Saturday, November 22, 2008

Vitamin Roundup

More and more well done studies are being published that evaluate the true benefit of vitamins. The best studies are random, double-blind trials that use enough subjects over a long time.

Here is the latest roundup:

Vitamin E - No benefit for preventing cancer, including colon, esophageal, gastric, pancreatic or liver. No benefit for preventing cardiovascular disease and people who took over 400IU's a day had a higher risk of dying from heart failure and other causes.

Vitamin E plus Selenium - No benefit for prostate cancer and maybe did more harm than good.

Beta Carotene/Vitamin A - Smokers and non smokers may had an even higher rate of lung cancer and heart disease.

Vitamin A - had a higher risk of hip fractures than women who did not take Vitamin A supplements.

Folic Acid - essential for pregnant women but did not prevent heart disease in others.

Vitamin C - didn't prevent colds but there was a reduction in colds among people who were extreme athletes or under physical stress (soldiers)

Beta carotene, Selenium, Vitamins A, C and E (Antioxidants alone or in combo)- users had a 6% higher death rate than placebo

Vitamin B - No help for heart attack or established vascular disease.

Multivitamins - No difference in infection rates or visits to doctors.

Vitamin D - numerous studies are emerging that show the "normal" ranges are too low and higher amounts of this vitamin are associated with decreases in cardiovascular, bone loss and cancer incidence.

Calcium - Improves bone health in women and men.

Gingko Biloba - doesn't prevent dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

Bottom line: Get your vitamins from food. Use your vitamin money to buy organic food. The 5-7 fruits and vegetables recommended a day have been proven in multiple excellent studies to prevent cancer, heart disease and promote longevity.

Many people argue that the vitamin studies are flawed and they keep wasting money on supplements. That is a choice, but at the very least eat real food!

9 comments: said...

What you stated is totally accurate - get your vitamins from food.

Synthetic vitamins, created in a lab, are essentially useless, as your post shows, and may even be dangerous to your health.


TBTAM said...

Great post. Agree with the conclusion.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you wrote about this, becaue of all the vitamin comfusion.

Raymond Bouchayer said...

What is a "balance meal" in this country ? A hot dog in one hand and a hamburger in the other. I have seen for over twenty seven years how Doctors eat when they are "on call" . That Dr's lounge is "heart attack city".
Not all vitamins are synthetic and with our soil , water , river , lakes , oceans polluted a little Antioxidant may be the right thing to do .
Drug Industries would like to close down the "Health food -Vitamin" Business and cash in on it .
Placebo effect works both ways . If someone feels that they are feeling good because of the vitamins they are taking , then the result is good .
Sandy Shaw and Dirk Pearson wrote a book called "Life Extension" , it is worth reading .

Healthnut said...

Unfortunately, the FDA does not regulate the OTC supplement market, so there is no telling what is actually in those supplements. For instance, 90% of all Vitamin C supplements sold in the US come from China.

Folate (B9), which is the unsynthetic form of folic acid, is necessary for all, not just for pregnant women. Without folate, the red blood cells will not mature properly and one is likely to develop megaloblastic anemia. In plain English, this means the red blood cells are abnormal because of improper DNA synthesis. said...

The only way to get everything a body needs to stay healthy is by eating real food. Synthetic vitamins (the ones used in all studies) are useless or worse, can cause health problems, like you stated.


Anonymous said...

Links and/or references to these well done studies would enhance the information in this post. Thanks for the roundup.

muebles en getafe said...

To my mind one and all must go through this. said...

Oh my god, there's a great deal of helpful information here!

Tick Paralysis

 We spotted a Coyote in our backyard, laying near some outdoor lawn chairs.  When we approached she did not jump up and run, as would be...