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Vitamins and Trust Issues

Vitamins and Trust Issues
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  • Post #31 - January 17th, 2009, 1:04 pm
    Post #31 - January 17th, 2009, 1:04 pm Post #31 - January 17th, 2009, 1:04 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.


    Just a point of clarification. The emphasis on whole grains and fiber is not new - it's actually one of the oldest health recommendations around.

    The idea to eat a fair amount of protein, skip refined & simple carbs (white flour, sugar), and eat whole grains and fiber (including fruits and vegetables) has been the traditional diet advice for close to a century. The idea to eliminate fat at all costs is a more recent thing, perhaps dating to the 1960s, if I recall. (It was based on the idea that most people wouldn't be able to separate saturated from unsaturated fats in their diet, and "eliminate all fat" was easy to grasp.) This, of course, led to the "fat free" craze, where everything was loaded with sugars and refined carbs, but little fat. Atkin's suggested going to the opposite extreme of no carbs and high fat and protein. But the traditional balanced diet that contains unsaturated or fat, protein, complex carbs (whole gains) is still the mainstream advice on what to eat.

    As many have already said, if you eat a balanced diet, vitamins probably won't help. They probably won't hurt also. So I tend to take one, not every day, just to fill in any gaps. Walgreen's puts their store brand vitamins on sale at 2-for-1 every so often. I'll buy something like 600 multivitamins for under $10 and I'll be lucky to finish them by the expiration date in two or three years. I'm not under any illusion that they help that much, but unless I think they are hurting in some way, I take them.
  • Post #32 - January 17th, 2009, 1:18 pm
    Post #32 - January 17th, 2009, 1:18 pm Post #32 - January 17th, 2009, 1:18 pm
    I ran across a perfect example of the problem I have (which is fairly similar to the problem Pollan has) with the nutritionist mindset.

    The New York Times had this piece on (in an uncharacteristic moment of magazine-cover-like hyperbole) The 11 Best Foods You're Not Eating! Although the premise is false (I'm eating at least 8 of them fairly regularly), it's a pretty good piece.

    The comments, on the other hand, reek of precisely the nutritionist-Puritan mindset, in which foods are either drugs to be dispensed or moral hazards to be resisted like the works of Satan hisself:

    This is not news. Swiss Chard is rather acid and using butter defeats the purpose. Substitute olive oil. Read and follow any book on macrobiotics and you will stay well. Peace and Health to you. -realsister

    Dr. Bowden responds: I’m not sure what you mean by “defeats the purpose”. What purpose? If you mean adding butter adds fat and defeats the purpose of eating healthy, I couldn’t disagree with you more. Healthy organic butter from grass fed cows is a perfectly healthy food and actually contains CLA, a cancer fighting fat. So I’m not sure how adding butter to a great vegetable defeats any purpose at all.


    A question.

    When you give the “How to eat” for each, are those just suggestions? For instance: for prunes, wrap in prosciutto and baked, and for tumeric, put it in scrambled eggs. Do I have to? I don’t particularly like scrambled eggs. Is there a synergistic effect from an egg-and-tumeric combo? MUST I bake the prunes (I mean dried plums)?

    And how much of each of these uberfoods should we be eating to get a benefit? Two heads of cabbage? A pallet of beets? Help us, Obi-Wan, you’re our only hope! — Alex Dering


    FROM TPP — The “How To Eat” items are just suggestions to get you thinking about ways to prepare the items. But no, you don’t have to. The best advice is to make these food a regular part of your weekly diet. I don’t think there is a specific prescription — we simply know that these foods are packed with nutrients and compounds that are beneficial.

    Additional comment from Dr. Bowden: I want to echo TPP’s comment which is pitch perfect. These are not prescription drugs with a perfect recommended dose. They are simply foods which- along with many others not mentioned- have been found to have huge nutritional benefits and are found in the diets of some of the healthiest people on earth. You don’t have to eat every one, and there is no perfect “dose” ( eat 2 heads cabbage and call me in the morning). Rather, these are foods that- like colors in a palette- should and can be incorporated into an overall dietary program that gives you the most nutritional bang for your buck.


    Great list. But I wouldn’t want to turn healthy prunes unhealthy by baking them with prosciutto. --fred

    FROM TPP — I thought of that as I was writing this but healthful eating isn’t about eliminating everything that tastes good. It’s about moderation. So nothing wrong with a little prosciutto now and then.


    Prosciutto, the silent killer! I could go on-- there's 65 (!) pages of these comments-- but you get the idea. The way people think about food is just screwed up, and it not only affects healthy eating but what we can have at all. It has to be fought on the beaches, in the fields and on the streets, and we must never surrender.
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  • Post #33 - January 17th, 2009, 2:41 pm
    Post #33 - January 17th, 2009, 2:41 pm Post #33 - January 17th, 2009, 2:41 pm
    eatchicago wrote:
    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.

    Point well taken. And I really appreciated your post that initially sparked this mini exchange because I'm in the same boat. Food exploration puts demands on the system that "regular" eating does not. Supplements and vitamins seem to be great hedges against periods of imbalance caused by adventurous eating.

    =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 #34 - January 17th, 2009, 2:43 pm
    Post #34 - January 17th, 2009, 2:43 pm Post #34 - January 17th, 2009, 2:43 pm
    Darren72 wrote:
    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.


    Just a point of clarification. The emphasis on whole grains and fiber is not new - it's actually one of the oldest health recommendations around.

    The idea to eat a fair amount of protein, skip refined & simple carbs (white flour, sugar), and eat whole grains and fiber (including fruits and vegetables) has been the traditional diet advice for close to a century. The idea to eliminate fat at all costs is a more recent thing, perhaps dating to the 1960s, if I recall.


    I didn't say that whole grains is new -- only that it's this year's nutrition fad. Gone are many of the low-carb products, the 50% cardboard breads, in favor of big labels touting whole grains. You still see the low carb products around along with the low fat items and 100-calorie packs (my sons' favorite label they pronounce "OMG! Cholesterol!"), but the shelf space is going to the whole grains. I have to wonder how much Kellogg's, Post and General Mills lobbied for the changes in the food pyramid?

    Next year, it might be magnesium, vitamin D, who knows?
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #35 - January 17th, 2009, 2:49 pm
    Post #35 - January 17th, 2009, 2:49 pm Post #35 - January 17th, 2009, 2:49 pm
    JoelF wrote: in favor of big labels touting whole grains.


    My favorites are the labels "contains whole grains," or "made with whole grains" (meaning, somebody waved an oat at your product somewhere, but the product is basically still made with white flour.)
  • Post #36 - January 17th, 2009, 3:09 pm
    Post #36 - January 17th, 2009, 3:09 pm Post #36 - January 17th, 2009, 3:09 pm
    JoelF wrote:I didn't say that whole grains is new -- only that it's this year's nutrition fad.


    Sorry that I misunderstood your point. In any case, Kellogg's All-Bran cereal touted that it was made with whole grains back in 1984, and included statements from the National Cancer Institutes about the role of whole grains in preventing cancer. This episode led to increased FDA regulations over health claims in food. See Marion Nestle's excellent book "Food Politics" for a pretty comprehensive account about the role of lobbying and politics in food regulation. The answer to your questions is, yes, the food companies lobby heavily to influence the Food Pyramid.

    I believe that a product must contain 51% whole grains by weight per serving to claim that it contains whole grains. You can see all of these food regulations at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov
  • Post #37 - January 19th, 2009, 1:33 am
    Post #37 - January 19th, 2009, 1:33 am Post #37 - January 19th, 2009, 1:33 am
    Darren72 wrote:As many have already said, if you eat a balanced diet, vitamins probably won't help. They probably won't hurt also. So I tend to take one, not every day, just to fill in any gaps.

    I sort of get your point, Darren, but I'm still curious how you can possibly know what your "gaps" are that need filling. Can you just sense when your Vitamin B6 levels are a tad low and need to be "topped off," while sensing that you already have your full complement of niacin and anything more would be carrying coals to Newcastle?

    What sound like facetious questions really aren't. If we can't tell from how we feel that we are low on this vitamin or that (and we can't), what rational basis do we have for thinking we need supplementation?

    I think what you're probably saying is that you don't know which vitamins you lack, so a multi will cover those bases. But why start from the presumption that gaps exist at all? Where is the evidence for that? What basis do any of us have for thinking we lack anything? Even studies that show that "average Americans" could use more Vitamin D mean nothing as to whether you or I could use more Vitamin D.

    We are all completely in the dark on this, in the absence of bloodwork results. But we don't like being in the dark. We like to feel we are in control. Vitamin and mineral supplements are how we achieve an illusory sense of control. It would be good if they did something for us beyond that, but I have a feeling that's all they're good for.
  • Post #38 - January 19th, 2009, 7:44 am
    Post #38 - January 19th, 2009, 7:44 am Post #38 - January 19th, 2009, 7:44 am
    riddlemay wrote:We are all completely in the dark on this, in the absence of bloodwork results. But we don't like being in the dark. We like to feel we are in control. Vitamin and mineral supplements are how we achieve an illusory sense of control. It would be good if they did something for us beyond that, but I have a feeling that's all they're good for.


    Maybe it's not illusory. As you said, we don't have a realistic means of monitoring our daily vitamin intake and absorption. While I try to eat a balanced diet, there are times I know I don't, or if I have to travel, then I know my eating habits become really irregular. Popping a multivitamin is one way to bridge perceived gaps, or put another way, acts as insurance during those times when I'm probably not getting all the nutrients I need from food. I don't have any scientific evidence to back this up, but I see the downside to popping a vitamin to be really low -- no discernible physical harm, and very nominal pocketbook harm, as I buy mine at Costco -- a big bottle for $13.99 or something (and as Darren72 pointed out, I, too, find that one bottle lasts me two years).
  • Post #39 - January 19th, 2009, 8:57 am
    Post #39 - January 19th, 2009, 8:57 am Post #39 - January 19th, 2009, 8:57 am
    Riddlemay, good points. I could have been more clear. This is correct:

    I think what you're probably saying is that you don't know which vitamins you lack, so a multi will cover those bases. But why start from the presumption that gaps exist at all?


    I don't know what I'm lacking, if anything, at a particular point in time. I try to eat a balanced diet, but I'm not always successful. Depending on time constraints, social plans, etc. I may eat very few important nutrients. I try to eat a balanced and varied diet for health reasons and, more importantly, because it's fun trying different things. But I couldn't tell you which vitamins and minerals are in arugula, which are in black beans, and which are in carrots. I know that all provide important things, but I don't have the knowledge to micromanage my nutrient intake. The multivitamin gives me a little piece of mind that any gaps are filled in. As Aschie30 said, it's low-cost insurance.

    Do gaps exist at all? I'd like to think that they don't. If vitamins were $100 a year instead of $5, I probably wouldn't bother. If I thought there was potential for these to harm me, I probably wouldn't take them.
  • Post #40 - January 19th, 2009, 11:18 am
    Post #40 - January 19th, 2009, 11:18 am Post #40 - January 19th, 2009, 11:18 am
    At age 38, I am not a big believer in vitamins(I cant remember the last time I was sick, or malnourished). I dont think I have had a vitamin since I would munch a Flintstones vitamin as a kid.
  • Post #41 - January 19th, 2009, 11:46 am
    Post #41 - January 19th, 2009, 11:46 am Post #41 - January 19th, 2009, 11:46 am
    Not being contentious, because I have my days when my take on the whole vitamin thing is exactly like yours, aschie and Darren. But now, in my "attempting to be logical" mode, I'm wondering if the premise that we have any need for "insurance" is a bill of goods we've been sold (since there is so little evidence for it, even when we eat less than balanced diets or go whole days without appreciable amounts of fruits and vegetables; you can infer that you are lacking vitamin A and C on those days, but you have no evidence to support that inference, until you do bloodwork). You can see vitamins as merely the latest manifestation of a peculiarly American, quasi-religious "quest for health perfection" going back to Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and the Battle Creek Sanitarium in the late nineteenth century. (Not that his ideas were completely wrong, but he did seem to tap into or activate some kind of American neurosis with them.) I should say that I'm talking from a very dilettante-ish understanding of the whole trend, never having made a thorough study of it, but that's my impression. (And of course, one person's "neurotic quest for complete safety" is another person's enlightened understanding. But the very fact that we are into complete subjectivity here, as to which of the two it is, is troubling from a rational perspective.)
    Last edited by riddlemay on January 19th, 2009, 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #42 - January 19th, 2009, 11:59 am
    Post #42 - January 19th, 2009, 11:59 am Post #42 - January 19th, 2009, 11:59 am
    I’ll confess – I’m a fan of daily vitamin supplements. The bottom line for me is that they can’t hurt, and might help.

    I was introduced to the concept of “trust benefits” early in my career, working on Gleem toothpaste. It has fluoride. Fluoride is said to strengthen teeth. Can I really tell that brushing daily with fluoride toothpaste has any benefit at all? No. But I trust that I might have gotten more cavities or had other problems with tooth enamel without it.

    Same with vitamins. I try to eat well, with a balanced diet that’s veggie-heavy and also includes a bit of protein every day. (That may differ if I’m eating out.) I don’t know if I have “vitamin gaps,” but I’ve been taking a multivitamin every day for the past 30+ years. Has it helped? I don’t know. Has it created expensive urine? Probably. It certainly doesn’t make a difference on a day-to-day basis, but my gut feeling is it might be a good idea in the long run.

    For example, I do know that my 96 year-old aunt, who was always a big proponent of a daily multivitamin, has outlived her eight siblings by more than ten years. And (as I love to point out to him), I have much less gray hair than my baby brother (seven years younger).

    Anecdotal, proves nothing, not necessarily a cause-and-effect relationship. Still, I’ll keep taking a multivitamin every day, thank you very much.

    Full disclosure: I spent a number of years advertising Flintstones Vitamins. One of the guys on the team came up with the line “five million strong … and growing.” I double-checked the math, and that’s how the tag line became “ten million strong … and growing.”
  • Post #43 - January 19th, 2009, 8:49 pm
    Post #43 - January 19th, 2009, 8:49 pm Post #43 - January 19th, 2009, 8:49 pm
    It's well-known that American women (and often men) don't get enough calcium, just check our reliance on osteoporosis drugs. Bone loss isn't just about calcium, though, but phosphorous, magnesium, vitamin C (the one vitamin most Americans get enough of through their diet due to potato chips and french fries) and vitamin D. Easier to take a multivitamin than make sure you've one of each of these.

    Frankly, I'd rather take a one-a-day multivitamin at $1.99 for 100 doses than figure out which single vitamins to take, or stress over my diet. Frankly, how different is that than homeowner's, renter's or car insurance?
  • Post #44 - January 19th, 2009, 10:08 pm
    Post #44 - January 19th, 2009, 10:08 pm Post #44 - January 19th, 2009, 10:08 pm
    nr706 wrote:The bottom line for me is that they can’t hurt, and might help.


    I'm somewhat paranoid about the possibility that our bodies will forget how to extract vitamins and other essential nutrients from food if we keep delivering them in a "ready-to-use" package.

    I spend a significant part of my life immersed in 'modern' western medicine and research, and am aware of the infinite flaws in this (irrational) line of thinking, yet it persists.
  • Post #45 - January 19th, 2009, 11:10 pm
    Post #45 - January 19th, 2009, 11:10 pm Post #45 - January 19th, 2009, 11:10 pm
    tatterdemalion wrote:I'm somewhat paranoid about the possibility that our bodies will forget how to extract vitamins and other essential nutrients from food if we keep delivering them in a "ready-to-use" package.

    Maybe you have a very smart body. I doubt mine knows whether a nutrient comes from broccoli or a pill.
  • Post #46 - January 20th, 2009, 7:15 am
    Post #46 - January 20th, 2009, 7:15 am Post #46 - January 20th, 2009, 7:15 am
    There are people who have difficulty extracting vitamins and minerals from food, and people who don't get out in the sun (a source of vitamin D). The remedy: take a multivitamin.
  • Post #47 - January 20th, 2009, 8:07 am
    Post #47 - January 20th, 2009, 8:07 am Post #47 - January 20th, 2009, 8:07 am
    Mhays wrote:Frankly, I'd rather take a one-a-day multivitamin at $1.99 for 100 doses than figure out which single vitamins to take, or stress over my diet.

    A personal health plan modeled after your city's philosophy of governing. :wink:


    Frankly, how different is that than homeowner's, renter's or car insurance

    I think it's pretty different. For one thing, you don't ingest insurance (though the Aflac duck does look plump and juicy). I think it's reasonable to want more evidence that something is safe if you're putting it in your body rather than in your glove compartment. Also, with car insurance, you know there is a cause-and-effect relationship. Because you purchased insurance, the company paid your expenses when you were in an accident. There was no way they were going to pay your expenses if you had not bought the policy. With vitamins, you have much less evidence that there is any cause-effect relationship between the vitamin purchase and your superior health. If you take vitamins and live to be 100, maybe the vitamins helped, maybe they didn’t. If you take vitamins and get really sick early in life, maybe the vitamins caused the sickness, maybe they didn’t.
    ...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 #48 - January 20th, 2009, 9:57 am
    Post #48 - January 20th, 2009, 9:57 am Post #48 - January 20th, 2009, 9:57 am
    You could apply that same logic to any diet philosophy out there: what concrete evidence do you have that eating a varied diet improves your health? Or that vegetables are good for you? There are plenty of people out there who have lived to a ripe old age eating nothing but meat and potatoes, but I don't know that I'd recommend that as a diet plan.

    I'm certain that folks here are right and most of the vitamin goes to waste - I'm not worried about that part - it's the part that doesn't. It's not like I'm going on a diet of vitamin pills and water.
  • Post #49 - January 20th, 2009, 10:13 am
    Post #49 - January 20th, 2009, 10:13 am Post #49 - January 20th, 2009, 10:13 am
    Mhays wrote:You could apply that same logic to any diet philosophy out there: what concrete evidence do you have that eating a varied diet improves your health? Or that vegetables are good for you? There are plenty of people out there who have lived to a ripe old age eating nothing but meat and potatoes, but I don't know that I'd recommend that as a diet plan.


    I do apply the same logic to any "diet philosophy". I'm not going to buy it just because there is a big marketing campaign trying to convince me to do so. I want to see more evidence than that. This is especially true when the "philosophy" touts man-made, synthetic foodstuff. At last with meat, fruits, and vegetables we have millennia of experience to help us figure out what's good vs. bad. I have much greater skepticism when it comes to ingesting stuff produced in a laboratory. That doesn’t mean I refuse to take medication when I’m sick. I’m still a little skeptical about that, but glad that it goes through rigorous (if flawed) study and evaluation that is highly regulated.

    With vitamin supplements, I just don't know why I should believe that taking them has any substantial benefit. Since there is unknown risk, to me not taking them is actually the better insurance policy.
    ...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 #50 - January 20th, 2009, 10:22 am
    Post #50 - January 20th, 2009, 10:22 am Post #50 - January 20th, 2009, 10:22 am
    So the fact that our life expectancy has increased rather than decreased you find meaningless? I find the conspiracy theories about science in food tend to ignore that piece of information.
  • Post #51 - January 20th, 2009, 10:35 am
    Post #51 - January 20th, 2009, 10:35 am Post #51 - January 20th, 2009, 10:35 am
    Mhays wrote:So the fact that our life expectancy has increased rather than decreased you find meaningless? I find the conspiracy theories about science in food tend to ignore that piece of information.


    Well, in the United States, which has - by far - the biggest per capita group of supplement takers, life expectancy has risen much more slowly than it has in other developed countries.

    There are a lot of reasons life expectancy has risen steadily throughout time though, and scientific advances have certainly played a big part. I like science. Science is good. I'm just not sure about vitamin supplements.
    ...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 #52 - January 20th, 2009, 10:40 am
    Post #52 - January 20th, 2009, 10:40 am Post #52 - January 20th, 2009, 10:40 am
    I think the argument here is not that vitamins are valueless but that their importance has been overhyped because they were easy to find, easy to market, and easy to understand. The harm this has done is in encouraging the magic bullet approach to nutrition, encouraging us to think all is well if we top a bad diet with good pills; it's not that different from my father's conviction that Diet Coke removed calories from other foods. Best to think of vitamins as a rather small part of a very large and varied picture.
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  • Post #53 - January 20th, 2009, 11:02 am
    Post #53 - January 20th, 2009, 11:02 am Post #53 - January 20th, 2009, 11:02 am
    Kennyz wrote:A personal health plan modeled after your city's philosophy of governing. :wink:

    Is Kenny slamming The People's Republic of Evanston?
  • Post #54 - January 20th, 2009, 11:42 am
    Post #54 - January 20th, 2009, 11:42 am Post #54 - January 20th, 2009, 11:42 am
    Mike G wrote:I think the argument here is not that vitamins are valueless but that their importance has been overhyped because they were easy to find, easy to market, and easy to understand. The harm this has done is in encouraging the magic bullet approach to nutrition, encouraging us to think all is well if we top a bad diet with good pills; it's not that different from my father's conviction that Diet Coke removed calories from other foods. Best to think of vitamins as a rather small part of a very large and varied picture.


    This I completely agree with.
  • Post #55 - January 20th, 2009, 11:54 am
    Post #55 - January 20th, 2009, 11:54 am Post #55 - January 20th, 2009, 11:54 am
    Mhays wrote:
    Mike G wrote:I think the argument here is not that vitamins are valueless but that their importance has been overhyped because they were easy to find, easy to market, and easy to understand. The harm this has done is in encouraging the magic bullet approach to nutrition, encouraging us to think all is well if we top a bad diet with good pills; it's not that different from my father's conviction that Diet Coke removed calories from other foods. Best to think of vitamins as a rather small part of a very large and varied picture.


    This I completely agree with.


    Me too! And so with the start of the new administration begins an era of peace and harmony. :wink:
    ...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 #56 - January 20th, 2009, 11:56 am
    Post #56 - January 20th, 2009, 11:56 am Post #56 - January 20th, 2009, 11:56 am
    Kennyz wrote:I do apply the same logic to any "diet philosophy". I'm not going to buy it just because there is a big marketing campaign trying to convince me to do so. I want to see more evidence than that. This is especially true when the "philosophy" touts man-made, synthetic foodstuff. At last with meat, fruits, and vegetables we have millennia of experience to help us figure out what's good vs. bad. I have much greater skepticism when it comes to ingesting stuff produced in a laboratory. That doesn’t mean I refuse to take medication when I’m sick. I’m still a little skeptical about that, but glad that it goes through rigorous (if flawed) study and evaluation that is highly regulated.

    With vitamin supplements, I just don't know why I should believe that taking them has any substantial benefit. Since there is unknown risk, to me not taking them is actually the better insurance policy.


    Kennyz, is this meant to say that you don't believe the research about the benefits and risk of multivitamin use, or are you claiming that there isn't any?
  • Post #57 - January 20th, 2009, 12:03 pm
    Post #57 - January 20th, 2009, 12:03 pm Post #57 - January 20th, 2009, 12:03 pm
    Darren72 wrote:
    Kennyz wrote:I do apply the same logic to any "diet philosophy". I'm not going to buy it just because there is a big marketing campaign trying to convince me to do so. I want to see more evidence than that. This is especially true when the "philosophy" touts man-made, synthetic foodstuff. At last with meat, fruits, and vegetables we have millennia of experience to help us figure out what's good vs. bad. I have much greater skepticism when it comes to ingesting stuff produced in a laboratory. That doesn’t mean I refuse to take medication when I’m sick. I’m still a little skeptical about that, but glad that it goes through rigorous (if flawed) study and evaluation that is highly regulated.

    With vitamin supplements, I just don't know why I should believe that taking them has any substantial benefit. Since there is unknown risk, to me not taking them is actually the better insurance policy.


    Kennyz, is this meant to say that you don't believe the research about the benefits and risk of multivitamin use, or are you claiming that there isn't any?


    Darren - see post just above yours. I believe the research that says multivitamins are good for you, AND I believe the research that says they're bad for you. I think everyone is right. The world is full of right. I even like Schwa's reservation system.
    ...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 #58 - February 17th, 2009, 3:18 pm
    Post #58 - February 17th, 2009, 3:18 pm Post #58 - February 17th, 2009, 3:18 pm
    NYT throws cold water on vitamins.
    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 #59 - February 17th, 2009, 3:38 pm
    Post #59 - February 17th, 2009, 3:38 pm Post #59 - February 17th, 2009, 3:38 pm
    I turn to Andrew Weil's Eating Well for Optimum Health for in-depth advice on nutrition, including vitamins and minerals. In fact, I look up nutritional information in it so often that I keep it on the cookbook shelf.

    I could be wrong about the details, and forgive me, moderators, if I am, but I vaguely recall posting a question about LTHers' views on taking vitamins about a year ago, and it was promptly removed, as being health related rather than food related. Now, it appears, it is a suitable topic for this forum.

    I do take some specific supplements, including calcium. I'm ambivalent about taking B vitamins or multivitamins containing B. My own experience confirms the anecdotal claims that it causes fatigue if taken during the daytime, and vivid dreams if taken in the evening. Despite the possible benefits, I have enough problems with daytime fatigue and wacky dreams as it is, without making them worse with B vitamins.

    To shift a bit toward the food-related, what do you all think of taking probiotics and enzymes (e.g., Beano)? My own experience with them has been good. It doesn't take much (stress, alcohol, lettuce, spicy foods (much as I love them), stress, worry, worry, stress) to upset my digestive system, and I find that taking a probiotic pill and a Beano pill once a day is well worth the cost for a peaceful stomach.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"

    As Carl Sagan once said, to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent the universe. And sometimes I just don't have the time and energy to invent the universe. So I figure it's okay to buy some stuff.
  • Post #60 - February 17th, 2009, 4:42 pm
    Post #60 - February 17th, 2009, 4:42 pm Post #60 - February 17th, 2009, 4:42 pm
    I always get so confused when the topic of vitamins come up. What should I be taking? Is there such thing as a whole multi-vitamin, etc. It seems everyone is an expert and has their own theories. I like to watch Dr. Oz on TV (not Oprah, I am not a cult member) and he has a breakdown of what you should take as a man vs. women as they are both different, but the thing is, who really takes 10-12 pills a day? It seems a little obsessive to me. Then the theory of organic vitamins comes to mind, does this truly make a difference?

    I started taking a daily vitamin, but to be honest I don't take it daily b/c I forget. It's the whole foods brand and it's without Iron. I also heard that you should take fiber, flax seed oil or fish oil (frozen), probiotics, etc etc etc.

    Maybe this is why people do not take them, it's too damn confusing.

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