NIH Panel Split on Vitamin Benefits

  1. NIH Panel Split on Vitamin Benefits

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Over half of U.S. adults use multivitamins, mostly the pretty healthy people who also eat nutrient-fortified foods. Yet there's little evidence that most of the pills do any good _ and concern that some people may even get a risky vitamin overload, advisers to the government said Wednesday.Worried about bottles that promise 53 times the recommended daily consumption of certain nutrients, specialists convened by the National Institutes of Health called Wednesday for strengthened federal oversight of the $23 billion dietary supplement industry _ especially efforts to pin down side effects.

    For the average healthy American, there's simply not enough evidence to tell if taking vitamins is a good or bad idea, said Dr. J. Michael McGinnis of the Institute of Medicine, who led the NIH panel's review.

    "We don't know a great deal," he said, calling for more rigorous research.

    Moreover, McGinnis added, "The product with which we're dealing is virtually unregulated," meaning there are even questions about how the bottles' labels convey what's really inside.

    Vitamins and minerals, often packaged together, are the most-used dietary supplements, and widely assumed to be safe. After all, vitamins naturally occur in some of the healthiest foods, and vitamin deficiencies have been known to be dangerous since scurvy's link to a lack of fruits and vegetables was discovered centuries ago...
    Rest of the story

  2. some multi-vitamins contain 53 times the recommended amount of a certain vitamin because:

    a) RDA is bull***, that is the MINIMUM you need to be "healthy" (in the broadest sense of the word). There is a difference between recommended dose and optimal dose.

    b) Certain vitamins, such as the water soluble Vitamin C, is not harmful if taken in extreme doses. RDA for C is about 75mg, so 5000 mg's per day is about 66 times the RDA. 5g is not unsafe. The only reported side effects at extremely high doses of Vitamin C is loose bowel. However, recommended doses of NSAID's can cause stomach lining problems. Imagine if I took 50x the dose of NSAID's. People need to realize that vitamins are much different than drugs.

    c) those "doctors" who are on that panel must have some interaction with, or most likely even WORK for the pharmaceutical companies, so there is definitely a conflict of interest. it's all part of the plan to make vitamins controlled by the FDA so big pharm companies can make money off of them.

    d) the RDA is an educated guess (at best)

  3. Yeah, I was just amazed how the data changes so much in such a short amount of time and how the consumer gets the short end of the stick.

  4. OTOH, I think this is a very similar and a very good thread about supplements/vitamins/pharm companies:

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