Vitamins - Natural Food Stores
Posted: 23 April 2006 03:20 AM   [ Ignore ]
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[size=18:330648050a][color=blue:330648050a]Lately the Glucosamine Chondroitin formulations everyone but me took at a cost of over $50.00 a month have been tested in a double blind study.

The result was what I expected. In a word, they suck.

What do you all think of the use of vitiamins in large quantities? Or small quantities for that matter.

What do you think of the far eastern uses of dried ground animal parts like bear gall bladders? Do they have merit?

Jim[/color:330648050a][/size:330648050a]

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Jimmie Keyes
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Posted: 23 April 2006 03:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Vitamins - Natural Food Stores

Lately the Glucosamine Chondroitin formulations everyone but me took at a cost of over $50.00 a month have been tested in a double blind study.

The result was what I expected. In a word, they suck.

What do you all think of the use of vitiamins in large quantities? Or small quantities for that matter.

What do you think of the far eastern uses of dried ground animal parts like bear gall bladders? Do they have merit?

Jim

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Jimmie Keyes
Tavernier, FL
http://secularhumanism.meetup.com/1/
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. (MLK Jr.)

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Posted: 31 July 2006 11:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I agree with you 100%, Doug.  I think large doses of vitamins are unecessary and can be downright harmful.  And why are all the formulas always 5,000 times the RDA?  Probably so they can justify selling us 30 pills for $45 a bottle.  I prefer to get my vitamins through the foods I eat, and only occasionally succumb to taking supplements.

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Posted: 31 July 2006 01:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I’ve started taking a fish-oil suppliment, at the advice of my doctor.

Advised as part of a healthy routine that he hopes will lower my cholesterol (which isn’t actually very high).

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Posted: 31 July 2006 03:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hi Riley,

As I understand it (and I’m not a medical doctor!) fish oil has been shown to have some anti-cholesterol properties. My doctor has told me the same. My guess is that this is somewhat speculative, but suggestive.

And at least in your case it was suggested by an actual medical doctor, who might presumably change his opinion if contradictory evidence were forthcoming ...

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Posted: 01 August 2006 07:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Glad to see this is moving a bit.

If you read the story of the great race to the south pole, Robert Scott on the one side and Amundsen on the other (don’t anyone pick one me if I got these names wrong. they might be the wrong pole seekers - I’m doing it from memory of books read long time ago!) Scott arrived a day to so late, Amundsen had been there and gone. He turned his sleds for home and his party was found dead a stones throw from safety. They had poisoned themselves by eating the livers of seals that were rich in Vitamin A.

I always am amazed when i hear of people who take handfuls of multivitamins in the morning and evening - Vitamin A is a poison if taken in large quantity for too long a time.

Jim

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Jimmie Keyes
Tavernier, FL
http://secularhumanism.meetup.com/1/
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. (MLK Jr.)

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Posted: 03 November 2006 05:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Interesting topic which I might be able to add to.  My wife works at a health food store and actually advises people on vitamins and supplements.  She views these products as preventative measures rather than reactive.  On a daily basis, I hear stories about people looking for the magic pill that will cure their ills.  The most common problem people have is a high BMI.  The first question she asks is “Are you following a balanced diet, exercising 3 times a week, and drinking plenty of H20 to keep your metabolism up?”  They usually look at her like a deer in the headlights.  For the most part, the greatest good the natural products provide is a gateway to a healthier lifestyle.  Over time she has directed people to various products to “fix” various other problems.  Her customers give her feedback for or against certain products.  A lot of the fixes are probably from a placebo effect.  Other fixes have been validated from several people making positive comments about a particualr product.  She does admit that there are a lot of people seeking the “medicine show” with the eyes of a child.

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Posted: 03 November 2006 05:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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[quote author=“PleaseStopMyBrain”]Interesting topic which I might be able to add to.  My wife works at a health food store and actually advises people on vitamins and supplements.

My concern with such things is that so often the advice given on these things goes well beyond any sort of rigorous science. Often there will be a single (or small number of) poorly designed study, with a statistically insignificant number of participants, or done in a petri dish or on animals, which is taken as “proof” that the supplement works. This isn’t proof. Proof involves three stages of FDA testing and a double blind placebo controlled trial in a large number of humans ... without that, the results are basically guesswork.

[quote author=“PleaseStopMyBrain”]Her customers give her feedback for or against certain products.  A lot of the fixes are probably from a placebo effect.  Other fixes have been validated from several people making positive comments about a particualr product.

This concerns me because anecdotal evidence, no matter whether it’s validated by one or a dozen people, is not scientifically credible. The placebo effect could well be doing the work even if several people feel the product has been effective. Or it could be simply random; illnesses come and go on their own schedule, if you take a pill at the right time it can appear to be helpful even if it has no active ingredients at all.

As they say, “the plural of anecdote isn’t evidence”.

I’m sure your wife is being careful about these things, but it never hurts to get more informed.

For more on these issues I highly recommend the website QuackWatch .

Here is a sub-header that might be interesting to you:

On dietary supplements, herbs and hormones

Enjoy!

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Posted: 03 November 2006 06:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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and then there is this

A point of contention I’ve always had with the natural foods people, my wife included, is that nothing is really proven.  Products are rushed to market without any meaningful testing and questionable consistency.  The larger problem of people blindingly taking these various snake oils can be equated, in a sense to reason and religion.  I’ll give a little try here to explain my thought.

In the same manner a person can agree that the natural earth is billions of years old then “turn off” that line of reasoning when thinking about the bible, so too can a person chow down on a pizza with with Natamycin laiden Mozzerella yet dissaprove of unproven natural supplements. 

So, logically, we might ask the pizza eater to question exactly how much Natamycin is the correct dosage for his bodyweight. 

Point: We consume vast amounts of chemical substances everyday that we know nothing about.  It makes sense to think of these food ingredients in the same light as natural supplements.

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Posted: 03 November 2006 06:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Interesting thoughts. I recall watching nearly a semester of Food Science classes while I was in grad school (they were broadcast over public access TV) ... the prof’s basic contention is that the artificial ingredients were often actually safer than the natural ones in foodstuffs ... in that they at least had been tested—new artificial food ingredients have to be tested before they are allowed into the food supply. But many natural ingredients have never been tested. They are called “GRAS” which means “Generally Recognized As Safe” ... but as we all know, things can be generally recognized as something without actually being so.

Upshot is that we should not assume that natural ingredients are necessarily healthy. Just because some supplement is called “natural” does not mean that it can’t have very bad adverse health effects.

I should stress here that I’m not claiming that artificial ingredients are always necessarily safe either ... some are, some aren’t. But the fetish over “naturalness” is to my eyes also quasi-religious: like there’s something essentially good about nature. There isn’t. Hemlock is a natural ingredient and it will kill you dead.

Anyhow take a look at the QuackWatch site and show your wife. Hopefully it’ll make her a better informed salesperson.

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Posted: 03 November 2006 07:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I agree with you on your points.  Anything can kill you in excess.  I remember playing a drinking game with friends as a teen.  One friend was made to drink water instead of beer.  He drank so much that he ended up at the emergency room.  We learned about the toxic effects of water that night. 

Quackwatch will probably piss my wife off even though would agree with most of it.  So, I may keep it to myself.

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Posted: 03 November 2006 07:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Yep, there’s another statement I remember from the Food Science class:

“The dosage makes the poison”.

Truer words were never said.

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Posted: 05 January 2007 04:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Re: Vitamins - Natural Food Stores

[quote author=“jimmiekeyes”]Lately the Glucosamine Chondroitin formulations everyone but me took at a cost of over $50.00 a month have been tested in a double blind study.

The result was what I expected. In a word, they suck.

What do you all think of the use of vitiamins in large quantities? Or small quantities for that matter.

What do you think of the far eastern uses of dried ground animal parts like bear gall bladders? Do they have merit?

Jim

Hi Jim,

I think you and some of the others that cite QuackWatch need to be more critcal in your review of reviews, or in this case the Glucosamine “Study” that I think you are referring to.


The problem with the study stating that glucosamine did not show an improvement in symptoms is somewhat of a classic strawman set-up. First let’s define symptoms: Joint Pain. Pain is the symptom of Inflammation. Inflammation is the result of clinical osteoarthritis (OA) or bone on bone grinding on any joint surface.

Secondly, It should be noted that Glucosamine is NOT classified as any type of COX inhibitor or anti-inflammatory. Glucosamine by definition: Is an important building block needed by the body to manufacture specialized molecules called glycosaminoglycans, found in cartilage, Not a COX-2 inhibiting drug such as celecoxib (Celebrex). In essence, Glucosamine is only applicable in cases of OA ( “wear and tear” arthritis, the gradual, chronic joint disease that is primarily associated with aging and injury). 


Quoting from the “Study”:

“The group of patients who took celecoxib did have a statistically significant improvement in their symptoms. These results suggest that glucosamine and chondroitin do not effectively relieve pain in osteoarthritis patients.”

This is an easy conclusion given the premise (if you want to call it that) is flawed is far from a sound argument. The comparison being made doesn’t even compare apples to apples (Cox-2 to Cox-2).

The study should have compared apples to apples, namely a Natural COX-2 Inhibitor such as standardized Boswellia Extract, Hops Extract (I like IsoOxygene) or Curcumin (Turmeric).

                          VS.

                  Celecoxib (Celebrex)

It should also be noted that Vioxx (Mercks Cox-2) and Celebrex carry Gastrointestinal & Cardiovascular ADRs (Adverse Drug Reactions). Is the risk worth the reward?


As with any treatment of OA, simply addressing inflammation is merely treating the symptom of pain. The underlying factor of worn joint cartilage should always be looked at too. Rebuilding joint cartilage is a process that takes many months to years to see (and feel) a difference. The process of building new joint cartilage in the knee for example does not happen over night, nor should it be expected to work overnight or in a short time-span. After-all, our knees take a beating from being on them for many years. Just think of all the weight bearing / jarring years the typical OA patient has seen in a lifetime….


Anyway, thats my two cents and is also my first message here. I love the podcasts for POI and look forward to a healthy debates about anything…

As for my recommendation, I like these two products. One is designed for Joint Support and has a form of glucosamine that I like plus a good natural COX-2 inhibitor (IsoOxygene) and other nutrients that have been shown to aid in the regeneration of cartilage.


The second product is mainly a straight COX-2 blend of botanicals but has some 5-LO inhibitors as well (another inflammatory pathway). This is called Inflacain.

 


Peace Out!

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a copy of what I posted on another board here at CFI.

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Posted: 05 January 2007 06:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Libtech 33,

You are welcome to your views, but I have removed your links to sites selling products you are touting. What you are doing here is very close to spam.

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Posted: 05 January 2007 02:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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In respect to megadoses of vitamins.  I’ve taken far more than the RDA of everything except vitamins B6, A, and D.  I only take three times the RDA for A and two times the RDA for D. 

A problem with the RDA is that it is based on young healthy adults.  As we age our intestines become less efficient at absorbing some of these, and our bodies become less efficient at utilizing them.

Even though DuPont gave it up, I still believe in BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY 

My wife has made a number of pejorative comments about me being an atheist, but believing in chemical fairytales.  To her I say, POOH.  smile

Occam

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