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Are Vitamins Useless?
Old 06-25-2013, 01:21 PM   #1
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Are Vitamins Useless?

That's the title of this article, and, for the most part, a question answered in the affirmative. Billion-Dollar Scam In a Bottle: Why Vitamins Could Be Useless?or Even Shorten Your Lifespan

Yesterday, for the first time ever, I bought a bottle of multi vitamins, thinking it would be a way to insure that I wasn't missing anything that could help me get older. I already do take B12 and D. Now I wonder if I can return the rest of the unused MV bottle.

Excpt for calcium, the article infers that unless your doctor suggests a specific supplement, you might be better off, not taking a multi vitamin. Possible overdose, and wallet lightener.

This is not a new theory... (useless vitamins), but hasn't been as much in the headlines lately.

Whaddya think?
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:17 PM   #2
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A multi undoubtedly has many components that are useless to any specific person. They're just sort of an insurance, with a cost. There are not many cost effective tests that we can take for most vitamins, so we're flying blind pretty much.

I did the Spectracell testing to cover quite a few of them, covered in this thread:

Spectracell micronutrients testing

I think that's about the best we can do for now. Plenty more progress that needs to be made.
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:19 PM   #3
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Most every doctor I've ever been to agreed with two things about pills I should take:

1) Take Fish Oil.
2) A multi-vitamin can't hurt.

I feel better when I take my multi, even though I eat a healthy diet where I'm certain I get most of my RDA of everything through food. For ~$9/month for a good food-based multi, it's not holding up my ER, either.
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:23 PM   #4
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I do not eat a healthy diet, therefore I believe my daily multi-vitamin is doing more good than harm. I also take calcium and an opti-vitamin for my eyes. I do not feel that I am over-dosing or doing any harm to myself whatsoever. Sure, eating smarter would be the way to go but, in my case, at this time of my life, it is not likely to happen. But never say never; I do have good intentions to eat more vegetables, etc. Until then, I will continue with the vitamins.
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Old 06-25-2013, 03:26 PM   #5
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Its best to get your vitamins and minerals from real food, but if you don't eat well and suffer from a particular deficiency, I see nothing wrong with supplementing.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:22 PM   #6
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Americans are abusing vitamins ? No way ! Way !

Just like everything else the media tells us we need.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:55 PM   #7
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She has awsome credentials.

Not intending to defend the vitamin industry.

Read her article, no discussion of "multi vitamin" dosages or components. There must be dozens of varieties of multi vitamins.

Author Profile

Lynn Stuart Parramore, AlterNet


Lynn Parramore is an AlterNet senior editor. She is cofounder of Recessionwire, founding editor of New Deal 2.0, and author of ‘Reading the Sphinx: Ancient Egypt in Nineteenth-Century Literary Culture.’ She received her Ph.d in English and Cultural Theory from NYU, where she has taught essay writing and semiotics. She is the Director of AlterNet’s New Economic Dialogue Project. Follow her on Twitter @LynnParramore.


I had no ide of what "semiotics" was. From wikipedia:

Semiotics, also called semiotic studies and including (in the Saussurean tradition) semiology, is the study of signs and sign processes (semiosis), indication, designation, likeness, analogy, metaphor, symbolism, signification, and communication. Semiotics is closely related to the field of linguistics, which, for its part, studies the structure and meaning of language more specifically. However, as different from linguistics, semiotics studies also non-linguistic sign systems. Semiotics is often divided into three branches:

Edit add:
Maybe the good balanced diet of soft drinks, cookies, chips and beer does supply all the nutrients one needs.
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:22 PM   #8
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Here is what I would follow :
http://www.aafp.org/patient-care/cli...l/vitamin.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post

Whaddya think?
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:41 PM   #9
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I also have a crap diet. Take a multi V just once or twice a week.....don't mind wasting a little money, but taking one every day seems overkill.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:32 PM   #10
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I actually believe vitamin supplementation can do more harm than good to both your health and your wallet if you have an adequate diet, no deficiencies, etc. Here is a fairly recent article from the popular press with some examples: Popular but Dangerous: 3 Vitamins That Can Hurt You - US News and World Report

Personally, I try to get all of my vitamins and minerals from my diet.

However, when I get out of my diet routine for extended periods (business travel is the worst for me), I do take a multi every 3-4 days to avoid deficiencies.
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:21 AM   #11
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I disagree with the article.
First of all, the quality of our fresh food is reducing day by day. Although it looks fresh and shiny, the quality is not same as it used to be during our grandparents.
Some of our food supply is touted as healthy but it works against us (Read Soy) so in such cases, if you still stick to such food, multivitamins can help.

Secondly, those of us who live in northern region and work indoors, we have very little exposure to the sun. So vitamin D levels are low for majority of the folks. I came across a couple of studies performed in Hawaii, where the population supposedly is in the sun for longer time than any of rest US region, still 70% of them were vit. D deficient.

Our life is sedentary. From what I learned during my pharmacy school, just eating healthy food won't fly. It has to be combined with good exercise to get best possible absorption. This does not happen, so essentially popping a pill gets some mileage.

As we age, we may get some health issues which affect absorption of nutrients, so it helps.


Does this industry runs on confusion, yes, a big YES. I hate that part. I do not believe in their quality control so you have to be careful which brand you use.


Personally, I have health disorder that makes it difficult for me to absorb some nutrients. Plus, some medications hinder other nutrients, so I take multivitamins and other vitamins separately. But if someone is healthy, gets enough exercise and eats healthy food, no need of the supplements.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:48 AM   #12
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The article is essentially a journalist's review of what other journalists have reported. As such, there is little on which to hang your hat.

The most important thing one should do is eat what is necessary to maintain the health of both you and your gut microbiome. Unfortunately, that is NOT what most of us are doing. Since we are all doing this wrong, just know a vitamin pill will not atone for a multitude of dietary 'sins'; however, it is known to prevent vitamin deficiencies.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:10 AM   #13
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My view on this will most likely be considered simplistic. But here it is:
1. The active ingredients in vitamins and nutrients are often the very same ones used in commercial fertilizers.
2. Over fertilizing will kill the plant.
3. The bonsai tree will live longest with little or no fertilizer.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:30 AM   #14
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Here's what the FDA says about vitamins, which ones may be the most important, when supplements may be needed, and in what form they should be taken for best results.

Fortify Your Knowledge About Vitamins
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obgyn65 View Post
This is the right stuff. The rest is cr*p.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:20 AM   #16
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My doctor has tested my vitamin levels to see if I am getting enough or too much. She ordered the specific tests when I had my annual blood work. No guessing that way. I had a parathyroid tumor 3 years ago and my calcium and Vitamin D were out of whack, which started them checking my other vitamin levels.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:34 AM   #17
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The only illnesses legitimately due to vitamin deficiencies I have seen in 35 years of practice are related to alcohol and drug abuse, malabsorption (e.g. sprue), starvation due to social catastrophes, cancer impairing digestion, anorexia, iron deficiency in pregnancy, self-neglect (e.g. ignored symptoms of hyperthyroidism for a year and developed several deficiencies). I may be missing a few but that's about it.

I do not advise vitamin supplements lacking a specific, documented deficiency or a situation where deficiency is likely and tests are inconclusive. I support the AAFP and AHEC guidelines.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:09 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KB View Post
My doctor has tested my vitamin levels to see if I am getting enough or too much. She ordered the specific tests when I had my annual blood work. No guessing that way. ....
Now here is a breath of fresh air!
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:20 PM   #19
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What is this about vitamins being an expenditure? They can be obtained very cheaply.

I get the mature adult multivitamins from Whole Foods, about $16 for 365. I'm very healthy but my doc seems to think they are good insurance.
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:13 PM   #20
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One of my Doctors said the only thing supplemental vitamins did was give you "expensive pee".
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