Are you challenging the claim that vitamin supplements contain compounds that are essential for life(not exclusively) and when ingested are metabolized by the body and put to use?
I’ve already answered this in previous posts:
Yes, vitamins are essential. That is part of their definition. No, there is no evidence to support that your daily multivitamin has a beneficial effect on your health, whether you feel it does or not. It probably also does little harm, but both benefit and harm have to be determined by research evidence, not just “common sense,” how you feel, or whatever else you are suggesting.
Something can be essential and harmful at the same time. Oxygen is essential, and prolonged exposure to high levels can cause death. Water is essential, and drinking to much at once can kill you. Vitamins are essential, and getting more than you need can be harmful. This does not only mean megadosing, though of course the risk is greater the higher the dose. If you get all that is essential from your ordinary diet, which most people do (though I understand you don’t believe that), then any additional is extra and unecessary, useless at best and posisbly harmful. Extra supplementation of essential vitamins can be useless.
The fact that vitamins are essential doesn’t mean that you are getting any benefit from a supplement unless you have a vitamin deficient diet or a specific medical condition for which a supplment is indicated. And even though supplements can have specific benefits in particular situations, the proof of this comes from controlled research, not from the mere fact that they are biologically active compounds or the anecdote you provided to support taking them.
Could the feeling of less energy and focus I experienced be caused from the result of me abstaining from vitamins for 6 days?
Yes it could. Or it could be do to many other causes. Only controlled research can distinguish between the appearance of a causal relationship where one doesn’t exist and a real causal relationship. The classic example is that the presence of matches in your pocket is associated with lung cancer, so one could argue that matches cause lung cancer. The real explanation, of course, is that smoking causes lung cancer and carrying matches is correlated with smoking but by itself has no effect on cancer risk. Science exists to identify caual relationships because things aren’t always what they seem.
So what you are saying is every time someone has a headache and takes and aspirin, a scientific examination must take place to ensure that the pain was relieved by the aspirin.
If you make the claim: “I took aspirin and my headache went away.” you don’t have to prove anything. This is just an observation of a sequence of events. However , if you say “Aspirin is an effective treatment for headaches” and your only evidence for this is “I took aspirin and my headache went away,” you haven’t proven the first claim. To again use an analogy, people with cancer often pray to be healed, and sometimes their cancer goes away. This does not, however, prove prayer cured their cancer. That requires controlled research.
The whole point here is not about how you feel. If you feel better taking supllements, I couldn’t possibly argue that you don’t, and I don’t have any interest in talking you out of doing so. But if you use your feelings as evidence in an argument that taking supplements is good, or healthy, or that people can expect to feel better when taking them because you do, then your reasoning isn’t sound. And if you take supplements despite controlled scientific evidence that they are of no value and increase your disease risk slightly, then there’s nothing wrong with my pointing to that evidence and suggesting that it is probably more reliable a guide to the truth than your individual experience.
My whole point in post #152 above was that personal experiences are very psychologically compelling and hard to ignore, and they are also unreliable, and the combination makes it really hard to convince people that their experiences may not be a good guide to what’s true, whether we are talking about religion or dietary supplements. I’m not suggesting you are any different than any of the rest of us in this. In fact the anger that you express at having your beliefs challenged is very common among proponents of all kinds of health-related beliefs, religious beliefs, political beliefs, and all sorts of other beliefs. People don’t like being told that they way things feel to them may not reflect how things actually are, which is part of why skepticism and science are so often disliked or disregarded. But I think a strong case exists that controlled scientific research works better than individual trial and error in deciding what is healthy and what isn’t. I’m truly not trying to offend you or challenege your “lifestyle,” but this seems the appropriate place to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of different kinds of evidence.