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treatments for flu?
Posted: 08 February 2013 07:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Doug’s right. Study after study has shown that Vitamin C is useless as a cold treatment or preventative. Linus Pauling championed this idea back in the 50’s and it has gotten a life of its own that no amount of science seems to be able to beat down. It just goes to show that even a Nobel prize winning scientist can sometimes fall victim to irrational beliefs.

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Posted: 08 February 2013 08:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Even though it has no effect on the common cold, can it effect the complications derived from a cold? and what about vitamin C tablets instead of the recommended five servings of fruit and veggies? Also, does cigarette smoking effect your level of vitamin C or is that woo?


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Posted: 08 February 2013 08:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 08 February 2013 08:31 AM

Even though it has no effect on the common cold, can it effect the complications derived from a cold? and what about vitamin C tablets instead of the recommended five servings of fruit and veggies? Also, does cigarette smoking effect your level of vitamin C or is that woo?

Cap’t Jack

Vitamin C has not been shown to have any effect on reducing the chance of catching a cold or on reducing the severity of symptoms when you have a cold. As far as taking vitamins of any kind instead of eating fruits and veggies, that is never a good idea. We are not sure what components of fruits and vegetables account for all of the benefits they impart contrary to what Dr. Oz and the vitamin industry would like everyone to believe. There is no pill substitute for a good diet.

As far as cigarette smoking and vitamin C I would have to research that. I seem to recall that there is a connection of some sort but I can’t say for sure. At any rate, if the point of the question is whether cigarette smokers should take Vitamin C to overcome a tobacco induced deficiency, the short answer is they should quit smoking rather than take a pill to try and compensate for just one of a hundred harmful effects of smoking.

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Posted: 08 February 2013 09:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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As far as cigarette smoking and vitamin C I would have to research that. I seem to recall that there is a connection of some sort but I can’t say for sure. At any rate, if the point of the question is whether cigarette smokers should take Vitamin C to overcome a tobacco induced deficiency, the short answer is they should quit smoking rather than take a pill to try and compensate for just one of a hundred harmful effects of smoking.

I don’t remember where I even heard this info and can’t find anything substantial on the Internet that makes any sense so I thought I’d throw it out. We’ve been trying to get our son to quit for years, he’s 39, and even though he’s cut back still hasn’t put them down for good. I agree that getting C the natural way is best, if nothing else for the fiber in the plants. I happen to like all fruits and veggies, especially the leafy ones so that’s not a problem. Thanks again for the info Mac.And as to Oz, I caught about 2 minutes of his show yesterday while channel surfing and he claimed that rage was not our fault! He showed several people (obviously staged) raging over the phone or in face to face confrontations and alluding to, I believe a lack of a hormone! I think he’s going to push this pseudoscience to the limit.


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Posted: 08 February 2013 11:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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I saw Oz for the first time a few weeks ago, and he is very good at what he does, a true showman. Too bad he sold his soul to the devil.

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Posted: 08 February 2013 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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George - 08 February 2013 11:53 AM

I saw Oz for the first time a few weeks ago, and he is very good at what he does, a true showman. Too bad he sold his soul to the devil.

Agreed. If only he used his talents for good rather than evil. he’s been given a golden opportunity to do good and he has squandered it for his own enrichment.

About 2 weeks ago i put up a poster in my exam rooms with Oz picture and a red circle with a line through it and the headline “Oz not spoken here” There is a paragraph below explaining that much of the information seen on Dr OZ is not based on good science and that patients should not follow his advice without talking to their doctor first. I did it for two reasons. i wanted patients to understand that Oz is not admired in the medical community the way he is in the lay community and I also thought it might be a way to start discussion that patient might otherwise not bring up. It has turned out to be effective on both counts. Surprisingly I have had more than a few patients congratulate me for saying what they have been thinking for a long time.

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Posted: 08 February 2013 01:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Good for you, macgyver.

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Posted: 09 February 2013 05:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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As a chemist Linus Pauling was my hero when I was younger so I took 8 grams of C a day for a number of years.  I had a problem and passed a kidney stone.  I was sent to a urologist who had an ultrasound done.  My kidneys appeared to be a rock quarry with quite a few oxalate kidney stones.  The urologist flipped when he saw my C intake.  He explained that many people metabolize excess C into oxalic acid which precipitates out as calcium oxalate stones.  I went down to 1 gm a day of C and other than periodically having had one of the stones break loose, which was always fun as it passed through my ureter, I’ve not grown any new ones. 

Ignoring my yearly flu shots, I haven’t had the flu ever since I reduced my C consumption so, using alternative medicine logic, reducing the amount of C one takes will prevent the flu.  LOL

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Posted: 10 February 2013 02:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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macgyver - 08 February 2013 12:54 PM

Surprisingly I have had more than a few patients congratulate me for saying what they have been thinking for a long time.

Wonderful! And the poster helps to back up their argument with more gullible family members.

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Posted: 10 February 2013 07:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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I haven’t done a comprehensive survey, so I’m not sure if it has been replicated or contradicted, but there is at least one old paper suggesting smoking both decreases your desire for Vitamin C-rich foods and reduces your Vitamin C levels directly.

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Posted: 10 February 2013 10:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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skuld, by this time, I do hope you have visited a physician for appropriate treatment, and are on the mend.

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Posted: 11 February 2013 07:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 07 February 2013 09:46 AM

Thanks Mac. I should have asked my doctor more detailed questions about the vaccine; I just assumed that it was nearly100% effective. It’s disconcerting to know that we can expect 65% but it’s better than nothing! I assume that us old farts ( over 60) were factored into the 65% as to effectiveness at that age but I do follow all of your suggestions. The classrooms are furnished with hand sanitizers and even though I’m only a sub now I do use them often as I can and wash my hands whenever possible. And I’ve seen first hand the ravages of pneumonia as it slowly killed my mother-in-law at 83.


Sorry about your mother-in-law, but they used to call pneumonia the old person’s friend. Sometimes it is.

I’ve heard that when you wash your hands you should sing Happy Birthday twice (preferably to yourself). That’s how long it takes for handwashing with soap to be effective.

If you have contracted the flu there is nothing you can do but wait it out and take OTC drugs.  If you’re otherwise healthy, it should pass with no ill effects.  But if you’re susceptible to pneumonia you shoukd consult your physician.  Pneumonia can and should be treated with anti-biotics. Anti-biotics have no effect on flu. There is now a pneumomia vaccine.  Everyone over 60 should get it.


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Posted: 11 February 2013 05:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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No, singing ‘Happy Birthday’ once while washing your hands is quite enough to clean them. And when using Purell, rub them until they are dry, but wash with soap and water if there is any obvious dirt on your hands or if you have used it 5 times without washing your hands.

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Posted: 13 February 2013 05:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Since all the medical people seem to be on this thread, I’ll try for a little free advise.

I probably had a norovirus last Saturday.  Spent the night camped out in the bathroom, emptying everything out.  Death seemed very appealing.  Felt like hell Sunday, fever Monday night.  I’m better, but totally off my usual garbage diet, living on banana’s, tea and rice, real food makes me queasy.  How long am I contagious?  I’m trying very hard not to spread the misery, but I"m getting very lonely.  I’d love to be in the same room with my wife, but if I’m still spreading this and she gets it could be the end of a beautiful relationship.

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Posted: 13 February 2013 09:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Jeciron - 13 February 2013 05:12 PM

Since all the medical people seem to be on this thread, I’ll try for a little free advise.

I probably had a norovirus last Saturday.  Spent the night camped out in the bathroom, emptying everything out.  Death seemed very appealing.  Felt like hell Sunday, fever Monday night.  I’m better, but totally off my usual garbage diet, living on banana’s, tea and rice, real food makes me queasy.  How long am I contagious?  I’m trying very hard not to spread the misery, but I"m getting very lonely.  I’d love to be in the same room with my wife, but if I’m still spreading this and she gets it could be the end of a beautiful relationship.

I hope you have plenty of Purell in the house, and all of you use it LIBERALLY. Our hospital policy is that you cannot come back to work until you are symptom free for 48 hours. You still need to clean off all of the hard surfaces you’ve been touching to avoid infecting the others in the house after you have recovered. That bacteria is tenacious. Good luck. I’ve had rotavirus (from a patient) and that was crappy (literally), I can imagine how bad you feel!

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