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Whoa!  Lay Off the Vitamins!
Posted: 20 July 2013 09:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 151 ]
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Yes, well I excluded vitamins from my diet for 6 days. 
By the 4th day I had noticeably less energy than I was used to. Focus and concentration was lower.
So I again started taking the chewable capsules that contain vitamins and minerals that my body needs and metabolizes and puts to use.
And reading that article, I can be somewhat glad that I don’t take any megadoses of any vitamins.

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Posted: 20 July 2013 12:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 152 ]
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I certainly appreciate your willingness to consider changing a long-held practice. Unfortunately, the hard part about discussing these issues is that such a personal experience will always be more convincing that scientific data, no matter how solid. I could tell you that your experiment doesn’t really prove anything since your own beliefs and expectations likely influence how you feel, your energy level probably changes spontaneously, and so on. But likely such an objection would just irritate you, and it wouldn’t be convincing since you know what you know from your own experience.

And I know that you take a skeptical attitude to the experiences of others. You wouldn’t accept someone’s word if they said that they stopped praying for a week and bad things happened so God must be real, yet they would feel just as convinced by their experience. But you can undoubtedly think of lots of reasons why that’s different and your experiment is more reasonable than theirs. So it’s hard to talk about these things when there is a conflict between experiential knowledge and knowledged gained from research because the more reliable of the two is the less compelling.

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Posted: 20 July 2013 01:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 153 ]
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Well I’m glad you are taking me at my word about my experiences.
I truly wasn’t expecting to notice any changes after abstaining from the vitamins. I hope you take my word on that as well.
Nonetheless, I feel pretty confident that I was experiencing a slightly less “pep”.
It could have been totally a placebo withdrawal. I’m willing to admit that…
Are you willing to admit that it was possible that I was experiencing a lack of vitamins that I was used to having.
And that my body was used to having these vitamins and digesting them to metabolize other nutrients to burn as energy.(with all of the attendant strings attached to energy..on a cellular level.)

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Posted: 20 July 2013 01:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 154 ]
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McKenzieVMD-But you can undoubtedly think of lots of reasons why that’s different and your experiment is more reasonable than theirs. So it’s hard to talk about these things when there is a conflict between experiential knowledge and knowledged gained from research because the more reliable of the two is the less compelling.

Yes, of course I can.  The existence of a god is unproven.  The concept of a god is proven, and some studies show it has an effect on people’s “well being”.
The act of praying may alleviate some people’s “maladies” shall we say…
However the mechanical function of praying is inert.  It isn’t real in the complete sense of the concept.  There is no one on the other end so to speak.
Therefore praying is inert.
Supplements on the other hand are not inert.
They in fact contain compounds that:
a. a human body needs for survival.(not exclusively..)
b. will be absorbed into the body and used for metabolic purposes.

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Posted: 21 July 2013 05:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 155 ]
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VYAZMA - 20 July 2013 01:19 PM

McKenzieVMD-But you can undoubtedly think of lots of reasons why that’s different and your experiment is more reasonable than theirs. So it’s hard to talk about these things when there is a conflict between experiential knowledge and knowledged gained from research because the more reliable of the two is the less compelling.

Yes, of course I can.  The existence of a god is unproven.  The concept of a god is proven, and some studies show it has an effect on people’s “well being”.
The act of praying may alleviate some people’s “maladies” shall we say…
However the mechanical function of praying is inert.  It isn’t real in the complete sense of the concept.  There is no one on the other end so to speak.
Therefore praying is inert.
Supplements on the other hand are not inert.
They in fact contain compounds that:
a. a human body needs for survival.(not exclusively..)
b. will be absorbed into the body and used for metabolic purposes.

Just because the theory behind a particular bit of anecdotal evidence seems more plausible doesn’t make the evidence any more compelling. Evidence has to stand on its own merits and anecdotal evidence is still anecdotal evidence. It has the same weaknesses as any other anecdotal evidence whether it is presented in support of vitamins or in support of some supernatural phenomena.

There is a bit of circular reasoning going on here. You are essentially saying “My theory makes sense and therefor it lends credence to the evidence I use to support it”

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Posted: 21 July 2013 09:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 156 ]
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McGeyver-There is a bit of circular reasoning going on here. You are essentially saying “My theory makes sense and therefor it lends credence to the evidence I use to support it”

No MacGeyver,  McKendzie used a red herring or a strawman to compare use of supplements with praying.
Supplements are not praying.  Supplements are not a theory.
I don’t have any theories!  Where did I propose a theory?
If someone used ibuprofen and said pain was lessened would that be a theory too?
If someone had not drank water in 3 days and complained of headaches, would that be a theory too?
If a person was prescribed vitamin supplements by their doctor would that be a theory? 
Mind your own goddamn business.  I’ll do my lifestyle….you do your lifestyle!
You have no arguments other than criticizing lifestyle choices. That’s it.
Supplements are not praying!
That’s the latest BS attempt to discredit people’s lifestyle.
You can’t deny that supplements have useful properties. So STFU!
I bet if I came into your practice and told you of theories I had about my health you be glad to charge me money and direct me on a course of actions.
They wouldn’t be theories then would they?

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Posted: 22 July 2013 06:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 157 ]
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VYAMZA why are your unable to talk about this without freaking out. Can’t adults disagree without silly little outbursts like this?

I didn’t use a strawman, I used an analogy. I didn’t say supplements were like prayer. I said that the process of reasoning you are using to argue the supplements are helping you (“I stopped them and felt different”) is exactly the ame as the reasoning process of anyone with any belief that they sustain through personal experience. The reason I selected a religious example is because I know you recognize the unreliable and subjective nature of such reasoning when presented in support of beliefs you don’t share, but you seem to feel “it’s different” when you use the same reasoning.

If someone used ibuprofen and said pain was lessened would that be a theory too?
If someone had not drank water in 3 days and complained of headaches, would that be a theory too?

Of course. Haven’t you heard of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy? The fact that one thing happens first and another second is not proof the first caused the second. It’s not even proof if there is a plausible mechanism for how the one might have caused the other. Most headaches go away on their own. And lots of things can cause headaches besides dehydration. So the fact that someone does and Y happens is not proof that X caused Y. It can be a useful piece of evidence, but you have to rule out alternative explanations, which is why scientific research is done.

And once and for all, I don’t care what you do at all. I’m not criticizing your lifestyle, and you can swallow any pill you like. I am, however, challenging your claims for vitamins that you are making on a public discussion forum, and once again if you don’t want anyone to criticize your claims why are you making them in forum designed for critical, skeptical inquiry?

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Posted: 22 July 2013 07:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 158 ]
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VYAZMA - 21 July 2013 09:31 AM

Mind your own goddamn business.  I’ll do my lifestyle….you do your lifestyle!
You have no arguments other than criticizing lifestyle choices. That’s it.
Supplements are not praying!
That’s the latest BS attempt to discredit people’s lifestyle.
You can’t deny that supplements have useful properties. So STFU!
I bet if I came into your practice and told you of theories I had about my health you be glad to charge me money and direct me on a course of actions.
They wouldn’t be theories then would they?

VYAZMA, ours is a forum for discussion and inquiry into matters such as these. If you don’t want to brook inquiry or discussion, then it’s best to stay out of such threads. Outbursts and epithets like these are against the rules, which are designed to promote dispassionate investigation. Please take note of the rules, since violations can lead to banning. Thanks.

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Posted: 22 July 2013 07:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 159 ]
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VYAZMA - 21 July 2013 09:31 AM

McGeyver-There is a bit of circular reasoning going on here. You are essentially saying “My theory makes sense and therefor it lends credence to the evidence I use to support it”

No MacGeyver,  McKendzie used a red herring or a strawman to compare use of supplements with praying.
Supplements are not praying.  Supplements are not a theory.
I don’t have any theories!  Where did I propose a theory?
If someone used ibuprofen and said pain was lessened would that be a theory too?
If someone had not drank water in 3 days and complained of headaches, would that be a theory too?
If a person was prescribed vitamin supplements by their doctor would that be a theory? 
Mind your own goddamn business.  I’ll do my lifestyle….you do your lifestyle!
You have no arguments other than criticizing lifestyle choices. That’s it.
Supplements are not praying!
That’s the latest BS attempt to discredit people’s lifestyle.
You can’t deny that supplements have useful properties. So STFU!
I bet if I came into your practice and told you of theories I had about my health you be glad to charge me money and direct me on a course of actions.
They wouldn’t be theories then would they?

McKenzie wouldn’t charge you anything nor would he direct you on a course of action.  He might charge your owner and advise him or her on a course of action for you.  Then you could wag your tail.

Lois

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Posted: 23 July 2013 02:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 160 ]
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McKenzie wouldn’t charge you anything nor would he direct you on a course of action.  He might charge your owner and advise him or her on a course of action for you.  Then you could wag your tail.

Lois

That’s witty.

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Posted: 23 July 2013 02:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 161 ]
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McKenzieVMD-And once and for all, I don’t care what you do at all. I’m not criticizing your lifestyle, and you can swallow any pill you like. I am, however, challenging your claims for vitamins that you are making on a public discussion forum, and once again if you don’t want anyone to criticize your claims why are you making them in forum designed for critical, skeptical inquiry?

Are you challenging the claim that vitamin supplements contain compounds that are essential for life(not exclusively) and when ingested are metabolized by the body and put to use?
You ignored my other post in response to your recent post. I assumed that was because you didn’t have a suitable reply.
I’ll ask again…Could the feeling of less energy and focus I experienced be caused from the result of me abstaining from vitamins for 6 days?
Both of these positions require only a yes or no answer.
I’ll be happy to reply to any inquiries you have with simple yes or no answers as well.
Let’s see if you can tackle these toughies first. And don’t insult my intelligence, such as it is. I take waffling as a sign of weakness in one’s argument.

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Posted: 23 July 2013 03:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 162 ]
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Doug-VYAZMA, ours is a forum for discussion and inquiry into matters such as these. If you don’t want to brook inquiry or discussion, then it’s best to stay out of such threads. Outbursts and epithets like these are against the rules, which are designed to promote dispassionate investigation. Please take note of the rules, since violations can lead to banning. Thanks.

McKenzie-You wouldn’t accept someone’s word if they said that they stopped praying for a week and bad things happened so God must be real, yet they would feel just as convinced by their experience. But you can undoubtedly think of lots of reasons why that’s different and your experiment is more reasonable than theirs. So it’s hard to talk about these things when there is a conflict between experiential knowledge and knowledged gained from research because the more reliable of the two is the less compelling.

This is one of your Moderators using shoddy debate tactics. Comparing vitamin supplements with praying is cheap, and ridiculous.
Furthermore, the contrast used above concerning my experiential knowledge and research is faulty!
What research?  What research has McKenzie cited in regards to vitamin supplements not containing useful compounds?
Is there research that has proven that the ingestion of vitamin supplements don’t release compounds into the body that are metabolized and used for essential processes in the body?
There’s no science behind actual communication with god.  There is plenty of science in regards to vitamin supplements containing compounds that are used by the human body.  Mountains of science regarding this.

[ Edited: 23 July 2013 03:14 AM by VYAZMA ]
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Posted: 23 July 2013 03:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 163 ]
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McKenzie- It can be a useful piece of evidence, but you have to rule out alternative explanations, which is why scientific research is done.

Oh. So what you are saying is every time someone has a headache and takes and aspirin, a scientific examination must take place to ensure that the pain was relieved by the aspirin. I see.
So, the person shouldn’t rely on aspirin again until they rule out all other alternative explanations as to why their headache went away after taking aspirin?

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Posted: 23 July 2013 10:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 164 ]
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Are you challenging the claim that vitamin supplements contain compounds that are essential for life(not exclusively) and when ingested are metabolized by the body and put to use?

I’ve already answered this in previous posts:

Yes, vitamins are essential. That is part of their definition. No, there is no evidence to support that your daily multivitamin has a beneficial effect on your health, whether you feel it does or not. It probably also does little harm, but both benefit and harm have to be determined by research evidence, not just “common sense,” how you feel, or whatever else you are suggesting.

Something can be essential and harmful at the same time. Oxygen is essential, and prolonged exposure to high levels can cause death. Water is essential, and drinking to much at once can kill you. Vitamins are essential, and getting more than you need can be harmful. This does not only mean megadosing, though of course the risk is greater the higher the dose. If you get all that is essential from your ordinary diet, which most people do (though I understand you don’t believe that), then any additional is extra and unecessary, useless at best and posisbly harmful. Extra supplementation of essential vitamins can be useless.

The fact that vitamins are essential doesn’t mean that you are getting any benefit from a supplement unless you have a vitamin deficient diet or a specific medical condition for which a supplment is indicated. And even though supplements can have specific benefits in particular situations, the proof of this comes from controlled research, not from the mere fact that they are biologically active compounds or the anecdote you provided to support taking them.

Could the feeling of less energy and focus I experienced be caused from the result of me abstaining from vitamins for 6 days?

Yes it could. Or it could be do to many other causes. Only controlled research can distinguish between the appearance of a causal relationship where one doesn’t exist and a real causal relationship. The classic example is that the presence of matches in your pocket is associated with lung cancer, so one could argue that matches cause lung cancer. The real explanation, of course, is that smoking causes lung cancer and carrying matches is correlated with smoking but by itself has no effect on cancer risk. Science exists to identify caual relationships because things aren’t always what they seem.

So what you are saying is every time someone has a headache and takes and aspirin, a scientific examination must take place to ensure that the pain was relieved by the aspirin.

If you make the claim: “I took aspirin and my headache went away.” you don’t have to prove anything. This is just an observation of a sequence of events. However , if you say “Aspirin is an effective treatment for headaches” and your only evidence for this is “I took aspirin and my headache went away,” you haven’t proven the first claim. To again use an analogy, people with cancer often pray to be healed, and sometimes their cancer goes away. This does not, however, prove prayer cured their cancer. That requires controlled research.

The whole point here is not about how you feel. If you feel better taking supllements, I couldn’t possibly argue that you don’t, and I don’t have any interest in talking you out of doing so. But if you use your feelings as evidence in an argument that taking supplements is good, or healthy, or that people can expect to feel better when taking them because you do, then your reasoning isn’t sound. And if you take supplements despite controlled scientific evidence that they are of no value and increase your disease risk slightly, then there’s nothing wrong with my pointing to that evidence and suggesting that it is probably more reliable a guide to the truth than your individual experience.

My whole point in post #152 above was that personal experiences are very psychologically compelling and hard to ignore, and they are also unreliable, and the combination makes it really hard to convince people that their experiences may not be a good guide to what’s true, whether we are talking about religion or dietary supplements. I’m not suggesting you are any different than any of the rest of us in this. In fact the anger that you express at having your beliefs challenged is very common among proponents of all kinds of health-related beliefs, religious beliefs, political beliefs, and all sorts of other beliefs. People don’t like being told that they way things feel to them may not reflect how things actually are, which is part of why skepticism and science are so often disliked or disregarded. But I think a strong case exists that controlled scientific research works better than individual trial and error in deciding what is healthy and what isn’t. I’m truly not trying to offend you or challenege your “lifestyle,” but this seems the appropriate place to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of different kinds of evidence.

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Posted: 23 July 2013 11:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 165 ]
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VYAZMA - 23 July 2013 02:57 AM

Are you challenging the claim that vitamin supplements contain compounds that are essential for life(not exclusively) and when ingested are metabolized by the body and put to use?

The compounds are ‘essential for life’, but not necessarily ‘put to use’ when swallowed, just as water poured over a full glass does not go into the glass just because you continue to pour forever.

You ignored my other post in response to your recent post. I assumed that was because you didn’t have a suitable reply.
I’ll ask again…Could the feeling of less energy and focus I experienced be caused from the result of me abstaining from vitamins for 6 days?
Both of these positions require only a yes or no answer.

Simple answer is ‘no’, and Anecdote is not Data. Would you consider it could be a placebo effect?

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