The Dangers of Supplements and Vitamins
Do you know the best way to bathe your body in cancer-fighting, age-reducing and
brain-building chemicals? The answer is food, NOT supplements and
Study after study has shown that, in general, vitamins and supplements have not
done nearly as well as hoped for. In fact, that is actually being overly
polite: the truth is that most supplements and vitamins have not only
produced lackluster study results but often can be downright dangerous!
Of course, there's a lot of money to be made here and so rarely will your health
stores, gyms or vitamin shops tell you of these dangers. Remember:
the supplement industry is often no less corrupt than Big Pharma.
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Peak Testosterone we are into long term health and will lay all the facts on the
table. For example, in 2009 and 2010 researchers at Kansas State University
shattered the myth that "more is better" when it comes to antioxidants.
They found that large amounts of antioxidants - Vitamin C specifically in one
study - decreased a supposedly dangerous oxidant called peroxide, which is
critical for blood flow to muscles and arterial expansion.  That's
right - megadosing on antioxidants could potentially impact both muscle growth
Again, the list goes on and on, but it's MUCH safer to rely on
exercise, diet and
sleep for your health!
To give you a feeling just how precarious the supplement and vitamin industry has become, here is a list
of just some of the findings on some of the once-hoped-for blockbuster vitamins
- Vitamin C. Supplemental Vitamin C has been found to be a carcinogen
(nitrosamine) manufacturer if you have more than 10% fat in your stomach.
And, unless you are eating a Low Fat (or Ornish) Diet, you very likely will have
greater than 10% fat in your stomach.
- Vitamin E. Vitamin E has overall done very poorly in studies of heart
disease, cancer and the like. One likely reason: supplements
typically contain only one kind of Vitamin E, alpha tocopherol.
Supplementing with only alpha tocopherol actually lowers the body's most
critical form of tocopherol. One recent large scale study of 300,000
Europeans found that Vitamin E supplementation on average lowered lifespan and
decreased quality of life. 
- Iron. Almost none of the male multivitamins contain iron any more.
The reason is that only in rare cases to males need supplemental iron. And
extra iron is associated with increased heart disease. 
- Folic Acid. Late pregnancy folic acid supplemenation has been associated
with increased risk for childhood asthma.  Too much folic acid has been found to be associated with an increased
risk of GI cancers. It may accelerate leukemia in children as well. Some experts
even recommend against taking it in a multivitamin. Your body uses folate to
repair and copy DNA. Unfortunately, it looks like cancer cells use it as
well to accelerate their proliferation. PARTIAL EXONERATION: A recent large-scale,
study (on women
at least) showed that folic acid and the B vitamins did NOT increase total (or
breast) cancer risk "among women during the folic acid fortification era." 
- Antioxidants. The big name antioxidants of the 80's and 90's have been
dethroned one by one in studies of immunity, cancer and so on.
- Zinc. Your body has 2-3 g of zinc and over
300 zinc-containing enzymes.
 Adequate zinc is important for immunity, testosterone production and
estrogen control. However, zinc has a fairly tight therapeutic window.
Several studies have found increased zinc levels in the brains of Alzheimer
patients and many neurologists believe at too high a level it is hard on neurons.
Furthermore, overly high doses block copper absorption. Furthermore,
using 80 mg for one week showed a decreased immune response.  In other words,
zinc at 1-2 times the RDA of 15 mg boosts and helps immunity, but excess zinc
not much past that could actually suppress immunity.
- B Vitamins. Megadosing on B vitamins was once quite the health fad.
Now it is known to whack memory and neurons. 
- Calcium. At about 200% of RDA, Calcium is associated with an increased
risk of prostate cancer (due to the fact it lowers a key chemical in the body
- Niacin. Megadosing on niacin has several positive cardiovascular effects such
as lowering cholesterol. Unfortunately, it can be very hard on the liver at the
same time and, in addition, can deplete your body of the memory-building
- CoQ10. A
2009 study discovered that supplementing mice to an equivalent
human doses of 1700 mg/day led to hearing and memory loss.  1700 mg is
a very high daily dose but these high levels have been explored for various
conditions including ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). 
This list could go on and on. Contrast that with the fact that a
well-rounded diet with vegetables and fruit has been associated with reduction
in many cancers, autoimmune diseases and so on. This simply cannot be said
for vitamins and supplements.
So why does Peak Testosterone sometimes recommend vitamins and supplements?
1. There are a few supplements and vitamins that have an impeccable safety
record and rock-solid results, especially when taken at normal youthful tissue
2. Sometimes it is important and good to take supplements and vitamins
short term to get past a specific problem or issue that you are facing.
You do not want to become dependent on these for life necessarily, but they can
be a valuable tool to allow yourself to get back on your feet.
You will see supplements that fit #2 throughout the site. Finally, you may
to read my link on
What Vitamins Everyone Should
Consider Taking. Yes, there are some vitamins and supplement that can
hel almost everyone.
HYPERSUPPLEMENTATION: One writer, Ray Kurzweil,
has written that he takes
250 supplements per day and has his cholesterol, LDL, HDL at very optimal
levels. His cholesterol is 130 and his HDL is near 60 for example. His
motivation is apparently to live long enough until science can finally extend life to near
immortality through biotechnology and nanotechnology.
It will be interesting to
see how he does: the human body and mind is incredibly complex and there are
many subtle nuances. I cannot deny his excellent lipid profile and stats, but
feel it is likely that he will run into some sort of health issue from one or
more of these supplements.
However, even if that is true, he will deserve credit as a pioneer.
1) Circulation, 1994,89(3):969-74
2) Immunity & Ageing, 2009, 6:9, "The immune system and the impact of zinc during
aging", Hajo Haase and Lothar Rink
3) Bone Marrow Transplantation, 2004, 33:1241–1246, Published online 19 April
2004, "Zinc in pharmacological doses suppresses allogeneic reaction without
affecting the antigenic response"
4) J of Nutr, Published online ahead of print, "Prolonged Intake of Coenzyme Q10
Impairs Cognitive Functions in Mice"
5) Neurology, 2005 Dec 13, 65(11):1834-6, "Tolerance of high-dose (3,000 mg/day)
coenzyme Q10 in ALS"
6) JAMA, Nov 5 2008, 300(17), "Effect of Combined Folic Acid, Vitamin B6, and
Vitamin B12 on Cancer Risk in Women"
7) Amer J of Epidemiology, Received for publication July 7, 2009. Accepted for
publication August 31, 2009, "Effect of Supplemental Folic Acid in Pregnancy on
Childhood Asthma: A Prospective Birth Cohort Study"
9) Experimental Physiology, Published Online: 21 Jul 2009, 94(9):961-971, "The
effects of antioxidants on microvascular oxygenation and blood flow in skeletal
muscle of young rats"