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Multivitamins
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macfantn
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May 19, 2010, 10:50 PM
 
I'm getting older, about to turn 36. I was thinking maybe I should take a multivitamin. Does anyone here take them? Do they actually help you stay healthy or are they more hype?
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May 20, 2010, 02:55 AM
 
I don’t take a multivitamin, I take Kyolic garlic immune support, B50, folic acid, and flax seed oil.
     
moonmonkey
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May 20, 2010, 04:37 AM
 
Multi vitamins are 23 Billion dollar scam with absolutely no proof of effectiveness,

If you need a specific supplement for whatever reason then take it, but taking massive doses of all supplements just in case is pointless and can be dangerous.
     
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May 20, 2010, 05:43 AM
 
Multivitamins give you expensive pee, but that's about it.

Take high doses of Vitamin D. There's a proven link between D deficiency and prostate cancer.
     
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May 20, 2010, 07:04 AM
 
I'm 39 and multi-vitamins always seemed like a huge scam to me. Just eat some right and you'll get all you need and more. About the only people who need a daily vitamin are those with health issues and preggers.

However, having said that: Taking Vitamin B has helped reduce my migraines this season (could be a placebo affect). And my pee is outrageously odorous.
     
nonhuman
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May 20, 2010, 07:59 AM
 
As many have stated, multivitamins are, generally, a waste of money. The only time you need to take vitamins is if there is a deficiency in your diet; barring complicating medical issue, eating a balanced diet will provide you with everything you need.

If you have specific health issues that you are concerned about you should talk to your doctor.

Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
Take high doses of Vitamin D. There's a proven link between D deficiency and prostate cancer.
There's also such a thing as vitamin D overdose. You should consult with your doctor about your diet and nutrition before doing any such thing.
     
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May 20, 2010, 08:25 AM
 
I only take vitamins if I feel a cold coming on, which is rare. Just eat healthy meals and avoid junk food/fast food/processed food. I think multivitamins are a scam for the most post, unless you have a real biological need.
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May 20, 2010, 09:13 AM
 
I try to take a multivitamin pill whenever I remember. I aim for every second day.

The last time I was at a doctor's office several years ago, I asked about it. The doc shrugged and said "hey, as long as you're not going crazy with them, and drinking enough water like you're supposed to, it certainly won't hurt and might even help. And hey, placebo effect still affects you, right?"

Made sense.

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May 20, 2010, 10:01 AM
 
Saying that, I do take a cod liver oil tablet once a day.
     
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May 20, 2010, 11:18 AM
 
I do, because I like how yellow it makes my pee.
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May 20, 2010, 11:22 AM
 
It makes mine look like anti-freeze. Almost as effective too.
     
andi*pandi
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May 20, 2010, 11:36 AM
 
Once in a while I do. Usually if I'm feeling a cold coming on. My doctor also said I had low vitamin D so I was taking that.
     
-Q-
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May 20, 2010, 11:49 AM
 
The doctor said I should take a Vitamin D supplement, but also mentioned the "expensive pee" phrase heard earlier. I'd say seeing a doc is the first step in figuring what supplements, if any, you need.
     
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May 20, 2010, 07:56 PM
 
Our soil is mineral depleted and so the crops have fewer minerals than are needed for optimal health. The farmer adds fertilizer to the land but it's only N-P-K to make the crops look bigger and more beautiful for the market.

Bottom line, even with a balanced diet you are getting less nutrition than is needed for optimal health.

Multiple vitamins and minerals are a sensible addition. Try it and see.

Search Results

1.
MINERAL SUPPLEMENT NEEDED BECAUSE OUR SOIL IS DEPLETED
The source for information on ionic and colloidal minerals.
MINERAL SUPPLEMENT NEEDED BECAUSE OUR SOIL IS DEPLETED - Cached - Similar
2.
Our Depleted Soil
Much of our soil is so depleted that our farm crops depend ENTIRELY on the chemical fertilizers they are fed to grow. That means that most of the food we ...
todayshealthbuzz.com/Articles/our-depleted-soil.htm - Cached
3.
Our Soil is Depleted! | Facebook
Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. People use Facebook to keep up with friends, ...
Our Soil is Depleted! | Facebook - Cached
4.
Amazon Herbs for Energy, Libido, Weight Loss, Pets and Children
Our crops are grown in soil that is depleted of minerals and other nutritional elements. The soil has been farmed for so long there is nothing left to ...
Amazon Herbs for Energy, Libido, Weight Loss, Pets and Children - Cached
5.
Depleted Soil and Compromised Food Sources: What You Can Do About It
Our soils are depleted and depleted soils do not produce healthy, nutrient-rich plants. It's also a fact that crops produced in depleted soils are more ...
http://www.nutritionalwellness.com/a...leted_soil.php - Cached - Similar
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May 20, 2010, 08:11 PM
 
As has been said, there is no evidence of effectiveness. To medicine it SEEMS like taking supplements should help, but most just don't absorb and get used by our bodies like they think they should. So, despite whatever may or may not be going on with our soil, supplements aren't going to do squat.
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Phileas
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May 20, 2010, 08:34 PM
 
I am going to agree with Abe.

There is indeed a problem with soil depletion, mainly because large scale agriculture has been relying on fertilizers for too long. Your average carrot today may look better than a carroty did 50 years ago, but it has less nutritional value to offer.

Another reason why locally produced, organically grown produce is a good idea. Adding supplements to your diet will do bugger all however. For optimum nutritional results you can't just take a vegetable, reduce it to the elements its made from and then hope you can serve them in pill form.
     
olePigeon
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May 20, 2010, 09:31 PM
 
There are zero clinical studies showing any benefit to taking a multivitamin. If you're worried about deficiencies, you can get a full blood workup and your doctor can tell you what you may be lacking and can prescribe a specific dosage.

Keep in mind that you have to fast for 24 hours before taking the blood test, and you'll only get a recommendation if you show a reasonable deficiency, and only if you're unable to change your eating habits.
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May 20, 2010, 09:51 PM
 
I do not eat "well." My schedule sucks and cooking healthy food is the last thing I think of when I finally get home. I counter this by taking a store-brand multivitamin, with additional folic acid. I also find I get real benefit from a glucosamine/condroitin combination daily. I can really tell when I've missed a vitamin; I feel tired and run down by lunch time.

Ideally, I would eat locally grown foods that I buy fresh and cook the same day. But considering what I do for a living and my wife's equally (maybe worse) hectic schedule, I settle for eating "OK," and supplementing to avoid missing essential vitamins.

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Phileas
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May 20, 2010, 10:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I counter this by taking a store-brand multivitamin, with additional folic acid.
Sorry Glen, but it is highly likely that you're not countering anything. The only benefit you might be experiencing is most probably placebo based.

Study after study after study has shown that taking supplements to lift a poor diet just does not work.

Scientists in New York combined data from two Women's Health Initiative trials involving 161,808 post-menopausal women aged 50 to 79 years.

Some 41 per cent took vitamin pills for a total of 15 years-mostly multi-vitamins with minerals, says a report in the Archives of Internal Medicine journal.

There was no beneficial effect from multi-vitamin use on the risk of breast, colorectal, endometrial, kidney, bladder, stomach, ovary or lung cancers.

Researchers also found no link between using vitamins and the risk of heart disease, or death. The findings also showed multi-vitamins did not increase the risk for these conditions.
     
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May 20, 2010, 11:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
There is indeed a problem with soil depletion, mainly because large scale agriculture has been relying on fertilizers for too long. Your average carrot today may look better than a carroty did 50 years ago, but it has less nutritional value to offer.

Another reason why locally produced, organically grown produce is a good idea.
Not really. From a purely nutritional point of view, organic is often a bigger waste of money than taking a daily multivitamin.

To put it another way, if your wife is pregnant, you're MUCH better off feeding her non-organically grown foods plus pregnancy vitamin supplements than organic food alone if nutrition is your concern. This is ignoring the concerns with exposure to pesticides and herbicides, but that is a different argument.

Adding supplements to your diet will do bugger all however. For optimum nutritional results you can't just take a vegetable, reduce it to the elements its made from and then hope you can serve them in pill form.
Actually, you can, to a certain extent. That's the whole point of vitamin supplements for nutritional deficiencies after all.

I think the best example of this is iodized salt. Not a pill per se, but similar in concept. And no, organic growing isn't going to help either, in an iodine-poor region.

P.S. I don't take multivitamins either. However, had I taken them (at least the ones with significant iron), it would have likely been sufficient enough to prevent me from becoming slightly anemic after giving blood every 56 days. (I wasn't eating a lot of iron-rich foods at the time.) I ended up having to... you guessed it... take some iron supplements after that... along with eating more iron rich foods (which ended up in my case eating more red meat), and stopping giving blood for a while.
( Last edited by Eug; May 20, 2010 at 11:38 PM. )
     
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May 21, 2010, 12:44 AM
 
I get a multivitamin from Dr Andrew Weil's website.
     
olePigeon
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May 21, 2010, 12:53 AM
 
By the way, there was a new study released by the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology showing that pregnant women taking multivitamins during late pregnancy have an increased chance of premature delivery, one of the leading reasons for the death of newborns.

It is a generally held consensus amongst doctors that a woman should not need any additional supplements if they maintain a balanced diet with the exception of vitamin D, folic acid, and a few others, but those are specific.

Makes me wonder how many women lost their child because of these stupid multivitamins. They have no recourse, unfortunately, because this crap isn't governed by the FDA.
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May 21, 2010, 07:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
Sorry Glen, but it is highly likely that you're not countering anything. The only benefit you might be experiencing is most probably placebo based.

Study after study after study has shown that taking supplements to lift a poor diet just does not work.
Let's call my diet "inconsistent" versus "poor." And while there is probably some placebo effect going on, it's interesting to note that on the few days I forget my vitamins, I notice the symptoms long before I even think about whether I took them or not.

Either way, it works for me and my family.

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May 21, 2010, 07:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Either way, it works for me and my family.
Works for me too.
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May 21, 2010, 07:55 AM
 
If both you Glen and Doof are experiencing benefits then you've got two options.

Either you're both on full placebo effect - you're feeling better because you think it should make you feel better - or you should get a heath check-up to see if you're suffering from nutritional deficiencies, then discuss treatment with your doctor or a dietician.

I repeat, taking multi-vitamins brings no measurable benefit to a healthy human being. None, zero, zilch, nada, nothing.

And this is from me, who is currently in full on nutricional granola mode, especially after the birth of my first kid.

Pregnancy is a different matter, and pregnancy supplements are specifically designed to take care of the two most likely deficiencies, namely folic acid and iron. Folic acid because it protects the foetus from developing neural tube defect, iron to help with the larger blood supply needed to support the foetus.

But even here doctors agree that a woman with a balanced diet does not need any supplements to carry a baby to a healthy term.
     
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May 21, 2010, 08:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
If both you Glen and Doof are experiencing benefits then you've got two three options.
3) You're wrong.

For every study which says they're useless, I can pull out one which says they aren't. So, the jury's still out. Each to his own.
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May 21, 2010, 08:31 AM
 
Doofy's a vegetarian, there's got to be things a vitamin gives him that his diet can't. Is that the reason Doof?

I gave up taking pregnancy vitamins after the first trimester due to nausea, and my midwives weren't too concerned. Of course there were blood tests to check iron levels here and there. I ate spinach salads.
     
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May 21, 2010, 08:34 AM
 
Multi-vitamin supplements do not do nothing - they just give you too much of what your body can absorb. Chances are you don't need most of it, but does it really hurt? A bit of calcium or vitamin c etc...

And Phileas, there are studies about the benefits of vitamin supplements in small children (who are starting to eat solid food) as they're more susceptible to variances on vitamin levels and tend to have an incosistant diet.
     
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May 21, 2010, 08:36 AM
 
Doofy's a vegetarian, there's got to be things a vitamin gives him that his diet can't.
Nope. There’s nothing the body needs that a good, varied vegetarian diet can’t provide.
     
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May 21, 2010, 09:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
Doofy's a vegetarian, there's got to be things a vitamin gives him that his diet can't. Is that the reason Doof?
I don't believe so. I'm more inclined to think it's more to do with my liking for burning the candle at both ends.
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May 21, 2010, 09:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
3) You're wrong.

For every study which says they're useless, I can pull out one which says they aren't. So, the jury's still out. Each to his own.
No you can't.

You may be able to pull out a few studies, but the body of evidence is overwhelmingly to the contrary.
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May 21, 2010, 09:29 AM
 
To each his own I guess, but I just don't understand paying good money for something that has been shown to be USELESS AT BEST. Repeatedly.

Oh well. Keep the faith.
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May 21, 2010, 09:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by Oisín View Post
Nope. There’s nothing the body needs that a good, varied vegetarian diet can’t provide.
I second that, as a vegetarian for nearly 20 years.
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May 21, 2010, 09:42 AM
 
Also, it's not the case that it can't hurt. Many vitamins can be overdosed on. Vitamins C and D for example. This is highly unlikely to be a problem with multivitamins, but it's worth keeping in mind that there absolutely is too much of a good thing.

Some anecdotal evidence of the harm of various vitamin therapies (n.b.: this is not about multivitamin supplements): What's the harm in vitamin megadoses?
     
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May 21, 2010, 09:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
To each his own I guess, but I just don't understand paying good money for something that has been shown to be USELESS AT BEST. Repeatedly.

Oh well. Keep the faith.
I can agree that the benefits of multivitamins is vastly overstated, and we should all eat a balanced diet but there's is no study that categorically backs up that statement.
     
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May 21, 2010, 10:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Not really. From a purely nutritional point of view, organic is often a bigger waste of money than taking a daily multivitamin.

To put it another way, if your wife is pregnant, you're MUCH better off feeding her non-organically grown foods plus pregnancy vitamin supplements than organic food alone if nutrition is your concern. This is ignoring the concerns with exposure to pesticides and herbicides, but that is a different argument.


Actually, you can, to a certain extent. That's the whole point of vitamin supplements for nutritional deficiencies after all.

I think the best example of this is iodized salt. Not a pill per se, but similar in concept. And no, organic growing isn't going to help either, in an iodine-poor region.
Eh... We need to have some fields converted to growing organic. The return on investment losses after 5 years is now under 10% (Thank god for Pyrethrins). I wouldn't say they're healthier for you, but often time they'll taste better (Example: Tomatos that are grown organically cannot be treated with ethylene gas, so, if they're marked "USDA Organic," they were allowed to arrive at that color naturally, giving the sugars and amino acids that make a tomato taste, well, tomatoey, the time they need to actually form.)

But speaking from my (mostly irrelevant) Earth Sciences degree, we do need to switch our growing system quite a bit. We don't have enough organic carbon in the soil, and that allows the vast amounts of (cheap) Nitrogen that we apply in October (stupid) to wash out of the soil before the spring arrives. In addition, it would nice to not use so much of our natural gas on fertilizer production.
     
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May 21, 2010, 10:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by aberdeenwriter View Post
Our soil is mineral depleted and so the crops have fewer minerals than are needed for optimal health. The farmer adds fertilizer to the land but it's only N-P-K to make the crops look bigger and more beautiful for the market.

Bottom line, even with a balanced diet you are getting less nutrition than is needed for optimal health.

Multiple vitamins and minerals are a sensible addition. Try it and see.

Search Results

1.
MINERAL SUPPLEMENT NEEDED BECAUSE OUR SOIL IS DEPLETED
The source for information on ionic and colloidal minerals.
MINERAL SUPPLEMENT NEEDED BECAUSE OUR SOIL IS DEPLETED - Cached - Similar
2.
Our Depleted Soil
Much of our soil is so depleted that our farm crops depend ENTIRELY on the chemical fertilizers they are fed to grow. That means that most of the food we ...
todayshealthbuzz.com/Articles/our-depleted-soil.htm - Cached
3.
Our Soil is Depleted! | Facebook
Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. People use Facebook to keep up with friends, ...
Our Soil is Depleted! | Facebook - Cached
4.
Amazon Herbs for Energy, Libido, Weight Loss, Pets and Children
Our crops are grown in soil that is depleted of minerals and other nutritional elements. The soil has been farmed for so long there is nothing left to ...
Amazon Herbs for Energy, Libido, Weight Loss, Pets and Children - Cached
5.
Depleted Soil and Compromised Food Sources: What You Can Do About It
Our soils are depleted and depleted soils do not produce healthy, nutrient-rich plants. It's also a fact that crops produced in depleted soils are more ...
http://www.nutritionalwellness.com/a...leted_soil.php - Cached - Similar
I searched and searched, but I couldn't find any more info other than one slide from the Earth Summit in Rio. Any idea what minerals they're considering? I'm going to say "soil trace elements are linked to vitamins" is most likely false, because most of our vitamins are made of Nitrogen, Carbon, Oxygen, and Phosphorus. Sulphur, Iron, and Calcium are added to our soils as needed as well (Farmers do test them to make sure they're getting proper yields, you know), but those are trace elements, and if they're being reduced from the soil it's likely runoff and poor water management causing them to go away, not over farming. Organic farming will not fix any of these problems, and I'm not sure why the sites you linked to suggested they would, unless they're got some money invested somewhere.
     
Eug
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May 21, 2010, 11:37 AM
 
While it's quite possible to be a perfectly healthy vegetarian and take no vitamins, it's much, much harder for a pregnant female to ensure that as compared to an average male.


Originally Posted by King Bob On The Cob View Post
Tomatos that are grown organically cannot be treated with ethylene gas, so, if they're marked "USDA Organic," they were allowed to arrive at that color naturally, giving the sugars and amino acids that make a tomato taste, well, tomatoey, the time they need to actually form.)
Well, the best tasting tomatoes at my store are not grown organically. I don't buy them either, because they cost 3 times as much as the organic ones anyway.

We do grow some of our own tomatoes. Completely organic, fertilized with aged cow poo. In fact, we just put a couple of inches of cow poo down in our garden this spring.

These taste way better than any organic tomatoes I can buy at the store. The problem is that pests eat a bunch of them, and we can only harvest them in the fall. And it's not that they're organic that makes them taste good. It's that they are vine ripened, with a 30 second transportation time from the "farm" to my mouth.
     
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May 21, 2010, 12:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
For every study which says they're useless, I can pull out one which says they aren't.
OK, do it. Post a link right here. Show me a study that concludes that a daily vitamin as a dietary supplement is conclusively beneficial.
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May 21, 2010, 02:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
OK, do it. Post a link right here. Show me a study that concludes that a daily vitamin as a dietary supplement is conclusively beneficial.
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk - healthfinder.gov
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May 21, 2010, 02:11 PM
 
Whatever it takes to protect breasts, whatever it takes.
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May 21, 2010, 02:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by osiris View Post
Whatever it takes to protect breasts, whatever it takes.
Exactly!
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May 21, 2010, 02:27 PM
 
Oh Hay.

Multivitamins increase risk of breast cancer.

Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, found middle-aged and older women who regularly took supplements were almost 20% more likely to develop a tumour.

They took account of whether the women smoked, took much exercise, or had a family history of the disease - all strong risk factors - but they still found a significant link with multivitamin use.

However, they admitted the findings did not prove vitamin pills were to blame for an increase in cancer cases, as it is possible women may be compensating for an unhealthy lifestyle that puts them at increased risk.

Experts called for more in-depth studies to determine whether or not multivitamins are safe. They believe it is possible supplements may trigger tumour growth by increasing the density of breast tissue, a known risk factor for cancer.

It is estimated nearly a quarter of all UK adults take antioxidant supplements or multivitamins on a regular basis. The market for supplements is worth £500million a year.
Bold added by me, to make the point that posting random research proves absolutely nothing - both Doofy's and my own link are 100% pointless because they don't take into account external factors.

There has not been a single double blind, controlled environment study that proves that multivitamins do anything good at all.
     
The Final Dakar
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May 21, 2010, 02:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by osiris View Post
Whatever it takes to protect breasts, whatever it takes.
Chopping off your wang-doodle.
     
paul w
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May 21, 2010, 02:33 PM
 
troubling, but not conclusive.

However, they admitted the findings did not prove vitamin pills were to blame for an increase in cancer cases, as it is possible women may be compensating for an unhealthy lifestyle that puts them at increased risk.
     
osiris
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May 21, 2010, 02:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Chopping off your wang-doodle.
Ok, everything except that. I like my wang-doodle dammit.
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Doofy
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May 21, 2010, 02:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
Bold added by me, to make the point that posting random research proves absolutely nothing - both Doofy's and my own link are 100% pointless because they don't take into account external factors.
Yup. Pointless.
They work for me (and Glenn). YMMV.

Now, looking at this logically, for there to be an upper intake limit, the ability to overdose and some reports of pregnancy scares, said vitamins must be making their way into peeps' systems (rather than being flushed straight through as expensive pee). One can't overdose on placebos.
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paul w
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May 21, 2010, 02:58 PM
 
my wife, who works in the field of nutrition (acute malnutrition, really) and has access to the Lancet just sent me a bunch of links. There's a lot to digest - outside the scope of this discussion. The only double blind or randomized trials seemed to be on the effects of multivitamins on HIV-infected Easte Africans.

The results were positive.

Otherwise lots of other stuff - none terribly conclusive.
     
nonhuman
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May 21, 2010, 03:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
One can't overdose on placebos.
Assuming the placebo actually contains nothing harmful. There have been quite a few instances of actual active ingredients making it into homeopathic and herbal 'remedies' because they are completely unregulated. I think there was even actually a case where a homeopathic something or other actually contained proper medicine!
     
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May 21, 2010, 03:56 PM
 
Did you just Google and paste, or did you actually read that? I'm assuming you didn't read it, so I'll go ahead and quote the relevant parts for you:

The results are interesting but it's a small study," said Joanne Dorgan, an epidemiologist with Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. "At this point in time, most of the big studies don't support an association."
One drawback of the study is that the authors did not measure women's actual vitamin levels, instead relying on responses to questionnaires.
"The totality of the evidence to date does not support taking vitamins and calcium for breast cancer prevention," said Marji McCullough, strategic director of nutritional epidemiology for the American Cancer Society. "There are other reasons women may wish to take calcium, for example for bone health."
The study is pretty suspect and about as far from conclusive as you can get. There was no control, it didn't even include a measurement of people's existing diet -- which would have an immense impact on the results of the study -- and they didn't even monitor their participants vitamin levels. As one of the doctors in the article pointed out, the study was too small, and that the results were contradictory to all the large sample studies.
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