Are vitamins really necesary?

Only in the recent years deople do have access to a wide range of food groups. And still, only in the developed world.

In the past, people were forced to eat the same thing day after day. Obviously, they weren’t taking certain minerals/vitamins at all. How was this fact affecting them?

They had deficiencies such as scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) or rickets (vitamin D deficiency). There are a lot of diseases that scientists only recently (within the past couple of hundred years) have discovered are due to vitamin deficiencies.

When you look at what humans ate in the past, there ae two periods: pre-agriculture and post-agriculture. Pre-agriculture, humans hunted and scavenged and probably ate a wide range of things which enabled them to get all the nutrients they needed. Some studies have indicated that wild plants also tend to have more nutrients than farmed plants grown in depleted soil.

Post-agriculture, humans had a more steady supply of food but a more limited diet. There is evidence that humans post-agriculture actually lost height which may indicate decreased overall health.

So, in order to get all the nutrients that we evolved to require, you need to eat a diet with many varied food stuffs or take vitamins to make up the deficiencies.

Vitamins are defined as organic nutrients which are essential in trace quantities for maintaining good health. Therefore, they have to be necessary - if they were not, they would not be classified as vitamins.

If you eat according to the Canadian/US food guide (or insert other approved plan from other government), your body should meet its daily nutritional requirements, so you should not have to take vitamin and or mineral supplements (that’s what they claim, anyway - they being government agencies).

Now, we all know that North Americans’ nutritional habits are less than stellar, and so in a lot of cases people need to take nutritional supplements in order to meet their recommended doses.

I take a Centrum a day, just to be on the safe side. I have noticed a difference I find from before (i.e.: better concentration, better sleeping habits, good apetite, etc.). You have to be careful because there is such a thing as OD-ing on vitamins. There are certain vitamins that will accumulate in your body and can cause problems in the long run. **Nutrition for Dummies ** is a pretty good book and it answered all of my nutrition questions (there’s a few chapters on vitamins and minerals).

On this note, I’ve read that the rise of agriculture allowed a given area to support a much larger number of people, but who had generally poor nutrition due to their limited diet.

However, a large number of poorly-fed farmers could easily out-compete a small number of well-fed hunter/gatherers, leading to our current world. (Note that the vast majority of people living today are still poorly-fed farmers.)

Answer: They died at an early age, with diseases such as tremorvioletnoted.

vitamins = “vital amines” or certain compounds (generally) containing a chemical group called an amine which were necessary for life.

A relative lack of a particular “vital amine” resulted in sickness and could lead to death. An absolute lack would eventually result in death.