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Supplements: Matter of Opinion?
Old 07-10-2019, 11:03 AM   #1
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Supplements: Matter of Opinion?

I believe the placebo effect works. This has been proven over and over with medicines and surgery. This article has scientific/study references that show supplements and vitamins are a waste of money. If you believe they work, there is credibility to their effectiveness. I do not take vitamins or supplements because personally, I agree with this Dr. and the proof provided.

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/915337
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:17 AM   #2
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Some individuals have deficiencies and if a vitamin supplement improves that as measured by a blood test, I would not call that a placebo effect.
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:31 AM   #3
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Magnesium Citrate stops the muscle cramps I get when I exercise a lot. I think the cramps occur because I lose magnesium from excessive sweating.

I take B12 to supplement my vegan diet. This is a must.
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:38 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by DFW_M5 View Post
Some individuals have deficiencies and if a vitamin supplement improves that as measured by a blood test, I would not call that a placebo effect.
I beg to differ. My Dr. requested I take Vit. D supplements and I chose to get more Vit. D naturally. I guess my point is taking supplements on a regular basis over long term. Many people take supplements based on claims that are not true. Also, there is no guarantee the ingredients are what they say on the label. Vitamins and supplements are not regulated.

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-s...shful-thinking

"In November, another significant study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, appeared. In this one, researchers recruited nearly 26,000 healthy U.S. adults over 50 to take either a vitamin D supplement or a placebo. After following them for an average of almost 5 1/2 years, the study authors concluded that vitamin D supplements did not lower the risk of cancer, stroke, or heart attack."
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Old 07-10-2019, 12:08 PM   #5
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I beg to differ. My Dr. requested I take Vit. D supplements and I chose to get more Vit. D naturally. I guess my point is taking supplements on a regular basis over long term. Many people take supplements based on claims that are not true. Also, there is no guarantee the ingredients are what they say on the label. Vitamins and supplements are not regulated.

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-s...shful-thinking

"In November, another significant study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, appeared. In this one, researchers recruited nearly 26,000 healthy U.S. adults over 50 to take either a vitamin D supplement or a placebo. After following them for an average of almost 5 1/2 years, the study authors concluded that vitamin D supplements did not lower the risk of cancer, stroke, or heart attack."

Finish the entire article. I hate people that cherry pick things to suit their argument . the article also said.

they did connect taking vitamin D supplements to a 13% lower risk of dying from cancer.




After watching my husband die from cancer, I'll take the 7 dollar supplement. thank you very much.
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Old 07-10-2019, 12:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by bclover View Post
Finish the entire article. I hate people that cherry pick things to suit their argument . the article also said.

they did connect taking vitamin D supplements to a 13% lower risk of dying from cancer.

After watching my husband die from cancer, I'll take the 7 dollar supplement. thank you very much.
I am sincerely sorry for your loss. I also had cancer, twice. The article did continue after your quote:


"they found no link between taking a supplement and a lower risk of cancer, but they did connect taking vitamin D supplements to a 13% lower risk of dying from cancer. The study did not look at whether vitamin D supplements were directly responsible for that drop in the cancer death rate by, perhaps, revving up the body’s immune system to fight the disease."
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Old 07-10-2019, 12:24 PM   #7
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a) I couldn't read the article without signing up - not going to happen;

b) Vitimans are necessary to life - you had better get them, either in food - or if you're not getting them in food - you may need to supplement;

c) People's bodies have different needs at different times; I couldn't eat solid food for over a week following a recent surgery and my body needed the protein to heel - so a supplement was recommended by my surgeon;

d) The "studies" need to be critiqued by experts with a background in nutrition and such studies; I am very leery of an article posted by a journalist (which frequently happens) referring to a study, but the study is not attached. The reason for the expert critique, is that sometimes a supplement is administered in the wrong form, or lacks a co-factor on which it is dependent to work. There was a lot of lash-back on a prior vitamin E study, wherein the Vitamin E was not administered in the correct percentages;

e) An MD at the end of a name does not automatically indicate a comprehensive background in nutrition;

f) I agree that the placebo correct is real - I don't agree that all improvements noted from vitamins/ supplements are placebo;

g) The financial motivation to validate vitamins is not there - vitamins are not going to be patented;

h) Let me see, no one is stopping me from going to the store and buying a pack of cigarettes. While the government can regulate cleanliness; I do NOT want the government deciding what vitamins and supplements I, an adult, can put into my body.
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Old 07-10-2019, 12:31 PM   #8
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a)
h) Let me see, no one is stopping me from going to the store and buying a pack of cigarettes. While the government can regulate cleanliness; I do NOT want the government deciding what vitamins and supplements I, an adult, can put into my body.

I agree 100%. Opinions matter, I'm simply stating mine.
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Old 07-10-2019, 01:02 PM   #9
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Most medications consist of both natural and manmade products...the manufacturers recognized the effect of the natural ingredient, manipulated it, enhanced it and therefore it's now a medication.

I supplement my plants with fertilizer, etc and watch the result of great big beautiful flowers and fruit and vegetables...I wouldn't expect much if the plants were left to only use the soil that they were planted in.

I make sure my dogs have a healthy dog food and it usually has an added ingredient that could be considered a supplement.

I would also make sure my baby had vitamin C as it can and usually does prevent crib death.

I like my medication for what they do but I consider my supplements a necessity also.

I do tons of research on NIH and other medical research sites before I take a supplement to make sure of proven benefits.

I think there are a lot of physicians taking supplements but just don't advertize the fact due to fear of the American Medical Association.
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Old 07-10-2019, 01:27 PM   #10
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For any given supplement X there are likely studies to be found in the literature where randomized double-blind studies versus controls on the supplement's affect on ailment Y. Some of these are well done and use different doses of X.

Then there are the studies that merely analyze previous studies - these are of dubious quality particularly when they contradict the studies of the above type. For some reason these studies get more press than the above - perhaps they are more "newsworthy" because they "disprove" the earlier, more rigorous, studies.

Lastly there are the studies that use populations that basically self-report their daily regimes. These end up being of almost no value per se IMHO, but might be useful in suggesting lines of more in-depth research. These too seem to get a lot of press.

In my humble opinion no one should trust the press to report accurately on medical research.
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Old 07-10-2019, 01:50 PM   #11
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I've got an MD after my name. I recommend against supplementation for the sake of supplementation. If you have a specific deficiency and your doctor recommends you replace that vitamin, by all means do. If you have a specific diet that requires supplementation (vegan and B12), please supplement. If you lead a lifestyle that requires supplementation (such as alcoholism and thiamine), then supplement. But otherwise, don't load yourself up with vitamins and supplements. Their benefits are questionable, possible harms are real, and their financial costs are often high.


Quick story. A few months ago I had a 60-something patient come in with what looked like Parkinsons. She had severe memory impairment, tremors, and change in her speech. She was also taking a whole fistful of different vitamins and supplements every day because she thought it was making her healthier. In addition to checking some blood work and ordering a head CT, I asked her to stop taking her vitamins and supplements. When I saw her in the office two weeks later, she was a brand new woman. Her husband told me he had the woman he married back again. This had been going on for over a year before they came to see me about it. I don't know which one of her vitamins or supplements caused it, but we saved them a bunch of money every month and cured her all in one quick visit. That follow-up visit reminded me of why I became a doctor. Usually I don't see such drastic turnarounds so quickly and easily.

Don't take vitamins unless you need to.
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Old 07-10-2019, 02:24 PM   #12
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The biggest problems with supplements is there is absolutely no inspection or certification to guarantee that you're even getting what's on the label. Unlike all prescription drugs and most food items, supplements are completely unregulated. I'd at least like to know that they aren't poisonous, and at best that they contain what they claim to contain on the label.
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Old 07-10-2019, 02:29 PM   #13
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I take D, B and Folic acid as I have in the past couple of months been diag, with anemia. If the pill supplements do not work, then I go to injection and hopefully that works.

They are still working out whether I have a dietary deficiency(probably not based on my food logs I provided), inability to process food in the gut to convert to these items or if I have a production/destruction issue going on.

Take Magnesium for muscle cramps probably being caused by the lack of O2 in the system due to low hemoglobin and platelet issues.

Been told that many Dr. up here, will recommend D in the winter months and the use of a full spectrum lamp for up to an hour a day.
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Old 07-10-2019, 02:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rianne View Post
I beg to differ. My Dr. requested I take Vit. D supplements and I chose to get more Vit. D naturally. I guess my point is taking supplements on a regular basis over long term. Many people take supplements based on claims that are not true. Also, there is no guarantee the ingredients are what they say on the label. Vitamins and supplements are not regulated.

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-s...shful-thinking

"In November, another significant study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, appeared. In this one, researchers recruited nearly 26,000 healthy U.S. adults over 50 to take either a vitamin D supplement or a placebo. After following them for an average of almost 5 1/2 years, the study authors concluded that vitamin D supplements did not lower the risk of cancer, stroke, or heart attack."
I do not understand your objection to my comment. I would agree getting your nutrients naturally is always best, but in some situations that might be very difficult if not impossible. My DD has a B12 deficiency and a supplement is the only thing that helped correct it as confirmed by her blood tests. Obviously, not all supplements are created equal, but we can say the same thing about generic drugs in terms of their efficacy. The placebo effect is another matter all together if it makes one feel better, but I doubt a blood test can be fooled by a placebo.
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:26 PM   #15
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I've got an MD after my name. ... Don't take vitamins unless you need to.
I have read that there are no reliable studies that support routine taking of multivitamins. Do you know if this is true?
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:50 PM   #16
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In the words of one long departed forum member - JERF - Just Eat Real Food. If people are unable to resist the urge to eat highly processed vitamin depleted foods then maybe but even in this 'general' population it looks like a 'no'. If one has one of the rarer conditions such as pernicious anemia where supplements are clearly indicated then definitely. Not because one is a standard deviation below the 'normal' level on a blood test that was drawn as a shotgun panel. Several vitamins and minerals are very clearly harmful in excess and the body actively sequesters some to prevent infections. We've had this discussion before. People believe partly because one side has a multi-billion dollar industry funding advertising and the other asks why the heck would a healthy person need to take a pill to get things that are readily available in much more bio-available forms at no cost. Follow the money.
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:27 AM   #17
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I have literally eaten no vegetables for my entire life with the exception of salads. When I say no vegetables I am not really stretching the facts - I have tasted some and occasionally get a little bit in an egg roll or something but the total amount is so small as to be irrelevant to my life and health. I have tried to improve my diet but failed. I take magnesium which seems to prevent leg cramps at night and I take a multivitamin in the possibly misguided hope that it will make up somewhat for the lack of vegetables. I'm 71 and in apparently good health so go figure.
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:57 AM   #18
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I have literally eaten no vegetables for my entire life with the exception of salads. When I say no vegetables I am not really stretching the facts - I have tasted some and occasionally get a little bit in an egg roll or something but the total amount is so small as to be irrelevant to my life and health. ...........
You are my hero!

My 90 yo FIL thinks chips are a veggie. And, chips and dip are a meal. Maybe that's the secret!
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:20 AM   #19
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The problem with supplements is that you don't know what's working and what isn't, so you're more likely to add rather than subtract from what you're taking. I had a few talks with a personal trainer I met on a cruise (yeah, I know, zero credentials) and he made the interesting point that sometimes supplements interfere with your body's own abilities to handle fat, sugar, etc. I've seen it happen- over-use of antibiotics is a good example (kills off good bacteria in your body). Another was when I discontinued BC pills in my twenties and didn't have a period for 13 months. Those are obviously prescriptions and not supplements, but they interfered with something the body does naturally.

So... I stopped red yeast rice, fish oil and green tea supplements 6 months ago and next week will get some new bloodwork and see how that affected my cholesterol components. My diet is VERY heavy on veggies and I still take a multivitamin, calcium and magnesium (I have a little osteopenia) and Vitamin D. Will be interesting to see the results.
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Old 07-11-2019, 07:10 AM   #20
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I have read that there are no reliable studies that support routine taking of multivitamins. Do you know if this is true?
Truth. And also the USPSTF (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force) guidelines do not recommend routine multivitamin administration. But, the industry is a multibillion dollar one that does big marketing, and people bite.

This being said, I've never told a patient that's taking just a single multivitamin to stop, but I've never recommended anyone start taking them either.
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