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Anonymous asked in HealthAlternative Medicine · 1 decade ago

I know the "stand" on Alt-Med...but what about VITAMINS? Is there.....?

debate here as well? I'm asking b/c although I havn't seen much,there were a few times that it seemed as though that topic was "dismissed" too.....

I myself do not have the best diet (lots of sugars,junk food,ect),but...being 5'6 and 115 pds I've never had enough reason to change it to be honest LOL

I've always believed that UNLESS you consume 3-4 FRESH servings of fruits/vegetables daily,3-4 FRESH servings of fish per week,ect,ect....which MOST people do NOT...that supplements(multi- vit,Omega,ect) are not only needed,but VITAL if you want the BEST out of your health/body.

Is this a topic of debate as well? And if so,why/what would be the "other side" of it?

Update:

Thanks for the relpy Skep...I've got one more question though if you see this...don't things like severe stress DEPLETE certain Vitamins in the body???

And how many do you REALLY think eat that well? LOL I know ALOT of people....I can't say I know even ONE(sad!)...who truely eats the list I mentioned above,which is the RDA/Food Pyramid.

Update 2:

ADD: You would be right though..I was born in '73',and Mom(who is an RN btw)started me on my Flinstones :-)

Update 3:

Dr J...THANK YOU!!! I will defintely go check out the links,very helpful :-)

Update 4:

Troy...your right,Rhianna is pretty...her personality(personal insults) though is what KILLS IT :-(

Update 5:

Now Doc...don't even GO THERE...I am a FAIR person always...I disagree with MANY OF you...but have I blocked anybody ELSE?! NO!!! I blocked Rhinna b/c she slings to many PERSONAL INSULTS....bottom line,she told somebody last week they had a LOW IQ....She's a BEEP BEEP BEEP....that's why I finally got FED UP and blocked her!!!

6 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hi Stormy. You are correct in assuming that vitamin supplements are controversial. Sadly, most people 'against' supplementation (such as the Skepdoc) lack basic knowledge about the facts on this issue.

    Attached are links to 3 major scientific papers on this subject, published in two of the world's leading medical journals: 1) The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), and 2) The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). I encourage you to read these papers. I will summarize a few pertinent points below.

    From the PNAS:

    "Inadequate dietary intakes of vitamins and minerals are widespread..."

    "Deficiencies in many micronutrients (vitamins and minerals are micronutrients) cause DNA damage..." "Some of these deficiencies ... are associated with late onset diseases such as cancer."

    "A multivitamin-mineral supplement is one low-cost way to ensure intake of the Recommended Dietary Allowance of micronutrients throughout life."

    From the JAMA articles:

    "Inadequate intake of several vitamins has been linked to chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis."

    "...suboptimal intake of some vitamins, above levels causing classic vitamin deficiency, is a risk factor for chronic diseases and common in the general population..."

    "Most people do not consume an optimal amount of vitamins by diet alone. ...it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements."

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC169379...

    http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/287/23/3...

    http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/287/23/3...

    One of the key areas of "confusion" is that many people who do not "believe" in the value of vitamin/mineral supplements do not appreciate that SUBOPTIMAL intakes of vitamins, that do not cause any acute symptoms of deficiency (e.g. scurvy, beri beri, pellegra, etc.), do contribute to the risk for developing very serious chronic diseases. Sadly, most of these same people haven't read the MASSIVE amount of scientific research that documents the inadequate intakes of micronutrients in Americans of all ages.

    I hope you find this scientifically sourced information helpful.

    Best wishes and good luck.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    This is Rhianna, sigh. First of all, can I just say, I can't believe I have wasted time opening another account just so I could reply to your comments. You wrote things about me, then blocked me so I couldn't edit my answer and reply which I think is really unfair.

    Before anyone accuses me of being a troll because I have a second account, I merely opened this account just now to reply to Stormy's comments.

    You've misjudged me Stormy, the lady who I said had a below average IQ had been insulting us sceptics all week and been calling us pigs etc. My comment was justified, only someone with a below average IQ would do that, frankly I could have been a lot more insulting but chose not to.

    I rarely insult people, its the lowest form of defence. If you read my other posts, I always give clear accurate answers. I Am not here to cause trouble, just answer questions and inject a little common sense and reality into some of the diabolicalness on this forum.

    As I have said before, although I oppose homoeopathy because it violates every principle of science, I am not against all alternative medicine. I will support any therapy providing there is some evidence of efficacy. I don't hate vitamins, but they are unnecessary unless you are deficient in it. Vitamin supplements do not replace a healthy diet.

    What I said about your over use of caps still stands, perhaps that was a tad personal, it wasn't really meant as an insult, take it on the chin and ignore it.

    Finally, don't take this site too seriously. People are allowed to express their opinions and shouldn't be blocked from doing so. You can't accuse everyone of being a troll merely because the are sceptical.

    Best Wishes

    Rhianna

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  • 1 decade ago

    I too agree with skepdoc, the vast majority of vitamins and other supplements consumed in the developed countries benefit the pharmaceutical companies rather than contributing to the well being of the consumers. In the UK the claims that can be made about them have been curtailed by law as there is just so little evidence that they are of benefit. If you look at most of the TV adverts for vitamins at the bottom of the screen, in quite small print, something like: may be of benefit to the elderly on poor diet. This is because there was one small study suggesting that they might get benefit, the rest of us have not been shown to do so.

    There appears to be something inherently different about vitamins obtained from natural sources and those bought in bottles. This is not really well understood, but is thought to involve co-factors. All the evidence for example on the advantages of antioxidants come from diets rich in these from natural sources.

    Skepdoc is also right to comment that there are few patients who actually seem to come to harm from low vitamin intakes, unless lack is extreme, such a scurvy from long term lack of vitamin C or Beriberi from lack of thiamine. The later is almost impossible to get in the UK as noted in the BNF.There has been however a trickle of recent studies suggesting that those taking vitamin supplements actually do worse that average, though I am not certain it has been established in all of these studies that there is a causal relationship.

    I try not to read too many of the pre-existing answers to questions before adding my own, however in this case your question was brought to my attention by Rhianna, who you seem to have blocked simply because you did not like her answer. This seems at the least counter-productive and at worst just plain maliciousness. If you are going to continue to block all users that you don't agree with, there seems frankly little point in asking question!

    I find it difficult to understand your rationale in banning someone who simply encouraged you to eat a healthy diet!

    Source(s): GP for more years than I care to remember
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I agree with SkepDoc.

    Also, you seem to use caps to EMPHASISE your point. You don't actually need to do that. It's beyond annoying.

    Taking vitamins is not the same as eating fruit and vegetables. If you are concerned enough about your health that you will buy vitamins then why can't you eat 5 portions of fruits and/or vegetables a day? It's really not that difficult.

    Taking a daily vitamin is no problem, it's only an issue if you take it above the RDA.

    Source(s): Registered Nurse
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  • 1 decade ago

    I take vitamins, no clue why, pharmacy told me to. So i took it

    but I just want to say that i think Rhianna is a hottie ^^

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  • 1 decade ago

    I guess it depends on who you ask. Almost everything is a topic for debate on this board.

    In general, unless you have a disease where you don't absorb vitamins properly, or have a terrible diet lacking in fresh fruits and vegetables, the vast majority of people do not need supplementation with vitamin tablets. It is a myth that modern food processing removes/destroys vitamins, and they are added back into a lot of foods if you read labels. Vitamins are never a substitute for eating properly.

    There is a huge sub-culture that has grown up around vitamins and supplements, and the manufacturers and packagers of vitamins certainly encourage these false beliefs. They do try and get people "hooked" early on....why else Flinstones chewable vitamins??? Get little kids and their moms in the habit of thinking they need to take a vitamin pill. It's nonsense.

    There is no real harm from taking vitamins, unless you take mega-doses of some of the fat soluble ones. (A D E K) Mega doses of the water soluble ones are a waste of time, as they end up in the sewer system, and have no health benefits.

    So, IMHO, for most people there is no reason to take them, but also no harm. It does enrich the large multinational corporations who make these things, and I always thought Alties were against "big pharma"

    EDIT Doctor J. I try and keep my answers objective and avoid snide supercilious personal attacks. You have not answered the question asked, but answered a different one entirely. The question was about normal healthy people. So your rant about "suboptimal vitamins" is off topic. My patients at high risk of osteoporosis are told to supplement with Calcium and Vitamin D.

    Yes, there are dietary deficiency diseases, some groups of people are at higher risk of vitamin deficiency, and vitamin deficiencies are associated (Associated...not cause and effect) with some forms of disease such as atherosclerosis or cancers. FYI, it was doctors and scientists who discovered this, not Alties. You're welcome, no need to thank us.

    If you had actually read the articles you cited, you'd find they don't say what you think they say. For example, the JAMA article concludes:

    "Data Synthesis Our review of 9 vitamins showed that elderly people, vegans, alcohol-dependent individuals, and patients with malabsorption are at higher risk of inadequate intake or absorption of several vitamins. Excessive doses of vitamin A during early pregnancy and fat-soluble vitamins taken anytime may result in adverse outcomes. Inadequate folate status is associated with neural tube defect and some cancers. Folate and vitamins B6 and B12 are required for homocysteine metabolism and are associated with coronary heart disease risk. Vitamin E and lycopene may decrease the risk of prostate cancer. Vitamin D is associated with decreased occurrence of fractures when taken with calcium.

    Conclusions Some groups of patients are at higher risk for vitamin deficiency and suboptimal vitamin status. Many physicians may be unaware of common food sources of vitamins or unsure which vitamins they should recommend for their patients. Vitamin excess is possible with supplementation, particularly for fat-soluble vitamins. Inadequate intake of several vitamins has been linked to chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis."

    So, supported by sources you referred me to...I stand by my answer.

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