Why don't they put vitamins in our drinking water?

Like they do flouride. Perhaps this should be in Great Debates, or perhaps it may move there. I’ll let the mods rule.

My spina bifida fact sheet says up to **70 % of neural tube defects ** could be prevented with folic acid. Spina bifida is a neural tube defect in which the baby’s backbone doesn’t close completely in the womb.

This can range from a minor issue with a small gap or defect in the bones to leg paralysis, bladder, and bowel problems for life.

On top of which, some may need to walk in a wheelchair for the rest of their lives.

So why don’t we just bypass the whole thing and put all the vitamins we need in our drinking water? Even poor people will get them, and at least we’ll be better nourished.

Totally unqualified WAG:

A meaningful vitamin dose for an adult can kill a kid. Different people drink vastly different quantities of water…and the tinfoil people would all die of dehydration.

…oh, and folicin is one of the things that enrich Enriched Flour–the gubmint is already on this for your safety and convenience.

Now, if we can just keep the preggies out of the hot tubs (in the first 2 months), and get them to stop drinking alcohl & smoking and laying around all day, well THAT would be useful!

Some people do get vitamins (or at least minerals) in their drinking water. They call it “hard water” and run it through filters to get rid of it. Some things, at least, will precipitate out of the water and cause problems. Some things would probably taste terrible (there’s a reason you don’t usually chew vitamins). I imagine that things like ascorbic acid would be at least mildly corrosive to pipes. Probably some vitamins are just too damn expensive to end up spraying on the rhododendrons.

And some of the vitamins might degrade to useless or potentially harmful substances when left standing or when heated in hot water heaters.

Basically, if you eat right and/or take a multi-vitamin once in a while, it’s not necessary.

What Ingo said.

People’s vitamin needs vary from person to person so drastically that it is much easier to just produce pills so everyone can mix and match.

Vitamins are made out of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen etc; all good things that bacteria love to eat. If they dumped vitamins in at the water purification plant, we wouldn’t get vitamins out at the tap, we’d get water teeming with bacteria.
Fluoride on the other hand actually inhibits bacterial growth.

Fluoride occurs in natural water supplies, though not always in sufficient amounts for good dental health. Vitamins, OTOH, are in food and it is possible to get enough vitamins by eating a normal, balanced diet (vitaman C mega-dosers will disagree).

I don’t know how much it costs to fluoridate water but I’ll bet it gets expensive to add vitamins.

Some vitamins are not water-soluble.

This site sez:
"Eating a variety of foods that contain folate is the best way to get an adequate amount. Healthy individuals who eat a balanced diet rarely need supplements. "

Not to mention that Vitamins A, E, D and K are fat-soluble and wouldn’t go into solution in the water supply, as I understand the meaning of the term.

These are all very good reasons, some of which should have been obvious to me, but the best was the thing about the kiddies. OK, got it. Thank you all!


This doesn’t happen every day all over the US. I have talked to many women who KNEW they were supposed to take B, didn’t take it, and now their kid has spina bifida. And they are calling us for financial help. When it might have been prevented so easily.

It makes me so sad for these kiddies.

I also suspect that there is a cost issue. How does the cost of a “standard dose” of vitamins compare to one of flouride? Especially when you consider that the the vast majority of “drinking water” is not used for drinking. I don’t know about you, but my clothes and lawn don’t need Vitamin-C. :slight_smile:

Because it would sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

Well, some-one had to say it!

Enriching common foods and providing the poor with WIC “food baskets”, etc. are the better solutions. I think beer used to have some vitamins required to be in it. Anybody know if that’s right? If so, they should restart that and call it Beer for Mothers. :slight_smile: :dubious: :rolleyes: