Inside New Zealand Series Premiere: Are Vitamins Killing You?

9:30pm – Wednesday, October 28 on TV 3

Are the vitamins you’re taking actually making you healthier? Inside New Zealand: Are Vitamins Killing You?, screening on Wednesday, October 28th at 9:30pm on 3, explores this question by making eight volunteers – mostly high vitamins consumers – go cold turkey for six weeks.

Many New Zealanders believe the way to good health and longer life is through the daily use of vitamin supplements. But not everyone agrees. Professor Rod Jackson of Auckland University says the scientific evidence is clear – people who pop vitamin pills die younger.

“The best evidence is a review of over 60 randomised trials of almost a quarter of a million people worldwide – and the evidence is that those who take vitamins have an increased risk of death compared to those who don’t,” Professor Jackson explains.

To test this theory Inside New Zealand: Are Vitamins Killing You? asked eight high vitamins consumers to go without their daily doses for six weeks. The volunteers were then tested to find out whether their bodies are healthier on their pills – or not.

In addition to the experiment, the documentary will also be asking the opinions of nutrition experts, including Associate Professor Winsome Parnell from Otago University. “We have this perception that a vitamin pill will fix things quickly,” Dr Parnell says.

But despite our beliefs the latest research says that two vitamins – A and E – are potentially harmful when taken to excess. Furthermore there are some concerns about vitamin C as well. The concern is that many New Zealanders may be upping doses without being aware, mixing multi-vitamins, with fish oils and other assorted vitamin supplements.

But how could it be that vitamins might be doing us harm?

Professor Jackson says people who swallow vitamins tend to be very health conscious and do many things to help their well-being – they tend not to smoke, they eat well, and exercise.

“This masks the harmful effects of vitamins,” he explains. “I agreed to be part of this experiment because I believe our eight guinea pigs are doing themselves some harm, but we will see…”

Make sure not to miss this fascinating look into our vitamins when Inside New Zealand: Are Vitamins Killing You? screens on Wednesday, October 28th at 9:30pm on 3.

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