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Whoa!  Lay Off the Vitamins!
Posted: 07 June 2013 05:51 PM   [ Ignore ]
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People taking vitamin supplements can have a dramatically increased risk of death.

In October 2011, researchers from the University of Minnesota found that women who took supplemental multivitamins died at rates higher than those who didn’t. Two days later, researchers from the Cleveland Clinic found that men who took vitamin E had an increased risk of prostate cancer.

These findings weren’t new. Seven previous studies had already shown that, for certain groups, some vitamins increased the risk of cancer and heart disease, and shortened lives.

Much more at the link.  In short, unless you’re taking vitamins for a few specific conditions, you’re screwing yourself.  Possibly fatally.

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Posted: 08 June 2013 08:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Coldheart Tucker - 07 June 2013 05:51 PM

People taking vitamin supplements can have a dramatically increased risk of death.

In October 2011, researchers from the University of Minnesota found that women who took supplemental multivitamins died at rates higher than those who didn’t. Two days later, researchers from the Cleveland Clinic found that men who took vitamin E had an increased risk of prostate cancer.

These findings weren’t new. Seven previous studies had already shown that, for certain groups, some vitamins increased the risk of cancer and heart disease, and shortened lives.

Much more at the link.  In short, unless you’re taking vitamins for a few specific conditions, you’re screwing yourself.  Possibly fatally.

Interesting.  Thanks for that.

Lois

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Posted: 08 June 2013 08:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Coldheart Tucker - 07 June 2013 05:51 PM

People taking vitamin supplements can have a dramatically increased risk of death.

In October 2011, researchers from the University of Minnesota found that women who took supplemental multivitamins died at rates higher than those who didn’t. Two days later, researchers from the Cleveland Clinic found that men who took vitamin E had an increased risk of prostate cancer.

These findings weren’t new. Seven previous studies had already shown that, for certain groups, some vitamins increased the risk of cancer and heart disease, and shortened lives.

Much more at the link.  In short, unless you’re taking vitamins for a few specific conditions, you’re screwing yourself.  Possibly fatally.

I take a multivitamin.  When the FDA tells me they are unsafe, I’ll stop taking them.

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Posted: 08 June 2013 05:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Sorry, my motto is the old duPont one, “Better living thourgh chemistry.”  At eighty-two, one’s intestines are quite a bit less efficient at absorbing materials into the blood stream, and the rest of the body’s somewhat less efficient at using the materials so I feel I have to raise the amount ingested just so I get a reasonable amount for my metabolism.

One example is vitamin D.  For years the FDA set the maximum at 400 I.U.  Now it’s been raised significantly.  Since my Northern European skin is susceptible to cancer, I avoid the sun and take 3000 I. U. of it a day.

Occam

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Posted: 08 June 2013 06:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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VYAZMA - 08 June 2013 08:38 AM
Coldheart Tucker - 07 June 2013 05:51 PM

People taking vitamin supplements can have a dramatically increased risk of death.

In October 2011, researchers from the University of Minnesota found that women who took supplemental multivitamins died at rates higher than those who didn’t. Two days later, researchers from the Cleveland Clinic found that men who took vitamin E had an increased risk of prostate cancer.

These findings weren’t new. Seven previous studies had already shown that, for certain groups, some vitamins increased the risk of cancer and heart disease, and shortened lives.

Much more at the link.  In short, unless you’re taking vitamins for a few specific conditions, you’re screwing yourself.  Possibly fatally.

I take a multivitamin.  When the FDA tells me they are unsafe, I’ll stop taking them.

The FDA on vitamin supplements.

The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advises that nutrient needs be met primarily through consuming foods, with supplementation suggested for certain sensitive populations.

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Posted: 09 June 2013 02:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Well Tucker that is vague on a couple levels for me. 
I don’t know if I’m getting all the necessary nutrients from the foods I eat. 
I was raised on Flintstones vitamins.  Didn’t take any after say age 13. 
Next stop, mid 30s. I have taken them on and off since then. Often regularly in conjunction with a healthy diet(?) and lot’s of exercise.
The article mentions cancer-ok…what am i going to do?  Run around and fret and worry about everything I’m ingesting and lie awake with a fear of cancer?
Then die of cancer anyways because of the polluted air I breath or some genetic predisposition. Or the poisonous drinking water etc…
It’s a friggin’ cancerous poisoned prison planet. I don’t have time to worry about the vitamins I take. I take one chewable Centrum a day.
I’m not megadosing on beta carotene or C.
I know I don’t eat 4 servings of fruit and vegetables a day.  Vitamins work for me.  I run 25 miles a week plus lot’s of other exercises at the gym.
If I’m gettin’ cancer…oh well!!  At least I’m healthy right now.
The other thing is the article says “mortality”.  WTF is that?  I got news for ya’...you’re gonna die from “mortality” too!

We all are going to die from “mortality”!

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Posted: 09 June 2013 10:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Vitamins in foods are a necessary part of our diet. Vitamins in supplements are a drug and like any drug should be carefully evaluated in terms of both risks and benefits. Unfortunately, the popular conception, left over from the days when vitamins were first identified and dramatic nutritional deficiency diseases were being cured by using them, is that vitamins are intrinsically harmless. So people either take them because 1) they have a specific risk factor for which supplementation has been validated, 2) they believe “more is better” when it comes to vitamins or 3) they figure they are harmless and take them as “insurance” against an inadequate diet. The growing research referred to in the article indicates that only 1 is a reasonable, rational approach to taking vitamin supplements above RDA levels. The specific risks and benefits of most vitamin supplement use aren’t known, but people ought to realize that they are just as likely to be harming themselves as benefiting or protecting themselves when taking these supplements without a food reason. Sure, we are all going to die of something. But if vitamins increase our risk of dying sooner than we would have if not taking them (which is what “increased mortality” means), why would you do it?

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Posted: 09 June 2013 11:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I agree Mackenzie. I have posters in my exam rooms that go over this very issue. It seems that patients and my colleagues in the medical community do not always learn from prior experience. 20 years ago people started taking Vit E based entirely on very weak evidence that it might help with prostate cancer among other things. The most recent study showed the truth to be exactly the opposite, yet despite this I find myself having daily conversations with patients who have been advised by other physicians and the media to have their Vit D levels checked and if necessary supplemented to the desired range based on equally poor data. 20 years later and we are repeating the same mistakes.

Vitamins need to be treated like anything else you put in your body. Water is critical for survival but drink too much and you die. There is no evidence that supplementing the diet of the average person in developed countries is beneficial but more importantly we don’t know whether its safe. Until we do people should do their best to eat a healthy diet. We can’t cancel out the negative effects of a Big Mac with a vitamin capsule. Its foolish to take put something into your body without good evidence that the benefits outweigh the risks.

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Posted: 09 June 2013 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Both Macs:  It’s definitely food for thought…pun intended.  I definitely fall in the category of more is better and I want to make sure I’m getting
all the vitamins I need.
I take one Centrum a day. I can’t see how that is harmful. Nome of the RDAs in these chewable tablets is over 100%. It’s not like I’m mega-dosing certain
vitamins or taking more than one a day.
However I do get all the points raised here.
If this data becomes more widespread and appreciated in a broader consensus I will cease taking vitamins.
Right now though I can’t help seeing it as just one of the millions of health/nutritional warnings or tips that we are constantly bombarded with by the media
and special interest groups. “Eat more olive oil, eat garlic, drink red wine, coffee is good, coffee is bad, dark chocolate, more vitamin D, don’t eat Tuna it has Mercury,
eat this berry, don’t eat this meat and on and on and on.  I’m just a consumer.
Like I said, I was given vitamins since I was 4 years old. What am I supposes to believe?
If this information is so important, why isn’t the government regulating this stuff? They took lead out of gasoline eventually.
The link to that FDA website was compelling. I will consider this more.

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Posted: 09 June 2013 12:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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How widespread do you want?  The article references studies by folks at Johns Hopkins, University of Copenhagen, the University of Minnesota, the Cleveland Clinic, University of Maryland, National Cancer Institute, Finland’s National Public Health Institute, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle, the National Institutes of Health, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Washington in Seattle. It even includes links to the actual studies themselves, so you can read them and see if he’s distorting or otherwise misrepresenting the results.

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Posted: 09 June 2013 05:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Cold Hearted Tucker’s site:

Not all the news is grim. Some dietary supplements actually might be of value. Of the 51,000 new supplements on the market, four might be of benefit for otherwise healthy people: omega-3 fatty acids to prevent heart disease; calcium and vitamin D in postmenopausal women, to prevent bone thinning; and folic acid during pregnancy, to prevent birth defects.

I take D and calcium.  Sometimes I take Flaxseed (the vegetarian Omega-3 equivalent, since I am a vegetarian) and sometimes I take garlic and echinacea-golden seal.  I don’t do this every single day and in the summer, I don’t do vitamin D, esp since I’m out in the sun a whole lot more than in winter- at least 30 min every day, if not every other day.  However, I think a doctor with proven to work medicine is better when one is sick any day.

The FDA site stated:

a doctor may recommend that you take them:

for certain health problems
if you eat a vegetarian or vegan diet
if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Not only am I a vegetarian, who gets no sunlight in winter, due to hating cold air and being cold, but I’m also in menopause. When the weather is warmer, I’m out taking a walk far more often than when it’s cold outside.  Given those factors, I can easily lack vitamin D and even the FDA website recommends for some people with factors like myself.

[ Edited: 09 June 2013 06:04 PM by Mriana ]
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Posted: 09 June 2013 10:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Firstly, I don’t see the studies cited here. I see an article from the Guardian that is slinging a book.
Second, what kinds of doses?  The article mentions mega-doses in one instance. It says “men were given vitamin E”, it doesn’t say how much.

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Posted: 09 June 2013 10:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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VYAZMA - 09 June 2013 10:16 PM

Firstly, I don’t see the studies cited here. I see an article from the Guardian that is slinging a book.
Second, what kinds of doses?  The article mentions mega-doses in one instance. It says “men were given vitamin E”, it doesn’t say how much.

I’m sorry, but I’m not going to go through the article and pull out the embedded links.  I will point you to this link from the story -> http://my.clevelandclinic.org/media_relations/library/2011/2011-10-11-national-study-finds-vitamin-e-supplement-may-increase-prostate-cancer-risk.aspx which has this to say about vitamin E doses

The paper, which will appear in the October 12 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that a group of men taking a daily dose of 400 IU of vitamin E from 2001 to 2008 had 17 percent more cases of prostate cancer than men who took a placebo.

As for the author of the article pushing a book, if he didn’t put numerous links to the actual studies involved, and cite respectable research organizations, I wouldn’t have posted the thread.  Given that things like “Vitamins cure cancer!” and “Inexpensive supplement beats XYZ disease!” are what quacks tend to exclaim as they peddle their wares, I doubt that there’s much of a market for his book.

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Posted: 09 June 2013 11:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Some of the studies referenced were simply correlational (and do not therefore support an assumption of direct causality). Even the totality of the studies referenced should not be used to make a blanket statement that everyone who takes any vitamin supplement should stop doing so.

My thought is that if you are taking a vitamin supplement, you should get a physician’s counsel, and if the physician suggests that is a good idea for you to keep taking them (and can explain why they are necessary with your particular health profile) then do so, but look into it further, as physicians are not immune to sometimes operating under faulty assumptions.

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Posted: 10 June 2013 04:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I have a question.  I really like peanuts. Alot. I eat a 2-3 jars of planters a week.  One serving says it contains 15% of RDA Vita E.
I easily eat 5-6 servings a day. Plus I get other sources of Vitamin E too, plus my vitamin.
Maybe people are gonna get cancer if they don’t take vitamins. Maybe peanuts alone cause cancer?
Should I watch my diet now and make sure I’m not eating more than 100% of my RDA for Vitamin E?
Should I carry around a mass spectrometer?  Because I’m clearly getting more Vitamin E with or without my Centrum multi-vitamin.

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Posted: 10 June 2013 04:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Coldheart Tucker - 09 June 2013 10:50 PM

I’m sorry, but I’m not going to go through the article and pull out the embedded links.  I will point you to this link from the story -> http://my.clevelandclinic.org/media_relations/library/2011/2011-10-11-national-study-finds-vitamin-e-supplement-may-increase-prostate-cancer-risk.aspx which has this to say about vitamin E doses. The paper, which will appear in the October 12 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that a group of men taking a daily dose of 400 IU of vitamin E from 2001 to 2008 had 17 percent more cases of prostate cancer than men who took a placebo.

Well the RDA for Vitamin E is 30 IUs.  Not 400.  It sounds like a cruel test they put those guys through.  It equates to poisoning.
So I reckon even with all the nuts I eat and my vitamin I get around 60-65 IUs of vitamin E.  That’s a far cry from 400 IUs.
Laboratories do that alot don’t they?  “Let’s see if this carpet cleaner is poisonous”-“Inject that rat with 100 times the actual exposure rate that a consumer will ever be exposed to”. “Oh, look, the rat died, the carpet cleaner must be poisonous.”
I feel sorry for those poor guinea pig guys in the test.  It looks like the tests gave them cancer…not vitamin E!

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