2 of 3
2
Scientific American - Good article on Antioxidants
Posted: 14 February 2013 02:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2602
Joined  2012-10-27
macgyver - 13 February 2013 07:46 AM
Lois - 12 February 2013 08:38 PM
macgyver - 12 February 2013 11:07 AM

I’m not sure how many of you subscribe to or have access to Scientific American but the Jan 2013 edition has a great article on antioxidants tracing the history of the antioxidant theory as well as the current state of the evidence. The accumulated data shows a net harm from the use of antioxidants but one would never know that if your only source is the lay media or the Wizard of Oz. Unfortunately its not available online without a subscription but its well worth reading if you can get your hands on a copy. They do a good job of showing how a reasonable theory can get a life of its own even after solid scientific evidence shows it to be full of holes.

I’ve been trying to educate patients on this issue for a while and its interesting how much push back I get. The benefits of antioxidants are assumed to be medical canon by a large portion of the public and patients often consider my comments to be heresy at first. Its amazing how much time and effort it takes to deprogram them. If only there were a TV channel devoted to dispelling all the pseudoscience put out by the rest of the media. I could lock the channel on in the waiting room and it would save me a lot of time.

Interesting.  i’m usually skeptical of popular medical claims. What’s the word on fish oil supplements? Friends swear by them.

It all depends on what your friend is swearing about. Fish oil is another example of a small bit of truth begin blown way out of proportion. Among the retired population it is spoken of as though it were the fountain of youth. Fish Oil may be associated with a reduction in cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart attack ( This is a good review article if you are interested) although most experts still recommend getting the necessary fish oil by actually eating fish rather than consuming supplements.

The main reason a lot of people take fish oil these days is for joint pains. While there is some evidence that omega 3 fish oils may be helpful for rheumatoid arthritis there is no good evidence that it helps for osteoarthritis which is the type of arthritis that most people actually have. These are two entirely different diseases with very different mechanisms so there is no reason to suspect that a treatment would work for one just because it works for the other. in the case of Fish oil the studies seem to show just that.

The fact that a supplement does not work for a particular disease never stops people form swearing by them though. Glucosamine has been shown conclusively to be no better than placebo in treating osteoarthritis and yet I see patients swear by it all the time.

Edit: Addendum: I meant to include a more recent reference regarding the use of Omega 3’s in cardiovascular disease. unfortunately many recent articles are only available in abstract form but just to include one that is less than 10 years old you may want to read this brief abstract.

——-

Thanks for the valuable information.  You wondered what my friends were swearing about.  That’s a good question.  I don’t think they said amything specific as to the benefits they experience but have bought into the idea that it is good for the heart and prevents heart attacks and strokes.  They take them and “swear by them” because they are sure the supplements are doing what they are purported to do.  i guess that’s where the problem lies when it comes to supplements.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 February 2013 07:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2216
Joined  2007-04-26
Lois - 14 February 2013 02:12 AM

Thanks for the valuable information.  You wondered what my friends were swearing about.  That’s a good question.  I don’t think they said amything specific as to the benefits they experience but have bought into the idea that it is good for the heart and prevents heart attacks and strokes.  They take them and “swear by them” because they are sure the supplements are doing what they are purported to do.  i guess that’s where the problem lies when it comes to supplements.

Yes that is a big part of the problem. If they take fish oil supplements and they don’t have a heart attack they see that as proof that its working or if they do have one then its proof that it doesn’t work. People tend to see things in a very black and white way and have a difficult time understanding probability. If you say there is only a 1% chance of something happening and then it happens the conclusion is that you were wrong when we all know that’s not what a 1% chance means.

Most medical interventions, whether its fish oil or statins only modify risk they don’t eliminate it. The jury is still out on how much Omega 3’s help reduce cardiovascular disease and in what patients they are appropriate. They may only be of benefit in the highest risk patients, but even if they are helpful at reducing risk a few percentage points, the take on that by the lay person is that if you take fish oil then you shouldn’t have a heart attack. There is a real problem trying to convey risk and probability to the average person. There was actually a very good podcast on the subject of trying to communicate risk to the public. It was the Dec 2nd podcast of Rationally Speaking regretfully titled “When Scientists Kill” about the trial of 6 Italian scientists who were convicted and sentenced to 6 years in jail after they downplayed the risk of an earthquake which eventually occurred and killed several hundred people. Its an interesting discussion if you have the time to listen.

 Signature 

For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious,.... and just plain wrong

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 February 2013 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2602
Joined  2012-10-27
macgyver - 14 February 2013 07:02 AM
Lois - 14 February 2013 02:12 AM

Thanks for the valuable information.  You wondered what my friends were swearing about.  That’s a good question.  I don’t think they said amything specific as to the benefits they experience but have bought into the idea that it is good for the heart and prevents heart attacks and strokes.  They take them and “swear by them” because they are sure the supplements are doing what they are purported to do.  i guess that’s where the problem lies when it comes to supplements.

Yes that is a big part of the problem. If they take fish oil supplements and they don’t have a heart attack they see that as proof that its working or if they do have one then its proof that it doesn’t work. People tend to see things in a very black and white way and have a difficult time understanding probability. If you say there is only a 1% chance of something happening and then it happens the conclusion is that you were wrong when we all know that’s not what a 1% chance means.

Most medical interventions, whether its fish oil or statins only modify risk they don’t eliminate it. The jury is still out on how much Omega 3’s help reduce cardiovascular disease and in what patients they are appropriate. They may only be of benefit in the highest risk patients, but even if they are helpful at reducing risk a few percentage points, the take on that by the lay person is that if you take fish oil then you shouldn’t have a heart attack. There is a real problem trying to convey risk and probability to the average person. There was actually a very good podcast on the subject of trying to communicate risk to the public. It was the Dec 2nd podcast of Rationally Speaking regretfully titled “When Scientists Kill” about the trial of 6 Italian scientists who were convicted and sentenced to 6 years in jail after they downplayed the risk of an earthquake which eventually occurred and killed several hundred people. Its an interesting discussion if you have the time to listen.

Thanks, I listen to Rationally Speaking podcasts when I can.  I must have missed that one.  I’ll look for it.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 February 2013 09:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7593
Joined  2007-03-02

I don’t know.  My older son is studying to be a massage therapist- sports medicine.  There are two categories of study- sports medicine and spa.  Anyway, and I know this may sound like a poster child story but since I had the flu, which quickly went into pneumonia two years ago, there was this thing about vitamin D and respiratory infections (lack of it allegedly makes on susceptible to respiratory infections).  Anyway, I talked to my dr about my son’s encouragement to take supplements and gave her a list of various ones he suggested- D3, Echinacea with Golden Seal, C, Flaxseed oil (not for the immune system, but something else), zinc…  Nothing really exotic or out of the ordinary like St. John’s Wart or whatever.  She said, “It can’t hurt” and agreed I maybe lacking in some vitamins such as D3 (a blood test could have told her if I was lacking vitamin D, from what I understand, but may cost more money than a bottle of D3 and I’m also a lactose vegetarian).  I’ve been on the regime for 2 winters now and the last few months I’ve been staying with friends.  They caught the flu or some sort of respiratory virus 3 times since I came to stay with them in October and eventually I got it (or one of the strands of the flu they have had this year).  I continued the regime even while my illness was at it’s height and in less than 7 days I started recovering without getting pneumonia again, while my friends have been fighting it and trying to get over it for more than 2 weeks.  Keep in mind, I’m allergic to eggs and cannot take the flu vaccine. They never got vaccinated for whatever reason unknown to me.  I’ve also been under a lot of stress lately, which allegedly can lower the immune system, thereby making me potentially more acceptable to certain illnesses, such as the flu, but I’ve faired better, even in the same house with people who’ve been fighting respiratory viruses all this winter.

This quicker recovery time compared to my friends made me ask myself some questions:  1.  Did we have the same virus and if so, was it the alleged immune building vitamins, minerals, and herbs (D3, C, zinc, Echinacea with Golden Seal) that helped my immune system when I was potentially lacking some vitamins a couple years ago?  If so, this means my friends could use more vitamin C, D3 and zinc.  2. Then again, despite living in the same house, I might have had a different respiratory virus than they have, even though we had the same symptoms and the regime of vitamins, minerals, and herbs had nothing to do with it. If so, what has kept me from getting the viruses they’ve had? 3. Maybe I had this particular virus before and because of that, my body fought it easier and I got a milder version of it OR I’ve had 2 of the 3 rounds of flu my friends acquired of the recent strands and the body builds immunity to certain flu viruses (not sure if that one is possible with flu viruses though, because we aren’t talking Smallpox v Cowpox here, Chickenpox, or Mumps). 4. Maybe it was just a coincidence and I just got lucky this year.  Even so, something has kept me from getting what they’ve had and even kept me from getting this last round as bad as they’ve had it.  The question is, what is it?  It wasn’t a vaccine or lack thereof that did it, but keep in mind, there is no substitute for a doctor and modern medicine, even though it was not modern medicine (flu vaccine) involved in this case, except for my dr saying, “It can’t hurt” and that I could be lacking in some vitamins.  I never once replaced seeing a doctor for the supplement regime and my son never once suggested I should either, but rather I used them in tandem, minus the flu shot that I can’t take.

Antioxidants might cause similar curiosities and questions for those whose dr said, “It can’t hurt” along with any other medications or health recommendations their dr has.  Without more research, we won’t and can’t know, but I think this research should be done on people who have (a) health problem(s) along with medical treatment, if the patient can take said treatment. Then again, if they can take said treatment, then we can’t R/O the medical treatment, unlike R/O a vaccine that a patient cannot take.  In my case, we can R/O the vaccine because I can’t take it and they did not take it.  It was not a factor in this case.  In my case, all I have to question are the supplements and/or the possibility of my immune system building up a resistance to certain viruses (with or without the supplements), as well as coincidence.  What do people who take antioxidants have to R/O, esp if they are taking medication too?  It would be unethical to deny one group proven treatment in favour of finding out if antioxidants or fish oil/flaxseed oil help, as well as maybe too late to test the use of antioxidants or fish oil/flaxseed oil by that time, in order to find out if antioxidants help.  I don’t know of any cases where, unlike the flu vaccine, a person could not take heart or cancer medication due an allergy.  Thus, I think it’s different to say, “OK, this group of people cannot take said vaccine, so let’s do an experiment with supplements” than it is to test supplements on heart or cancer patients without standard modern treatment.

Am I making any sense or am I just blabbering away, possibly like an idiot?  Some things we can test, within reason and ethically, but others we cannot easily test and I think some things are worth testing, in this case alleged immune supporting supplements like C, D3, and zinc on people who cannot take the flu shot.  I’m just not sure how we could ethically and reasonably test the other claims concerning other supplements, such as antioxidants and Omega 3 oils.  I had nothing to loose (except a little money), but people with heart disease or cancer have lot to loose.  Test flaxseed/Fish oil to see if it prevents heart disease and strokes or antioxidants prevent cancer?  There are too many other factors involved, such as genetics, diet, etc. that I’m not sure if it is actually testable.  I’m not even sure that adding C, D3, and zinc supplements all winter long actually helped me shorten the time that I had a respiratory infection in comparison to the people I’m staying with.  In order to retest it, I’d have to do it again next year, except my environment will be different, maybe to the point of having to intentionally expose myself to some sort of respiratory infection, which is just stupid and even then it’s not a valid test given that I am just one person, aside from the research that has been done on D3, which different researchers got different results.  Testing such things is highly problematic.

 Signature 

Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 February 2013 10:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7684
Joined  2008-04-11

Hi, welcome back, you’ve been missed. Sorry to hear of all of your troubles and glad you are healthy again.

It is possible you had different bugs. Even if you had exactly the same bug, it is possible they had the worse case. Two people can get the same disease where one is barely symptomatic, and the other in the hospital or dead. It could have also slightly mutated to a more benign form by the time it got to you. There are many, many variables to consider.

  Since you are allergic to eggs, it is important that the ‘herd’ around you is adequately vaccinated. I don’t think there is any study showing efficacy of vitamin supplements in most people. I would not include vegans on that list though, as anti-supplement as I am, I do think it is a good idea for vegans to take them.

 Signature 

Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 February 2013 08:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2216
Joined  2007-04-26

mriana your post is rather long but let me just address two issues.

1) The comment by your physician that “It can’t hurt” is ill informed and a bit naive but one I hear far too often from medical professionals who really haven’t thought the issue through. I’ve said this more times than i care to remember but I’ll repeat it here again. Anything you put in your body with the hope of getting a positive result will either have an effect or not but if it does it is biologically active and therefor its a drug. As such it is as likely to have unintended side effects as any other drug. This goes for absolutely everything whether its called a drug, a supplement, or a vitamin. The Vitamin E example I gave in a post above is a perfect example of the foolishness of the “It can’t hurt” approach. Sorry to harp on this but its a real pet peeve of mine and I am constantly in the backs of my colleagues about it but doctors are human too and sometimes fall into this trap just as easily as lay people do.

2) Your concern about there not being any way to ethically do studies on these products is not correct. There is absolutely no reason to draw a distinction between vitamins/supplements and traditional drugs in our requirement for controlled studies. If there was a known benefit to using these things and we created a trial where we withheld beneficial supplement/vitamin from the control group then there would be an ethical issue but in the vast majority of cases we are talking about a substance that has no proven benefit so there is nothing unethical about doing controlled studies. In many cases there have been placebo controlled trials ( PCT’s). The reason you dont find as many PCT’s in the literature on supplements/vitamins is because the industry and their lap dog ( Orin Hatch) got the dietary supplement health and education act passed which essentially creates an artificial distinction between these products and what we consider traditional medicines and exempts the manufacturers of these products from having to do studies showing efficacy or safety. Since they aren’t required to do studies they spend virtually nothing on research.

 Signature 

For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious,.... and just plain wrong

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 February 2013 09:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7593
Joined  2007-03-02
asanta - 16 February 2013 10:08 PM

Hi, welcome back, you’ve been missed. Sorry to hear of all of your troubles and glad you are healthy again.

Thanks.

It is possible you had different bugs. Even if you had exactly the same bug, it is possible they had the worse case. Two people can get the same disease where one is barely symptomatic, and the other in the hospital or dead. It could have also slightly mutated to a more benign form by the time it got to you. There are many, many variables to consider.

Yes, that was one of my thoughts as I pondered the immune system, I just could not articulate it or get it to that point in my head, though my mind was working on getting to the point of consideration.

  Since you are allergic to eggs, it is important that the ‘herd’ around you is adequately vaccinated. I don’t think there is any study showing efficacy of vitamin supplements in most people. I would not include vegans on that list though, as anti-supplement as I am, I do think it is a good idea for vegans to take them.

Yes, I agree, but the head of the family I’m staying with told his family that it was just as well they do not get flu shots because, in his words, the medical scientists guessed wrong about this virus and it is very contagious, one can get it if they are standing within six feet of another person, thus the doctors who example patients with this flu need to wear masks, pseudo-science, myth, and other crap spewed from his mouth about this year’s flu bug.  I’m thinking, “Six feet huh?  At least as far as one sends an uncovered cough or sneeze.  Thanks for the conspiracy crap.”  BTW, he truly believes no germs at all can get through those cloth medical masks, not even the tiny spores of influenza viruses.  He also believes there is a stomach flu too and no amount to explaining the difference between influenza (AKA flu, a respiratory virus) and a stomach virus, as well as stomach flu being a myth, will convince him differently.  All he does is get angry and insists that I am wrong about stomach and flu viruses. It gets to the point of me saying, “Yeah, well, I come from generations of medical professionals and many a medical website will tell you the stomach flu is a myth” and him saying, “No, medical websites say stomach flu is real.”  I don’t think he’s every frequent reliable medical websites.

I also agree, given how much I do feel better taking supplements, as opposed to when I do not, vegans, and I would add some vegetarians, like myself, probably should take them.  My older son is not as restrictive as I am.  He will eat chicken and some fish, such as sushi, but that is as far up on the food chain as he goes and while I do do dairy sometimes, the bulk of my diet is vegetables and grains, with some fruits, thus I’m almost vegan.  I just cannot bring myself to eat another living being, other than plant sources and foods, like milk, that don’t harm or kill the animal when taken from them.  I get a lot of rubbing from true vegans about eating and drinking dairy products, with some saying it does harm them (when it really does not).  I grew up on raw milk and even watched my grandfather milk a cow many times.  Even he complained about the hormones and antibiotics added to store bought milk and would not feed any of us store bought milk.  The same with wool products- I have the same arguments with vegans about sweaters and alike.  Some even believe the sheep are harmed, even killed for their wool, and all I can do is shake my head and roll my eyes, as I think, “They are dangerously too restrictive with their diets.”  Considering supplements have made me feel healthier, I would say even vegetarians could be lacking and need supplements too.

BTW, my grandfather even made butter out of the cow’s milk too.

There are studies about D3 and respiratory illnesses and I could hunt down the links, but it seems for every study that says it helps, there is a study that says it doesn’t.  I think it’s one of those things that one has to decide for themselves, after reading the various studies, if they want to try D3 supplements or not.

[ Edited: 17 February 2013 09:41 AM by Mriana ]
 Signature 

Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 February 2013 09:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7684
Joined  2008-04-11

Frankly, you couldn’t pay me to drink raw milk. It is a great vector for so many disease outbreaks here in CA, leading to deaths and debility. Did you know (for example) you could get tuberculosis from raw cows milk if the cow has the disease? Pasteurization is at least as great a discovery as vaccines. And you’d have to check with Macgyver, I don’t think every vaccination is made from/via eggs.

 Signature 

Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 February 2013 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2216
Joined  2007-04-26
Mriana - 17 February 2013 09:35 AM

There are studies about D3 and respiratory illnesses and I could hunt down the links, but it seems for every study that says it helps, there is a study that says it doesn’t.  I think it’s one of those things that one has to decide for themselves, after reading the various studies, if they want to try D3 supplements or not.

I’ve actually searched for this and there really are no good PCT’s that show a reduction in respiratory illnesses with the use of Vit D. This illustrates a problem we have with medical reporting today.

Lab studies have shown that vitamin D does play a role in the immune system. Observational studies have also shown a correlation between lower vitamin D levels and increased rates of respiratory illness. To anyone who is not well trained in science and hears these statements on the news it would appear perhaps that there is strong evidence to support using Vit D to reduce respiratory illnesses. The problem is that these sorts of studies are subject to all sorts of bias and error and neither answers the question we are really asking. Will people have fewer or less severe respiratory illnesses if we give them extra Vit D?

To answer that question you always need to do a well designed PCT of adequate size and it must be reproducible by other investigators. Often when this is done, the theory that looked promising in the preliminary lab and observational studies turns out not to be supported by the PCT’s. The mistake the media and the public make is to put al these studies on equal ground and then say “well the scientists are contradicting themselves so we have to decide for ourselves”. The fact is that these studies are not equal. The PCT’s are the gold standard. They are the studies that actually answer the question that is being asked and when the results are in and then confirmed by additional PCT’s there will usually be a consensus within the scientific community. the results of all the preliminary studies are then irrelevant.

As I said, its naive to assume these things can do no harm and I would no more recommend supplemental vitamins than I would recommend any other substance for which there was no supporting evidence for efficacy and safety. If we were to use the standard that is currently applied to supplements and apply it across the board we may as well recommend the consumption of dust bunnies as a way to treat the common cold.

Edit: Spelling error

[ Edited: 17 February 2013 11:01 AM by macgyver ]
 Signature 

For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious,.... and just plain wrong

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 February 2013 10:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2216
Joined  2007-04-26
asanta - 17 February 2013 09:43 AM

And you’d have to check with Macgyver, I don’t think every vaccination is made from/via eggs.

Both the killed and live attenuated vaccine are indeed produced in eggs. The fact is though that most people who claim to have egg allergies really are not allergic to eggs. By an egg allergy we are referring to a severe true allergic response such as hives or anaphylaxis. Many people confuse egg intolerance such as an upset stomach or increased gas for an allergy which it is not. In fact many of the people who claim to have an egg allergy regularly consume products that are made with eggs with no ill effects. Its possible to get tested by an allergist if one wants to clarify the issue.

There was a new flu vaccine called Flublok which was just approved by the FDA last month which does not use eggs or the actual flu virus. To produce this vaccine they use huge vats of insect cells which have been genetically altered to produce proteins normally found on the surface of the flu virus. The method allows quicker vaccine production and since no eggs there are no risks to those who are truly allergic to eggs. The vaccine may not be as effective as the existing vaccine however and will probably not be as widely available for some time.

 Signature 

For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious,.... and just plain wrong

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 February 2013 10:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7593
Joined  2007-03-02
asanta - 17 February 2013 09:43 AM

Frankly, you couldn’t pay me to drink raw milk. It is a great vector for so many disease outbreaks here in CA, leading to deaths and debility. Did you know (for example) you could get tuberculosis from raw cows milk if the cow has the disease? Pasteurization is at least as great a discovery as vaccines. And you’d have to check with Macgyver, I don’t think every vaccination is made from/via eggs.

I didn’t say every vaccination is made from eggs, just the flu vaccine.  Anyway, I grew up on raw milk, but since I’ve left home, I’ve most drunk store bought skim milk, despite my grandfather’s criticisms about it when I was a child.  Children often do not have a choice in what the adults raising them feed them, but he would always clean the cows utters before milking her and often careful concerning how he handled the milk.  I don’t think any of us ever got sick from Bossy’s milk.  Even their garden was organic. They used ladybugs to ward off bugs and avoided pesticides as much as they possibly could, with the exception of tomatoes, in which my grandmother said she used the product Seven, and the eggs were from free roaming chickens without a rooster around.  My grandmother died 6 years ago at the age of 94 (my grandfather committed suicide when he was 75, so I can’t say how long he might have lived given one of his cousins lived to be 99).  I’m not afraid of raw milk, depending on how it’s handled, but I must admit, if I have an option, I’d choose store bought milk any day.

 Signature 

Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 February 2013 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7593
Joined  2007-03-02
macgyver - 17 February 2013 10:29 AM
asanta - 17 February 2013 09:43 AM

And you’d have to check with Macgyver, I don’t think every vaccination is made from/via eggs.

Both the killed and live attenuated vaccine are indeed produced in eggs. The fact is though that most people who claim to have egg allergies really are not allergic to eggs. By an egg allergy we are referring to a severe true allergic response such as hives or anaphylaxis.

I get hives from even one egg and the more eggs I consume, the worst the hives. One serving of quiche or pumpkin/sweet potato pie alone makes me miserable with hives.  I don’t want to find out what two servings of quiche will do to me.

There was a new flu vaccine called Flublok which was just approved by the FDA last month which does not use eggs or the actual flu virus. To produce this vaccine they use huge vats of insect cells which have been genetically altered to produce proteins normally found on the surface of the flu virus. The method allows quicker vaccine production and since no eggs there are no risks to those who are truly allergic to eggs. The vaccine may not be as effective as the existing vaccine however and will probably not be as widely available for some time.

I’m waiting for more info on this vaccine before I jump in and become a guinea pig.

BTW, I was tested by an allergist in the late 70s or early 80s and they found me to be allergic to almost everything except animal dander.  The tester dragged his fellow co-workers over to gawk at my skin reactions, esp the animal dander.  I felt like a lab rat.  Come to find out years later, those born with animals in the home, esp into a farm family, weren’t allergic to other animals, just what the animals got on their fur.  About the only thing I’m not allergic to, is other animals.

[ Edited: 17 February 2013 10:58 AM by Mriana ]
 Signature 

Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 February 2013 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  7
Joined  2013-02-07
macgyver - 12 February 2013 03:06 PM

the Vitamin E in prostate cancer has actually been a good teaching moment that I often use to explain to patients why they should not be checking their Vitamin D levels and taking huge supplements to get into the normal range. The Vitamin E story is a good parallel. 20 years ago when all we had were retrospective studies lots of men started taking vitamin E to reduce their risk of prostate cancer. Now that we have good prospective double blind studies it is clear that Vit E actually increases the risk of prostate cancer.

Are you by any chance referring to the SELECT study which used alpha tocopherol instead of mixed tocopherols, including gamma tocopherol? The negative result comes from the author’s choice to use alpha tocopherol instead of gamma tocopherol. The former displaces the latter. The latter is the form of vitamin E that is effective in reducing the risks of cardiac ecents and prostate cancer. This was known before the study - one has to winder what would motivate someone to study something already known to not work? Good prospective double blind studies are of no value if the designers are so negligent. I hope some day someone sues these “researchers”.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 February 2013 02:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2216
Joined  2007-04-26
tjohnson_nb - 18 February 2013 02:22 PM

Are you by any chance referring to the SELECT study which used alpha tocopherol instead of mixed tocopherols, including gamma tocopherol? The negative result comes from the author’s choice to use alpha tocopherol instead of gamma tocopherol. The former displaces the latter. The latter is the form of vitamin E that is effective in reducing the risks of cardiac ecents and prostate cancer. This was known before the study - one has to winder what would motivate someone to study something already known to not work? Good prospective double blind studies are of no value if the designers are so negligent. I hope some day someone sues these “researchers”.

Yes it was the SELECT study published in OCt 2011 in JAMA. Of course you have a well designed placebo controlled study to support your claim for the benefits of mixed tocopherols?  This is a very common ploy of the supplement industry. When a study is done that doesn’t support the use of their product they claim that it wasn’t the correct preparation or wasn’t administered properly even though they have no good placebo controlled trials to show that their particular preparation or method of administration would result in a different outcome. They are like kids who when they start losing they change the rules of the game.

I would be happy to read the studies if you care to supply the references but I am not aware of any PCT’s that support your claim.

 Signature 

For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious,.... and just plain wrong

Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 February 2013 04:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  7
Joined  2013-02-07
macgyver - 18 February 2013 02:45 PM
tjohnson_nb - 18 February 2013 02:22 PM

Yes it was the SELECT study published in OCt 2011 in JAMA. Of course you have a well designed placebo controlled study to support your claim for the benefits of mixed tocopherols?  This is a very common ploy of the supplement industry. When a study is done that doesn’t support the use of their product they claim that it wasn’t the correct preparation or wasn’t administered properly even though they have no good placebo controlled trials to show that their particular preparation or method of administration would result in a different outcome. They are like kids who when they start losing they change the rules of the game.

I would be happy to read the studies if you care to supply the references but I am not aware of any PCT’s that support your claim.

One thing the this study DOES support is confusion. The fact that they don’t discriminate between different forms of Vit E simply means;

a. They don’t know what they are doing
b. They are deliberately misleading the public

Its one thing to limit what can be said on the labels of vitamins and supplements - which I agree with. It’s quite another to instigate media campaigns against them based on misinformation.

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 3
2