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Is Healthy Living Ever Easy?

So I'm watching the news, and the health report comes on.  Usually, I just ignore the health report.  It's either shit I already know (too much red meat is bad for you) or oversimplified to the point of being wrong ("You can lose weight if you exercise just 15 minutes a day!"  Not if you eat three chocolate bars a day).  Anything that is a genuine medical or health breakthrough usually winds up in the regular news section.  When it comes to news, the "health" label means "worthless".

I'm cleaning the kitchen when the report comes on about multivitamins.  According to a study (no, I don't know which one, they didn't say.  You know as much as I do), multivitamins should be kept in the fridge.  No surprise, that's old knowledge.  It was old when Kyan Douglas mentioned it on Queer Eye.  But here's the dumb part -- according to the study, vitamins can lose their effectiveness and become no better than placebos in as little as a week.

I just stared at the screen.

A week from when?

A week from manufacture?  Which means shipping your vitamins to the store could potentially cut their nutritional value in half.

Or is it half?  What is the rate of decay?

And who knows how long the vitamins were in the stock room in the back before being put on the shelves?  If we accept the one week figure as correct, then given manufacture, packaging, transport, and storage, you might as well just buy M&M's (which might not be a bad idea, they certainly taste better).

And the thing is, I KNOW this is bullshit.  They cited vitamin C tablets as rapidly breaking down.  I keep a stockpile of vitamin C for when I get a really bad random cold that won't go away.  I know how my body reacts to them.  And they keep for months without losing their potency.  I don't know about years, since I don't keep the stockpile that big and usually go through them eventually.  Then again, if you are keeping vitamins for years, lost potency is the least of your worries.

The news media makes a lot of money keeping us afraid of things.  Afraid of the world, afraid of people, afraid of everything except what we should be afraid of.  It's done in ways big and small.  And when what they say you should be afraid of things that defy common sense, hide your wallet.  Fast.

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