vitamins

  • mstone18

    Posts: 84

    Mar 09, 2015 2:13 AM GMT
    I just came across some stuff by Linus Pauling on vitamin C.

    It made me think.

    His arguments and papers made a lot of sense, but the rhetoric that followed discrediting his ideas.. didn't make a lot of sense, the discreditors were quite flamboyant and illogical.. and ironically the first generation were dead (of the diseases he asked questions about) before Linus Pauling passed away at 93.

    Yet people who don't read his work seem to label him a quack.

    It leaves me somewhat confused (slightly amused) wondering what is quackery.. and if the accusers are more often guilty of that which they profess to be defending against.

    The key things about Vitamin C were that we are all chronically suffering from scurvy and it leads to Heart Disease and vascular damage. Only primates and Guinea pigs get heart disease, and it can be traced directly to a damaged gene that converts glucose to vitamin C, we have three of the four enzymes that build its precursor up and the fourth fails and the body disassembles it.

    The other thing was that Vitamin C can break down into a molecule that strongly ressembles a toxin routinely used to cause Diabetes on command in animals in the lab. Low levels of Vitamin C lead to a rise in this molecule (Vitamin C gets used up faster and degrades).. so over time Diabetes becomes inevitable in humans where high glucose and low Vitamin C problems exist... its just a matter of time.

    Pauling even published a paper on the relative amounts of Vitamin C in plants and animals and its use based on kg of weight.. it seemed remarkably consistent across many species.. almost like a constant.

    Curiously Pauling guessed that at sometime in our recent past, around the last Ice Age, natural selection picked those who could use a type of Cholesterol called Lipoprotein(a) to form calcium patches on the heart arteries leading away from the heart, for survival.

    And they left the areas of the world where Vitamin C was abundant to colonize the rest of the world. Without this genetic "invention" (heart disease) our ancestors could never survive without plants rich in Vitamin C in our diet.. in fact travelers on long ocean going vessels did not, and the disease was named "scurvy". This probably explains why primates are only found around the equator until quite recently.

    I grew up hearing about it as a Cold medication and possible Cancer retarder.. but again flamboyant people claimed he said they were "cures" and labeled it all hogwash.

    I'm 50 now and just came across this stuff.. Pauling was 65 before he started taking 3 grams of Vitamin C a day and lived another 28 years.. 93 is remarkable.. even for someone who died of prostate cancer.

    I'm not about to jump off the deep end and go megadose on every vitamin known to man.. but this seems like a strange situation to look at.. I don't know if I trust doctors or pharmaceutical companies now.


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    Mar 09, 2015 2:19 AM GMT
    4 grams a day? Damn, that's a lot of Vitamin C!

    How exactly is that supposed to be natural though? How would someone naturally consume that much C through their diet?
  • PRDGUY

    Posts: 641

    Mar 09, 2015 2:21 AM GMT
    Expensive piss...
  • mstone18

    Posts: 84

    Mar 09, 2015 2:25 AM GMT
    Radd said4 grams a day? Damn, that's a lot of Vitamin C!

    How exactly is that supposed to be natural though? How would someone naturally consume that much C through their diet?


    Actually its not a lot.

    I looked at some Vitamin C power in the grocery store today. 1/2 teaspoon is about 5 grams.

    Most people put more sugar in a single cup of coffee.

    I also saw some expensive pellets or capsules that bulked it up so one pill only had 500 mg.. now that's a lot of stuffing.
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    Mar 09, 2015 2:51 AM GMT
    That is a lot. You need to worry about what's called rebound scurvy. You get it when you take a lot of vitamin C and then don't take any for a few days or reduce how much you're taking to more appropriate levels.

    I used to be a big believer in vitamin C. But whenever I got a cold I'd take 1000 milligram tablets every hour and it never did anything for my colds.

    But I still take a vitamin C with my daily vitamin; old habits die hard. I just recently got some timed release vitamin C, 500 mg, from Amazon.

    On the topic of colds, what has helped me when I get a cold is echinacea. The trick is finding a good brand. One brand had it ground up and incorporated in some sort of white powder and formed into pills, but they didn't work at all. The ones that have worked have the ground up echinacea in clear gelatin capsules. You have to start taking it immediately when you suspect that you're coming down with a cold; "within the first 24 hours" according to a pharmacist. (Who'd have thought that a pharmacist would support an herbal remedy?) In Consumer Reports they've said that echinacea is only minimally effective. My theory is that it works so well for me because I take vitamin C every day and there's some synergistic effect going on. But don't take echinacea every day, only when you come down with a cold.
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    Mar 09, 2015 4:08 AM GMT
    Linus left his money to Oregon State University to found the Pauling Insttute. They are tasked with carrying on his work in a credible way without ever calling him an outright idiot. You might check out the info pages on their web site.
  • mstone18

    Posts: 84

    Mar 09, 2015 5:14 AM GMT
    mindgarden saidLinus left his money to Oregon State University to found the Pauling Insttute. They are tasked with carrying on his work in a credible way without ever calling him an outright idiot. You might check out the info pages on their web site.


    Thanks

    I'm reading it now.

    Also looked at your profile and took the nerd test, my results were slightly less suave.. guess I'll have to work on that.

    NerdTests.com says I'm a Nerd King.  Click here to take the Nerd Test, get nerdy images and jokes, and write on the nerd forum!
  • mstone18

    Posts: 84

    Mar 09, 2015 8:21 AM GMT
    The LPI institute in Oregon had an interesting take on Vitamin C and Vitamins in general.

    They emphasized that Vitamins are absorbed slowly and reach a limit.. which is more like with way we absorb vitamins from Foods not supplements.

    Once the limit is reached, nothing else is absorbed, its quickly eliminated.

    So taking [all] of a dose at the same time, once or twice a day is not as effective as taking a small dose over more times that add up to to a total daily dose.. like we get with Foods.

    Makes a lot of sense.

    A gasoline engine only burns what it needs, any excess is dumped into the exhaust.

    In the same way chemical reactions in the body have time dependent limits, and not a lot of storage capacity.

    From what I understand water dilutable vitamins essentially get reset to zero every day. While fat dilutable vitamins can stick around depending on how much fat is in the liver and possibly under the skin.

    I always wondered how taking a single pill once a day could match up or equal the needs spread through out the day.. I had assumed it was the intestines that acted as a storage vessel.. but apparently not.. and with faster movements.. sometimes encouraged by vitamins or bad food.. even less so.

    So there's no free lunch.. taking vitamins.. if you need them are best consumed as often as food in smaller doses.. or in the Foods themselves.. through better choices.

    Over doing it at one time, essentially does nothing in the long term.

    Maybe we should use Vitamin powders more like "spices or condiments" on our foods instead of like pills and capsules.
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    Mar 09, 2015 8:36 AM GMT
    I worked for 30 years at 2 universities. One thing I saw several times is that professors like to make claims about stuff that's not their area of expertise. There was a math professor who would give speeches at anti war rallies against the Star Wars initiative (something that Ronald Reagan was behind; high powered lasers in space that supposedly would knock out missiles from the USSR). There was a professor who published a book about some diet, I think it may have been called the Shangri La diet, and he wasn't a nutritionist or anything to do with medicine or health. I worked for a professor who'd give talks at anti nuclear rallies and he was a doctor of medicine, specialty in neurosciences. Their names looked good on the flyer/poster/book cover, "Professor SoAndSo, PhD."

    And a lot of them often think that they're utterly brilliant and know everything about everything. Some of them weren't so insufferable, but most were.
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    Mar 09, 2015 1:54 PM GMT
    mstone18 said
    Radd said4 grams a day? Damn, that's a lot of Vitamin C!

    How exactly is that supposed to be natural though? How would someone naturally consume that much C through their diet?


    Actually its not a lot.

    I looked at some Vitamin C power in the grocery store today. 1/2 teaspoon is about 5 grams.

    Most people put more sugar in a single cup of coffee.

    I also saw some expensive pellets or capsules that bulked it up so one pill only had 500 mg.. now that's a lot of stuffing.


    What are you talking about? The daily allowance for an adult male is 95mgs. 4 grams = 4000mg. And you can't just look at a pile of powder on a spoon and decide if it looks like the right amount or not. Different vitamins have different strengths and densities.
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    Mar 09, 2015 6:18 PM GMT
    Hi,
    I take a lot of vitamins/minerals etc. and try to read everything I find. The problem is that in general there is a lack of research, and the research itself is very difficult and expensive to conduct, and then duplicate. I have never heard of C toxicity. I don't doubt that it is therapeutic for something. But every once in a while something comes up, like this http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/12/why-vitamins-may-be-bad-for-your-workout/?action=click&contentCollection=U.S.&module=MostEmailed&version=Full&region=Marginalia&src=me&pgtype=article&_r=0 .

    The article suggests that anti-oxidents may not be all their cracked up to be. On the other hand it is a small study and has not been duplicated, so it is not conclusive. Also I should point out that the NYT has an excessive bias against supplements. They seem to be on a tirade against them month after month, which is a shame for a paper that prides it self for impartial reporting.

    I think that nutrition science is in its infancy still. That is why there are over a dozen "leading" diets with contradictory claims, and why official guidelines change so often. Ultimately, you have to decide what works for you based on what you are willing to believe. If you are disciplined enough, keep records of dietary/supplement changes and changes in your condition (that are hopefully measurable), and that will help you to decide.
  • mstone18

    Posts: 84

    Mar 09, 2015 7:18 PM GMT
    I agree there is a great deal that isn't known.

    There seem to be similarities to political and other belief systems when it comes to quick judgements.

    I'll just probably look into it on my own.

    Thanks
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 3386

    Mar 10, 2015 1:10 AM GMT
    From the Annals of Internal Medicine:

    17 December 2013

    Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
    http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1789253

    Eliseo Guallar, MD, DrPH; Saverio Stranges, MD, PhD; Cynthia Mulrow, MD, MSc, Senior Deputy Editor; Lawrence J. Appel, MD, MPH; and Edgar R. Miller III, MD, PhD

    Three articles in this issue address the role of vitamin and mineral supplements for preventing the occurrence or progression of chronic diseases. First, Fortmann and colleagues (1) systematically reviewed trial evidence to update the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation on the efficacy of vitamin supplements for primary prevention in community-dwelling adults with no nutritional deficiencies. After reviewing 3 trials of multivitamin supplements and 24 trials of single or paired vitamins that randomly assigned more than 400 000 participants, the authors concluded that there was no clear evidence of a beneficial effect of supplements on all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, or cancer.

    Second, Grodstein and coworkers (2) evaluated the efficacy of a daily multivitamin to prevent cognitive decline among 5947 men aged 65 years or older participating in the Physicians’ Health Study II. After 12 years of follow-up, there were no differences between the multivitamin and placebo groups in overall cognitive performance or verbal memory. Adherence to the intervention was high, and the large sample size resulted in precise estimates showing that use of a multivitamin supplement in a well-nourished elderly population did not prevent cognitive decline. Grodstein and coworkers’ findings are compatible with a recent review (3) of 12 fair- to good-quality trials that evaluated dietary supplements, including multivitamins, B vitamins, vitamins E and C, and omega-3 fatty acids, in persons with mild cognitive impairment or mild to moderate dementia. None of the supplements improved cognitive function.

    Third, Lamas and associates (4) assessed the potential benefits of a high-dose, 28-component multivitamin supplement in 1708 men and women with a previous myocardial infarction participating in TACT (Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy). After a median follow-up of 4.6 years, there was no significant difference in recurrent cardiovascular events with multivitamins compared with placebo (hazard ratio, 0.89 [95% CI, 0.75 to 1.07]). The trial was limited by high rates of nonadherence and dropouts.

    Other reviews and guidelines that have appraised the role of vitamin and mineral supplements in primary or secondary prevention of chronic disease have consistently found null results or possible harms (5–6). Evidence involving tens of thousands of people randomly assigned in many clinical trials shows that β-carotene, vitamin E, and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements increase mortality (6–7) and that other antioxidants (6), folic acid and B vitamins ( 8 ), and multivitamin supplements (1, 5) have no clear benefit.

    Despite sobering evidence of no benefit or possible harm, use of multivitamin supplements increased among U.S. adults from 30% between 1988 to 1994 to 39% between 2003 to 2006, while overall use of dietary supplements increased from 42% to 53% (9). Longitudinal and secular trends show a steady increase in multivitamin supplement use and a decline in use of some individual supplements, such as β-carotene and vitamin E. The decline in use of β-carotene and vitamin E supplements followed reports of adverse outcomes in lung cancer and all-cause mortality, respectively. In contrast, sales of multivitamins and other supplements have not been affected by major studies with null results, and the U.S. supplement industry continues to grow, reaching $28 billion in annual sales in 2010. Similar trends have been observed in the United Kingdom and in other European countries.

    The large body of accumulated evidence has important public health and clinical implications. Evidence is sufficient to advise against routine supplementation, and we should translate null and negative findings into action. The message is simple: Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified, and they should be avoided. This message is especially true for the general population with no clear evidence of micronutrient deficiencies, who represent most supplement users in the United States and in other countries (9).

    The evidence also has implications for research. Antioxidants, folic acid, and B vitamins are harmful or ineffective for chronic disease prevention, and further large prevention trials are no longer justified. Vitamin D supplementation, however, is an open area of investigation, particularly in deficient persons. Clinical trials have been equivocal and sometimes contradictory. For example, supplemental vitamin D, which might prevent falls in older persons, reduced the risk for falls in a few trials, had no effect in most trials, and increased falls in 1 trial. Although future studies are needed to clarify the appropriate use of vitamin D supplementation, current widespread use is not based on solid evidence that benefits outweigh harms (10).

    With respect to multivitamins, the studies published in this issue and previous trials indicate no substantial health benefit. This evidence, combined with biological considerations, suggests that any effect, either beneficial or harmful, is probably small. As we learned from voluminous trial data on vitamin E, however, clinical trials are not well-suited to identify very small effects, and future trials of multivitamins for chronic disease prevention in well-nourished populations are likely to be futile.

    In conclusion, β-carotene, vitamin E, and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements are harmful. Other antioxidants, folic acid and B vitamins, and multivitamin and mineral supplements are ineffective for preventing mortality or morbidity due to major chronic diseases. Although available evidence does not rule out small benefits or harms or large benefits or harms in a small subgroup of the population, we believe that the case is closed— supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful. These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough.RESIZED TEXT GOES HERE
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    Mar 10, 2015 1:17 AM GMT
    Nivek saidAlso I should point out that the NYT has an excessive bias against supplements. They seem to be on a tirade against them month after month, which is a shame for a paper that prides it self for impartial reporting.

    I suspect that it's no so much an excessive bias but that they're listening to the medical community, and reading reports like the one mwolverine quoted.

    As far as listening to your body, the problem with that is that the placebo effect is very real and can affect our judgement of whether or not something is helping us.
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 3386

    Mar 10, 2015 1:58 AM GMT
    Not just the placebo effect, but outright misreporting based on denial. I've had many people tell me how healthy they are because they take Vitamin C or Zinc (or some expensive pill that is mostly that), yet seemingly every time they get sick it's an "exception" and thus doesn't count. Even if they are sick 2x as often as I am).