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Vitamin Pills May Not Be Good For You (10th October, 2011)

A new report says vitamin pills probably don’t help us to live longer. Scientists from the University of Minnesota in America say taking vitamin pills does not prevent serious illnesses. The research team goes on to say that pills actually increase the death rate in older women. This could be bad news for the multivitamin industry in the USA. Americans spend up to $20 billion a year to supplement their diet. About half of U.S. adults take dietary supplements.

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The research team’s survey asked about the use of vitamins A, B, C, D and E as well as minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Dr Jaakko Mursu said: "There is very little evidence showing that common dietary supplements would be beneficial in [stopping] major…diseases." He added that if you eat healthily, you don’t need vitamin pills, saying: "Include as many vegetables and as much fruit as you can…they contain a whole lot of vitamins and minerals."

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PHRASE MATCH

Match the following phrases from the article.

Paragraph 1

1.

vitamin pills probably don’t help

a.

serious illnesses

2

prevent

b.

$20 billion a year

3.

increase the death rate

c.

us to live longer

4.

bad news for the multivitamin

d.

supplements

5.

Americans spend up to

e.

industry

6.

dietary

f.

in older women

 

Paragraph 2

1.

the use of vitamins

a.

healthily

2

very little

b.

A, B, C, D and E

3.

beneficial in stopping

c.

minerals

4.

eat

d.

as you can

5.

as much fruit

e.

major diseases

6.

vitamins and

f.

evidence


LISTENING GAP FILL

A new report says vitamin pills _____________________ us to live longer. Scientists from the University of Minnesota in America say taking vitamin pills does not _____________________. The research team _____________________ that pills actually increase the death rate in older women. This could be bad news for the _____________________ in the USA. Americans spend up to _____________________ to supplement their diet. About half of U.S. adults take _____________________.

The research team’s survey asked about _____________________ A, B, C, D and E as well as minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Dr Jaakko Mursu said: "There is _____________________ showing that common dietary supplements _____________________ in [stopping] major…diseases." He added that _____________________, you don’t need vitamin pills, saying: "_____________________ vegetables and as much fruit as you can…they _____________________ of vitamins and minerals."


MULTIPLE CHOICE

A new report says vitamin pills (1) ____ don’t help us to live longer. Scientists from the University of Minnesota in America (2) ____ taking vitamin pills does not prevent (3) ____ illnesses. The research team goes on to say that pills (4) ____ increase the death rate in older women. This could be (5) ____ news for the multivitamin industry in the USA. Americans spend up to $20 billion a year to supplement (6) ____ diet. About half of U.S. adults take dietary supplements.

The research team’s survey (7) ____ about the use of vitamins A, B, C, D and E as (8) ____ as minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Dr Jaakko Mursu said: "There is very (9) ____ evidence showing that common dietary supplements would be beneficial in [(10) ____] major…diseases." He added that if you eat healthily, you don’t need vitamin pills, (11) ____: "Include as many vegetables and as much fruit as you can…they contain a (12) ____ lot of vitamins and minerals."

Put the correct words from this table into the article.

1.

(a)

probable

(b)

probability

(c)

probably

2.

(a)

talk

(b)

say

(c)

speak

3.

(a)

series

(b)

serious

(c)

serial

4.

(a)

actual

(b)

actuality

(c)

actually

5.

(a)

bad

(b)

good

(c)

well

6.

(a)

they’re

(b)

there

(c)

their

7.

(a)

asked

(b)

questioned

(c)

popped

8.

(a)

good

(b)

well

(c)

tasty

9.

(a)

little

(b)

tiny

(c)

small

10.

(a)

stopping

(b)

stops

(c)

stopped

11.

(a)

speaking

(b)

talking

(c)

saying

12

(a)

hole

(b)

whole

(c)

holy


SPELLING

Spell the jumbled words (from the text) correctly.

Paragraph 1

1.

A new trepro

2.

help us to live gonelr

3.

akingt vitamin pills

4.

ernvpet serious illnesses

5.

snirceae the death rate

6.

adults take edityar supplements

 

Paragraph 2

7.

The research team’s yesvru

8.

manrslei such as calcium

9.

very little eveinced

10.

rjaom diseases

11.

eat yhitlehla

12.

onancit a whole lot of vitamins


PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

evidence showing that common dietary supplements would be beneficial in

(    )

rate in older women. This could be bad news for the multivitamin

(    )

The research team’s survey asked about the use of vitamins A, B, C, D

1  )

A new report says vitamin pills probably don’t help us to live longer. Scientists from

(    )

industry in the USA. Americans spend up to $20 billion a year to supplement

(    )

need vitamin pills, saying: "Include as many vegetables and as much

(    )

fruit as you can…they contain a whole lot of vitamins and minerals."

(    )

and E as well as minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Dr Jaakko Mursu said: "There is very little

(    )

[stopping] major…diseases." He added that if you eat healthily, you don’t

(    )

illnesses. The research team goes on to say that pills actually increase the death

(    )

their diet. About half of U.S. adults take dietary supplements.

(    )

the University of Minnesota in America say taking vitamin pills does not prevent serious


WORD JUMBLE

With a partner, put the words back into the correct order.

1.

to     probably     us     longer     pills     help     live     Vitamin     don’t.    

2.

not     Taking     prevent     vitamin    serious    pills    illnesses     does.

3.

Bad     for     multivitamin     news     the     industry.    

4.

a     Americans     to     billion     up     $20     year     spend.    

5.

.     adults     take     dietary     supplements     Half     of     U.S.    

6.

calcium     as     such     minerals     as     well     As.    

7.

There     evidence     little     very     is.    

8.

dietary     would     beneficial     Common     supplements     be.    

9.

eat     need     If      healthily     pills,    you     vitamin     you      don’t.  

10.

lot     whole     a     contain     They     vitamins     of.    


DISCUSSION (Write your own questions)

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________


WRITING

Write about vitamin pills for 10 minutes. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________


HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. VITAMIN PILLS: Search the Internet and find more information about vitamin pills. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about vitamin pills. Include imaginary interviews with doctors who are for and against vitamin pills. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

4. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

5. LETTER: Write a letter to a vitamin pill expert. Ask him/her three questions about vitamin pills. Give him/her three of your opinions on them. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Your partner will answer the questions you asked.

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