Vitamin Supplements

            Vitamin supplements: What do most Americans need?.

             Vitamin supplements: What do most Americans need? That is the question I will be attempting to answer in the following few pages. To start, I will talk about their beginning as well as their recent growth in popularity in the past decade. I will discuss the medical views that are for and against the use of supplements, what types are most important, and what types people need. To conclude, I will tell about the supplements that I take and whether I will continue to do so.

             Many years ago, there existed diseases such as scurvy, rickets, and everyday colds. These illnesses were the cause of a lot of sickness and sometimes led to other illness and death. Chemists looked everywhere for a cure. Then came the first supplement to become popularized in its uses this was vitamin C. This wonder pill was said to help the body fight colds and other sickness. With the discovery and use of these new vitamins the Food and Nutrition Board convened in 1941 to determine adequate dietary intakes of essential nutrients. At this time deficiency diseases were a common public-health problem. Since that meeting, with the process of food fortification and improved diets, these diseases have been relatively uncommon except in the poor and elderly. In 1943, the first Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) were published. (Skerrett, 25) These amounts were stated in what amounts were just enough to maintain good health, as that any more would just be excreted by the body or build up in the tissues.

             Vitamin supplements have grown in popularity at a pretty constant rate since their development, but have become especially popular in recent years. The baby boomer generation that grew up on healthy diets is finding it hard to maintain that healthy lifestyle, and would rather now just pop a pill. Some experts fear that we will become dependent on these supplements and find everyone taking 50-60 different pills each day.

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