Vitamins, more bad than good?!?

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    Vitamins, more bad than good?!?


    A new article from the UK's Daily Mail(News):

    Vitamin tablets 'may do more harm than good'
    By FIONA MACRAE, Daily Mail 09:26am 3rd August 2006

    Vitamin supplements do not work and may do more harm than good, experts have warned.
    The tablets taken by millions of health-conscious Britons each day do nothing to stave off illness, they said.

    In fact, Vitamins C and E - compounds known as anti-oxidants - may actually cause some illnesses.

    While vitamins may ward off disease in the test-tube, they do little to protect in everyday life, this week's New Scientist reports.

    The magazine says: 'Cranberry capsules. Effervescent vitamin C. Pomegranate concentrate. Beta carotene. Selenium. Grape seed extract. High-dose vitamin E. Pine bark extract. Bee spit.

    'You name it, if it's an anti-oxidant, we'll swallow it by the bucket-load. We have become anti-oxidant devotees. But are they doing us any good?

    'Evidence gathered over the last few years shows that, at best, antioxidant supplements do little or nothing to benefit our health.

    'True, they knock the wind out of free-radicals in a test tube. But once inside the human body, they seem strangely powerless.

    'Many scientists are concluding they are a waste of time and money. At worst they could be harmful.'

    The report follows a warning from American scientists that multivitamins could be of little benefit and there is danger of overdosing on some. Anti-oxidants, which occur naturally in plants, mop up free-radicals - toxins produced by the body that damage cells and are linked to a host of illnesses.

    Their supposed benefits are so great that much of the £300million spent by Britons on vitamin and mineral pills each year goes on anti-oxidants.

    While taking the compounds naturally in fruit and vegetables may be beneficial, pills and other supplements appear to do little good.

    One of the most high-profile offenders is vitamin E.

    It became popular in the early 1990s, when two studies involving more than 127,000 participants found those with a diet high in the vitamin were at less risk of heart attacks and strokes.

    However, most studies since then have failed to make the link. One concluded that the vitamin increased the risk of heart failure.

    And, while it does play a role in keeping the nervous system healthy, it appears to do little to prevent cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

    Vitamin C is also controversial, with a recent American study suggesting it may speed up atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, in diabetics.

    Biochemist Barry Halliwell, an expert in anti-oxidants at the National University of Singapore, said supplements simply cannot mimic the effects of a healthy diet.

    'Stick to flavonoid-rich foods, red wine in moderation, tea, fruits and vegetables,' he said.

    'Don't start taking high-dose supplements or heavily-fortified foods until we know more.'

    The industry-backed Health Supplements Information Service accused New Scientist of being selective in the research it had chosen to illustrate its point.


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    Interesting, I hope I'm getting a little more out of supplement expenses then just expensive urine and feces
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    The way I see..I think everything in moderation isn't harmful. You just have to know how much your body can take. I believe the most Vitamin A your body can't handle is about 30,000 IU because it's a fat soluble vitamin correct?

    Taking anything more is just asking for complications unless you're under the supervision of a doc..and even docs are idiots some times

    This of course is just my opinion
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    I saw the artical its very shootie writing at best, wheres the refrences, sources etc?

    re-read and take a closer look at someones very warped opionin.

    Vitamins AND antioxidents = insurence i don't know 1 person at this moment who from day to day gets every vitamin/mineral he/she needs. AND if your a athlet its gonna be even worse, since you use up alot of the KEY vitamins and minerals when you exert yourself.

    Dr L
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    I agree with the doc. bodybuilders need these extra vitamins because of the extra energy we put out. these opinions might be more valid for a couch potatoe.
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    Some dieteticians do recommend the use of a multivitamin for the active people. I think it's still under debate wether or not it's good or bad. Sure, real food won't bring you everything, maybe individual formulas could be more beneficial. Custom capsule could come in handy. Get blood work done, note the deficiency, and put only the vits you need.
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    I totally agree with the article. Vitamins should not be used in excess. The benefits of vitamins do not come from mega dosing, but just having enough to avoid a deficiency. Most multi's overdose alot of vitamins which is just plain stupid. If your diet is good a multi isn't needed.
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    On days I forget to take my vits I will think of this thread and feel better.

    On days I remember I wont lol


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    Quote Originally Posted by doom3q
    I totally agree with the article. Vitamins should not be used in excess. The benefits of vitamins do not come from mega dosing, but just having enough to avoid a deficiency. Most multi's overdose alot of vitamins which is just plain stupid. If your diet is good a multi isn't needed.
    But your diet won't always provide the essential nutrients you need, especially if you tax your body with a BBing lifestyle. I would just like to see some scientific studies that prove vitamins are bad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Warrior
    But your diet won't always provide the essential nutrients you need, especially if you tax your body with a BBing lifestyle.
    I'm not so sure about that; I have never seen any studies showing that a supplement free diet cannot meet the needs of an active lifestyle. Remember that with increased activity comes increased energy demands, which is supplied by extra food. That extra (whole) food should provide extra micronutrition.

    Of course if one is eating a processed food diet or making up their extra energy req's with empty calories (ie. protein powder + dextrose shakes) then of course there may be solid justification for supplementation. Diets with heavily skewed macro ratios could also be candidates for supplementation as certain micronutrients tend to come from specific food groups.

    Personally, given the conflict of interest that the supplement industry is in, I am partial to believing that a relatively balanced whole food diet can indeed meet the needs of most non-hormonally enhanced athletes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Warrior
    I would just like to see some scientific studies that prove vitamins are bad.
    There should be many documented studies on vitamin (particularly fat soluables) and mineral toxicity. Google 'xxxx toxicity' and you should get numerous results.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Warrior
    But your diet won't always provide the essential nutrients you need, especially if you tax your body with a BBing lifestyle. I would just like to see some scientific studies that prove vitamins are bad.
    I never said they were bad, just saying mega-dosing is pointless. All the multi's out now seem to give you 2000% the RDA when there is no added benefit to mega-dosing. If you want to use a multi, then use something like centrum which is moderately dosed.
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    The reality is that often this is a double edged sword. Too much is bad and too little is bad. For instance, too much of vitamin A,D,E,or K can cause serious health issues. Too little vitamin C can lead to scurvy.

    Supplement ingestion needs to be done in moderation but it is the individual who needs to moderate. The fear of an article such as this one is that governments may soon try to step in and regulate. Regualtion for individual consumption is not desired but rather individual responsibility. For individuals to achieve this responsibility, there needs to be more and more research on health supplementation in general.
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    Quote Originally Posted by size
    The reality is that often this is a double edged sword. Too much is bad and too little is bad. For instance, too much of vitamin A,D,E,or K can cause serious health issues. Too little vitamin C can lead to scurvy.

    Supplement ingestion needs to be done in moderation but it is the individual who needs to moderate. The fear of an article such as this one is that governments may soon try to step in and regulate. Regualtion for individual consumption is not desired but rather individual responsibility. For individuals to achieve this responsibility, there needs to be more and more research on health supplementation in general.

    Just like to little vitamin D causes Rickets, etc. The point of the artical i believe to be the individual vitamins sold can be harmful, often times these vitamins like K which isnt water soluable and is unhealthy for you in large dosages/same with E etc....

    I think thats there point as i've seen some pretty dangerous stand alone vitamins that offer 50000000000000% of the daily value, sort of like how they over dose melatonin.

    Anyways just my two cents after further reading into the artical.

    Dr liftalot
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    I am only left with the conclusion that the author of this article has never personally attempted to adress a physical disorder via nutritional supplementation.

    For many of us who have.... There the answer lies.
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    Eh. There is and will always be a contigent of researchers who wish to poo-poo vitamin use. They come from various backgrounds ranging from the pharmacuetically influence medical establishment to the "everyone must eat super healthy organic foods" camp.

    They only chose to address in vitro studies for the most part and then bring up that godawful vitamin E study that John's Hopkins put and and should be sued over. It was bunk science IMO as it used only elderly people..so of course they had a high flippin rate of heart problems. They were beyond vitamin E, lol.

    They also chose to ignore the massive amounts of data from in vivo studies that we look at all the time here. There are numerous studies done on the US population that indicate which vitamins and minerals are most often deficient..like magnesium, folic acid, vitamin D and I know from personal experience that supplementing with these does indeed help and my health has gotten steadily better and better since begining supplementation.

    One thing I do sternly believe in and that is that most multivitamin tablets are worthless. Due to packing in so many nutrients into a hardened tablet, you're just not going to get very good absorption. Then they do things like add calcium with magnesium..which calcium inhibits magnesium uptake so you've got things working against each other.

    I take all my vitamins seperately and really only the ones that I know I probably lack or I'm using for a specific purpose..like keeping depression at bay.

    My list;

    Folic acid 4000 mcg
    selenium 100 mg
    chromium 100 mg
    vitamin A 20,000 iu
    Vitamin E 400-800 iu
    Magnesium several grams per day
    zinc 100 mg
    garlic 1 gram
    B12 1000 mcg every 10 days or so
    then some specialty herbs for athletic purposes or whatever rotated in and out.

    As far as "recommend dosages", well after much review I have found that the FDA set many of those recommendations upo with a 10-fold redundancy to avoid complications..AND this was done many years ago. For instance, they say 400 mcg is the recommended dose for folic acid. Lots of newer research has ruled out the myth of "folate toxicity" and have put people on doses as high as 150,000 mcg per day with zero problems..and a really nice, low homocystein level to boot.

    Some minerals and fat soluable vitamins you DO want to be careful with like selenium and vitamin A and you should research their toxicity levels if you plan to megadose them for some reason. The Merck Manual online is a good place to do this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bioman
    There is and will always be a contigent of researchers who wish to poo-poo....

    Then they do things like add calcium with magnesium..which calcium inhibits magnesium uptake so you've got things working against each other.
    pdrhealth.com/magnesium = Calcium: Concomitant intakes of typical doses of calcium-greater than 2 grams-may decrease the absorption of magnesium. Most studies have shown that concomitant intakes of typical doses of calcium and magnesium do not decrease the absorption of magnesium.
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    Good to know. Thanks NH.
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    This coming from the UK while there has been much talk of banning the sale of multi's that exceed the DRI.

    Take it with a shaker of salt.

    Vitamin C supplementation, to my knowledge, has never been associated with any disorders. *

    *A funny side story: Last semester my biology Professor was talking about vitamins and mentioned a grad. school colleague of his who would load up on 40g of vitamin C when he started feeling sick Worked for his buddy most of the time, and now to this day my Professor take about 10g when he starts feeling sick and swears by it. He said he ddint' see the need for 40g, but he sure takes a lot himself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwyckemynd00
    *A funny side story: Last semester my biology Professor was talking about vitamins and mentioned a grad. school colleague of his who would load up on 40g of vitamin C when he started feeling sick Worked for his buddy most of the time, and now to this day my Professor take about 10g when he starts feeling sick and swears by it. He said he ddint' see the need for 40g, but he sure takes a lot himself.
    Some people are just lost cases huh?
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    Man, I would have a serious case of the runs if I took that much. I suppose acidosis might kill off some viruses, lol.

    There are many who swear by the mega dose vitamin C thing, but it's never done too much for me. Ester C is definitely better IMO and I do feel a little more energetic on it. It's great with NAC and KR-ALA at warding off hangovers.
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    gotta agree with moderation. I have seen those multivitamin packs with 2000% RDA in them. I steer clear of anything over 100%. I also heard its a good idea to take vitamins twice daily. not double dosing just splitting the dose in half and taking it twice a day.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wastedwhiteboy2
    I also heard its a good idea to take vitamins twice daily. not double dosing just splitting the dose in half and taking it twice a day.
    I completely agree about seperating dosages with any vitamin or supplement to get maximum results. I've found that most substances remain in my system for around three hours or so.... Then the color of the urine normalizes.
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    I agree with only taking the Vitamins a person needs, I can’t take a multi, it gives me asthma. If I take vitamins and minerals I’m deficient in I feel great but when I add a multi I feel like crap my body doesn’t need all the vitamins in a multi. A good diet high in fruits and vegetables goes a lot farther them a multi.
  

  
 

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