Author(s): Catherine Price
The startling story of our devotion to vitamins - and how it keeps us from good health. Health-conscious Australians seek out vitamins any way they can, whether in a morning glass of orange juice, a piece of vitamin-enriched bread, or a daily multivitamin. We believe that vitamins are always beneficial and that the more we can get, the better - and yet despite this familiarity, few of us could explain what vitamins actually are. Instead, we outsource our questions to experts and interpret 'vitamin' as shorthand for 'health.' Yet despite a century of scientific research, there is little consensus around even the simplest of questions, whether it's exactly how much we each require or what these 13 dietary chemicals actually do. The one thing that experts do agree upon is that the best way to get our nutrients is in the foods that naturally contain them. Instead, we allow marketers to use the addition of synthetic vitamins to blind us to what else in food we might be missing, leading us to accept as healthy products that we might (and should) otherwise reject. Vitamania reveals the surprising story of how our embrace of vitamins led to today's Wild West of dietary supplements and investigates the complicated psychological relationship we've developed with these thirteen mysterious chemicals. In so doing, Vitamania both demolishes many of our society's most cherished myths about nutrition and challenges us to reevaluate our own beliefs.