Posted in Blog Archive

Posted by abeodbart November 29, 2011 at 8:47 am


“Taking supplements may lead to poorer health, not because of what they do to your body, but what they do to your mind.
When people take supplements they get a false sense of invulnerability, a new study shows. And that can translate into a greater tendency to head down the path of risky behavior.

The intriguing study published in Psychological Science, found that people didn’t even need to be given real supplements for this devil-may-care attitude to develop – they just needed to be told they were swallowing something healthful.

For their study, Taiwanese researchers gave placebo pills to 82 volunteers, half of whom were told the capsules contained vitamins. The rest were told the truth – that these were simply sugar pills.

The big surprise came when the researchers surveyed the two groups. Those taking phony supplements reported a greater sense of invulnerability and less of a desire to exercise. They also were more likely to consider engaging in casual sex, sunbathing and binge-drinking.

At the end of the study the two groups were told they could choose between a healthful meal and an all-you-can-eat buffet. Sure enough, more of those in the group who were told they’d taken a supplement said they’d prefer the buffet.”

Read more at MSNBC (Thanks Annette)

November 29, 2011 at 8:53 am

GREAT! I’ve been taking Berocca for years – when’s all the ‘casual sex’ supposed to kick in?

November 29, 2011 at 9:04 am
notjarvis says:

Very interesting stuff.

Reminds me of a line Mo had from Eastenders “I can’t have put on weight this week – I’ve had a salad with every single meal!”

You often see this with people who go to the Gym and stuff too – where they fell they have done something healthy, so they “deserve” chocolate cake when they get home

November 29, 2011 at 9:12 am
Marticca says:

This actually makes a lot of sense, it’s pretty much in the same prospective as a study I did in psychology, where alcoholics who receive new livers after years of binge drinking and dangerous alcoholism will near enough always go back to their old ways with the reassurance of a brand new shiny liver.

This is why I feel the transplant list should be much more stricter with their priorities.

But when it comes to vitamins, I knew a young pregnant girl who smoked and drank with the defense that the vitamins should help the baby enough and therefore the smoking and drink shouldn’t do as much harm.

It’s a false sense of health and security.

November 29, 2011 at 9:21 am
Berber Anna says:

Hm. I’m afraid I don’t value vitamins highly enough, then, as I don’t feel invulnerable at all. I take a multivitamin because a) I got the jar for free in a goodie bag, b) I need to take vitamin D on doctor’s orders anyway and that’s part of the multi, and c) I’m hoping it’ll offer some protection against UTIs and colds (although evidence on this is shaky).

I don’t exercise because I can’t convince myself that walking or running makes sense when I’m not going anywhere (though I do take walks when I’m out doing some nature photography), but I don’t have casual sex, sunbathe or drink either. And I don’t like all you can eat buffets, because I can never finish more than a plate and a half which makes it a waste of money.

Interesting study, though.

November 29, 2011 at 9:33 am

I think ‘healthful’ is a dreadful neologism. I had better go and take my tablets.

November 29, 2011 at 9:43 am
Thomas says:

MSNBC give no reference to a source. We’re supposed to just *believe* this because it’s been on the news?
It sounds feasible, but feasible does not equal true. The linked article could be a product of the same pharmaceutical schmoozing that has brought the EU in their infinite unelected wisdom to ban supplements all together, albeit in the Land of the Fry.
I’m no proponent of hocus-pocus quackery, but some of that health-foods gubbins is pretty good for you if you don’t rely on it to cure cancer.

November 29, 2011 at 10:46 am
Chrissi says:

Sorry to be a pedant, but *really* – “HEALTHFUL”? Sheesh.

November 29, 2011 at 3:35 pm
roz says:

AWRIGHT!! now where did i put the vitamin bottle…

November 29, 2011 at 5:43 pm
Nick says:

This is brilliant. Debauchery is a word I haven’t heard for a long time. How would one find a more humble out look, rather than debauched, arrogant, self centred, escapist behaviour? What sort of front is such behaviour and what does it hide? How easy is it to appeal to someone’s arrogance? As soon as people get any sort of “edge” these days we blow it for ourselves and others. Why are we all so ugly :P? Maybe it is just me … Self love, ego, avoiding potential responsiveness at the expense of others because it feels good ..? What about it feels good ..?

How quick are we to forget our own values and why? Values such as striving for the sake of everyone including ourselves. What do we get to keep by revelling in self-centred lives?

Sorry about that, it was just an article on vitamins 😛

November 29, 2011 at 10:58 pm
Sabina says:

Hahahaha that’s clearly where Ive been going wrong. *throws vitamins away* This is my new excuse for smoking, drinking and getting myself into dangerous situations. It’s all your fault vitamins!

December 6, 2011 at 4:11 pm
alan says:

Thanks a lot. So all I really need is any blue pill that has a V for vitamins stamped on it?

December 7, 2011 at 12:40 pm
Wayne says:

Interesting study how ever i wouldn’t say a multi vitamin is necessarily a bad thing. Poor nutrition is the 2nd biggest contributor to cancer, first being smoking. Although its certainly no replacement for exercise it helps the immune system especially for older people with weakened systems. The food we eat now a days just doesn’t contain the nutrients we need due to companies putting more preservatives for shelf life. The air we breathe is more polluted than fresh and the water contains fluoride.


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