Too much of a good thing?

It’s tough to criticize a fellow who is willing to give away millions of his own money to help less fortunate folks get healthier. And to be fair, nobody is accusing former CNRL boss Allan Markin and his Pure North health program as having anything but the best intentions.
Pure North offers vitamin supplements to folks in shelters and at food banks. Dieticians and others have been questioning for years the wisdom and propriety of the amounts involved – especially of Vitamin D. In some cases it’s dozens of times higher than what’s recommended by Health Canada as necessary or safe. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, and that includes vitamins. The criticism is all over the news lately, thanks to a CBC report that found the Alberta government of the day gave $10 million to Pure North to support one of its programs – despite questions and criticisms from dieticians that were on the record.
Why it may be of particular interest in Slave Lake is that Pure North offered its health tests and supplements to the first responders in the area after the 2011 wildfire disaster. A source told The Leader the ones who took part got to go back whenever they wanted and stock up on the supplement packages. That’s how it worked – nobody pays. Whether they were helped or hurt (or neither) by what some are saying are excessive amounts of vitamins – we don’t have any evidence one way or the other.
Vitamins are necessary, obviously. But there are thresholds and according to some people who should know what they are talking about, Pure North goes too far.
Said André Picard in a 2015 Globe and Mail article, “Yes, people with adequate vitamin D levels have less disease. But it does not follow that pumping everyone full of supplements will make them healthier. Enthusiasm for this panacea simply doesn’t match the scientific evidence.”

Share this post