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Vitamin Studies Dispute Common Beliefs
Posted: 19 November 2008 05:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Kyuuketsuki UK - 19 November 2008 04:54 AM

Dumb question I know but do vitamins actually do us any good? I was always led to understand they do.

Well, vitamins help keep us alive. They are very important. But the question for the thread has more to do with taking vitamin supplements rather than getting the normal daily dose of these vitamins through a balanced diet.

There sometimes is a notion that if 100% of something does you good, that 10,000% of it must do you 100x as good. But that ain’t necessarily so.

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Posted: 19 November 2008 07:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Kyuuketsuki UK - 19 November 2008 04:54 AM

Dumb question I know but do vitamins actually do us any good? I was always led to understand they do.

Kyu

As Doug said, we need to make the distinction between physiologic doses of vitamins ( the amount currently thought to be our daily requirement) and all the hype about using large amounts of vitamins in excess of the RDA.

Not a dumb question at all. Vitamins are chemicals that our bodies need in small amount to perform certain essential functions. They often act as catalysts in various biochemical reactions in the body. Unfortunately although some amount of these vitamins is essential more isn’t better in most cases. A lot of the controversy involving vitamins is about the use of large doses of vitamins above and beyond what has been proven to be necessary for the body to carry out its normal activities, and most of these claims are based on pseudoscience or no science at all.

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Posted: 19 November 2008 07:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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My two-weeks old son was prescribed vitamin D; supposedly it is absent in breast milk. We will give to him, as winter is almost here, depriving us of this necessary “sunshine vitamin.” We didn’t, however, give it to our two older sons, who were both born at the beginning of a summer and got plenty of vitamin D from the sun.

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Posted: 02 March 2009 04:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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In high school I was forced as homework to record everything I ate for a week or two for the purpose of nutritional analysis. I don’t think I ate any better than the typical teenager. My diet log was made easier by the fact that I worked and often ate at Taco Bell and I had hard figures for the nutritional content of everything on the menu.

My analysis showed that I probably took in too much in the way of fat and calories. But vitamins & minerals? I was fine, generally well exceeding all recommended allowances.. even with my typically “awful” modern American diet.
Your mileage may vary, I suppose.

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Posted: 02 March 2009 04:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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dougsmith - 19 November 2008 05:21 AM
Kyuuketsuki UK - 19 November 2008 04:54 AM

Dumb question I know but do vitamins actually do us any good? I was always led to understand they do.

Well, vitamins help keep us alive. They are very important. But the question for the thread has more to do with taking vitamin supplements rather than getting the normal daily dose of these vitamins through a balanced diet.

There sometimes is a notion that if 100% of something does you good, that 10,000% of it must do you 100x as good. But that ain’t necessarily so.

In fact, some of the fat soluble vitamins can actually kill you if you take too much (much, much more than what is in a vitamin pill). Vitamin A especially can be very toxic, and is what makes bear liver poisonous to humans. The other fat soluble vitamins are D and E and K.

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Posted: 02 March 2009 06:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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However, knowledge does progress.  For most of my life we were told as Asanta stated, that excess amounts of vitamine D were dangerous, and that we shouldn’t exceed 400 I.U. per day.  Now I see published research that indicates the preferable range is from 1,000 to 2,000 I.U. daily, especially if one doesn’t get much UV from sunlight.  And that group includes people at both ends of the pigmentation spectrum.  Those with very low levels of melanin can generate enough D from sunlight, but they may be exposing themselves to a higher probability of skin cancer.  Those with very high levels of melanin may need a great deal more sunlight to get enough D because their pigmentation protects them against the UV.

Occam

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Posted: 02 March 2009 07:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Occam - 02 March 2009 06:58 PM

However, knowledge does progress.  For most of my life we were told as Asanta stated, that excess amounts of vitamine D were dangerous, and that we shouldn’t exceed 400 I.U. per day.  Now I see published research that indicates the preferable range is from 1,000 to 2,000 I.U. daily, especially if one doesn’t get much UV from sunlight.  And that group includes people at both ends of the pigmentation spectrum.  Those with very low levels of melanin can generate enough D from sunlight, but they may be exposing themselves to a higher probability of skin cancer.  Those with very high levels of melanin may need a great deal more sunlight to get enough D because their pigmentation protects them against the UV.

Occam

That’s why I kept my example to Vitamin A.  smile

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Posted: 02 March 2009 07:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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And then 10 years from now they’ll tell us they were wrong, and to go back to the old dosage!  LOL

I recall 10-15 years ago hearing that to prevent breast cancer, women should eat lots of soy products and drink soy milk. Last month, some lady was telling me “Oh no, women shouldn’t consume soy products, soy has recently been linked to breast cancer! Women should only drink RICE milk and eat rice products.” (Why do I suspect this rumor was started by the rice farmer’s association? Kidding.)

Make up your minds, people! In the meantime, I will still be purchasing delicious vanilla flavored soymilk for my family, from Trader Joe’s supermarket.  Mmmmmmm va-nil-la!

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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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