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Author Topic: News Keeps Getting Worse for Vitamins  (Read 2780 times)

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Offline Miss Philicia

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News Keeps Getting Worse for Vitamins
« on: November 21, 2008, 09:45:39 PM »
source


NOVEMBER 20, 2008, 12:45 PM
News Keeps Getting Worse for Vitamins

By TARA PARKER-POPE
The best efforts of the scientific community to prove the health benefits of vitamins keep falling short.

Consumers donít want to give up their vitamins. (Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)
This week, researchers reported the disappointing results from a large clinical trial of almost 15,000 male doctors taking vitamins E and C for a decade. The study showed no meaningful effect on cancer rates.

Another recent study found no benefit of vitamins E and C for heart disease.

In October, a major trial studying whether vitamin E and selenium could lower a manís risk for prostate cancer ended amidst worries that the treatments may do more harm than good.

And recently, doctors at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York warned that vitamin C seems to protect not just healthy cells but cancer cells, too.

Everyone needs vitamins, which are critical for the body. But for most people, the micronutrients we get from foods usually are adequate to prevent vitamin deficiency, which is rare in the United States. That said, some extra vitamins have proven benefits, such as vitamin B12 supplements for the elderly and folic acid for women of child-bearing age. And calcium and vitamin D in women over 65 appear to protect bone health.

But many people gobble down megadoses of vitamins believing that they boost the bodyís ability to mop up damaging free radicals that lead to cancer and heart disease. In addition to the more recent research, several reports in recent years have challenged the notion that vitamins are good for you.

A Johns Hopkins School of Medicine review of 19 vitamin E clinical trials of more than 135,000 people showed high doses of vitamin E (greater than 400 IUs) increased a personís risk for dying during the study period by 4 percent. Taking vitamin E with other vitamins and minerals resulted in a 6 percent higher risk of dying. A later study of daily vitamin E showed vitamin E takers had a 13 percent higher risk for heart failure.

The Journal of Clinical Oncology published a study of 540 patients with head and neck cancer who were being treated with radiation therapy. Vitamin E reduced side effects, but cancer recurrence rates among the vitamin users were higher, although the increase didnít reach statistical significance.

A 1994 Finland study of smokers taking 20 milligrams a day of beta carotene showed an 18 percent higher incidence of lung cancer among beta carotene users. In 1996, a study called Caret looked at beta carotene and vitamin A use among smokers and workers exposed to asbestos, but the study was stopped when the participants taking the combined therapy showed a 28 percent higher risk for lung cancer and a 26 percent higher risk of dying from heart disease.

A 2002 Harvard study of more than 72,000 nurses showed that those who consumed high levels of vitamin A from foods, multivitamins and supplements had a 48 percent higher risk for hip fractures than nurses who had the lowest intake of vitamin A.

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews looked at vitamin C studies for treating colds. Among more than two dozen studies, there was no overall benefit for preventing colds, although the vitamin was linked with a 50 percent reduction in colds among people who engaged in extreme activities, such as marathon runners, skiers and soldiers, who were exposed to significant cold or physical stress. The data also suggested vitamin C use was linked with less severe and slightly shorter colds.

In October 2004, Copenhagen researchers reviewed seven randomized trials of beta carotene, selenium and vitamins A, C and E (alone or in combination) in esophageal, gastric, colorectal, pancreatic and liver cancer. The antioxidant users had a 6 percent higher death rate than placebo users.

Two studies presented to the American College of Cardiology in 2006 showed that vitamin B doesnít prevent heart attacks, leading The New England Journal of Medicine to say that the consistency of the results ďleads to the unequivocal conclusionĒ that the vitamins donít help patients with established vascular disease.

The British Medical Journal looked at multivitamin use among elderly people for a year but found no difference in infection rates or visits to doctors.

Despite a lack of evidence that vitamins actually work, consumers appear largely unwilling to give them up. Many readers of the Well blog say the problem is not the vitamin but poorly designed studies that use the wrong type of vitamin, setting the vitamin up to fail. Industry groups such as the Council for Responsible Nutrition also say the research isnít well designed to detect benefits in healthy vitamin users.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline BT65

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Re: News Keeps Getting Worse for Vitamins
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2008, 08:42:55 AM »
Very interesting.  I wonder if/when they'll study popular supplements?

I only take a multivitamin every day, unless I have a cold, then I take a vitamin C. 
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline aztecan

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  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Re: News Keeps Getting Worse for Vitamins
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2008, 12:54:55 PM »
I think the reasoning behind us hi-fivers taking vitamins is we are using more of them to continually fight the virus.

I take a multivitamin, for men over 50  8), which is what the doc recommended.

I do take some supplements, such as saw palmetto and milk thistle, for their reported therapeutic effects.

I wish someone would do a study on HIV positives regarding vitamins.

HUGS,

Mark

"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline fearless

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Re: News Keeps Getting Worse for Vitamins
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2008, 12:39:31 AM »
I guess the moral of the story is to try and eat a healthy diet that supplies you with all the vitamins and nutrients needed.

As a society, we seem to be hooked on pills. There seems to be a pill and a supplement for everything - both prescription drugs and supplements.

On a positive note, they are about to start human trials of a skin cancer vaccine in Australia shortly. Animal trials have been successful so far.
Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Offline Miss Philicia

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  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: News Keeps Getting Worse for Vitamins
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2008, 09:56:36 AM »
HIV has long been known to screw you entire GI tract, so it's always been a question of what and how much absorption issues are at play, and frankly speaking from personal experience knowing that my diarrhea issues have long been about 5 times worse than the average HIV patient I think this is all highly variable from person to person with HIV.  I'd assume that genetics might come into play.

I know that absorption did not improve for me until I began to take daily amounts of digestive enzymes.  Find something with lipsase, amylase and protease in it, though for it to work it has to be a pH buffered capsule to deliver it effectively into the intestinal tract.

But yes, there's not point to all of this if you eat crap food in the first place.

Skin cancer?  The horror... Philicia values her porcelain complexion and does not engage in tanning, at least not for the past 8 years or so.  However, there once was a time that I was a bronzed goddess in skimpy swimwear...
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline aztecan

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  • Posts: 5,394
  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Re: News Keeps Getting Worse for Vitamins
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2008, 11:10:21 AM »

Skin cancer?  The horror... Philicia values her porcelain complexion and does not engage in tanning, at least not for the past 8 years or so.  However, there once was a time that I was a bronzed goddess in skimpy swimwear...

Photos? ;)

Hey Steve, If you hear anything on the skin cancer front, let us know.

I have found another half dozen spots the dermatologist and I will have to give the once over.

HUGS,

Mark

(Whose only "porcelain skin" lies in his nether regions.)
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline fearless

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Re: News Keeps Getting Worse for Vitamins
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2008, 05:32:50 PM »
Skin cancer?  The horror... Philicia values her porcelain complexion and does not engage in tanning, at least not for the past 8 years or so.  However, there once was a time that I was a bronzed goddess in skimpy swimwear...

Unfortunately, with skin cancer, we in Aus are told it is generally the exposure you had years ago (often as a kid) is your downfall.
I'll start a thread in the off topic in a few hours.
Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

 


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