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Vitamins - Worth the Cost?
Old 12-17-2013, 07:39 AM   #1
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Vitamins - Worth the Cost?

Today's new is filled with articles resulting from a physicians (over age 60) study of the effect of taking multivitamins over an 11 year period that showed limited positive, and some negative results.

Doubtless the coming weeks will see pushback from the pharmaceutical companies, as many dollars in sales are at stake. (28 Billion annually)

In the articles that I read, the emphasis was on multivitamins, and were very vague about specific vitamins that have been touted for things like cognitive ability. Some of the articles mention Vitmin D as a positive as well as a negative, and some good from folic acid.

The only small positive correlation was in multivitamins for men over 60, with an 8% decrease in cancer.

Defferent sources seem to have slightly different "takes" on the study, so expect some differences. Medical journal: 'Case closed' against vitamin pills

I was puzzled that, in the articles that I've read so far, that there is little clear explanation or determination about the benefits of single supplements and comments about multivitamins for use with "bad" diets seem muted. It's as if the writers are tip toeing around the issue. Expect to see more about the subject... and of course many differing opinions here.
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:41 AM   #2
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Vitamins - Worth the Cost?
Only if you're pregnant.
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:59 AM   #3
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When I consider the simple fact that too much water can kill you, it's only a short step on questions like this to conclude that "nobody really knows."
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:03 AM   #4
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Another view...
Vitamins and Supplements Still Beneficial?
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:04 AM   #5
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A snippet would be helpful...
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:10 AM   #6
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I've always had a pretty iffy diet. I try to take a multi vitamin maybe twice a week. I have a couple of friends that down pills like crazy. The wife in particular has convinced herself that if she doesn't take all those pills (multi, C, etc etc) everyday that she feels "weaker" within a day.....and she eat really well.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:19 AM   #7
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As living creatures we need many different things to function properly, including vitamins. The way we get those necessary vitamins is either by eating them, or making them. It is possible that long ago our ancestors had the ability to make vitamins, but that ability was likely lost millions of years ago. In order to stay healthy we need to exercise and eat healthy, which not everybody does. Multivitamins help keep our body full of what we need even when out diets are not doing that.

Our world relies heavily on food that is low on vitamins, such as corn and wheat. For some, diets change constantly and multivitamins act as the safety net to ensure that we have no nutritional gaps in our eating habits. Most Americans would agree considering the percentage of people who use multivitamins in the U.S. is just above 50 percent. To some multivitamins and supplements look like a waste, one that drives an industry that makes more than $20 billion dollars annually.
Vitamins and Supplements Still Beneficial?
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:58 AM   #8
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The article isn't saying that you shouldn't take vitamins if you have a poor diet or that vitamins are not beneficial. It is saying that they didn't find evidence that they prevented cognitive decline or prevent heart disease. Being nominatively healthy is a worthy goal. Just don't expect them to prevent normal disease progression.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:14 AM   #9
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IMO vitamin supplementation is helpful/useful only if it corrects a deficiency that cannot be corrected via better diet. Otherwise supplements merely create expensive urine.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:53 AM   #10
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I read several versions of the overviews of the research. Not suprisingly they all blather on about the uselessness of vitamins, noting a few exceptions.

As is usual these articles are totally devoid of any useful factual infrmation, such as dosage, composition, the dieat of the participats.

Also as is usual the articles bleat that folks consuming a "proper healthy" diet ahould not need any additional OTC vitamins.

In sum I'll call all of the articles useless hyperbole.

Note I do take vitamins, am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV.
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:10 AM   #11
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I'll admit, my gullible period started in my late teens and lasted through my mid 40's.
Early books by guru's of the day like Adele Davis, Catharyn Elwood, Gaylord Howser and the like would invariably go through a convincing narrative on each specific vitamin/mineral and how essential they were to good health. At the peak I must have had 20 or more potion bottles on the counter for easy access. I never did mega-dose. I prefered concentrated food sources like brewers/nutritional yeast, wheat germ oil etc.
Today I take an occasional B-12 and a few D3's in the winter months.
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:13 AM   #12
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I prefered concentrated food sources like brewers/nutritional yeast ...
Brewer's yeast should always be taken in its most natural form, as the product of a good brewery.

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... wheat germ oil etc.
Yes, wheat beers are also excellent.
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:43 AM   #13
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I had the Spectracell lab testing for many nutrients, supplemented those that were deficient. and had the test again, which confirmed the supplements were effective in raising the levels that were deficient. I don't notice any difference, but it's kind of hard to feel something like an "8% decrease in cancer" right away...

If I remain healthy and active in late retirement then it was more than worth it. If not, then I guess not.
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Old 12-17-2013, 12:12 PM   #14
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Brewer's yeast should always be taken in its most natural form, as the product of a good brewery.
I was living in Chico, CA during the founding of Sierra Nevada Brewery in 1980. Pale Ale was/is a form of local currency.
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Old 12-17-2013, 12:46 PM   #15
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I had several medical types (docs, dietitians, physicians assistance, etc and my sister "the nurse") inform me that unless your body shows a serious deficiency in a particualr vitamin then.. you will probably pass most of what you are buying to take. I did read on this and we pass all but 4 vitamins through urine and defication. Those 4 vitamins can be deadly if they are taken in excess and the person is in poorer health.

Vitamins A, D, E and K.

Why Vitamins Are Bad for You
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Old 12-17-2013, 03:40 PM   #16
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I'm a bit cynical about whether vitamins and supplements really work---and whether they really contain the dosage and the ingredients they claim to have (and whether they have unwanted substances in them, like lead). Years ago we subscribed to a lab service that analyzed vitamins and supplements in terms of this and the vast majority did not contain the amounts they claimed to.

Ideally, I think it's best to get vitamins and minerals from food, but that's not realistic for lots of people.

And a part of me believes that there must be something to a multi-vitamin because I recently tested with high levels of B-12 (my multivitamin provides over 100% of this) and there is no way I could have reached these levels on my own with my diet (vegan; most vegans are deficient in B-12).
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:20 PM   #17
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When I consider the simple fact that too much water can kill you, it's only a short step on questions like this to conclude that "nobody really knows."
+1

Seems like there is new research daily that contradicts each other. Plus, since vitamins/herbs are considered "supplements", there is no real oversight (read FDA) that makes sure that they have what they claim to have, not to mention having extra unwanted stuff. I believe that the only concern is for seriously deficient vitamin conditions (survey, rickets, etc). Those have pretty much gone away with even a poor diet. Having said that, I take a daily vitamin that covers about 100% of the RDA of vitamins and minerals (a generic centrum) from a company I trust, Kirkland Signature (Costco). When I remember
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:11 PM   #18
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Only if you're pregnant.
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:40 AM   #19
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When I consider the simple fact that too much water can kill you, it's only a short step on questions like this to conclude that "nobody really knows."
This is why I always drink scotch straight up, at most adding a few ice cubes.
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:18 AM   #20
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A fellow I knew,used to say, you do know what fish do in water? He was single malt afficionado.
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