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Listen to an interview with Bryce Sage on CBC's Metro Morning.

We all think we know vitamins – and we’re told they’re essential – but why do really need them and why can’t we produce them on our own? These are a few questions on the mind of intrepid filmmaker and health-freak Bryce Sage who travels from Washington, D.C. to San Francisco to get to the bottom of the vitamin mystery.

Bryce figures a good place to start is the 'daily values' numbers making up the nutrition guidelines on most of our food labels, which takes him to the National Institutes of Health to decode how those numbers are calculated. While a balanced diet is surely the best way to get our vitamins, Bryce learns we may not be getting exactly what we need because of nutrition declines due to modern agricultural practices.

Scene from the film: Our vegetables aren't nearly as nutritious as they were 50 years ago — Bryce visits Marin Organic Farms to find out why.

But before we turn to supplements, Bryce wants to know more. He visits a supplement factory to understand where they originate and even gets his blood tested for deficiency levels because he’s no stranger to playing the human guinea pig. He’ll investigate whether there’s such thing as too much of a good thing when it comes to vitamins.

Maybe the answers aren’t so black and white. What roles do geography and skin colour play in our need for Vitamin D, and could our genetics affect our individual needs for other vitamins? With vitamins and supplements in the controversial media spotlight – some singing their health-boosting praises and other claiming they cause cancer – the time is now to answer these questions.

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