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Vitamins and Trust Issues

Vitamins and Trust Issues
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  • Post #61 - February 17th, 2009, 8:46 pm
    Post #61 - February 17th, 2009, 8:46 pm Post #61 - February 17th, 2009, 8:46 pm
    Shaggywillis wrote: who really takes 10-12 pills a day?


    Just about everyone I know. Reports have been coming out for a while now that people are more likely to survive cancer if they take lots of vitamins, and since I have a lot of friends who are cancer survivors and who also take lots of vitamins, the correlation seems to hold up to observation.

    Does everyone need to take a ton of vitamins? Probably not, especially if you eat a wholesome diet and don't down lots of aspartame, high fructose corn sweetener, and transfats. But if you are at risk for anything, whether because of family history or because of lifestyle or because of things that have happened to you, then do the research and take the vitamins.

    I probably should add that part of the "research" is paying attention to what works for you. Researchers are beginning to find out we don't all react the same to every supplement, any more than we all react the same to any drug or food. So whether it's vioxx or echinacea, if it doesn't work or if it makes you feel worse, then find something else. But when you hit the right combination for yourself, it can be astonishing. I mostly focus on stuff for stress, eye strain, and colds, and some of this stuff offers remarkable results.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #62 - February 17th, 2009, 9:11 pm
    Post #62 - February 17th, 2009, 9:11 pm Post #62 - February 17th, 2009, 9:11 pm
    Just thought of something else that probably relates to the initial question about trusting our food. Certainly, there are issues about exhausted soil and reduced nutrient content, but I'm not convinced that's the main issue. When I toured the Tudor kitchens at London's Hampton Court Palace a few years ago, one of the facts that surprised me was that the average calorie intake of a worker in Elizabethan England was more than 5,000 calories a day. That was just to stay even. I've read that you can get away with that kind of calorie count today if you're working in Antarctica, but for the rest of us, we're not even coming close. Most of us sit down for a living. Cut the calorie count in half, and you've cut the nutrients in half.

    So my guess is that the issue of the reduction in nutrients in most foods has been compounded by the fact that most of us aren't taking in as much food. Plus for most of the population, empty calories (soda pop, puffy cereals, etc.) make up enough of the diet that it further reduces the intake of nutrients.

    Not too surprisingly, I think high-quality vitamins are a good idea.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #63 - February 18th, 2009, 7:45 am
    Post #63 - February 18th, 2009, 7:45 am Post #63 - February 18th, 2009, 7:45 am
    Cynthia wrote:Just about everyone I know. Reports have been coming out for a while now that people are more likely to survive cancer if they take lots of vitamins, and since I have a lot of friends who are cancer survivors and who also take lots of vitamins, the correlation seems to hold up to observation.

    Cynthia, a question, because one thing is ambiguous in this statement. Your friends who are cancer survivors--did they take 10-12 supplements a day before they got cancer, or only after?
  • Post #64 - February 18th, 2009, 7:47 am
    Post #64 - February 18th, 2009, 7:47 am Post #64 - February 18th, 2009, 7:47 am
    10-12 pills a day... :shock:

    I take none, and maybe 5 asprin in a years time.
  • Post #65 - February 18th, 2009, 9:55 am
    Post #65 - February 18th, 2009, 9:55 am Post #65 - February 18th, 2009, 9:55 am
    Just about everyone I know. Reports have been coming out for a while now that people are more likely to survive cancer if they take lots of vitamins, and since I have a lot of friends who are cancer survivors and who also take lots of vitamins, the correlation seems to hold up to observation.


    I'm a little sceptical on this statement. I believe that changing your diet, eating organic. no processed sugar, limited meat and eating an alkaline diet can filter off cancer, but I've never heard the statement about vitamins.
  • Post #66 - February 18th, 2009, 11:33 am
    Post #66 - February 18th, 2009, 11:33 am Post #66 - February 18th, 2009, 11:33 am
    In fact, recent research (quoted in the same NY Times article) indicates that some vitamins seem to feed cancer cells.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #67 - February 18th, 2009, 12:36 pm
    Post #67 - February 18th, 2009, 12:36 pm Post #67 - February 18th, 2009, 12:36 pm
    leek wrote:In fact, recent research (quoted in the same NY Times article) indicates that some vitamins seem to feed cancer cells.


    That's why I said "do your research." You don't just randomly take vitamins. Everyone I know who takes lots of vitamins also reads extensively about nutrition and health and has customized regimens to meet his or her personal needs.

    As for the before or after question, it's more like "before or during and after." A few took some vitamins before but upped the intake when treatment began, continuing after treatment was successful. Some never took vitamins until treatment began, but they got into vitamins and supplements because even mainstream doctors now recommend some of the well-proven supplements that aid either in fighting the cancer or in fighting the side-effects of cancer. But all included vitamins as part of the treatment, whether or not they took any before hand.

    Of my several friends who have had cancer, two in particular are worth noting. One had never taken vitamins before she was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. She was given six weeks to live and sent home to die. She went on an extremely rigorous course of vitamins and supplements, even setting her alarm to take supplements at night. Within two months, there was no sign of cancer. She lived another healthy, happy 12 years. Another friend, diagnosed very early with breast cancer and given a very good prognosis chose to do nothing except "cut, burn, and poison" (i.e., surgery, radiation, chemo), not changing her diet and not adding supplements -- even though her doctors begged her to add nutrition and supplements to her treatment. She relied entirely on what was done to her -- including a hellish double bone marrow transplant (as the first person to survive the procedure, she made it into the medical books -- a procedure that has since been discontinued). The cancer went out of control and she died within a few years.

    I realize this can be dismissed as anecdotal, but having seen the difference between the two approaches, I'm really clear on which one I'd take.

    Of course, they're now finding that the mind is part of the equation, and the person who is determined to get well and is aggressive in taking care of himself or herself has a better chance of recovery than the person who is passive -- or, as was the case of friend two above, is certain that he or she will die. So it is possible that an element of taking vitamins is tied in with deciding to fight illness. But even if mindset does boost the efficacy of vitamins, that certainly wouldn't dissuade me from taking vitamins.

    If you don't want to do the homework, then you may be better off not taking too much beyond the usual multi-vitamin. (And even here, some homework is needed. Men and menopausal women should avoid multis that contain iron.) As I mentioned earlier, everyone has different needs -- and different reactions. Just as some people are allergic to aspirin, some are allergic to certain herbs.

    From years of reading about this stuff, I'd say the best advice I can offer is don't base any of your vitamin or nutrition decisions on newspaper reports. They get huge amounts wrong, they jump on small and suspect trials if it will make a good headline, they generalize, and they take things out of context. Either read books from reliable sources or get reliable magazines, such as "Prevention." And even then, pay attention to how you react. Because we are all different, there are variations in what works and what doesn't -- which is why most of the reports you see will say stuff like "fifty percent benefitted from taking X."

    So either do your homework, or just go to Whole Foods and look for a good, natural, food-based multi for your age and gender.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #68 - February 19th, 2009, 1:10 pm
    Post #68 - February 19th, 2009, 1:10 pm Post #68 - February 19th, 2009, 1:10 pm
    More on vitamins
    (all these are reporting on the same article)

    http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-he-vitamins16-2009feb16,0,5651167.story
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/02/10/multivitamins.cancer/
    http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/healthday/2009/02/09/vitamins-do-older-women-little-good.html
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/02/10/health/main4789675.shtml

    And you can read the actual article (if you have access) at
    http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/169/3/294

    A report published this month (Feb 2009) in the Archives of Internal Medicine found

    convincing evidence that multivitamin use has little or no influence on the risk of common cancers, cardiovascular disease or total mortality in postmenopausal women


    (The study used data from more than 150,000 women who had completed menopause. About 4 out of 10 used multivitamins. The authors of the study gathered eight years of data on the women's health) a

    "Consumers are bombarded with messages to use dietary supplements, from commercial broadcasts, from news media reports, even from their own health-care providers," Neuhouser explained. But with respect to postmenopausal women seeking to lower their cancer or heart disease risks, "It's a wash. They don't do you harm, nor do they help, either.


    "Population studies have shown that if you eat fruits and vegetables, your chances of cancers are relatively low compared to people with deficient diets," confirmed internist Aditya Bardia, an oncology fellow at Johns Hopkins University. "But when they tried to convert those nutrients into tablets, that's where the failure has been."


    Co-author Dr. JoAnn Manson said despite the disappointing results, the research doesn’t mean multivitamins are useless. She said multivitamins still may be useful “as a form of insurance” for people with poor eating habits.


    On the other hand -
    A team of physicians at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has discovered that a nightly dose of vitamin B12 is a simple, effective and low risk therapy to prevent Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis (RAS), better known as "canker sores."

    The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine 22 (1): 9-16 (2009).
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #69 - February 19th, 2009, 8:18 pm
    Post #69 - February 19th, 2009, 8:18 pm Post #69 - February 19th, 2009, 8:18 pm
    leek wrote:A report published this month (Feb 2009) in the Archives of Internal Medicine found

    convincing evidence that multivitamin use has little or no influence on the risk of common cancers, cardiovascular disease or total mortality in postmenopausal women


    (The study used data from more than 150,000 women who had completed menopause. About 4 out of 10 used multivitamins.


    The thing that makes me question whether or not this actually proves anything is the word "multivitamin." If these tests were done on people taking the usual mass-market, one-per-day, candy-coated multi-vitamins from the local mega-mart, I'd say sure, you're not going to see much in the way of results. The vitamins that research shows make a difference (and there are stacks of research done over several decades) are the whole-food, natural, 6- to 12-a day sorts -- the ones all my cancer-survivor friends are taking. These vitamins are not just something they're hoping will work or that they've read about, but are relied on and recommended by doctors at major oncology clinics across the country -- and among my circle of friends, I've heard from most the major cancer centers in the country, from LA to Boston.

    There is simply too much research that has been done -- research respected by top oncologists around the world, as well as by those who hate oncology -- to toss it all out because of one report about multivitamins.

    Plus, I take issue with the idea that vitamins "do older women little good." Are cancer and heart disease the only concern?

    One article -- particularly from the AMA, which has a long-standing bias against nutritional supplements -- does not negate the decades of research done around the world that shows that supplements do help. In fact, in Europe, most doctors are prescribing herbs, vitamins, and supplements on a regular basis. Ginkgo is one of the most commonly prescribed substances in Europe, because it is so good at increasing capillary flow, thus improving a wide range of problems.

    So again, if they're talking about those nice little pills on the shelf at Osco, the research is probably right. Those won't make a difference -- or at least not much difference (might keep you from suffering from a serious deficiency disease, but certainly wouldn't improve your health -- and, as I noted earlier, if they have iron, they can be a problem for men and menopausal women). But that isn't to say that "real" vitamins don't make a difference. I've read mountains of research that show that taking enough of the right vitamins does make a difference.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #70 - February 20th, 2009, 12:27 pm
    Post #70 - February 20th, 2009, 12:27 pm Post #70 - February 20th, 2009, 12:27 pm
    Cynthia - the article I quote from says only that multivitamins don't make a difference one way or the other in the health of menopausal women in terms of these specific things.

    It's also not from "the AMA." It's research, from scientists, published in a peer-reviewed journal.

    Did you miss the second article, the one about B12 keeping canker sores at bay?
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #71 - February 20th, 2009, 12:58 pm
    Post #71 - February 20th, 2009, 12:58 pm Post #71 - February 20th, 2009, 12:58 pm
    Cynthia wrote:A few [cancer patient/survivors] took some vitamins before but upped the intake when treatment began, continuing after treatment was successful.
    This describes what my mother did. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and opted for surgery and vitamin therapy only. She did not feel after her research (which was extensive) that chemotherapy was right for her situation, and she was worried about the effects on her immune system. (She did do a form of chemotherapy since her tumour was estrogen-receptive and she took pills for that after the fact.) She went to a clinic and got vitamin injections. Whether this helped, I don't know, but she has not had a breast cancer recurrence. It was a very personal decision for her which I supported fully.

    The takeaway for me from this was the amount of research and soul-searching she did to find the right treatment for her. Many doctors have a set treatment protocol that they will immediately slot you into, but she questioned this and after doing much research did not in the end follow the full treatment that the doctors recommended.
    "things like being careful with your coriander/ that's what makes the gravy grander" - Sondheim
  • Post #72 - February 20th, 2009, 6:22 pm
    Post #72 - February 20th, 2009, 6:22 pm Post #72 - February 20th, 2009, 6:22 pm
    leek wrote:Cynthia - the article I quote from says only that multivitamins don't make a difference one way or the other in the health of menopausal women in terms of these specific things.

    It's also not from "the AMA." It's research, from scientists, published in a peer-reviewed journal.

    Did you miss the second article, the one about B12 keeping canker sores at bay?


    Yes -- they just say "multiviatmins" -- and that was kind of my point. They are not sufficiently specific. There is also one article that was titled "vitamins do older women little good" -- and while I know that you were only talking about the specific health issues, that title says to the casual reader (and most readers are casual readers) "vitamins are worthless." I am tired of the press jumping on some small bit of research and turning it into a "story" without defining terms or placing it in context or doing anything else that would enable a reader to really understand what the datum conveys (not that the reporters themselves know the context).

    And I didn't get as far as reading the full article (I'm on deadline for a big project, and just scanning LTH is a luxury at the moment) -- I just saw the "AMA" in the URL and assumed.

    And no -- I didn't miss the second article. I appreciated the inclusion. But vitamins can do a lot more than cure canker sores.

    One of the reasons I get frustrated with articles that blast using vitamins for reducing cancer risk (good vitamins that is, not the multivitamins of the story) is that people at risk for various cancers then ignore things that might help them. And what Western medicine seems to think is a viable alternative is horrific. I have several friends who have breast cancer in their families who had doctors recommend that they just have their healthy breasts removed, to avoid the possibility of getting breast cancer. Fortunately, all of them ignored these recommendations (though many women take this advice), and they all started taking supplements, and all have remained cancer free. Of course, it's hard to prove prevention, but still, taking supplements for no reason is better than having your breasts cut off for no reason.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #73 - February 24th, 2009, 3:18 pm
    Post #73 - February 24th, 2009, 3:18 pm Post #73 - February 24th, 2009, 3:18 pm
    we're talking 'flintstone' vitamins here... right?

    get real folk... the science is out there, no matter what 'studies du jour' the pharma interests sponsor and selectively release to the main stream media.

    the facts are... modern agra production has led to a serious depletion of essential plant and livestock nutrients. others are lost to a human's aging bodys inability to produce them thru ordinary diet.


    tis' ironic how we as a supposedly 'all knowing' nation are outpacing the world at large, to the increased onslaught of various cancers, organ diseases, dementias and degenerative diseases.
  • Post #74 - February 24th, 2009, 3:21 pm
    Post #74 - February 24th, 2009, 3:21 pm Post #74 - February 24th, 2009, 3:21 pm
    Um... so was that for or against?
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  • Post #75 - February 24th, 2009, 3:39 pm
    Post #75 - February 24th, 2009, 3:39 pm Post #75 - February 24th, 2009, 3:39 pm
    Mike G wrote:Um... so was that for or against?


    I'm not even sure what subject it was about.
    ...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 #76 - February 24th, 2009, 3:48 pm
    Post #76 - February 24th, 2009, 3:48 pm Post #76 - February 24th, 2009, 3:48 pm
    woulda been a better tickle had you asked...

    wilma or fred?

    but hey... don't let my interpretation of a snarky comment ever get in way of your gentle wit.


    obviously i'm all for 'them' and you're not.
  • Post #77 - February 24th, 2009, 4:05 pm
    Post #77 - February 24th, 2009, 4:05 pm Post #77 - February 24th, 2009, 4:05 pm
    Seriously, it wasn't obvious.

    In any case, it seems to me that this has just about become more of a faith-based discussion than a scientific one.
    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 #78 - February 24th, 2009, 4:19 pm
    Post #78 - February 24th, 2009, 4:19 pm Post #78 - February 24th, 2009, 4:19 pm
    Mike G wrote:Seriously, it wasn't obvious.

    In any case, it seems to me that this has just about become more of a faith-based discussion than a scientific one.

    I think the problem is that there's enough science out there to strongly support either side of the argument. Just as I was considering weaning myself off my vitamins (inspired, in part, by perspectives/links presented in this thread), I got an e-mail from my doctor urging me not to cut out the Omega 3. For me, that's enough. I'll keep taking it -- not entirely faith but yeah, some. :roll:

    =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 #79 - February 24th, 2009, 5:48 pm
    Post #79 - February 24th, 2009, 5:48 pm Post #79 - February 24th, 2009, 5:48 pm
    i just take one centrum and call it a day.
  • Post #80 - February 25th, 2009, 6:23 am
    Post #80 - February 25th, 2009, 6:23 am Post #80 - February 25th, 2009, 6:23 am
    holding back from launching a sociopolitical polemic (a lth no-no) on my beliefs in the pitfalls of modern food production and the pervasive undermining of human nutritional requirements by the medi-pharma industry.... yes, i was a bit vague in fully stating my beliefs on this subject.

    so to clarify my position here.... no, my diet is imbalanced - yes, i take a multitude of nutritional supplements daily (for over two decades now) and am in good health.

    my 'faith' is in believing in the 'science' on this subject, that is available to anyone caring to seriously look afor it.
  • Post #81 - February 25th, 2009, 1:39 pm
    Post #81 - February 25th, 2009, 1:39 pm Post #81 - February 25th, 2009, 1:39 pm
    Mike G wrote:In any case, it seems to me that this has just about become more of a faith-based discussion than a scientific one.


    Perhaps for some, but there are mountains of scientific evidence behind nutritional approaches to healing, many of which involve supplementing in areas where food consumption (for whatever reason -- dieting, impoverished soil, or just poor choices) does not supply the needed nutrients.

    Simple common sense would suggest that vitamins have an impact on health. If nothing else, horrific and often fatal diseases -- pellagra, scurvy, ricketts, beriberi, and others -- underscore that "enough food" does not always equate to "enough nutrients." (Pellagra epidemics, for example, broke out when populations switched from more nutritional grains to corn/maize, as it became more widespread. Maize lacks niacin. Everyone was full, and they were still dying.)

    So if you can die a horrible death when one vitamin is missing, why doesn't it make sense that getting enough of that vitamin might lead to better health? This is especially true of C and the B vitamins, the so-called stress vitamins, which are water soluble and are destroyed by coffee, alcohol, and stress. (In fact, taking a few extra B vitamins can help keep you from getting tipsy, if you're going to a marathon wine tasting, because many of the effects of alcohol consumption are caused by washing available Bs out of your system.)

    For those few people who generally make wise food choices, don't have to diet (because dieting reduces the amount of nutrients you are taking in), and buy primarily organic foods, then you may be getting all the vitamins you need. For most of the rest of the population, vitamins are a good thing. (The RDA doesn't offer optimum levels of nutrients, as it is geared to preventing deficiency diseases, but that's not a bad thing.) Those at risk, would benefit from doing the research and finding out what supplements might help reduce whatever risk they face.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #82 - February 25th, 2009, 1:45 pm
    Post #82 - February 25th, 2009, 1:45 pm Post #82 - February 25th, 2009, 1:45 pm
    i make the worst food choices. if i could deep fry pizza i would (thus my love for pizza puffs), so i figure vitamins helps me. i just take the centrum chewables. i used to take more vitamins but i don't have the willpower anymore and i figure something is better than nothing.
  • Post #83 - February 25th, 2009, 2:18 pm
    Post #83 - February 25th, 2009, 2:18 pm Post #83 - February 25th, 2009, 2:18 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    Mike G wrote:Seriously, it wasn't obvious.

    In any case, it seems to me that this has just about become more of a faith-based discussion than a scientific one.

    I think the problem is that there's enough science out there to strongly support either side of the argument. Just as I was considering weaning myself off my vitamins (inspired, in part, by perspectives/links presented in this thread), I got an e-mail from my doctor urging me not to cut out the Omega 3. For me, that's enough. I'll keep taking it -- not entirely faith but yeah, some. :roll:

    =R=
    My husband has a history of heart disease in his family and his doctor has him on Omega 3 as well.
    "things like being careful with your coriander/ that's what makes the gravy grander" - Sondheim
  • Post #84 - February 25th, 2009, 2:31 pm
    Post #84 - February 25th, 2009, 2:31 pm Post #84 - February 25th, 2009, 2:31 pm
    grits, you may want to investigate the benefits of co- q10.

    in japan it routinely used as a treatment in the cardiac care medical community.

    speaking from personal observation i seen my bub in-law recover from congestive heart failure (diagnosed by two doctors) while taking massive amounts of co-q10 over a period of 18 months. the doctors were baffled by his recovery.
  • Post #85 - February 25th, 2009, 3:48 pm
    Post #85 - February 25th, 2009, 3:48 pm Post #85 - February 25th, 2009, 3:48 pm
    CO-Q10 is used a lot for Parkinson's too. My mom takes it. Problem is, that at least for Parkinson's the only thing they've been able to show is that smaller amounts (300 mg per day) don't seem to do anything symptom-wise. Verdict is still out on higher doses (like 1200 mg per day). Taking it does raise the amount of active ingredient in your blood, but they aren't sure it actually does anything. And it's expensive.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #86 - February 25th, 2009, 4:08 pm
    Post #86 - February 25th, 2009, 4:08 pm Post #86 - February 25th, 2009, 4:08 pm
    re: co-q10...

    make sure it's in gel form and ideally - pharmaceutical grade in origin.

    yes it is expensive, and no it may not be the 'magic bullet' that we've all come to expect from any pills we ingest, but at the very least, it's a worthwhile alternative to explore, when drugs fail.

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