Effects of vitamin deficiency.
Some vitamin effects take place in secret, so to speak, and the difference between a good and a poor vitamin supply only becomes visible after months, years or even decades. These are time periods that go far beyond the time frame of earlier vitamin studies. Precise new scientific findings can only be expected here after a long time. Especially in the case of vitamins with antioxidant effects, studies to find an optimal supply are difficult because damage caused by insufficient vitamin supply often only becomes visible after decades.
Although the biochemist or laboratory physician can estimate the antioxidative cell protection from some laboratory values, the influence on long-term health can only be reliably assessed and quantified under real time conditions.
The situation is similar with vitamin effects, which are supposed to ensure cancer protection or the maintenance of an efficient immune system in healthy individuals.
In this situation, the highly ethical health policy question arises whether one should wait until, for example, the cancer protection by antioxidant nutrients has been precisely measured, or whether one should already raise the vitamin recommendations when the positive trend is assured without any known harmful effect. This is the core question we currently have, especially with antioxidant vitamins.