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Vitamins and Trust Issues

Vitamins and Trust Issues
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  • Vitamins and Trust Issues

    Post #1 - January 14th, 2009, 12:04 pm
    Post #1 - January 14th, 2009, 12:04 pm Post #1 - January 14th, 2009, 12:04 pm
    Vitamins and Trust Issues

    I laughed at Michael Pollan’s suggestion in The Omnivore’s Dilemma that one should “Act like a person who takes vitamins…and then save your money.” People who take vitamins and other supplements tend to be healthier, which is probably more because they care about their health than that they actually consume a bunch of pills.

    A few days ago, my youngest daughter was packing for a foreign study adventure in Milan, and I noticed that she was taking with her a few hundred garlic tablets (a powdered and compressed form of the stinking rose). Modulating my tone of voice to somewhere between a sympathetic Robert Young (“Kitten…”) and a sarcastic Al Bundy (Pumpkin…”), I asked her how hard she thought it would be to find actual garlic (you know, the bulbs) in Italy.

    When I was my daughter’s age, I wrote a column called “Asked Adele” for my college newspaper; I channeled the spirit of Adele Davis, 70’s health food guru, and answered health-related questions presumably sent in by students (but usually dreamed up by me and beer buddies). With no genuine authority, I cavalierly prescribed all kinds of consumable (or marginally consumable) health food store stuff, including Brewer’s Yeast, wheat germ and, of course, lots of vitamins. In retrospect, I am duly chastened.

    The Wife still shovels fistfuls of supplements down her gullet every morning. I take one multi-vitamin, and I wonder if even that’s too much. We eat pretty well (lots of veg, grain, etc.), but for some reason, it seems we, meaning all of us, simply don’t trust our food supply, any food supply. We tend to feel that it must have -- like our parents, our governments, our gods – somehow failed us. Even good food isn’t enough; we need more assurance, more security, more...something.

    In this epoch when a huge range of fresh, local food is easily available at relatively reasonable prices, I wonder if it makes any sense to take any vitamin pills; it occurs to me that I might even be harming myself. Still, I plan to keep taking them, though I’m not entirely sure why. Force of habit, maybe, unfocused fear or lack of trust.

    David “Adele” Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #2 - January 14th, 2009, 12:50 pm
    Post #2 - January 14th, 2009, 12:50 pm Post #2 - January 14th, 2009, 12:50 pm
    I generally will only take a multivitamin after a long exertion -- from hiking in the hot sun to recovering from a flu bug. I don't notice a difference in my health versus my wife who takes one daily.

    The penalties for complete lack of the major vitamins is huge... but that's harder to do with B-vitamin-enhanced flour, A&D in the milk and even the orange juice. If you eat any oily vegetables at all, E isn't a problem, and if you eat any fruits, C isn't a problem.

    Recent studies have refuted C's benefits over colds (Sorry Linus Pauling), and E hasn't shown the heart benefits that were previously claimed. These days, the big emphasis is whole grains and fiber... which will probably last another couple years until the next fad comes along, inducing yet another line on the Nutrition Facts on the back and a big arrow on the front of packaging.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #3 - January 14th, 2009, 12:56 pm
    Post #3 - January 14th, 2009, 12:56 pm Post #3 - January 14th, 2009, 12:56 pm
    JoelF wrote:These days, the big emphasis is whole grains and fiber... which will probably last another couple years until the next fad comes along, inducing yet another line on the Nutrition Facts on the back and a big arrow on the front of packaging.


    Reminds me of another one of Pollan's suggestions (and I paraphrase): Don't buy any foods that tout their nutritional values on the packaging.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #4 - January 14th, 2009, 1:22 pm
    Post #4 - January 14th, 2009, 1:22 pm Post #4 - January 14th, 2009, 1:22 pm
    My doc tells me to take calcium (I'm female). She said a multi-vitamin was fine but probably not necessary. Certain supplements are supposed to (maybe) help with specific diseases. The vet opthalmologist we saw about Romi's blindness said to give him Lutein and Antiox (a grapeseed extract for dogs).
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
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  • Post #5 - January 14th, 2009, 1:30 pm
    Post #5 - January 14th, 2009, 1:30 pm Post #5 - January 14th, 2009, 1:30 pm
    It's hard for me to post in a rational tone when writing about the sickening way in which the veterinary business takes advantage of the emotions people have toward their pets. Countless very expensive supplements are touted as "must haves" despite virtually no real scientific evidence that they make a difference in the pet's life. However disgusted I am by silly health claims ("Heart Healhty!") on package labels for people food, it's multiplied by 10 when it comes to these pet related claims.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #6 - January 14th, 2009, 2:30 pm
    Post #6 - January 14th, 2009, 2:30 pm Post #6 - January 14th, 2009, 2:30 pm
    David Hammond wrote:Still, I plan to keep taking them, though I’m not entirely sure why. Force of habit, maybe, unfocused fear or lack of trust.


    I wonder if people who take vitamins do so more often because of a lack of trust in the food supply or because of a kind of blind faith in what a pill might provide. I don't recall ever reading any studies about the placebo effect of, say, multi-vitamins, but they must exist.

    The last time I took a vitamin I was 5 or 6, and it was because the Flinstones variety tasted (and probably still tastes) like candy. I don't take vitamins for two reasons--because I've been pretty healthy and not seen the need and because of my perhaps excessive trust in food. For nutrition and health, I don't really like to put anything into my body besides food. Consequently, I have an aversion to most kinds of supplements, including pills and drugs. Sure, by today's guidelines, I probably could stand to consume, at the very least, more calcium or vitamin D, but I just don't worry about it. I make a concerted effort to eat in a well-rounded way, and my body--not just my stomach--seems pretty happy.

    BTW, David, how did your daughter respond to your question? That's what I would have asked.
  • Post #7 - January 14th, 2009, 2:38 pm
    Post #7 - January 14th, 2009, 2:38 pm Post #7 - January 14th, 2009, 2:38 pm
    happy_stomach wrote:BTW, David, how did your daughter respond to your question?


    Stunned silence that a known fool could possibly have perceived a possible mistep on her part. :lol:
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #8 - January 14th, 2009, 2:48 pm
    Post #8 - January 14th, 2009, 2:48 pm Post #8 - January 14th, 2009, 2:48 pm
    Kennyz wrote:It's hard for me to post in a rational tone when writing about the sickening way in which the veterinary business takes advantage of the emotions people have toward their pets. Countless very expensive supplements are touted as "must haves" despite virtually no real scientific evidence that they make a difference in the pet's life. However disgusted I am by silly health claims ("Heart Healhty!") on package labels for people food, it's multiplied by 10 when it comes to these pet related claims.


    Vets are the worst in that regard. I'm very protective about giving veterinary meds to my dog mostly because I believe that a lot of vet medication is an attempt by big drug companies to recoup R&D dollars from rejected human meds. If it's not good enough for me to take it, it's not good enough for my 20-lb cocker spaniel to take it. But there is also the tendency to overvaccinate -- dogs don't need a vaccine against kennel cough, IMHO. Thank you, City of Chicago, for requiring that all dogs who board be vaccinated against that. I try to keep my dogs diet and treatments as natural as possible. My vet and I have finally reached a detente when it comes to deciding what to give my dog.

    As for me, I take a female-centric vitamin daily (extra calcium, folic acid and Vitamin D). I think it doesn't hurt, so I do it. But that's as far as I go for supplements.
  • Post #9 - January 14th, 2009, 3:37 pm
    Post #9 - January 14th, 2009, 3:37 pm Post #9 - January 14th, 2009, 3:37 pm
    As someone who's been anemic off and on for most of their life there are times when I've had to go on an iron supplement. An iron supplement has a pretty unpleasant side effect for me, and I found that if I take a multi vitamin and adjust my diet, it'll work the same as the iron supplement without the side effect.


    I have a neigbbor that equates 'holistic' with 'vitamins' she crams handfulls of vitamins down daily, and at different times through the day for various reasons. She claims the one she's taking 5 times a day is going to ward off diabetes. I tend to think that her belief in the how these are supposed to function is probably more effective than the pills.
    One Mint Julep was the cause of it all.
  • Post #10 - January 14th, 2009, 5:50 pm
    Post #10 - January 14th, 2009, 5:50 pm Post #10 - January 14th, 2009, 5:50 pm
    We are probably into the completely irrational here, but...I'll share my perception anyway. I always feel worse when I'm taking vitamins/supplements/nutraceuticals. I mean, as in, they make me feel worse. Every now and then an article or a "trusted advisor" will convince me to try this or that, and I do, but after a while the result is always the same. "How come I'm feeling worse, and not better?"

    I share this mainly to see if it brings anybody else who feels the same way out of the woodwork.
  • Post #11 - January 15th, 2009, 12:30 pm
    Post #11 - January 15th, 2009, 12:30 pm Post #11 - January 15th, 2009, 12:30 pm
    Vitamins are things I only take when I'm sick. Seriously. Now...maybe if I took them all the time, I wouldn't get sick but I sincerely doubt that. I personally think that we should get our vitamins from our food -- it just seems more likely to work that way. I doubt they hurt anyone in moderate doses -- but I wonder if they actually help anyone? I'd like to believe that they help my white blood cells fight the invading cold and flu germs -- but who knows? My nose still hurts like hell from my last bout with my 2 year old nephew's bacilli invasion.

    And my lack of taking a vitamin every day isn't anything more than sheer forgetfulness. I really just forget to take it.

    I do love my Odwalla/Naked juices though!

    S
  • Post #12 - January 15th, 2009, 12:42 pm
    Post #12 - January 15th, 2009, 12:42 pm Post #12 - January 15th, 2009, 12:42 pm
    I'm not sure where this came from (or even if it's actually true), but I've always been under the impression that the body doesn't absorb most of the vitamins when consumed in pill form. Meaning the only way to make sure you're getting enough vitamins and nutrients to to eat them as part of your diet.

    Although I guess it could be argued that it couldn't hurt to take a multi-vitamin, sort of like hedging your bet.

    Does anyone know more about this?
  • Post #13 - January 15th, 2009, 1:24 pm
    Post #13 - January 15th, 2009, 1:24 pm Post #13 - January 15th, 2009, 1:24 pm
    Who was it that said we spend hundreds of millions a year to ensure that we have the most vitamin-enriched urine in the world?

    I must admit that I was rather stunned in Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food when, after 100 pages attacking the mentality that thinks about food as a sort of drug to be dispensed in precise quantities for precisely measurable effects, he then tells people to start taking vitamins. It was sort of like seeing Ralph Nader in an ad urging you to buy genuine GM parts. Based in no small part on Pollan's own arguments, I suspect now that vitamins are basically a con, an artifact of an early 20th century mentality that sought to find magic bullets for health and, in doing so, tended to search right under the street lamp even though the keys were lost over in the bushes... vitamins were easy to find in the body and easy to match to a few known ailments (eg., scurvy), and best of all easy to sell in a jar, so they became the most important thing for us to have. If something else had been easier to package and sell, IT would be the thing you had to have.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
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  • Post #14 - January 15th, 2009, 1:25 pm
    Post #14 - January 15th, 2009, 1:25 pm Post #14 - January 15th, 2009, 1:25 pm
    aschie30 wrote:
    Kennyz wrote:It's hard for me to post in a rational tone when writing about the sickening way in which the veterinary business takes advantage of the emotions people have toward their pets. Countless very expensive supplements are touted as "must haves" despite virtually no real scientific evidence that they make a difference in the pet's life. However disgusted I am by silly health claims ("Heart Healhty!") on package labels for people food, it's multiplied by 10 when it comes to these pet related claims.


    Vets are the worst in that regard. I'm very protective about giving veterinary meds to my dog mostly because I believe that a lot of vet medication is an attempt by big drug companies to recoup R&D dollars from rejected human meds. If it's not good enough for me to take it, it's not good enough for my 20-lb cocker spaniel to take it. But there is also the tendency to overvaccinate -- dogs don't need a vaccine against kennel cough, IMHO. Thank you, City of Chicago, for requiring that all dogs who board be vaccinated against that. I try to keep my dogs diet and treatments as natural as possible. My vet and I have finally reached a detente when it comes to deciding what to give my dog.

    As for me, I take a female-centric vitamin daily (extra calcium, folic acid and Vitamin D). I think it doesn't hurt, so I do it. But that's as far as I go for supplements.


    One way vets are simultaneously worse and better:

    1. you have a very sick / injured companion animal
    2. you can't afford treatment, and things look dire
    3. you opt for less expensive euthanasia
    4. after you leave, the vet performs the operation / administers the treatment and takes the animal home as their own pet, not bearing to see the beautiful animal put down
    5. you never find out, and are in some cases handed ashes or relics from a different animal

    Vets I know report this is well-precedented; a colleague of one was actually involved in a lawsuit over this in Colorado. I know this is not food-related, but as long as we're on a vet tangent and have so many animal lovers here, let me urge you, especially in this economy, to really torture-test the options the vet is giving you, and see if there isn't a a way they may work something out financially with you if you come to this point. Watch this turn up on Snopes in six months. :|
  • Post #15 - January 15th, 2009, 10:44 pm
    Post #15 - January 15th, 2009, 10:44 pm Post #15 - January 15th, 2009, 10:44 pm
    Mike G wrote: Based in no small part on Pollan's own arguments, I suspect now that vitamins are basically a con, an artifact of an early 20th century mentality that sought to find magic bullets for health and, in doing so, tended to search right under the street lamp even though the keys were lost over in the bushes... vitamins were easy to find in the body and easy to match to a few known ailments (eg., scurvy), and best of all easy to sell in a jar, so they became the most important thing for us to have. If something else had been easier to package and sell, IT would be the thing you had to have.


    I basically agree that most vitamins consumed now are a waste, given that they are eaten by people who have no vitamin or mineral deficiency to speak of. However, I think that the initial response to vitamins was suspicion, only then followed by excessive enthusiasm, once people realized that there were truly awful things that vitamins cured or prevented. Rickets and pellagra come to mind. And then, too, there was the problem of wartime rationing that made fortifying flour and milk with vitamins more sensible in the 1940s than it is today.

    By the way, why does Pollan tell people to take vitamins? That does seem bizarre.

    The current trend that has people sipping gatorade for a strenuous day at the computer is another silly effect of the "more vitamins = better health" over-generalization.
  • Post #16 - January 15th, 2009, 11:04 pm
    Post #16 - January 15th, 2009, 11:04 pm Post #16 - January 15th, 2009, 11:04 pm
    MariaTheresa wrote:
    Mike G wrote:By the way, why does Pollan tell people to take vitamins? That does seem bizarre.


    I believe he suggests that you "act" like a person who takes vitamins -- i.e., be careful with your health -- but that you need not spend your money on nutritional supplements.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #17 - January 15th, 2009, 11:09 pm
    Post #17 - January 15th, 2009, 11:09 pm Post #17 - January 15th, 2009, 11:09 pm
    No, in In Defense of Food he literally says you should take a multivitamin, in his section of ten main pieces of advice. This right after decrying the whole nutrition-as-a-pill-that-does-X mentality. It's page 172, first he says the thing about "being the sort of person who takes a multivitamin" (if I'm going to be the sort of person who takes something without actually risking taking it, it's going to be something way cooler than a One-A-Day), then he actually says to take supplements anyway. Go read it at Amazon, search inside the book for "multivitamin" and you'll find it.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #18 - January 16th, 2009, 6:34 am
    Post #18 - January 16th, 2009, 6:34 am Post #18 - January 16th, 2009, 6:34 am
    Mike G wrote:No, in In Defense of Food he literally says you should take a multivitamin, in his section of ten main pieces of advice. This right after decrying the whole nutrition-as-a-pill-that-does-X mentality. It's page 172, first he says the thing about "being the sort of person who takes a multivitamin" (if I'm going to be the sort of person who takes something without actually risking taking it, it's going to be something way cooler than a One-A-Day), then he actually says to take supplements anyway. Go read it at Amazon, search inside the book for "multivitamin" and you'll find it.


    He doesn't quite say to do it, but he does say it's "probably a good idea" for people over 50. I've described my displeasure with In Defense of Food before. It's a book that uses arguments based on nutritionism to argue against nutritionism. As long as the science comes from one of Pollan's friends at Berkeley, it's OK.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #19 - January 16th, 2009, 9:10 am
    Post #19 - January 16th, 2009, 9:10 am Post #19 - January 16th, 2009, 9:10 am
    MariaTheresa wrote:The current trend that has people sipping gatorade for a strenuous day at the computer is another silly effect of the "more vitamins = better health" over-generalization.


    Can you explain this trend further? I don't know about it...
  • Post #20 - January 16th, 2009, 11:08 am
    Post #20 - January 16th, 2009, 11:08 am Post #20 - January 16th, 2009, 11:08 am
    Hi,

    I have friends who will finish lunch, then they each open a snack size Baggie with 40 vitamins. These are consumed with the last of the iced tea. To simply experiment with the idea would cost a small fortune.

    I have read that our bodies will take in the amount of vitamins it needs, then the rest is simply disposed of. I like to think I eat a varied enough diet I don't need to contemplate vitamins.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #21 - January 16th, 2009, 1:07 pm
    Post #21 - January 16th, 2009, 1:07 pm Post #21 - January 16th, 2009, 1:07 pm
    There's that whole school of thought (which I don't put much stock in) that, "Ahhh, man used to be able to get all the nutrition he needed from a varied diet, but now, 'progress' has stripped our soil of the ability to yield nutritious produce and modern animal husbandry has created livestock denuded of nutrients, blah blah blah."
  • Post #22 - January 16th, 2009, 3:39 pm
    Post #22 - January 16th, 2009, 3:39 pm Post #22 - January 16th, 2009, 3:39 pm
    I take 3 vitamins daily -- Multi, Vitamin C, Omega 3 -- and frankly, I feel better and have gotten sick less often since I started taking them.

    =R=

    placebos r us, inc.
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #23 - January 16th, 2009, 4:03 pm
    Post #23 - January 16th, 2009, 4:03 pm Post #23 - January 16th, 2009, 4:03 pm
    So, there's one supplement that I can't live without and I believe 9 out of 10 people would be happier if they took it too. At the risk of taking this discussion into unpleasant territory: I take a daily fiber supplement (read: metamucil).

    I eat a very well-balanced diet when I'm feeding myself at home. I eat a lot of greens, usually have cereal or oatmeal for breakfast, whole grains, etc. I eat a variety of foods, not too much meat or sugar and almost no processed foods. Essentially, I do all the right things.

    Eating outside of my home changes this pattern drastically. As someone who likes to explore different cuisines, tastes, restaurants, etc. I am not happy ordering the "healthy" option to avoid the dangers of restaurant diets. I want to eat what I want to eat. The pitfall here is that very often, when eating out, your body is going to get less fiber than it needs. I don't have any science to back that up, but I have regularly read that many leading nutritional experts agree that the average American gets less than half of the dietary fiber that they need. I believe that this is due to the lack of cooking at home. When you eat out without discrimination, you eat more fat, less vegetables, more sodium, more starch, etc.

    So, I look at it as a series of nutritional "peaks and valleys". When I'm eating at home, everything is normal and my diet is varied, tasty, and healthy (a "peak"). But one trip to Lao Sze Chuan, Khan BBQ, Honey 1, or TAC and I'm in a "valley". Less fiber, more fat, etc. and it's a shock to the system.

    Fiber...well...."regulates" these shocks. It keeps the valleys from getting too low. I don't believe that this is a placebo or a sub-concious need for more security or assurance. It's a need based on the fact that I'm not eating whole grains and vegetables at every meal. I'm sure there are many of you saying "I don't need that", but I firmly believe that there are many people that are like the proverbial frog in the pot of boiling water. You don't know that you're feeling bad because it's been slowly building for a long time. When I added a fiber supplement (and then regular exercise) to my daily routine, I realized, "Oh! This is how I'm supposed to feel!"

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #24 - January 16th, 2009, 4:18 pm
    Post #24 - January 16th, 2009, 4:18 pm Post #24 - January 16th, 2009, 4:18 pm
    Michael,

    I see and completely appreciate your point but I'm not sure that a fiber supplement would count as a 'vitamin' in the context of this discussion because the effects are fairly tangible.

    Still, the bottom line here is that all our bodies, metabolisms and immune systems are different from each other's, so there's no reason to believe that vitamins or supplements wouldn't have differing levels of effectiveness on us.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #25 - January 16th, 2009, 4:58 pm
    Post #25 - January 16th, 2009, 4:58 pm Post #25 - January 16th, 2009, 4:58 pm
    So, first relationship advice on lthforum and how health advice? Is fashion next? :P
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #26 - January 16th, 2009, 5:15 pm
    Post #26 - January 16th, 2009, 5:15 pm Post #26 - January 16th, 2009, 5:15 pm
    jesteinf wrote:So, first relationship advice on lthforum and how health advice? Is fashion next? :P

    Only if you're lucky! :D

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #27 - January 16th, 2009, 6:46 pm
    Post #27 - January 16th, 2009, 6:46 pm Post #27 - January 16th, 2009, 6:46 pm
    Sparky recently asked me to make him a hat out of hamburger, so he could say with veracity "I'll eat my hat!"

    So there! :D
  • Post #28 - January 16th, 2009, 10:31 pm
    Post #28 - January 16th, 2009, 10:31 pm Post #28 - January 16th, 2009, 10:31 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Michael,

    I see and completely appreciate your point but I'm not sure that a fiber supplement would count as a 'vitamin' in the context of this discussion because the effects are fairly tangible.


    Well, yes, but since the conversation seemed to be turning to "stuff we usually (used to) get from food but now have to look for elsewhere", I felt like it was germane.

    Nothing to see here. Move along.
  • Post #29 - January 17th, 2009, 7:51 am
    Post #29 - January 17th, 2009, 7:51 am Post #29 - January 17th, 2009, 7:51 am
    The one area in which fortification and or supplementing that has made a positive difference is with folic acid. Since fortifying foods like cereal, pasta and others and also taking pre-natal vitamins, neural birth defects and spina bifida have been reduced.
    From the American Journal of Epimediology:
    In 1999, the March of Dimes, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Council on Folic Acid launched the National Folic Acid Educational Campaign. The US Food and Drug Administration had mandated that all enriched cereals and grains contain 140 µg of folic acid per 100 g of grain by January 1998 (12). In 2005, after the National Campaign and mandatory fortification, approximately 33% of women reported taking a daily supplement of folic acid (13), only a modest increase from the 25% reported in 1995 (14). However, median blood folate levels among women of childbearing age increased from 4.8 to 13.0 ng/mL between 1994 and 2000 (15), with a more recent study (16) reporting median blood folate levels at least 2 times the levels prior to fortification.

    To evaluate the impact of this public health intervention, 4 study groups have conducted time trend analyses among the US population, and all have reported a decline of neural tube defects after the introduction of mandatory folic acid fortification (17–20). Specifically, these studies reported an 11%–20% reduction in occurrence of anencephaly and a 21%–34% reduction in occurrence of spina bifida when comparing pre- versus postfortification rates. Similarly, the occurrence of anencephaly and spina bifida was observed to reduce 38% and 53%, respectively, in Canada (21) and 46% and 51%, respectively, in Chile (22) following folic acid fortification.


    LO
  • Post #30 - January 17th, 2009, 12:13 pm
    Post #30 - January 17th, 2009, 12:13 pm Post #30 - January 17th, 2009, 12:13 pm
    eatchicago wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Michael,

    I see and completely appreciate your point but I'm not sure that a fiber supplement would count as a 'vitamin' in the context of this discussion because the effects are fairly tangible.


    Well, yes, but since the conversation seemed to be turning to "stuff we usually (used to) get from food but now have to look for elsewhere", I felt like it was germane.


    Thinking more about this, there are a number of people I know that take a fiber supplement who are not concerned about "tangible" results (is it tangible if you would never touch it?)

    Decreased chance of colon cancer, lower cholesterol, lower rate of heart disease, "healthier" gastro-intestinal system, etc. are all touted as benefits of a diet with a good amount of dietary fiber. These are a number of vitamin-like benefits.

    So, to speak to David's original point: No, I don't trust my own food supply to supply enough of this stuff. Sure, I could stay home and heat whole-grain spinach sandwiches every day, but I like a plateful of chicken boti and rice every now and then.

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