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(TreeHugger)   Wait, are you trying to tell me doctors and Big Pharma are teaming up to tell the American public not to buy multivitamins? Say it ain't so   (treehugger.com) divider line 32
    More: Obvious, Americans, diabetes management, Medicine study, dietary supplements  
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9052 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Jan 2014 at 10:40 AM (35 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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

2014-01-11 07:50:17 AM
8 votes:
"Enter 'vitamins are useless' articles. The more you're presented with official-sounding data that erodes your confidence in self-care, the more you'll relinquish yourself to the seriously dysfunctional U.S. health care system. And that means the more you'll rely on surgery, prescription drugs, and health insurance."

Yes, we certainly wouldn't want any "official-sounding data" to steer you toward proven methods of treating diseases and away from chicanery.
2014-01-11 09:30:03 AM
5 votes:

Man On A Mission: Sybarite: Yes, we certainly wouldn't want any "official-sounding data" to steer you toward proven  highly profitable methods of treating diseases and away from chicanery  long-proven vitamin and mineral supplements.

FTFY.


My doctor told me not to take a multivitamin, just a vitamin D supplement, because a cheap and simple blood test showed that was the only supplement I needed. But I'm sure you'll find a way to explain how this is part of an elaborate conspiracy.

By the way, if you're looking for actual facts that are "long-proven", the most undeniable one is that most people don't need and don't benefit from vitamin and mineral supplements.
2014-01-11 09:06:36 AM
5 votes:
Many people feel that the medical community's desire to crush the multivitamin and dietary supplement market is a direct attack on alternative medicine

That's only because they're low information morons completely lacking in critical thinking skills.
2014-01-11 10:53:18 AM
4 votes:

Sybarite: "Enter 'vitamins are useless' articles. The more you're presented with official-sounding data that erodes your confidence in self-care, the more you'll relinquish yourself to the seriously dysfunctional U.S. health care system. And that means the more you'll rely on surgery, prescription drugs, and health insurance."

Yes, we certainly wouldn't want any "official-sounding data" to steer you toward proven methods of treating diseases and away from chicanery.


gogd.tjs-labs.com
2014-01-11 10:45:49 AM
4 votes:
Vitamins are a crock of shiat. If you buy into them you're farking stupid and not eating properly if you're so deficient in vitamins.
/Same with that homeopathy garbage.
2014-01-11 11:07:52 AM
3 votes:

drxym: The "big pharma" conspiracists are as stupid in their own way than 9/11 truthers or the rest. More so because their illinformed decisions about health and put themselves, their kids and others at risk.


As someone who's working in big pharma I can assure you that there is no way that they could possibly have their shiat together enough to do a global conspiracy. The higher ups in big pharma are quite possibly the stupidest people you'll ever meet, which is weird when you'd think that people smarter than scientists would be running the place.

/Current business model: Step 1) Get a blockbuster drug, Step 2) Fire 90% the scientists, Step 3) SALES! SALES! SALES! Step 4) Pray your remaining scientists make another drug after the patent on the first one expire. Step 5) Get bought out, Step 6) Layoff everyone.
2014-01-11 11:06:07 AM
3 votes:
Most dietary recommendations are based on studies of deficiencies--people who can't absorb a nutrient. They are minimum levels, not optimum levels. Many of these studies were done by the military or in other institutional environments to determine what the minimum needs of a soldier, say, were, or how much of certain nutrients was safe--which is to say to set an upper limit on nutrients which are toxic or counterproductive in large doses.

I therefore believe that it is worth while taking supplements of many minerals and vitamins. However, it is probably true that a person eating a healthy diet does not need supplements and that many supplements don't do much good--or harm--in reasonable doses.

I look on my multivitamin as insurance, and the other vitamins I take as attempts to ensure an optimal level.

In other words, I am sane.

While pharmaceutical industries are not to be trusted (they are for-profit corporations, not philanthropists, so their advice may well be tainted), most doctors are reasonably honest, and variable in their skills, knowledge and common sense. A lot of older doctors haven't keep up with the medical science, while a lot of doctors in general are twits. Remember, half of them graduated in the bottom of their class and are only getting more ignorant and stupid with the passage of time.

All the same, I would say that vitamins are mostly harmless if you follow the directions and don't take stupid mega-doses. The alternative health industries are even more full of BS than the scientific health industries.

Studies will fight the benefits or non-benefits of various nutrients back and forth forever. As revealed by recent studies, most research papers are not read by anybody, much of the data disappears (which means the wheel is constantly being reinvented, and the media distorts and hypes every little thing. In short, good information and analysis are hard to come by.

Try ignoring 90% of everything in print or on the web.
2014-01-11 08:01:19 AM
3 votes:

Sybarite: Yes, we certainly wouldn't want any "official-sounding data" to steer you toward proven highly profitable methods of treating diseases and away from chicanery long-proven vitamin and mineral supplements.


FTFY.
2014-01-11 02:05:12 PM
2 votes:
Buddy of mine is an OB/GYN. He once made a comment about how worthless a particular vitamin is. Now my ex-wife's uncle writes grants for a medical school specifically about vitamins and nutrition. He is extremely enthusiastic about that same vitamin based on specific study outcomes.

I brought up those studies and asked him his thoughts about the results. Did he disagree with the methodologies or the interpretation of the results?

Turns out that in Med school he had one class on nutrition in his first semester and that was it. And he had seen it mostly as a waste of time. And he had no intention of reading any research on nutrition because it was a waste of time keeping up on any research.

That floored me. He is the primary care physician for a lot of women-- when they want to lose weight he is the doctor they are advised to talk with first to make sure they don't endanger themselves.

But apparently doctors don't get training on this stuff. Sometimes they just parrot what they are told by various lobbyist and trade groups and don't care what even legit peer-reviewed research at major medical schools have to say.

My own doctor admitted that he pretty much knew the symptoms of scurvy, beri-beri and other high profile pathologies relating to deficiencies and didn't even try to keep up with nutrition science. He consults with a nutritionist about deficiencies in lab results before presenting them to the patient and that's it.

In other words for years now I haven't felt doctors to be competent to discuss these things. They don't have the training, and unless they have a book to sell they don't do the research on their own.

/learned more about nutrition and health in a single anthropology class than a doctor learns in Med school
//that MD doesn't grant omniscience
2014-01-11 12:31:17 PM
2 votes:
I'm a physician, and here's my prescription for you Farkers:

How 'bout just eat healthy?!?

Study after study demonstrates that when you strip-out the micronutrient from its source, the benefit is lost. Taking fish-oil capsules is of no benefit, but eating fish is. Taking vitamin E alone is of no benefit, but eating broccoli and sunflower seeds is. Etc.

But I know, I'm just a pawn in this Grand Conspiracy.
2014-01-11 11:45:40 AM
2 votes:
My big issue with multivitamins is that they put doses of calcium with doses of iron. Calcium interferes with iron absorption. And the form of iron they put in them is poorly absorbed and constipating for most people.

Calcium supplements? Calcium needs to be ingested with the proper amount of vitamin C, vitamin D, and magnesium to be effective. All this calcium added stuff they're marketing to older women who are already losing their bone mass rapidly is rubbish. What's good for bone loss? Resistance exercise, good diet, and not guzzling coffee or sodas. You can't just eat calcium supplements that are glorified candy and expect your bones to recover.
2014-01-11 10:57:13 AM
2 votes:

rzrwiresunrise: How did we ever survive without multi-vitamins for thousands of years? By eating good food, not junk food, you say? Funny, sounds like something my DOCTOR would say.




The whole vitamin, supplement, dietary aid and herb industry is the most unregulated and chock full of bad science, pseudo science, and actual harm. Remember the rash of deaths from ephedra? Then there is ginseng, which has been shown to cause blood pressure spikes. Recently a threat was posted about green tea extract causing liver damage.
These extracts and concentrations are unnatural and the manufacturers often cheat by putting unnatural things into them.

Traditional Chinese Medicines one of the worst offenders.

As much as I hate big pharma, I distrust the lack of oversight in the multi-billion selling "herb and supplement" industry.
2014-01-11 10:50:36 AM
2 votes:
But if I don't take my daily Chinese made multivitamins, I won't get my daily quota of lead and tellurium!
2014-01-11 10:45:05 AM
2 votes:
How did we ever survive without multi-vitamins for thousands of years? By eating good food, not junk food, you say? Funny, sounds like something my DOCTOR would say.
2014-01-11 02:53:22 PM
1 votes:

BunkyBrewman: Sybarite: "Enter 'vitamins are useless' articles. The more you're presented with official-sounding data that erodes your confidence in self-care, the more you'll relinquish yourself to the seriously dysfunctional U.S. health care system. And that means the more you'll rely on surgery, prescription drugs, and health insurance."

Yes, we certainly wouldn't want any "official-sounding data" to steer you toward proven methods of treating diseases and away from chicanery.

[gogd.tjs-labs.com image 850x1090]


And Time says people were all talking about global cooling in the 70s.

This is an indictment of the popular press, not doctors.
2014-01-11 02:30:56 PM
1 votes:
My own experience with supplements:

1)  SAM-e has been extremely effective at treating/preventing my depressive episodes.

2)  St. John's Wort has had no noticeable effect.

3)  Valerian gives me the craziest nightmares.  Not doing that again.

4)  3mg of melatonin makes me a zombie.  1 mg helps me get to sleep.

5)  5HTP has had no effect.

6)  B-complex supps have been recommended to me because of my stress/anxiety issues.  The only effect I've noticed is really funny pee colors.

7)  GABA gives me really really bad headaches.

8) Ginko biloba has made a significant reduction in my tinitus.

9)  Mineral supplements have made no effect of my health/quality of life.

10)  My wife really really hates the number of bottles I have in the cabinet.
2014-01-11 12:59:05 PM
1 votes:
There might be something to this.

All I know is that I take quality vitamins every day and my health, energy, moods & life is way better than the years I didn't take them. I think I'll stick to what works for me.
hej
2014-01-11 12:04:22 PM
1 votes:

rzrwiresunrise: How did we ever survive without multi-vitamins for thousands of years? By eating good food, not junk food, you say? Funny, sounds like something my DOCTOR would say.


To be fair, for "thousands of years" people had significantly shorter life spans.
2014-01-11 11:59:27 AM
1 votes:

Sybarite: Yes, we certainly wouldn't want any "official-sounding data" to steer you toward proven methods of treating diseases and away from chicanery.


DSHEA was one of the worst laws ever passed in this nation. The entire dietary supplement industry is barely better than the farking homeopaths and faith healers.
2014-01-11 11:58:04 AM
1 votes:

vharshyde: r1niceboy: I'd be more open to listening to my doctor were I not to have spotted him playing a round of golf with two guys I knew to be pharmaceutical reps. I will agree that multivitamins aren't worth it, but there's a grain of truth in what subby says about the medical industry being more interested in treating the disease than preventing it in the first place.

A: So someone's not allowed to enjoy someone's company if their job is "Rep"?

B: Make up your mind. Are doctors owned by the pharmaceutical companies or by the insurance companies? At least with the latter, we have some proof(See Kaiser Permanente, which provides shiatty health care, and is primarily run by their insurance provision network). And with that, the Cure is more important than the treatment, as insured patients end up costing the insurance company(And by extension, the hospital), MORE money if they come in for constant treatments.



Even if it is the pharma companies controlling everything, "the Cure" is worth more for two reasons:
1. If Company B has the cure it gets the vast majority of the business.
2. Even if The Cure cost less over a patients lifetime,   the company gets a gigantic spike of money RIGHT NOW when  the CEO cares about it. It's pretty obvious they don't give a rats ass about 20 years from now. Unless someone here wants to claim that somehow big Pharma is the ONLY industry in the USA that looks past next quarter.

Additionally, what the "big pharma avoids cures" people ignore is that the patents on medicine don't last forever. And by the time they are approved for sale, there isn't a lifetime of treatment left.
Unfortunately what they are selling is the best they can come up with.
2014-01-11 11:52:57 AM
1 votes:
bohemiantraveler.com

Fun fact: Schoolchildren in Iceland are still fed Cod liver oil at school.
2014-01-11 11:47:49 AM
1 votes:
tl;dr version: Don't listen to medical doctors and research companies, they're just out to make tons of money hand over fist.  You should listen to multivitamin production companies, which are also a multi-billion dollar industry.

I guess it's just hard to maintain a satisfying level of smugness about taking medical advice from trained professionals.
2014-01-11 11:43:59 AM
1 votes:
You really can't categorize vitamins, minerals, and supplements into a monolithic group.  Each unique molecule or elemental ion has it's own distinct biochemistry, pharmacology, absorption and excretion rates, etc.  It's just mentally obtuse to not parse them.
2014-01-11 11:24:02 AM
1 votes:
I'd be more open to listening to my doctor were I not to have spotted him playing a round of golf with two guys I knew to be pharmaceutical reps. I will agree that multivitamins aren't worth it, but there's a grain of truth in what subby says about the medical industry being more interested in treating the disease than preventing it in the first place.
2014-01-11 11:23:28 AM
1 votes:

Bumblefark: EmmaLou: What ever happened to just including fruits and vegetables in your diet?

We had my wife's family over for the holidays -- the whole clan, for about 3 weeks. (*shudder*) Every dinner I served included at least one side of vegetables, often two. And not weird foodie stuff; just the standards, like green beans, corn, carrots, green salad, etc, prepared in the usual ways.

Never saw them eat a single veggie, neither the children nor the adults. I would have bothered to have been horrified, but that's probably not very atypical, nowadays...


I was visiting my in laws with my mom and step father. They served a nice fresh garden salad with dinner, and my step father proclaimed loudly "I don't eat salad." That's probably why his heart function is at 20%, he has the diabeetus, and he weighs about 400 pounds.

I don't understand the dislike of vegetables that so many people seem to have.
2014-01-11 11:23:03 AM
1 votes:
I saw a wonderful graphic produced by a couple of bright young things which summarizes everything that is known on the snake oil and the science of vitamins, minerals and supplements.


Here is a link to one version:  http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/play/snake-oil-supplements/

There is strong evidence that garlic is good for your blood pressure, for example. There is no evidence that bitter melon is good for diabetes.

My advice:  consult reliable medical sources, not cranks, alternative practicianers, or single doctor webpages (there's no way to be sure the doctor isn't a crank or a fraud--she might be a Doctor of Philosophy rather than a physician or specialist).

Take everything you read in the news with a grain of salt.

Get your information as close to the source as possible. Use your common sense. Consult more than one source for everything.

Follow the broad and well beaten path by eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, avoiding processed crap, and so forth. Don't sweat the details.

Know yourself. You are your own worst enemy so learn your own tricks and keep yourself in line.

Trust no one with a device or product to sell. Believe in no easy solutions or miracles.

Thimk. Think until it hurts. Then think a little less than that.
2014-01-11 11:21:37 AM
1 votes:
Well, vitamins are useless, but only if someone has a properly balanced diet.  And given the dietary habits of far too many Americans vitamins are useful to many people.
2014-01-11 11:19:21 AM
1 votes:
I don't think there's some great conspiracy here, regardless of whether vitamins "work" or not.

It's worth mentioning, doctors are not scientists. They aren't really equipped to say whether something works or not. Their job is to apply medical science, not to develop it. So they get told "this pill does this because of these processes" and take it at face value until some other scientist says otherwise. I know I wouldn't want a doctor that's trying to prove big pharma wrong.

Also it's 20 below outside, I'll take my damn vitamin D pills.
2014-01-11 11:05:58 AM
1 votes:

Astorix: rzrwiresunrise: How did we ever survive without multi-vitamins for thousands of years? By eating good food, not junk food, you say? Funny, sounds like something my DOCTOR would say.

The whole vitamin, supplement, dietary aid and herb industry is the most unregulated and chock full of bad science, pseudo science, and actual harm. Remember the rash of deaths from ephedra? Then there is ginseng, which has been shown to cause blood pressure spikes. Recently a threat was posted about green tea extract causing liver damage.
These extracts and concentrations are unnatural and the manufacturers often cheat by putting unnatural things into them.

Traditional Chinese Medicines one of the worst offenders.

As much as I hate big pharma, I distrust the lack of oversight in the multi-billion selling "herb and supplement" industry.


Having worked within the herbal supplement industry on as an internal compliance officer, I heartily agree with you.  Big pharma is an industry, and like any industry will lie to its consumers to make money.  The dietary supplement industry is no better, but they sure as hell will pretend to be.
2014-01-11 10:52:36 AM
1 votes:
Let's see... trust peer reviewed medical journals from actual doctors, or some poorly written blog on "treehugger.com".  I don't know, it's a tough call...
2014-01-11 10:52:21 AM
1 votes:
The "big pharma" conspiracists are as stupid in their own way than 9/11 truthers or the rest. More so because their illinformed decisions about health and put themselves, their kids and others at risk.
2014-01-11 10:15:37 AM
1 votes:
Well duh!

Why would someone who worked and studied and lost sleep for years to become a doctor and treat the sick have any interest in your health?
 
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