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Multivitamins

Multivitamins
October 04, 2013, 02:46:57 AM
Do these work? are they to be given any credibility? Do you take any or can attest to their value?
Or is it just an upcoming industry that rivals the big pharmaceutical companies?

Some interesting arguments:

Some say that our modern farming methods have depleted the naturally occurring nutritional properties in what can currently be produced, making multivitamin supplements an essential, yet on the other hand they insist on it not replacing a balanced diet. I am naturally a little cynical about most things science, especially since just about anything that has recently been found in a study (and read about in a paper) could and often is later found to be wrong (in another paper).

Re: Multivitamins
October 04, 2013, 03:16:20 AM
The inorganic fertilizers help keep crop production high but you have to keep adding the stuff. Without it you end up with rather dead soil lacking in organic material and higher in acidity. In other words, it leaves soil that is somewhat bad for growing.

The higher acidity is caused by excess carbon buildup in the soil. The lack of aeration causes the carbon buildup and that in turn is because the structure of the soil itself is poor. Nicely composted kitchen scraps take of the nutrient provision and the soil structure problem. But composting isn't as efficient or convenient as buying inorganic fertilizer particularly for a large scale business.

The reason for the desire for excessive crop production is government subsidy for certain things like corn for example which is used to offset petroleum in gasoline.

I've heard about the vitamin depletion but don't have a good source for it.

Vitamins function of course but you have to question the quality of the product. Some of them are more difficult for the body to absorb because of cheap manufacture. Some you don't need in such quantities because of age or existing diet.

I've had great success paying attention to symptoms and then throwing a single appropriate vitamin or mineral supplement at it. For example, I hit leg cramps, acid reflux and sleep apnea with potassium and magnesium and the problems disappeared.

Re: Multivitamins
October 04, 2013, 01:24:35 PM
Do these work? are they to be given any credibility? Do you take any or can attest to their value?
Or is it just an upcoming industry that rivals the big pharmaceutical companies?

Total scam, almost no one needs vitamin supplements and those that do would be much better served by obtaining them through their diet. A few vitamins have pharmaceutical uses, like B12 and Thiamine (in the treatment of alcohol abuse) and Vitamin K (reverses the anticoagulant effect of warfarin, the most common anticoagulant medication).

http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/spotquack.html

It is incredibly difficult to convince people who believe in the efficacy of these products that they are simply wasting money. Most doctors simply dont bother, it isnt worth the fight.

Re: Multivitamins
October 04, 2013, 02:33:03 PM
Do these work? are they to be given any credibility? Do you take any or can attest to their value?
Or is it just an upcoming industry that rivals the big pharmaceutical companies?

Total scam, almost no one needs vitamin supplements and those that do would be much better served by obtaining them through their diet. A few vitamins have pharmaceutical uses, like B12 and Thiamine (in the treatment of alcohol abuse) and Vitamin K (reverses the anticoagulant effect of warfarin, the most common anticoagulant medication).

http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/spotquack.html

It is incredibly difficult to convince people who believe in the efficacy of these products that they are simply wasting money. Most doctors simply dont bother, it isnt worth the fight.

Meh. Some truth to the above, falls into the trap of being equally worthy of the term "quackery". I doubt most people in decent shape really need a multivitamin, especially if you're eating a reasonable range of vegetables, meats, nuts/fruits, etc. At the same time, I doubt it hurts to add one (or most other supplements from a reliable source) to your diet, and I don't think they're necessarily flawed in principle. A lot of them can get pretty expensive, and unless you're loaded or able to get them for free (like me), not worth it.

Re: Multivitamins
October 04, 2013, 02:43:12 PM
It does not hurt to add most, no. Taking say, potassium is dangerous, as is the aforementioned Vitamin K for some people. Take the article with a grain of salt, the general principles still stand. Even without a well balanced diet it is difficult to become deficient in a lot of vitamins and micronutrients. It requires either extreme imbalance (e.g. scurvy, no Vitamin C for months and months on end) or some added insult (again, alcoholism e.g.)

They are flawed in principle though, the principle is wrong.

Re: Multivitamins
October 04, 2013, 03:16:53 PM
Potassium shouldn't be necessary at all since eating enough food would provide the mineral anyway. Also, vitamin A pills are supposed to be potentially harmful. Something like carrots are a better source.

Re: Multivitamins
October 04, 2013, 05:19:18 PM
(alcoholism e.g.)

They are flawed in principle though, the principle is wrong.

I think the "added insult" point is pretty key. See: the West. High intake of sugars, sometimes stemming from physiological impulses related to chronic stress, which are in turn paired with sleep problems. Sugars are highly available for cheap, and few people know enough to tell you that they're total garbage.

Overabundance of (stupidity re:) anything can kill you, even water-soluble Vitamin Bs. Vitamin deficiencies are indeed, often the result of extreme deprivation as well - and it is in these instances where select, high dosages of vitamins and minerals have practical, therapeutic applications. Out of curiosity, what do those here think of medicine in general? Certainly it is a complex topic.

Re: Multivitamins
October 04, 2013, 07:53:05 PM
Trystero, what is your understanding as a medical professional of fish oil as a supplement?

Re: Multivitamins
October 04, 2013, 09:15:09 PM
Out of curiosity, what do those here think of medicine in general? Certainly it is a complex topic.

In the U.S. the all important GDP is the source of all morality and goodness. GDP is supposed to be the authority on a society's success.

With big med and big pharma composing such a huge slice of that pie, medicine is primarily about revenue from an administrative perspective (Obamacare). The practitioners tend to follow suit.

Take the popular B12 shot. Do patients really need to load up on that vitamin on a weekly basis or is it really about repeat business and cash flow?

Re: Multivitamins
October 07, 2013, 02:06:42 AM
Out of curiosity, what do those here think of medicine in general? Certainly it is a complex topic.

In the U.S. the all important GDP is the source of all morality and goodness. GDP is supposed to be the authority on a society's success.

With big med and big pharma composing such a huge slice of that pie, medicine is primarily about revenue from an administrative perspective (Obamacare). The practitioners tend to follow suit.

Take the popular B12 shot. Do patients really need to load up on that vitamin on a weekly basis or is it really about repeat business and cash flow?

I wouldn't question for even a second that any health care system is primarily profit-related. The interesting thing is that multivitamins are often marketed from the perspective of being a preventative against health-related issues that might occur. It was of course a sales rep that told me he thinks everyone should be on a good multivitamin due to lack of nutritional value in food due to modern farming methods, and lo and behold just about everyone is.

Re: Multivitamins
October 07, 2013, 02:28:39 AM
A little aside...

I don't smoke dope. For many reasons. I no longer enjoy being stoned, for one.
Last week, however, I decided to have a go, after many years, to remind myself what it was like, and sure enough, I got stoned. But:

I suffer quite badly from asthma, induced by allergies to stuff that thrives where I live: in a coastal rainforest.
Lo and behold, after a little dope, my asthma disappeared, completely, for several days.
I researched this, and strangely enough, it turns out that many people have noticed this side-effect.

Much as I dislike dope, and everything that goes with it, I think I'm going to have to experiment with this anti-allergy effect a little more deeply. Even I may be able to bear being stoned, sometimes, if it means I can breathe freely.




Re: Multivitamins
October 07, 2013, 03:15:37 AM
It is thought to have some anti-inflammatory type effects (which is why it so commonly used by people with chronic pain). The chemical called BCP found in basil and oregano also has this effect on the cannabinoid receptors.

Re: Multivitamins
October 07, 2013, 08:18:49 AM
Quote
On October 10, 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. "It's been a tough week for vitamins," said Carrie Gann of ABC News.

These findings weren't new. Seven previous studies had already shown that vitamins increased the risk of cancer and heart disease and shortened lives. Still, in 2012, more than half of all Americans took some form of vitamin supplements. What few people realize, however, is that their fascination with vitamins can be traced back to one man. A man who was so spectacularly right that he won two Nobel Prizes and so spectacularly wrong that he was arguably the world's greatest quack.

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/07/the-vitamin-myth-why-we-think-we-need-supplements/277947/

Re: Multivitamins
October 08, 2013, 04:06:57 AM
Quote
On October 10, 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. "It's been a tough week for vitamins," said Carrie Gann of ABC News.

These findings weren't new. Seven previous studies had already shown that vitamins increased the risk of cancer and heart disease and shortened lives. Still, in 2012, more than half of all Americans took some form of vitamin supplements. What few people realize, however, is that their fascination with vitamins can be traced back to one man. A man who was so spectacularly right that he won two Nobel Prizes and so spectacularly wrong that he was arguably the world's greatest quack.

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/07/the-vitamin-myth-why-we-think-we-need-supplements/277947/

Pauling's hypothesis was unsurprisingly false. Any kind of catch-all cure, especially with medicine, is bound to be. If I had the time, I'd be interested to see the specifics of relevant studies (not the Vitamin C one, that stuff's been around for awhile, obvious/well known) - really, the only thing that matters, not what amounts to an opinion piece.

Regardless I'm somewhat wary of this recent bout of "anti"-vitamins, since in some cases regular doses of vitamins and minerals have studied benefits for specific ailments. People love to tout their endorsements of certain studies if they've not yet played their hand.

I suspect that "Do you Believe in Magic" guy is nearly as BS as much of the supplement/alternative health industry he decries (presumably the low-hanging fruit, since certain things are most definitely not as worthless as mega doses of Vitamin C, or "antioxidants") - like the rest of us, cashing in.

On the upside, people do seem to be getting the idea that simpler/older shit is better in most cases (local/native, unprocessed, etc.), but frankly no volume of well-intended trends can cease the baffling stupidity that's out there, reproducing.

unrelated picture @ crow


Re: Multivitamins
October 08, 2013, 06:30:03 AM
People want to be forever young, know the future, talk to the deceased and turn lead into gold. It's nothing new of course. If there's a product that promises these things people will be interested.

And then there's the story of Faust... (People actually die sooner from supplemental vitamins? *insert sardonic laughter here*)