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Thread: Supplements are silly, Part 2.

  1. #1 Supplements are silly, Part 2. 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Reference : New Scientist, 30 August 2014, page 33.

    Humans need 50 various vitamins and minerals for good health. As a general rule, all of these are required in very small doses, and we get therse in our food. Excess amounts are often harmful. Yet a mega billion dollar industry has sprung up to supply unnecessary supplements, and about 50% of Americans waste their money buying those supplements.

    Ow let me admit up front that, in a minority of cases, supplements may be useful. For example, pregnant women should take folate. Crohn's disease people benefit from several supplements. Vegans have such a crappy diet that they need to take a range of supplements for good health. Let me also say that it is important to eat a good balanced diet. I do not believe excuses for not doing so. A little effort is enough. The following are based on the assumption that no specific need exists, such as from a disease, a weird diet, or pregnancy. In other words, this applies to sensible people who eat sensibly.

    New Scientist points out the following.

    1. Vitamin A is needed for good vision and to lower cancer risk. But it is readily available in a range of foods, and meta-trials have shown no benefit from taking extra.

    2. B group vitamins. Unless you are an idiot vegan, all readily available in normal foods. Supplements are useless.

    3. Vitamin C. Marginal possibility that it may help recovery from a cold. Otherwise supplements are pointless.

    4. Chromium. No evidence at all that supplements help, even in the most minor way.

    5. Vitamin E. Readily available in a wide range of foods. Healthy people do not need it as a supplement.

    6. Calcium. Elderly people may get stronger bones from calcium supplements, but major risks outweigh this benefit. Especially higher risk of heart disease.

    7. Vitamin D. Best source is sunlight. If you live in a low sunlight environment, and it is winter, and you are elderly or pregnant, a vitamin D supplement may be useful. Otherwise best to avoid. Or better still, get outside more often.

    8. Fish oils. One of the few that can be recommended. Since these are harmless, you will not overdose. The benefit is often problematic, but it will not cause harm.

    9. Glucosamine for arthritis. Major lack of evidence of benefit.

    10..Vitamin K. Lack of evidence of benefits.

    11. Folate. Women should take in pregnancy. Others get ample from normal food.

    12. Magnesium. Useless or positively harmful unless you have a diagnosed deficiency.

    13. Iron. If you suffer from iron deficiency anemia, a supplement may be useful. But an overdose is quite dangerous, so taking iron supplements should be done only on doctor's advice, and carefully.

    14. Co-enzyme Q10. No evidence that supplements make a blind bit of difference.

    15. Selenium. Take care. It is toxic in overdose. One brazil nut per day, and many other foods will give you all you need.

    16. Potassium, eat fruit.

    17. Zinc. Like vitamin C, if you have a cold, zinc may speed recovery. But a daily pill is totally useless.

    18. Multivitamins. For healthy people, these are a total waste of money.

    The only healthy people really who benefit from supplements are those who make and sell them. Their financial health benefits greatly. Most buyers of supplements are supplement suckers.


    Last edited by skeptic; September 7th, 2014 at 09:20 PM.
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  3. #2  
    Forum Masters Degree Implicate Order's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, given the dominance, exploitative nature and cut through of mass media in infitrating the home it is getting to the point where government almost needs to step in to ensure that public health campaigns have equivalent exposure to commercial marketing efforts. It's quite sad really and is symptomatic of a society that is apathetic and 'spoon fed'.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    I agree that supplements are worthless unless they are shown to be needed by anyone. My mother lived to be 95 and never once took any supplements and she just died of old age.
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    i got sick on manesium maybe

    jfk took a b12 shot for addisons disease--i think b12 pill helps me with phn

    c is good at times

    st johns wort good maybe but gives me a rash

    Are B Vitamins Good for Shingles? | LIVESTRONG.COM
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  6. #5  
    Moderator Moderator Cogito Ergo Sum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    The following are based on the assumption that no specific need exists, such as from a disease, a weird diet, or pregnancy. In other words, this applies to sensible people who eat sensibly

    This is my philosophy exactly. However, would vegetarians need supplements or would alternative edibles (e.g. Quorn) suffice?

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    14. Co-enzyme Q10. No evidence that supplements make a blind bit of difference.

    I am not familiar with that co-enzyme. Have to look up that one.

    Quote Originally Posted by SHolmes View Post
    i got sick on manesium maybe

    jfk took a b12 shot for addisons disease--i think b12 pill helps me with phn

    c is good at times

    st johns wort good maybe but gives me a rash

    Are B Vitamins Good for Shingles? | LIVESTRONG.COM

    You are being incoherent. Try again.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    To Cogito, re vegetarians.

    The word 'vegetarian' is imprecise, and includes people who eat such things as eggs, dairy products, and fish. Animal protein solves many nutritional problems.

    However, a true vegan may need lots of supplements, which may include zinc, iron,, calcium, vitamin B12. My view is that the fact that humans have evolved as omnivores means that going vegan is just nuts.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    I agree that supplements are worthless unless they are shown to be needed by anyone. My mother lived to be 95 and never once took any supplements and she just died of old age.
    My mother lived to 91 and took no supplements. She was incredibly healthy until the last year of her life. Not even a cold. Her diet was about a quarter of what an average person eats. The only thing she would consume with any enthusiasm was stewed apple.
    It's those food supplements we're junk fed these days. Sugar and salt supplements in our food which do the real damage.
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    high fructosce corn syrop and hydrogenated oil the worst
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHolmes View Post
    i got sick on manesium maybe

    jfk took a b12 shot for addisons disease--i think b12 pill helps me with phn

    c is good at times

    st johns wort good maybe but gives me a rash

    Are B Vitamins Good for Shingles? | LIVESTRONG.COM
    magnesium

    phn is from having shingles
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  11. #10  
    Moderator Moderator Cogito Ergo Sum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    To Cogito, re vegetarians.

    The word 'vegetarian' is imprecise, and includes people who eat such things as eggs, dairy products, and fish. Animal protein solves many nutritional problems.

    However, a true vegan may need lots of supplements, which may include zinc, iron,, calcium, vitamin B12. My view is that the fact that humans have evolved as omnivores means that going vegan is just nuts.

    I thought vegetarianism was solely the practice of excluding meat (poultry, beef, etc.) from one's diet, but apparently (as you correctly noted) there are different forms of it:
    Quote Originally Posted by Merriam-Webster
    Theory or practice of eating only plants. The vegetarian diet includes grains, vegetables, fruits, and nuts; it excludes meat, poultry, and fish, but some vegetarians eat dairy products (lactovegetarians), egg products (ovovegetarians), or both (ovolactovegetarians). Those who eat no animal products (including honey) are called vegans.
    Going from this definition, I think that following a vegan diet resembles depriving yourself from necessary factors. Is a vegan diet even recommended by the medical community?
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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  12. #11  
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    I also agree with the posts above. My parents aren't taking any supplements but live a healthy lifestyle. Compared to me who takes vitamins everyday, I still get sick more often than them.
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    I don't doubt that supplements are useless for someone who has a diet sufficient in nutrients.

    However, can anyone here honestly claim that they take the time and effort to sit down and plan/check/weigh their foods to ensure that their diet provides the FDA recommended amounts of nutrients? I seriously doubt that most dieticians do this for themselves.

    Consider all the foods in the stores (meats, fruits, veggies) without nutrition labels. Sadly, it's the processed stuff in boxes that have the nutrition labels, and even then, most of them simply tell us that there's nothing much in them! With the natural foods, we can only guess at their value. And even when we do guess, does anyone actually weight their foods? I seriously doubt it.

    I doubt most people even ensure that they eat five (or whatever the number is now) servings of fruits and vegetable each day. Likewise, how does one determine what a "serving" is?
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  14. #13  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    I don't doubt that supplements are useless for someone who has a diet sufficient in nutrients.

    However, can anyone here honestly claim that they take the time and effort to sit down and plan/check/weigh their foods to ensure that their diet provides the FDA recommended amounts of nutrients?

    You are making this far more complex than it has to be. A balanced diet is easy. You do not need to plan, check, or weigh food. Just make sure you eat some raw fruit each day, some green leafy vegetables, plus a coloured vegetable, a few mixed nuts, and some animal protein. Try to get variety so that the type of fruit etc varies. That is all that is needed. The human body can get by on amazingly restricted diets. In the old sailing ship days, people existing on salt pork, biscuit, and rum got scurvey. But adding some lime juice twice a week fixed that. You can eat a very healthy diet without once measuring anything.
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  15. #14  
    Forum Freshman crushmymugshot112's Avatar
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    So target your specific beauty woes with the following supplement suggestions. Just be sure to consult your doctor before starting any new supplements.
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