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General Discussions => Health, Fitness, Nutrition, and Medicine => Topic started by: conta on November 22, 2016, 04:38:56 AM

Title: Vitamins and suplements
Post by: conta on November 22, 2016, 04:38:56 AM
Hi guys, 

me and my friend, we had a discussion about vitamins: I remember few episodes where SGU talked about there is basically no plus in using them, eg:
- we can't be sure that the vitamin is still there when we take pill (something in sense that we only know when they make the pill what it is made from)
- human body might not able to take vitamins from pill, better to take them from natural sources.
- there was some map of which vitamins are clinically proved to work

Anyone have some articles about it? I can't find it. Or maybe I remember incorrectly?
Title: Re: Vitamins and suplements
Post by: daniel1948 on November 22, 2016, 10:16:00 AM
I definitely recall the SGU saying that vitamin supplements do no good, and might even do harm, unless prescribed by a doctor for a specific condition that requires them. Supplements other than vitamins or essential minerals are just part of the "alternative medicine" scam.

I think we can assume that legitimate one-a-day type vitamin pills actually do have what they claim in them, but in the wider "supplement" market, Consumer Reports has tested a very large number of them and found that most had widely varying amounts of the main ingredient, even from one tablet to the next in the same bottle, when they actually contained the claimed ingredient at all. Very large percentages of the tested supplements didn't have the listed ingredient, or had active ingredients not listed, including common allergens (not listed on the label) and actual prescription drugs (also not listed on the label).

So supplements range from useless to downright harmful.
Title: Re: Vitamins and suplements
Post by: arthwollipot on November 23, 2016, 01:21:38 AM
Here's the map that I think you were talking about. If it isn't, this is a better one.

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/snake-oil-supplements/
Title: Re: Vitamins and suplements
Post by: Billzbub on November 23, 2016, 08:05:31 AM
Here's the map that I think you were talking about. If it isn't, this is a better one.

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/snake-oil-supplements/

That is really neat.  At first I was baffled why certain ones are high on the chart and certain ones were low, but then I figured out that they were on the chart multiple times for multiple issues.  For example, fish oil is on the chart many times because it has been evaluated for many reasons.
Title: Re: Vitamins and suplements
Post by: lonely moa on November 25, 2016, 02:05:04 PM
Very cool.... this chart confirms a view of few of my biases.

Coffee is good, tumeric is good, coconut oil s good (these are foods, really, not supplements).  And it's nice to see that they mention that folic acid is good, not folate (which turns out to be useless when addd to food).
Title: Re: Vitamins and suplements
Post by: Mr. Beagle on November 25, 2016, 02:16:12 PM
Surprised to see St. John's Wort rated so highly, as I recall recent news that the effects were minimal. But then, compared to other depression medication, perhaps the issue is the comparisons.
Title: Re: Vitamins and suplements
Post by: arthwollipot on November 25, 2016, 04:33:46 PM
I think it depends on how it's used. I'm told that it's useful for mild or moderate depression, but practically useless for severe depression. The chart only specifies "depression".
Title: Re: Vitamins and suplements
Post by: Harry Black on November 25, 2016, 07:34:01 PM
I understood the issue with St Johns Wort to be that dosage varies so wildly due to lack of regulation that its a pointless purchase?
Title: Re: Vitamins and suplements
Post by: Mr. Beagle on November 25, 2016, 08:05:44 PM
I understood the issue with St Johns Wort to be that dosage varies so wildly due to lack of regulation that its a pointless purchase?

I also think that for mild depression, regular exercise and balanced diet seems to have an nearly-equal effect. I have a family member with moderate-to-severe depression, so I know this is not sufficient in these cases. An issue perhaps is that few people want to think that their depression is "mild," requiring merely a walk in the park and a break from the cheeseburgers.

I am self-admitted sometimes in the "mild" category, mainly because I can compare to someone close who is "moderate-to-severe," and I ain't got it that bad.
Title: Re: Vitamins and suplements
Post by: BAWRFRS on May 03, 2019, 10:02:13 AM
reviving slightly old (for this forum) thread ...

Much of what I've read about vitamins - not just in recent years - is that they're wholly unnecessary short of a diagnosed deficiency, and that a balanced diet with good representation of fruits and vegetables obviates a general-purpose multivitamin.

Well, what if your diet isn't that good on the fruit and vegetable count? I eat them, occasionally, but not daily. Setting aside for sake of argument the advice to "well, change your diet", are you better off taking a multivitamin if your diet is deficient of fruits and vegetables? Thanks -
Title: Re: Vitamins and suplements
Post by: Ah.hell on May 03, 2019, 10:16:00 AM
My understanding of the current consensus is, no.  Even if you live on a diet of Big Macs and Fries, you probably don't need supplementary vitamins.

On the other hand, a typical multivitamin a day, is unlikely to be bad for you either.   There is some evidence of increased morbidity among people who take a vitamin supplement but that's almost certainly correlation without causation.  More likely sick people are more likely to take vitamins than healthy people. 
Title: Re: Vitamins and suplements
Post by: daniel1948 on May 03, 2019, 10:34:44 AM
... More likely sick people are more likely to take vitamins than healthy people. 

Also, people who know they are eating a crappy diet take a multi-vitamin. It does them no good, so they have worse health outcomes than people who eat a healthy diet and don't take a pill.

Multi-vitamins are great... for the people who sell them. Very profitable.
Title: Re: Vitamins and suplements
Post by: lonely moa on May 03, 2019, 02:04:13 PM
Liver and shellfish are the heavyweights of micronutrients; sorry vegans.
Title: Re: Vitamins and suplements
Post by: daniel1948 on May 04, 2019, 10:48:20 AM
Liver and shellfish are the heavyweights of micronutrients; sorry vegans.

They call them micronutrients because we need only extremely small amounts of them. Foods that have large quantities are no better than foods with small quantities because the excess serves no purpose.
Title: Re: Vitamins and suplements
Post by: Harry Black on May 04, 2019, 12:09:56 PM
I regularly see people trying to find a god of the gaps for the data on unprescribed vitamin supplementation.

The data sets are massive and the results are clear (last time I checked which is admittedly 3 years ago)
Maybe all the people with bad results...had genetic diseases?
But instead of trying to find a comforting argument with people of varying levels of qualifications, its probably best to just go and talk to your own doctor who knows you and your history and bloods and ask if they think it will help you.
Title: Re: Vitamins and suplements
Post by: arthwollipot on May 06, 2019, 12:20:20 AM
If your pee goes a bright, almost fluorescent yellow while taking multivitamins, you don't need to be taking those multivitamins.

ETA: And of course this post about pee gets to the top of the page.
Title: Re: Vitamins and suplements
Post by: CarbShark on May 06, 2019, 10:27:00 AM
My understanding of the current consensus is, no.  Even if you live on a diet of Big Macs and Fries, you probably don't need supplementary vitamins.

This is true, but not by accident. McDonalds and other fast food outlets very carefully ensure their meals fulfill the dietary requirements for macro and micronutrients.

It’s not the lack of nutrition that makes that food unhealthy.


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Title: Re: Vitamins and suplements
Post by: jt512 on May 06, 2019, 04:17:44 PM
... More likely sick people are more likely to take vitamins than healthy people. 

Also, people who know they are eating a crappy diet take a multi-vitamin.It does them no good, so they have worse health outcomes than people who eat a healthy diet and don't take a pill.

Actually, the epidemiologic literature consistently shows a positive relation between multivitamin use and health.  The question is, does the multivitamin contribute to good health?.  If it doesn't, then it must positively correlate with something that does.  It could be that that people who know they are eating a crappy diet, and hence take a multivitamin, actually have less crappy diets than people who don't know that they are eating a crappy diet.
Title: Re: Vitamins and suplements
Post by: CarbShark on May 06, 2019, 04:41:33 PM
... More likely sick people are more likely to take vitamins than healthy people. 

Also, people who know they are eating a crappy diet take a multi-vitamin.It does them no good, so they have worse health outcomes than people who eat a healthy diet and don't take a pill.

Actually, the epidemiologic literature consistently shows a positive relation between multivitamin use and health.  The question is, does the multivitamin contribute to good health?.  If it doesn't, then it must positively correlate with something that does.  It could be that that people who know they are eating a crappy diet, and hence take a multivitamin, actually have less crappy diets than people who don't know that they are eating a crappy diet.

For example, people eating a diet high in processed grains and sugar, but low in fat and animal products might think they're eating a healthy diet, but they're not.

That goes double for most vegan diets.

It could also mean that multivitamin/supplement use correlates with an overall concern for health.