Vitamins - what do you take

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by jimmyrose, May 9, 2007.

  1. jimmyrose

    jimmyrose Member

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    Since there's so many enlightened people on here (most of you drive a Prius, after all :) ), I'm asking what you take as a multi-vitamin (or supplements), where you get them from, and why you chose a certain brand (out of the hundreds of brands and claims) over others. I searched on vitamins in PC, read some threads, found that many of you don't take them, but some do, and wondered how you chose your products.

    My reason for asking is I've researched this somewhat, but am still at a loss since there seems to be much conflicting information out there. My wife purchases her vitamins and supplements from Shaklee. When I was taking them on a very regular basis, I purchased from wholehealthproducts.com; I liked the fact that they had detailed descriptions (and references to back them up), offered mostly vegetarian-based products, explained why they didn't carry certain items (whether they considered them risky, unproven, useless, or derived from non-renewable sources), etc. My gut instinct is to go back to them, but I thought I'd also ask what the Prii population endorses (if at all).

    Any input would be appreciated, thanks!
     
  2. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    I don't put that much thought into it.
    I get the Generic version of a popular multi-vitamin at Wal-mart. I think they throw some currently popular supplements in there...but I don't care about those. I take a MVI only to make up for what vitamins and minerals might be deficient in my diet from day to day and week to week. IOW, if I'm working a stretch of night shifts my diet goes to crap, I don't get many vegetables and the MVI should help make up for any deficiencies.

    Theoretically a well balanced diet should give you all you need without the need for vitamins/minerals supplements. So it's a bit tough to claim that one vitamin is superior to another unless one knows exactly what and how much deficient you are for each individual vitamin or mineral.

    The other supplements I'll leave to others. I don't waste my money. I did the Omega 3 thing for a while, my wife still does sometimes. I couldn't tell it made any difference and I'm quite skeptical of most claims of other 'magic' natural supplements that are out there. I think there are potential medicinal benefits for some individuals, but to simply say everyone should take ginsing or something doesn't ring true to me.
     
  3. Alric

    Alric New Member

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    Dr Fusco will be so kind to correct me if I am wrong; however I think there has not been a single clinical report that proves that vitamin supplements provide any benefit. In fact, megadoses of Vit E was associated with earlier deaths in an european study.

    Now, resveratrol might be another story...
     
  4. jimmyrose

    jimmyrose Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(efusco @ May 9 2007, 11:47 AM) [snapback]438268[/snapback]</div>
    Thanks for the reply - I personally don't know if I get enough from the food I eat even if it's a "well-balanced" diet, since the nutrient content of the food may be questionable (thus the use of your term "theoretically"). I buy some organic but mostly conventional produce (merely for convenience sake); does that help? Don't know...my instinct tells me that most of us are not getting from our food what we really need, thus the need for supplementation. This is an argument more for "optimal helath", rather than just getting the RDA numbers, which as I understand it, are minimums required to avoid disease.

    I've read that the manufacturing processes of the vitamins/minerals/supplements can adversely affect the bioavailability of what you're taking, so one could shop for the cheaper brand but maybe not get a significant portion of what's stated on the label (i.e., money down the colon). There's also a lot of conflicting info on the sources of the vitamin (chelate, citrate, etc.) in question - one type purported to be more efficirently absorbed, blah, blah, blah. Very confusing.
     
  5. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Alric @ May 9 2007, 11:03 AM) [snapback]438277[/snapback]</div>
    I wouldn't go quite that far. I think it's clear that vitamins are benefitial to those with dietary deficiencies of certain vitamins or minerals (think scurvy w/ vitamin C). But it's certainly possible to get adequate amounts of the necessary vitamins and minerals with a well balanced/complete diet. Proving a minor benefit with such diverse symptoms and long term effects in varied diets would be very difficult to do. There's a pretty decent logic behind MVIs, particulary with our modern dietary habits. They're certainly safe and cheap enough that it seems a reasonable thing to do. For kids it's doubly important since so many of them have a diet that consists exclusively of McDonald's Chicken Nuggets and macaroni and cheese.

    Most of the supplements out there have been studied. Many of them show dramatic results in small early studies while later larger more strictly controlled studies show little or no benefit...and sometimes even harm. A handful seem to hold up to closer scrutiny, but a lot of that gets lost in the mumbo jumbo of the supplement industry claiming that anything "natural" must be good for you.
     
  6. Stev0

    Stev0 Honorary Hong Kong Cavalier

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    My diet is crap, so I need all the help I can get.

    I take:

    Multi Vitamin to cover all the bases
    Vitamin C (500 mg a day, much more if I'm sick)
    Vitamin E (because my doctor told me it helps with the Vitamin C, and Googling stories (back then it was Alta Vistaing stories) backed it up)
    Fish oil (I trust the American Heart Association)
    Low-dose adult aspirin

    Except for my need to shed a few pounds, I always pass my annual checkup with flying colors, and I rarely get sick, so I must be doing something right.
     
  7. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Stev0 @ May 9 2007, 11:24 AM) [snapback]438298[/snapback]</div>
    Don't even get me started on what a HUGE mistake that is. They are clearly in the pockets of the pharmacutical industry and many of their recommendations are not based upon current literature/data and at times is even inconsistant with the better literature.
     
  8. jimmyrose

    jimmyrose Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Stev0 @ May 9 2007, 12:24 PM) [snapback]438298[/snapback]</div>
    Nasty. I would add a breath mint to the vitamins.. :lol:

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Stev0 @ May 9 2007, 12:24 PM) [snapback]438298[/snapback]</div>
    Well, I guess you must be... so do you buy one specific brand of the vitamins or is it just whatever happens to be on the shelf or on sale? One school of thought says they're all the same, another says differently - and that's part of my problem with choosing...
     
  9. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    I get my vitamins from the food I eat. If I have a cold I take a generic multivitamin, purely as a placebo. If I have a sore throat I suck on an orange-flavored chewable vitamin C, also as a placebo, but only one, before bed.

    I've never believed that more than the RDA of any vitamin has any positive benefit, or that any kind of extracted or manufactured vitamin has the full range of benefits provides by the wide range of vitamins and other nutrients in food.

    Of course, this assumes that you eat actual food, and not the crap that dominates 90% of the supermarket.
     
  10. jimmyrose

    jimmyrose Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(daniel @ May 9 2007, 02:55 PM) [snapback]438426[/snapback]</div>
    Define "actual food", unless you mean non-processed food, i.e., nothing with a shelf life of more than a week or two...

    I do understand that nutrients are best obtained from whole foods. I think science is clearly not grasping the synergistic effect of consuming whole foods (highest availability while raw, nutrient value to decrease as cooking methids increase). I have also read that because of questionable farming practices, the nutrient composition of today's foods is not what it used to be.

    The question of whether or not extracted/manufactured vitamins are of any benefit (does the process render them ineffective, undigestible, etc.) is extremely valid, and I can't back this up with data either way. However, I personally believe that the RDA is the minimum required to maintain health/avoid disease, and that more of certain nutrients/vitamins/minerals may have additional benefits by promoting a more optimal level of health/life.

    Or I just give this all up and trust in the FSM to keep me healthy... :)
     
  11. Alric

    Alric New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(ZenCruiser @ May 9 2007, 02:56 PM) [snapback]438474[/snapback]</div>

    You should go by clinical trials and research rather than by your "personal beliefs". A fellow pastafarian should know that!

    From basic research the only factor that has been shown to prolong life is actually dietary restriction. No benefit from vitamin over supplementation has been demonstrated unequivocally.
     
  12. burritos

    burritos Senior Member

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    I usually take an Iron pill (325 mg) for a few days after donating blood.

    I suspect that vitamin usage does one of 2 things: 1)creates vitamin rich urine 2)enriches vitamin producing corporations.

    There are a few exceptions. There are studies that show that taking folate early in pregnancies prevent neural tube defects. Also, if you're truly deficient in a specific vitamin(ie for those who are vegetarians or have scruvy) then taking that vitamin will help.

    Remember when Vitamin E was all the rage?
    http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamine.asp
    "Preliminary research has led to a widely held belief that vitamin E may help prevent or delay coronary heart disease"

    Now we know it's all BS.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/11/10/...ain654887.shtml

    Sometimes these news agencies are basically ad agencies for many pill popping industry. What company wouldn't want you to take their pill for the rest of your life?
     
  13. jimmyrose

    jimmyrose Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Alric @ May 9 2007, 04:26 PM) [snapback]438500[/snapback]</div>
    But that would be an extremely lengthy and hard-to-control study, with there being so many variables that have both positive and negative aspects n health...
     
  14. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(efusco @ May 9 2007, 09:11 AM) [snapback]438287[/snapback]</div>

    Sorry guys but I have a fascination with posting this excerpt from Michael Pollan's book: :D

    These two paragraphs are taken directly from The Omnivore’s Dilemma:



    “The ingredients listed in the flyer suggest a lot of thought goes into a nugget, that and a lot of corn. Of the thirty-eight ingredients it takes to make a McNugget, I counted thirteen that can be derived from corn: the corn-fed chicken itself; modified cornstarch (to bind the pulverized chicken meat); mono-, tri-, and diglycerides (emulsifiers, which keep the fats and water from separating); dextrose; lecithin (another emulsifier); chicken broth (to restore some of the flavor that processing leeches out); yellow corn flour and more modified cornstarch (for the batter); cornstarch (a filler); vegetable shortening; partially hydrogenated corn oil; and citric acid as a preservative. A couple of other plants take part in the nugget: There's some wheat in the batter, and on any given day the hydrogenated oil could come from soybeans, canola, or cotton rather than corn, depending on the market price and availability.



    According to the handout, McNuggets also contain several completely synthetic ingredients, quasiedible substances that ultimately come not from a corn or soybean field but form a petroleum refinery or chemical plant. These chemicals are what make modern processed food possible, by keeping the organic materials in them from going bad or looking strange after months in the freezer or on the road. Listed first are the "leavening agents": sodium aluminum phosphate, mono-calcium phosphate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, and calcium lactate. These are antioxidants added to keep the various animal and vegetable fats involved in a nugget from turning rancid. Then there are "anti-foaming agents" like dimethylpolysiloxene, added to the cooking oil to keep the starches from binding to air molecules, so as to produce foam during the fry. The problem is evidently grave enough to warrant adding a toxic chemical to the food: According to the Handbook of Food Additives, dimethylpolysiloxene is a suspected carcinogen and an established mutagen, tumorigen, and reproductive effector; it's also flammable. But perhaps the most alarming ingredient in a Chicken McNugget is tertiary butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ, an antioxidant derived from petroleum that is either sprayed directly on the nugget or the inside of the box it comes in to "help preserve freshness." According to A Consumer's Dictionary of Food Additives, TBHQ is a form of butane (i.e. lighter fluid) the FDA allows processors to use sparingly in our food: It can comprise no more than 0.02 percent of the oil in a nugget. Which is probably just as well, considering that ingesting a single gram of TBHQ can cause "nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse." Ingesting five grams of TBHQ can kill.â€
     
  15. burritos

    burritos Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(F8L @ May 9 2007, 03:49 PM) [snapback]438518[/snapback]</div>
    Funny, I'm in the process of watching supersize me thanks to Tivo and MSNBC.
     
  16. comtech5

    comtech5 New Member

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    "Life Extension Mix" (see link below) is, in my opinion, the most scientifically advanced multi-vitamin formula available anywhere in the world. Only pharmaceutical grade materials are used. I have been taking it since 1982. The formula changes slightly every year to reflect the latest scientific studies. You get it from the "Life Extension Foundation" in Fort Lauderdale, FL. All products ship from Long Island, NY. Membership costs $75/yr, but you get back more than that in free product every year. For other products (such as Omega-3 fish oil) their prices can't be beat if you compare quality and quantity. All products are individually assayed to assure you are always getting what the label says.

    http://www.lef.org/newshop/items/item00930.html
     
  17. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

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    My old family Dr. recommended I do this years ago.

    Once a year, say at New Year's, go purchase a 100 tablet bottle of pre-natal vitamins. He said they have the best vitamins plus extra iron. Take one a day for 100 days and I'm good for the rest of the year.

    I wouldn't recommend this to male Priuschat readers unless Dr. Fusco says it's OK.

    I buy whatever Longs Drugs has.
     
  18. Earthling

    Earthling New Member

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    Be wery, wery careful with vitamins.

    This link refers to copper and wabbits:

    Copper link to Alzheimer's disease

    http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn4045

    Okay, it's about wabbits, but seriously, I had increasingly serious short-term memory problems, courtesy of years of high cholesterol. The vitamins I took has too much copper, which made the problem worse!

    Copper may increase the growth of the protein clumps in the brain that are a trademark of Alzheimer's disease, according to a new US study on rabbits.


    Another link: ah, crap, my other link has expired. It suggested that the maximum daily intake of copper be limited to 0.9 mg per day. The dosage in my multivitamins? 2.0 mg per day.

    I have eliminated taking vitamins because I can't find any that don't give me an overdose of copper.

    By the way, my cholesterol numbers are now perfect, and I don't seem to have suffered at all from having stopped taking vitamins.

    My short-term memory is not perfect, but it is way better than it was.

    I do take ginseng, ginko biloba, Turmeric extract, and 10 mg of Lipitor per day. A glass of wine, a small glass of OJ each morning, an apple a day, and a complete ban on trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils) sums up my philosophy towards healthy eating. Tea for anti-oxidants is part of my routine.

    You need good things to raise your good cholesterol, HDL, and avoid bad things that raise your LDL. Trans fats is the prime culprit, as it raises LDL and lowers HDL.

    Vitamins are a trivial concern.

    If you are eating more fruit and fruit juices, and veggies, you have no vitamin worries anyway.

    take care,

    Harry
     
  19. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(ZenCruiser @ May 9 2007, 12:56 PM) [snapback]438474[/snapback]</div>
    I cannot give a precise definition of actual food. Canned foods last for years, yet many contain nothing but the vegetable, some water, and a bit of salt and sugar. Lots of frozen foods are also actual food.

    Some good general rules are: Long chemical-sounding names, especially if they are high in the ingredient list, should be avoided. Anything where salt, sugar, or fat predominate, should be avoided. If there are three or more different sweeteners, it's probably because sugars of various sorts, taken together, make up the bulk of the product, and you should consider the product to be for all practical purposes a candy bar.

    Again, not precise or always accurate, but generally, real foods are fresh produce, and canned or frozen foods that have only miniscule amounts of anything other than what the product is supposed to be (e.g. lima beans or tuna fish).

    In other words, less processing is generally better.

    The FSM won't keep you healthy. The FSM doesn't care whether you are healthy or not. But the FSM does have a beer volcano waiting for you in heaven after you die.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(comtech5 @ May 9 2007, 03:44 PM) [snapback]438609[/snapback]</div>
    Curious choice of name, considering that scientifically, there is not one shred of evidence that vitamin supplements will extend your life by as much as a day. If you must eat junk food instead of real food, any generic multivitamin will do you as much good as any other. If you do eat real food, no vitamin pill is going to make you any healthier, and taking too much of some vitamins can harm you.
     
  20. TimBikes

    TimBikes New Member

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    It all seems to be pretty much speculative, but I do try to take a multi-vitamin. Costco brand. Also, my eye Dr. recommended eating foods high in lutein as a means of helping to prevent macular degeneration. Since I don't always eat those, I like to make sure it is in my supplement. So on top of that, I take a fish oil supplement. Again, I can't say that there is any solid research on any of this, but it seems prudent / possibly beneficial with little likely downside risk.

    Just don't megadose, in my opinion. This idea that the soils are depleted and thus we don't get nearly the same nutrients that we used to in our diets seems like a pretty hollow argument considering our diets are much, much more varied today than they were 50 or 100 years ago when we only ate what was in season or grown locally. Of course, consuming food grown thousands of miles away has other issues, but that is not the question at hand.
     
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