The Supplement Effect


After reading an article from New York Times on supplements, it made me contemplate on all the advertisements and methodologies that enticed people to buy them….. Their common strategy to boost their profit: targeting on health and prevention. Though some vitamins are useful for those who are in need, do healthy individuals especially young adults really need to supplement their diets?

I am annoyed when I see a healthy, active person taking handfuls of multi-vitamin pills. In my mind, I question… what are you doing to your body, is your diet that bad, what is the reason???  Similarly, my aunt who is a quite healthy and athletic were taking glucosamine religiously to improve her joints. According to her, an avid athlete  in his 60s said the joint juice helped him dramatically; he no longer had joint pains and felt stronger. Again and again, these anecdote and false associations with health are commonly believed by naive individuals who are linguistically- isolated from real medical facts.  Glucosamine is a joint juice between the joints and by ingesting those juices will not miraculously regenerate them at those interstitial regions. My professor mentioned that the benefits from glucosamine juice is like any other sugar drink or liquid that replenishes your glucose levels and hydrates your body. Perhaps, this is why many assume that glucosamine works. Perhaps, it is the placebo effect of drinking the liquid that helps them.

I’m curious why people are start taking supplements. How did they start taking supplements? I wonder if they feel more confident about their health when they take their vitamins. Do they feel the difference between not taking the supplements versus taking the supplements. Is it a placebo effect? Is the placebo effect a way we deceive  our mind and body without knowing consciously? It’s funny how we can deceives our mind/ brain-body. This reminds me of the the article in American Scientific: Mind where it talks about how even a fake smile can make you feel better (b/c it tricks the mind in thinking that you’re happy when you smile). In this case, is the placebo effect amplifying the body’s natural ability to heal? Is our mind the powerhouse for healing? This is so mysterious and amazing. This mean our thoughts and expression must be powerful?

Just for fun, here’s my imitation of the smiling cat that I dedicated to one of my ex-roommates last year? Oh I miss them. Anyways…Smile!   -S

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One thought on “The Supplement Effect

  1. vitamins remind me of my old boss. He used to take 10 pills of vitamin everyday.

    Even though i’ve been stressing over the finals next week, I will remember to SMILE~!

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