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(The Atlantic)   Why you foolish, foolish people think vitamins are good for you   (theatlantic.com) divider line 27
    More: Interesting, vitamin E, American Dietetic Association, Francis Crick, James Watson, Senator Joseph McCarthy, vitamins, American Academy in Berlin, National Medal of Science  
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15154 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Jul 2013 at 9:17 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2013-07-21 09:24:39 AM
5 votes:
I'll just wait until next when it's good for me again.
2013-07-21 09:23:20 AM
3 votes:
Because eating healthy food is boring? Better to scarf down some shiat food, followed by a pill
2013-07-21 10:52:22 AM
2 votes:
There are so many exceptions that need to be made to this article that it is not even funny.

For example, until someone gets cancer, antioxidants are good for preventing cancer.  However, much of chemotherapy is intended to create oxidants in cancer cells, so if you have cancer, you absolutely do not want to take antioxidants.

After some years of contending with acidic vitamin C, L-ascorbic acid, which can cause unpleasant side effects in megadoses, someone got the bright idea of buffering it, so people could take more.  However, the problem remained that it is a water soluble vitamin, so is rapidly excreted from the body, which is why they took the megadoses in the first place.  Finally, not too long ago, someone figured out that the vitamin could be combined with lecithin, making it fat soluble, so it would remain in the body much longer.  And so you need to take far less for its good effects.

And that's just vitamin C.  Other vitamins, other rules.  For example, it is easy to overdose on vitamin A; vitamin D is not a vitamin, it is a hormone, and deficiency is common; the B vitamins work better together, and minerals need to be balanced with each other as well; and much depends on the individual, their work, habits, diet, intestinal flora, and medicines they take.

Finally, despite problems with Linus Pauling, the man, he did create a vitamin research institute that is just that.  It does research, not advocacy, and is the premier vitamin research organization in the world.

The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.
2013-07-21 10:39:41 AM
2 votes:
Not all vitamins are of good quality. The vitamins I take cost a lot. Whenever I forget to take them for a few days I feel like crap & tired. No matter how healthy I eat, I still need the vitamins.

Modern food has less vitamins than in the past due to poor soil quality, mass corporate farming, not being vine-ripened, long shipping distances, etc.
2013-07-21 10:20:57 AM
2 votes:
Here's what I got out of that very long article... vitamins may help you or they may not, they may kill you or they may not. Take them if you like but like everything in life don't take them to excess. Like everything else in the Snake Oil/Supplements aisle they are poorly regulated and YMMV.

As for Linus Pauling It seems he was a brilliant scientist until his late 60's then he became a bit batty. I'm thinking a brain disorder of some sort, he seemed to become fixated on one thing to the exclusion of all else even denying any science that didn't agree with him. Maybe a disease or a breakdown, a very small stroke. Maybe he just got old and cranky and wanted people to take a vitamin. Or maybe it was the only way to continue receiving his speaking fees.
2013-07-21 09:45:16 AM
2 votes:

Mjeck: Because eating healthy food is boring? Better to scarf down some shiat food, followed by a pill


There's probably a lot more truth to this than you imagine.  If you eat a good balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, there's probably no need to take vitamins.  If you eat crap like I do because I'm a lazy fark and I take a mutli-vitamin pill and I'm less healthy it doesn't mean the vitamin pills I take are killing me - it's more likely my shiatty diet and lack of exercise that is killing me.

So, should I quit taking vitamins if I'm going to continue to eat mostly meat and carbs?

I'm guessing not - at worst, I figure it doesn't benefit me much.  At best it probably helps at least a little.

Ideally I'd quit drinking and probably eat several servings of fruits and veggies very day   Until I do that, I'm gonna keep eating those Flinstones Chewables....okay, I don't take those anymore.  I take the boring kind that you swallow whole.
2013-07-21 08:46:14 AM
2 votes:
The news that vitamin supplements and anti-oxidant foods are actually killing the people that take them, instead of just making for expensive urine, is going to provoke a lot of mirth here.
2013-07-21 01:14:59 PM
1 votes:

here to help: I smell some kind of agenda on the part of the article writer. Probably a big Pharma/Corporate farming/anti liberal hippie thing.


The FDA has been whining for years that they are unable to "regulate" vitamins, herbal supplement and the like - claiming their "hands are tied" - which is bullshiat - the Feds have full power to prevent unwarranted claims, and yank anything from the market that they deem "dangerous" or adulterated. But bureaucracies live to regulate, and and to endlessly expand their control.

Many insist that such products should be subject to FDA "approval" subject to clinical trials like pharmaceutical drugs.

Problem: These clinical trials are not cheap, and virtually all are privately funded by the companies developing the drugs - knowing that, as patent holders, they can rake in billion$ if the drug gains approval.

In the case of vitamins, herbal supplements and the like, most cannot be patented, so who is going to pay tens or hundreds of millions of dollars for studies to win FDA approval for a supplement that their can competitors piggy-back on, and immediately sell *without* having to fork over a dime?

Bad business decision.
2013-07-21 11:47:12 AM
1 votes:
Genetics have more to do with mortality rates than any pill, this is a waste of time since I am betting you could go back in those families that died and find out a lot of their family members died of cancer.

They should do more thorough genetic studies to find the connection of why some people can drink/smoke/eat whatever they want and live to 100 while others get addicted with the first drink, get cancer, or heart attacks no matter how well they take care of themselves.

But they have to focus on what is getting them the most cash instead of real research.
2013-07-21 10:44:07 AM
1 votes:

BolshyGreatYarblocks: Do the vitamins cause cancer per se, or are there carcinogenic food dye additives like Yellow 5 on many or most pills?  Try regulating the dyes -- present on or in a lot of food products -- before you lead a lynch mob on alternative medicine.


The article doesn't imply that vitamins cause cancer. What is discussed (near the end of the article) is that the evil free radicals (oxidants) may have an actual purpose other than to destroy DNA and make you look like Ghandi after a 3-week coke bender. The theory is that free radicals help destroy bacteria and prevent the formation of new cancer cells.

What is implied by the article is that, by taking massive doses of antioxidants, you're upsetting a balance that makes it where those oxidants can't do their job, thereby allowing cancerous cells to form and take over. The net effect would be a higher cancer rate. The antioxidants don't necessarily cause cancer, but they set up a situation where cancer can grow unchecked.
2013-07-21 10:35:33 AM
1 votes:
encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com

I'M BRINGIN' BACK TYPHUS AND TUBERCULOSIS! HOLLA HEY!


encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com
SCURVY AND OSTEOPOROSIS, REPRESENT!
2013-07-21 10:29:09 AM
1 votes:

Kimpak: megarian: I hate vitamin pills. I never take them.

BUT I'm supposed to get a vitamin B shot every month. I think I only do it because it feels like you're a liiiiiittle bit high.

Just drink a Spike energy drink.

33,333% B12!  The 350mg of caffeine will help you feel a little bit high too.


You gotta try the shot.

It's like doing a teeeeeny bit of blow that lasts all day. I actually backed-up a shiatton of crap from my laptop. I mowed AND edged the lawn. My essay was farking fantastic and I vacuumed parts of my house I didn't even know were there.
2013-07-21 10:25:15 AM
1 votes:
There is not one reputable study that shows any benefit of taking any type of supplement.  There is doubt that the body even processes them.  Most likely you are just pissing them right back out.
Vitamin supplements are the modern day snake oil...and at least that was typically alcohol based.
2013-07-21 10:22:15 AM
1 votes:

PacificaFitz: I love how this article explains almost an entire century of evidence that vitamins are bad for you and yet people still defend them.  People still say "it's ok to take them when....".  It is an unregulated quack system set to make people extremely rich at the cost of peoples lives.  For the longest time smoking cigarettes was recommended to people as a stress reliever.

My parents are people that are convinced that they are making themselves healthy with whatever the vitamin of the week is.  Every time a new thing comes up they try to convince everyone that they NEED to take it, and when that vitamin is proven to be nothing more than a sugar pill or worse they move on to the next.  I'm a smoker and I look down on you pill popping ignorant fools.


This.

:)
2013-07-21 10:15:18 AM
1 votes:
I could write a paper on confirmation bias just from these comments alone.
2013-07-21 10:07:09 AM
1 votes:
I only take vitamins every other day so the cancer never has a chance to grow and the vitamins are still good for me!
2013-07-21 09:54:56 AM
1 votes:

AMonkey'sUncle: A recent blood test showed I was deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D is more critical to bone mass than calcium.

Good to know I shouldn't supplement with Vitamin D.

When I need medical advice as an adult, I'll be sure to consult a pediatrician.


He says in the book on page 103, "Of 51,000 new supplements on the market, four might be of value for otherwise healthy people: omega 3 fatty acids to prevent heart disease, calcium and vitamin D in post-menopausal women to prevent bone thinning..."

// Cheer up, Grandma and don't forget to take your calcium pills.

// And the fourth was "folic acid during pregnancy to prevent birth defects."
2013-07-21 09:50:36 AM
1 votes:
Yea, but will a healthy diet make my piss neon yellow? The neon pee makes me know the vitamins are working, duh.
2013-07-21 09:48:21 AM
1 votes:
I buy vitamins for the placebo effect.
2013-07-21 09:41:08 AM
1 votes:
I love how this article explains almost an entire century of evidence that vitamins are bad for you and yet people still defend them.  People still say "it's ok to take them when....".  It is an unregulated quack system set to make people extremely rich at the cost of peoples lives.  For the longest time smoking cigarettes was recommended to people as a stress reliever.

My parents are people that are convinced that they are making themselves healthy with whatever the vitamin of the week is.  Every time a new thing comes up they try to convince everyone that they NEED to take it, and when that vitamin is proven to be nothing more than a sugar pill or worse they move on to the next.  I'm a smoker and I look down on you pill popping ignorant fools.
2013-07-21 09:38:52 AM
1 votes:

AMonkey'sUncle: A recent blood test showed I was deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D is more critical to bone mass than calcium.

Good to know I shouldn't supplement with Vitamin D.

When I need medical advice as an adult, I'll be sure to consult a pediatrician.


Go outside, and eat more mushrooms.
2013-07-21 09:34:20 AM
1 votes:

From that day forward, people would remember Linus Pauling for one thing: vitamin C.


To be fair, these people were the sort of incurious dullards who had never heard of Pauling in any other context. Sad, really.
2013-07-21 09:33:41 AM
1 votes:
A recent blood test showed I was deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D is more critical to bone mass than calcium.

Good to know I shouldn't supplement with Vitamin D.

When I need medical advice as an adult, I'll be sure to consult a pediatrician.
2013-07-21 09:30:06 AM
1 votes:
It was clear in the first paragraph what the articles intent was.  There are times when vitamins are good for you.  For example, if you are dieting, they are a good supplement.  I guess ideally, you would keep track of what vitamins you are deficient in and only take those, but that would mean buying 50 different types separately instead of one multivitamin.
/Like the other guy said, I'll wait until next week for the article saying they are good for you.
2013-07-21 09:26:32 AM
1 votes:
I remember that Time "Vitamins" cover. That thing was everywhere.
2013-07-21 09:25:17 AM
1 votes:
Next week, dammit.
2013-07-21 09:19:19 AM
1 votes:
Supplements aren't necessarily bad for you. Lots of people have diets deficient in major nutrients, like most people get about 1/2 the recommended amount of potassium (which is about 9 bananas worth). What's bad is getting 500% of the RDA of those nutrients.
 
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