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> Vitamins can Kill!
kortikal
post Mar 01, 2007, 09:44 AM
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Like other Western countries, we're a nation of vitamin pill poppers. About half of all Americans at least occasionally take vitamins, minerals or some other supplement – alone, or more commonly in multivitamin preparations.

There's not a lot of evidence they do any good, but that doesn’t stop us. What we're really buying is not protection from illness, but a sense of wellbeing – the illusion that we're doing a bit extra over what nature can do, and that makes us feel satisfied.

Health experts know it's all a bit of a con, but they keep fairly quiet about it – mainly because the prevailing belief is they don't do any harm, as long as the dosage is moderate, and if people want to buy the illusion of wellness in a capsule, well it's their money.

But that's about to be turned on its head after a sophisticated analysis of vitamin studies done by Danish researchers and published in the latest Journal of the American Medical Association.

These researchers looked at clinical trials involving the common antioxidant vitamins beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin E, and selenium either singly or in combinations. They looked only at well-designed studies – ones that compared groups of people taking vitamins, single or in combinations with other vitamins – and compared them to similar groups taking a placebo or taking nothing. The researchers were looking for any evidence of an increase in death from any cause in those taking vitamins. There were 68 trials from all over the world, totalling 232,606 people – some healthy, others with specific health problems (but not seriously ill people).

They discarded some trials which they regarded as unreliable. Amongst the rest, they found there was a significantly increased risk of death in people taking some vitamins – alone or in combinations. Vitamin A increased mortality risk by 16 per cent. Vitamin E upped the risk by four per cent and beta carotene seven per cent. Selenium and vitamin C didn't show any increased risk (and selenium actually seemed to lower the risk of death).

Cellular effects

Antioxidants mop up free radicals (byproducts of cellular metabolism which destroy sensitive structures like cell membranes and DNA). But the researchers suggest that removing free radicals could somehow interfere with other important cell processes like apoptosis (where cells grow old and self destruct to avoid becoming cancerous) or phagocytosis (where white blood cells gobble up bacteria).

Previous studies have shown there's a risk to health only when a person consumes large amounts of vitamin. It's known for instance that in large amounts, over longer periods of time, fat-soluble vitamins – including vitamins A, D, E and K – can accumulate in the liver and cause toxicity.

But these studies were of people who took very modest doses. The researchers say this is a very serious situation, given that 10-20 per cent of the population of Western counties regularly take them. And while the increased risk to an individual is fairly small, when it's applied to millions of people, the number of increased deaths is large.

As you’d expect, the vitamin industry has denounced the findings, arguing the review is flawed, without being too specific about why. The deaths could be due to factors other than the vitamins, they suggest.

But the researchers argue the problem could be actually worse than these findings suggest. That’s because there are a great many studies done on vitamins that are never published. Most vitamin studies are funded by vitamin manufacturers who tend not to publish if there are adverse findings – the researchers didn't include any unpublished studies in their review.

Try food instead

So it's a good reason to leave the pills and capsules sitting on the supermarket shelf. Go to the fresh food and dairy sections instead – there's beta carotene in yellow, red, and deep green vegetables; vitamin A in cheese, eggs, oily fish, milk, and yoghurt; and vitamin E in soya, corn, olive oil and nuts.

Tastier, cheaper and they won't kill you.
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maximus242
post Mar 01, 2007, 09:47 AM
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This would be, Psychophysiology. The effects the mind has on the body.

what your saying is, the pills are having a placebo effect. Although they may have some value, they do not achieve the desired effects. And they may even be counter intuitive.

I agree that taking vegtables instead is a wiser choice, the vitamins will be distributed to your body as intended. Not only do you get vital nutrients but your feeding your body with great food to keep you healthy.

Id like to see what LM has to say about this.
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lucid_dream
post Mar 01, 2007, 02:57 PM
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this seems like alarmist propagation. I mean, seriously, drinking water can kill you too, if you drink too much.
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Lindsay
post Mar 02, 2007, 10:45 AM
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QUOTE(maximus242 @ Mar 01, 2007, 09:47 AM) *

This would be, Psychophysiology. The effects the mind has on the body....
Good point. I agree. But don't forget the pneumapsychology--the effect of the human spirit (pneuma), or-self-consciousness, on the mind (psyche).

IMHO, it not just mind over matter; it is spirit over mind, over matter. smile.gif I like to take the holistic, that is, fully-integrated, approach to finding solutions to our physical, mental and spiritual problems.

WE ALL NEED TO BEWARE OF THE DIABOLIC MEDIA GAME
We need to be ever on the alert for that which tends to separate us and splits us from our good. We can frighten ourselves into being sick, even to death.

Interestingly, the Greek for devil, the spirit of evil, is diabolos--that which splits us and sets us against ourselves and divides us from others. The words in Hebrew, Greek and Arabic have a similar meaning. In headlining the sensational and the silly rather than the significant, too often, our media love to play this diabolic game of frightening us.

BTW, many religions play the same evil game: "Believe what we tell you to believe, or else the devil with get you!"
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Chip
post Mar 02, 2007, 11:20 AM
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The current head of the Linus Pauling Institute looked into this study and found it to be quite biased.

QUOTE
“This is a flawed analysis of flawed data, and it does little to help us understand the real health effects of antioxidants, whether beneficial or otherwise.”


From http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/...70228172604.htm
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Chip
post Mar 02, 2007, 01:15 PM
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I guess one could consider the director of the Linus Pauling Institute to not be nonbiased but his assesment seems rather clear and balanced if you read the entire article.

Here's a guy who is the president of a vitamin supply company (I get some of my supps. from them) Dr. Allen Josephs, of Vitacost:

QUOTE
The methodology in this meta-analysis I feel was terribly flawed.
He attempts to ellucidate why the study was biased in his article you can access at http://www.vitacost.com/newsletter/newslet...YH20070302:main
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RebeccaJhon
post Mar 14, 2014, 10:27 PM
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Ooh, great its really very interesting post and i really enjoy to reading this post that excessive quantity of vitamins kill anybody. I really heard about it the first time it's new info for me.
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fitnesstrainer
post Mar 18, 2014, 02:51 AM
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Nice info regarding vitamins and health supplements. The all you need to do is to utilize these vitamins in normal quantity so that you may prevent form harmful effects. smile.gif
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