variety of “opinion leaders” for parts of our life. You know that if Joe recommends a restaurant, it’s a good one, but if Sally recommends one, you’ll ignore it.
So, there are people who you have come to believe and trust — who tell you about health things. You’ll find that, even if the other two reasons are more important for you, that there are SOME vitamins you take because someone told you that it was a good idea.
This opinion leader reason is particularly important for some vitamins where the expected result is not immediate. You want your opinion leader to seem honest and not advising you solely out of commercial interests, yet you know that commercially oriented people are often very well informed.
So, however you do it, you have probably already defined a small group of people whose opinions you listen to when it comes to vitamins. Some of them are close personal friends, others are authors whose books you’ve been impressed with — or perhaps someone you heard on the radio or TV.
The second reason is that when you take some vitamin you feel distinctly better.
You might think that this should be the only reason, but our surveys show that many people don’t feel much difference when they take many vitamins.
Consider calcium, for instance. Most people who take an ordinary calcium formula are not likely to notice any physical change.
But, there are many vitamins which DO create some immediate effect which you can feel — and judge to be beneficial.
I recall one my first experiences with the vitamin world. I was interested in health, but didn’t have any strong interest in vitamins. I heard a guy talking, listened carefully because it was interesting, and came away from that event convinced that I probably had parasites in my intestine.
Well, just that promise of be sure about a result was enough for me. I got the herbs, and sure enough they sure did cause loose stool. And, I sure did get down on my knees and peer into the toilet. I didn’t find any parasites, or wiggling things. But, I was so impressed by the utter predictability about the herbs that I continue to “cleanse my gut” with those herbs.
The EFFECT was predicted and the EFFECT happened — QUICK
If the effect is predicted to happen in two years, and, if there is no effect until two years, no one is likely to try or buy such a substance. The effect must also be something that is easy to measure and measure NOW!
Many people will claim they feel different but find it hard to explain how. Most people really value an “increase in energy,” as something they would like to get from vitamins.
So, two reasons, so far: You can take vitamins because someone you believe and trust tells you that you should.
Or, you can take vitamins because they really make you feel something — usually good! NOW!
Now, there is only one more reason I find mentioned often enough to count.
That’s where you do the research, or read the book about something, and you understand it so well that you know you want to take it, even if no one tells you to, and even if you don’t notice any change in how you feel.
I know that I had heard, hundreds of times that Enzyme CoQ10 was a very useful substance to take. In other words, lots of my opinion leaders had told me I should take it.
I took some, but never felt any change, so I quit.
So, when you study up on some product, and read good research, based on sources you respect, you can use that reason to take a vitamin. So, there you have it. You take a vitamin for any one, or more, of three reasons:
- You mother told you to.
- You feel better when you do.
- You’ve studied the data about the stuff and you are convinced it’s good.
Compare these, for instance, with why you take a drug.
Generally, most people don’t feel better when they take drugs, and certainly your mother is hardly ever an opinion leader for you about drugs. Finally, you can hardly ever understand the scientific literature that explains how some drug works.
So, you are left with that one solitary reason — the doctor tells you to take it.
You trust the doctor!
I don’t think that’s very wise, but notice that of the three reasons you might take vitamins, only one of them usually applies to medical drugs. And, consider that there are a lot more people explaining how some vitamin works than anybody ever tries to explain HOW some drug works.
So, we have these three reasons for taking vitamins, and you don’t probably have comparable reasons for taking medical drugs.
So, should you put THAT much faith in a doctor?
Most of the people who would take the type of mega-doses of vitamins would tell you that they don’t trust doctors and try to avoid them as much as possible.