Skip to comments.Vitamin Studies Spell Confusion for Patients
Posted on 10/14/2011 7:20:30 PM PDT by decimon
If it's Monday, it must be bad news about multivitamin day -- or was that Wednesday? No, Wednesday was good news about vitamin D, not so good news about vitamin E -- if you're confused, join the club.
The alphabet soup of vitamin studies making headlines in the last few weeks has left more than one head spinning, and most clinicians scrambling for answers.
As the dust begins to settle, physicians interviewed by MedPage Today and ABC News agreed on a bit of simple wisdom -- a healthy diet is more important than a fistful of supplements.
"I had already asked my patients to stop their vitamin supplements four to five years ago, with the exception of those with a deficiency of vitamin D, ... pregnant patients [who should get] folate and prenatal multivitamins, or those with cognitive impairment, when I would recommend a vitamin B complex," Albert Levy, MD, a primary care physician in New York, said in an email to MedPage Today and ABC News.
Whether patients heed the advice is another question, as recent research has shown that more take supplements now than ever before. More than half of Americans report taking a multivitamin or other dietary supplement, up from 40% just two decades ago.
(Excerpt) Read more at abcnews.go.com ...
Bottom line: The FDA wants to control all vitamins and supplements, so that nobody can have them without government permission. Therefore, a bureaucratic push to make the public think these things are too dangerous for the public to have.
Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.
I thought that’s what cults do ,control the diet and you control the mind
“The FDA wants to control everything”
It’s a money thing.
I have taken a large number of vitamins for the last 15 years.
I am never sick. Is it my own immunity or the vitamins..I don’t know.
And I probably never will.
But any time the FDA gets involved...we need to worry.
I have been drinking inhuman quantities of Diet Coke for 20 years now. All the health nuts have been telling me my head will fall off or something.
Lift weights, eat protein, watch the carbs, and wash it down with Diet Coke to look good and feel good.
Follow the money.....
“Vitamins - Bad....Viagra - Good”
“Generic - Bad....Name Brand - Good”
(a lesson in following the money.....)
From a scientific standpoint, it makes absolutely no sense to think that we somehow need to take large quantities of purified or synthesized vitamins, when the human race has existed for the last million years or so without them. If you eat a balanced diet, you shouldn’t need vitamins.
Vitamin companies have done a very good job of convincing people that they absolutely need to pop handfuls of vitamin pills.
You asserted, "If you eat a balanced diet, you shouldnt need vitamins." I don't know your educational background, but it is a well documented medical fact that genetics come into play on how well and for how long during the lifetime vitamins and minerals are absorbed. I happen to not absorb certain vitamins as well at 66 a I did at 30. I'm thankful supplementation can make up the deficit and extra anti-oxidants can slow my going blind.
My educational background is a PhD in biochemistry/molecular biology.
The problem with trying to present a general truth, is that there is always a pathological process that makes exceptions to the truth.
Human beings did not evolve popping megavitamins; it makes utterly no sense to assume that a healthy individual should need to pop megavitamins to remain healthy, when that is not how we evolved.
Unfortunately, too many people assume that because something is true within a pathological context, it must be generally true—and that is not the case at all. Diabetics must severely limit their intake of sugar; that does not mean that everyone needs such drastic limits. With the disclaimer that I have not read any studies regarding the role of antioxidant vitamins in slowing the progress of macular degeneration, and so cannot judge their reliability, I’ll just say that because taking megadoses of these vitamins has a beneficial effect in your case, does not mean that it would be equally beneficial to people without your condition.
While we have a much more healthy variety and abundance of 'healthy foods' in our current epoch, we also have an abundance of carcinogenic and mutagenetic chemicals in our environment which are man-made and not a part of the earlier epochs. Supplementation can be benenficial in dealing with these dangerous chemicals.
“a million years” ago humans probably didn’t live past 25...
But as we evolved over millions of years, life expectancy was not what we hope for today. People suffered from all sorts of diseases mediated by vitaHin deficiencies, from the obvious rickets (which often caused death in childbed in an age before Caesarean sections), visual problems, osteoporosis, cancers potentially linked to Vitamin D deficiencies, and so forth. People lived short lives full of suffering. We’d like to do a bit better now. We have a not-unrealistic expectation that we’ll be able to live long, healthy lives and remain active into our eighties.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to do that with today’s “balanced diet.” By the time that tomato arrives at your house after its trip from Holland, or the green pepper gets here from California, or the grape is eaten after being shipped from Chile, it’s questionable whether much nutrition remains in it. A valid case can be made that people who don’t raise their own food ought to take supplements just to restore the nutrition that is supposed to be in a balanced diet.
It’s also been clearly demonstrated that the office worker who lives north of Charleston, South Carolina is not getting enough Vitamin D because he isn’t exposed to enough sunlight in the winter, especially if he’s black. This phenomenon has been linked to the increasing incidence of asthma in black children. One may reasonably assert that it’s appropriate for those who live in northern latitudes to take Vitamin D supplements.
And are you really going to be able to consume enough dairy foods to take in 1500 mg per day of calcium needed to sustain strong bones into old age? You can eat a “balanced diet,” whatever that may consist of, and still have osteopenia or osteoporosis after menopause. So calcium and Vitamin D supplements may be appropriate.
There’s just too much sound science demonstrating that some supplements really do improve health and the quality of life.
I usually avoid using qualifiers. Not because I’m trying to hide anything, but because once I go down that path, I can end up writing a VERY long post and still not succeed in explaining every single qualifier. And after all that, my original point has not changed.
And you are correct, a “balanced diet” is an extremely broad entity. In considering any particular nutrient, it seems that there is a minimum quantity we must have, and a maximum quantity beyond which the effects become deleterious; anything between those two limits is fine. We’re very adaptable; that very adaptability means that the variability in what might be called a “balanced diet” is huge.
For the most part, I don’t worry much about carcinogens or mutagens in the environment. With all of the clean air and water regulations we have, those aren’t really an issue. Now, if we lived near a Mexican maquiladora (or however that’s spelled), where no attempts at all are made to control effluents, I’d be worried. In any case, much of our food, especially of plant origin, contains plenty of native toxins (many of which are potential carcinogens). We’ve evolved a very complex system to deal with them.
PS....I eat healthy and have most of my life, I exercise and have most of my life....never smoked....but, menopause almost killed me. My maternal grandfather died in his sleep of either a massive cardio problem or something similar (he was thin).....I will take vitamins because I think they help, and because people are DIFFERENT! As people age their abilities to process nutrients can change for the worse...IMHO...oh, and I have a doc who is a MD and ND....who does research and teaches....I’ll listen to him.
PS..PS...meant to say my grandfather was 50 when he died.
“Bottom line: The FDA wants to control all vitamins and supplements, so that nobody can have them without government permission. Therefore, a bureaucratic push to make the public think these things are too dangerous for the public to have.”
Exactly Correct: No debates or studies or any crap like that needed. This is yet another big central government takeover.
When are we going to say enough?
Your assumption is false. Ever since the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey results were published nearly forty years ago, it has been established that a majority of U.S. childred do not ingest the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamins C and D every day, and that 90% do not ingest enough iron. And many nutrition scientists regard the RDA levels as way too low, since they are based on those levels required to prevent the symptoms of deficiency disease, NOT the levels required for optimum health.
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