Just expensive pee?

Are vitamins just expensive pee?

By Dr. David Hatton

Ever heard that taking vitamin is like throwing money down the drain?

First, let's debunk this saying right now. Good quality vitamins do not create expensive pee.

Let's start with some back ground information.

When it comes to vitamins and minerals, there are two categories that each can be classified into:

  • water soluble
  • fat soluble.

Vitamin A, D, E, and K are all fat soluble and are able to be stored in the body to be utilized at a later point when they are needed.

The remaining vitamins, such as vitamin C, are water soluble and only stay in the body for a short period of time.

Once these vitamins are absorbed and utilized by the body, the vitamin waste products are filtered out of the blood and excreted in the urine.

So what happens when we take higher doses of vitamins?

For this purpose we will focus on vitamin C. Higher doses of vitamin C are often taken when people feel sick to help boost the immune. If the vitamin C taken is a poor quality supplement, only a small benefit will seen.

Poor supplement quality is a waste of money.

However, good quality vitamin C in the form of L-Ascorbic acid will be utilized by the body to scavenge free radicals, which are damaging if left in the body, and be converted to the oxidized form diketogulonic acid.

Once it has been used by the body and converted, the kidneys filter it out as it is no longer beneficial to the body.

Higher doses of vitamins doesn't just create expensive pee. The body is using the vitamins at a high and effect rate before eliminating the utilized form that is no longer useful.

The key is to make sure the supplements that you are using are the correct form and at the appropriate therapeutic dose. 

Many research articles are based around testing the urine content for vitamins after they have been consumed to determine the exact amount that is excreted in urine. In this way, it allows results to show how much the body is absorbing and utilizing.

However, when this form of testing is done, the different forms of vitamins are all clumped together such as seen in the example of vitamin C.

L-Ascorbic acid, dehydro-L-ascorbic acid and diketogulonic acid are all labelled as vitamin C, which is very misleading as different forms indicate different bio availability in the body.

To break this down from a long story to a short line, yes it is beneficial to be take a good quality vitamin supplement and it isn't just a recipe for expensive pee.

When looking at the rack of vitamins at the health food store, it is always important to know which will be most beneficial and which your body needs. This way you can avoid spending money on products your body will not absorb and ultimately creating expensive pee.

Your body, your health.

Dr. David Hatton is a naturopathic physician and co-founder of Helix Integrative Health in Kelowna. Check out www.helixintegrativehealth.ca for more information.


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