Do vitamin supplements work?

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  • Do vitamin supplements work?
  • theflatboy
    Member

    No, unless you have a particular deficiency that specifically needs addressing.

    Timely article.

    ti_pin_man
    Member

    waste of money if you eat properly. give em up.

    Ho hum
    Member

    I take vitamin B complex, vitamin D and St John’s Wort daily.

    I really don’t like winter and the lack of daylight, but so far this year my mood seems actually quite good.

    Of course, it could all be placebo, but I don’t really care.

    Premier Icon legspin
    Subscriber

    In the words of the great Sheldon Cooper, a great way to make expensive urine or words to that effect!

    Premier Icon wallop
    Subscriber

    Oh Jesus wept, not this again.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    The conclusions I have come to regarding this:

    Do they cure disease, prevent cancer, enable you to run marathons, cure the common cold etc? No

    Do the vitamins end up in your body? Yes

    Are they a bit of insurance in case your diet’s not perfectly balanced? Yes

    Even people who eat reasonably well may still be slightly deficient in some things, so it makes sense to me.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Do they cure disease, prevent cancer, enable you to run marathons, cure the common cold etc? No

    A more important question is:

    Can they increase the incidence of cancer and increase the mortality rate for people with cancer?

    In some cases yes.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    No, look at various new scientist articles etc on this topic. Probably a good pyschological placebo type imaginary boost if you are insecure.

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    Can they increase the incidence of cancer and increase the mortality rate for people with cancer?

    In some cases yes.

    A lot of things can become deadly in specific rare scenarios, doesn’t mean they are otherwise healthy and good in the majority of cases.

    The quote I read recently from a scientist (I don’t remember the exact source I’m afraid) was that at best, they did no harm.

    Timely article.

    Interesting, I broke my arm at the end of July and did the ‘logical’ thing and bought a load of A-Z vitamin+minerals, calcium supplements, zinc, VitD, and anything that mentioned ‘bone’ in the blurb. I’ve been chronicly tired since September and my pace on the bike’s dropped considerably despite not dropping the milage (I missed maybe 2 weeks in the cast and was then straight back out). I put it down to maybe a lingering virus or somesuch, but the article specificly mentions iron deficiency in conjunction with high doses of calcium, so maybe I’m now anemic after blockign Iron absorbtion for ~6 weeks?

    Time to go and bin everything (and eat some steak).

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Oh Jesus wept, not this again.

    Indeed. Very recent thread on this here:
    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/vitamins-for-riding

    waste of money if you eat properly

    Do you eat two tins of sardines a day?
    That’s how much you need to get your recommended amount of Vitamin D. 😯

    Do you eat two tins of sardines a day?
    That’s how much you need to get your recommended amount of Vitamin D.

    Or about 15 minutes exposure to the sun twice a week. Or to put it another way, sardines are clearly a rubbish source of VitD if standing in the sun whilst eating them provides more VitD than the fish themselves.

    ski
    Member

    Simple question, but I fear the answer will not be that simple 😉

    I have been taking effervescent multi-vitamins daily for the last year, in the hope they might supplement my dietary needs.

    So what (legal) supplements do you take daily and should I consider swapping to a more beneficial type?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Or about 15 minutes exposure to the sun twice a week

    But only April-November, in the UK… in the winter we produce no vitamin D at all. But we should have enough stores to last us as long as we’ve been out in the summertime.

    Generally, when the debunkers ask ‘do they work?’ they are talking about the wild claims, like 10,000mg of Vit-C cures colds, or selenium makes your hair grow back or whatever it is. But that’s not why I take them – I take a multi vitamin occasionally just in case I haven’t balanced my diet well.

    I’ve read that it’s very common not to get enough Omega fatty acids though.. but I’ve also read that taking them in the wrong ratios is quite bad for you.

    Premier Icon kimbers
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    ti_pin_man – Member
    waste of money if you eat properly. give em up.

    +1

    soobalias
    Member

    Or about 15 minutes exposure to the sun twice a week

    you not in the uk then?

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Or to put it another way, sardines are clearly a rubbish source of VitD if standing in the sun whilst eating them provides more VitD than the fish themselves.

    Sardines are one of the best sources of dietary Vitamin D.

    But only April-November, in the UK… in the winter we produce no vitamin D at all.

    Ed-zackerly. And even in the “summer” the weather is often too crap to get enough exposure – especially if your job involves sitting in an office all day then at weekends when we do get sun you slap sunscreen on.

    Hence why:

    “A recent nationwide survey in the United Kingdom showed that more than 50% of the adult population have insufficient levels of vitamin D”
    http://www.bmj.com/content/340/bmj.b5664

    Premier Icon legspin
    Subscriber

    “A recent nationwide survey in the United Kingdom showed that more than 50% of the adult population have insufficient levels of vitamin D”
    http://www.bmj.com/content/340/bmj.b5664

    Is that because 50% of the population are idle gits that sit at home doing nothing but watch tele?

    Junkyard
    Member

    if we added Vit D to biscuits we could solve this problem- certainly easier than going outside and excercising

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Also, mild or moderate anaemia is pretty common, but people don’t realise it.

    Just make a note of the days when you feel listless, crappy, lethargic or can’t concentrate. If it’s often, you MIGHT be mildly deficient in something.

    Ideally, we should all be eating lots of fresh fruit and veg, pulses, meat etc, and we should try to do that, but often we fall short. I think that the levels in multivitaims are low enough to not cause a problem if you have a both a good diet AND take a pill.

    if we added Vit D to biscuits we could solve this problem

    They add it to milk in the northern states of the USA, and they are further south than we are.

    Junkyard
    Member

    Is that because the fluoride and contrails have not worked 😛
    There is a limit to how much meat you should and a minimum for fruit and veg. We should not be eating lots of red meat and certainly not the processed variety.
    Granted its not my area of expertise and I am not claiming a meat free diet is healthier per se – it may be it may not as you can be helathy on either diet.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Yes of course, but fresh meat in normal amounts is definitely good for you. A very important source of iron. If you’re going to be veggie you have to take a bit more to get certain nutrients I think, like perhaps iron, if you are a woman.

    Conversely of course, if you are a meat eater you have to take care to eat veggies and not fill up on pies and sausages.

    Doc’s advice to my wife was to try and eat meat twice a day, despite the warnings, because the iron deficiency was a more pressing problem.

    Junkyard
    Member

    Indeed iron can be an issue and as a vegan even more so- i know nothing of gender issues re this tbh.
    Cholesterol can be hard to get as well oddly.
    If i do loads of riding I can struggle to consume enough calories as well.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    if we added Vit D to biscuits we could solve this problem

    Funnily enough the other major source of dietary Vitamin D is fortified breakfast cereals 🙄

    Though I guess that is good because I don’t now how many people actually follow the WHO/NICE/NHS guidance about giving all under 5s Vitamin D supplements:

    “all babies and young children aged six months to five years should take a daily supplement containing vitamin D in the form of vitamin drops to help them meet the requirement set for this age group of 7-8.5 micrograms (0.007-0.0085mg) of vitamin D a day”

    http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/Vitamin-D.aspx

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    i know nothing of gender issues re this tbh

    Women need quite a bit more for menstruation.

    If i do loads of riding I can struggle to consume enough calories as well

    Surely chips and coke are vegan? 🙂

    thecaptain
    Member

    I’m guessing the OP isn’t a baby or young child under 5y thobut.

    I’d always choose eating more food (and a good variety of different foods) over pills. Or, in the case of Vit D, playing out in the sun.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    No-one’s suggesting pills INSTEAD of good food, are they?

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    I’m guessing the OP isn’t a baby or young child under 5y tho but.

    No, but he may well be in the 50% of the UK population that don’t get enough Vit D though?

    Or he might be breast feeding. 😀

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    read:

    getting vitamins via diet and via supplements can produce completely different results and can be bad for supplements – you need to base your judgement on trials backed results.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    That’s why they say take them with food, if it’s going to be just a top-up to your normal diet. So they can work together with whatever you’ve eaten.

    Junkyard
    Member

    Surely chips and coke are vegan?

    They are and not far off as i go for chips and bourbon biscuits!

    theflatboy
    Member

    TurnerGuy – Member
    you need to base your judgement on trials backed results.

    That BBC article above refers to systematic reviews on the pros/cons, suggesting that the trials point fairly heavily towards con…

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    But do they clearly define what the question is?

    theflatboy
    Member

    No idea. There’s a limit to the amount of reading I’m prepared to help avert my early death.

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