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Monday, June 9, 2014

Are You Getting Enough Twigs in Your Diet?

Some time back, my doctor suggested I take CoQ-10, which I've been doing assiduously as I do everything my doctor says, provided it doesn't require me to change how much I exercise, how much I drink, how much I eat, or what I eat.  I'd never heard of CoQ-10 and to this day can't imagine why anyone would give a vitamin such an idiotic name.  Why not call it R2D2 while you're at it, or C3PO?

That's when it dawned on me: the Vitamin Industrial Complex is making this stuff up.  When I was a kid, the vitamin we all took was 1-a-Day, and a good, patriotic vitamin it was, too.  The name and the dose were identical, which is how they should call all things.  If you were older, the vitamin you took was Geritol, which was basically 1-a-Day but with gin.  Later, 1-a-Day began to call itself 1-a-Day with Iron, which meant it now had iron instead of being just a sugar pill, which it had been before.

Then, someone discovered Vitamin C, and a new word entered our vocabulary: mega-dose.  You couldn't just take one-a-day, oh, no.  It wasn't like the daily allowance of iron, which you could pretty much get by licking a mailbox; C you had to take in mega-doses.  D was another one.  Sunlight either, I forget which, broke down D or else activated it, so basically, unless you were Count Dracula, you needed a constant supply of D in an IV drip.

B Complex was the one that puzzled me.  Why did B get to be complex when all the others were simple?

Somewhere along the way a scientist let slip that there are a limited number of vitamins, and the alphabet was more than sufficient to name them all.  There would never be a need for vitamins X or Z, or even vitamin Q.  Vitamin E is the furthest planet in the vitamin solar system.  I do not know the scientist who divulged this, but you can bet if the AMA gets hold of him, his body will never be found.

Faced with a finite number of vitamins, the Vitamin Industrial Complex shifted its strategy to "supplements."  For example, fish oil.  (BP missed a PR opportunity when they didn't slap, "Now!  With More Oil!" on all the seafood coming out of the Gulf.)  Another one is "antioxidants;" you can sell the public liquefied lawn clippings so long as you say it's an antioxidant.  As far as I can make out, all the iron we ate back in the 50's and 60's is causing us to rust, and the antioxidants keep us from doing it.

This is in addition to ginko, echinacea, garlic, and zinc.

Starting today, I suggest you give up taking vitamins and just throw random things from the refrigerator, pantry, and spice cabinet - berries, nuts, that sour cream that's starting to turn, peanut butter, cumin, garlic powder, twigs, leaves - along with a generous handful of nails and sawdust into a blender and drink the result.

Let me know how it works.

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