White Paper – Anthony Matias

Background: Are Multivitamins Bad For You?

The multivitamin supplement industry makes about 28 billion dollars annually, with around forty to fifty percent of Americans purchasing their supplements.  A multivitamin is a dietary supplement with vitamins, minerals and other nutritional elements. Which are available in the form of tablets, capsules, pastilles, powders and liquids.  The people who buy these supplements say they make them feel healthier or will prevent chronic diseases, or colds and flu.  They also feel that they don’t get enough from the food they eat so they turn to the supplements which claim to contain the daily recommended amount of many vitamins and minerals.  But, recent studies are saying that labels on these pills aren’t always true and don’t always provide accurate nutritional information because the FDA doesn’t put multivitamins through strict tests.  Other studies bring up a big question and that is, these pills might be doing harm to the body.

Counterintuitive Note:

People are taking these supplements because they think they will do good for the body and make them healthier.  But, these pills that they think are making them healthy might actually be putting them at a higher risk of getting sick.

Working Thesis:

Big companies are selling people supplements with little FDA regulation and without looking at the downside of the over consumption of vitamins and minerals.  The consumers think they are taking multivitamins to enhance their health or at least provide a safety net for their poor diets. But recent studies show concern that supplements may cause more harm than good.

Topics for Shorter Papers:

Uncertainty of Multivitamins

Multivitamins are sold everywhere, whether it’s supermarkets, health shops, pharmacies, general grocery stores or health clubs. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide take them regularly, without fail. But, what good do they do us? Many buyers who take them don’t even know.  If customers eat a poor diet, multivitamins can compensate. But we don’t know whether compensation really happens. Some studies have indicated that the people who take multivitamins the most are also the most health-conscious people. People who eat well and do exercise consume much larger quantities of multivitamins than those who eat badly and exercise the least.

The Wonders of a Well Balanced Diet

People should consider eating their vegetables. A well-balanced diet is, overall, better than taking vitamins. Healthy people who eat a reasonably well-balanced diet get adequate number of vitamins and minerals.  Nature has provided the fact that many vitamins and minerals work together and need one for the other to work. Vitamin supplements, on the other hand, don’t always balance the need of certain vitamins. And while it may seem a simple matter for people to self-diagnose their need for vitamins, it’s not as easy or as safe as it seems.  So the question is, eat vegetables or don’t forget all of the vitamins?

Other Short Essay Topics:                                                                                                                              Rebuttal- Why Multivitamins Are Good,  Health Problems Caused by Multivitamins.


I have plenty of articles and studies on both the benefits and harms of the use of multivitamins.  I have acquired a good chunk of knowledge on this topic, and able to handle short essay topics but I need to look at the recent studies more and understand the full purpose of their experiments/surveys.

Annotated Sources:

Vitamins: Separating Fact From Fiction

Vitamins and Supplements: Do They Work?

Do Multivitamins Really Work?

Multivitamins Good or Bad?

What Harm Can Vitamins Do? Studies Find a Few


This entry was posted in A09: My White Paper, Anthony Matias. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to White Paper – Anthony Matias

  1. adamtwths says:

    Anthony some good ideas for your paper might be:
    1. Find first hand accounts of how multivitamins affected people in a negative way. I’m sure there are some out there and it would make your paper stronger.
    2. You should find as much statistics as you can. With a topic like this its all about the facts so statistics favoring your side will really help.
    3. Really push the fact that the vitamin companies are greedy and care about money and not the welfare of people.
    Good luck this topic is really interesting

  2. davidbdale says:

    Hey, Anthony! It’s important to always aim for the bullseye in order to hit the target at all, so think of a way to persuasively claim that inaccurate labels on the pills might do people harm, either because they’re not getting enough of what they think they’re taking, or they’re getting too much, or the elements they do receive are actually harmful, or the lack of an element that should be there does harm. In other words, don’t dilute your thesis to: these pills could do a better job. Stay focused on: dependence on these pills does a body harm.

    It’s good to focus on overconsumption if that’s the best angle. If you’re headed there, I won’t argue, but it would narrow the value of the faulty label argument to: sometimes you get more than you think, or: the FDA recommendations are insane; nobody needs that much niacin and it can kill a person.

    The free-floating vagueness of your Uncertainty paragraph is unsettling. Surely we know something. For example, we know what happens to a person who gets no vitamin C. If your point is more along the lines of: you don’t need these things if you’re already eating well, you’re back on track. Good eaters who get enough C might suffer from too much C; in other words, a multivitamin on top of a good diet might do them more harm than good.

    If you can demonstrate that small point persuasively, you’ll have added valuable meaningful information to a topic about which most of us are poorly informed.

    Except as rebuttal material, I’m not much interested in good sources on the other side of the topic, once you decide which side is right. You’re not obligated to present pros and cons. Just know both sides so you can effectively refute the best claims of the guys who are wrong.

  3. davidbdale says:

    Anthony, you’ve apparently not revised your White Paper since my notes. You really should respond in some way, and also ask what the blue notes are all about. If you ignore them, they’re likely to infect your later papers too. You also haven’t yet provided links to your sources.
    Grade Recorded.

  4. anthonymatias97 says:

    I have updated my white paper and I will be posting my defention essay soon. But, I won’t be able to make it to class today because I have a doctors appointment at 3:30. I was sick all weekend so my parents made me an appointment. Can I also schedule a meeting for after class on Thursday to go over my defention essay?

  5. davidbdale says:

    As always, I read everything as new instead of going back to compare the latest version with earlier drafts. The original must have been messed up. This new grade is a significant improvement.

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