(warning and sorry: this is long but it is mostly quotes from posts made in this thread)
Interesting article. Obviously in favor of more government control of supplements. I have written here before about
the orphan drug status of a(not yet approved) "drug" named Apatone. This so called drug is nothing more than Vitamin C/K 100:1. It may turn out to be worthless, but they seem to have their hopes for it, and I appeared to have some success with that approach myself, though it could be a fluke, a coincidence and is only anecdotal. Point is: no one from this company or the FDA is suggesting that- if it turns out to be worthwhile- that you just take C/K 100:1. The idea is to some how get it patented so that you can pay a price for it similar to what you pay for your Cialis, and maybe at the same time find a way to prevent you from just combining the supplements. If it was ever found to be worthwhile in the fight against cancer, here is a thought: If a vitamin manufacturer made "helps in the battle against cancer" claims for a vitamin right now, the FDA would come be after them. But if they ever get this "drug" approved, could a seller of C/K then make health claims for the plain old(but same) vitamins that did not come to you from this drug company? Could you even still get those vitamins?
There is another interesting thing(to me) about
these types articles. Many studies have been linked to- right here at HWPC- showing the sometimes very impressive benefits of various vitamins or herbs. I won't repeat some of the ones I posted here in a recent Vitamin D debate that were all from respectable universities and medical centers and showed good to great results. Are there studies that show no results are even hint at harm with the wrong dose? Yes, but these very positive studies are out there also, and I see no reason to be suspicious of the people making these studies. But here is the interesting point: studies such as are linked to in the OP, I see these all the time on network news and online news sources. With big headlines like this one: "Dietary supplements linked to increased cancer risk". But where are the headlines saying "Dietary supplements linked to DEcreased cancer risk"? I don't ever see those unless I go searching at Pubmed. And then I find them with ease, in vitro, animal and human studies. Why do I never see a headline pointing to these studies? I wonder.
For some reason I was curious about
the comments to this article, and I read some just for fun. Below is one that starts out cautioning against vitamins but then tells us how they are taking FDA approved vitamins to help prevent blindness. The other mentions the hazards of prescript
"Cntrygrl3 April 21, 2015 2:2PM
The companies that make these "supplements" have little to no regulation by the FDA, what it says on the bottle is not necessarily what you are getting. Sometimes you get massive aMOUNTS MORE sometimes none at all. Unless you have a health problem, eating right should get you all the vitamins you need, cheaper. And as a matter of fact I do take a vitamin for my eyes that is FDA approved and studies have shown that its use helps someone with macular degeneration keep more of their central sight. And no it is not cheap. But if it works I consider it worth it.
@Cntrygrl3 If FDA regulation made things safer, drugs would be incredibly safe. In fact, regulated drugs kill many thousands each year. A rational understanding of risk is in order.
American medicine is heavily regulated, but an estimated 400,000 Americans die annually due to medical errors. As Milton Friedman argued, regulation makes things more dangerous.
Where does one find supplement-caused deaths in the mortality data? Americans gobble down supplements, but cancer has been declining."
Some interesting points in those posts. Are there stats available to compare the hazard ratios for death or injury from various vitamins compared to prescript
ion drugs? Plus, do you guys/gals ever watch the drug COMMERCIALS for FDA approved drugs on TV? Do they not blow your mind? After they tell you to ask your doctor for whatever, then the soothing voice says "tell your doctor right away if you have developed thoughts of suicide- severe liver problems, some fatal, were reported- tell your Dr if you have high fever, confusion or stiff muscles to address a possible life threatening condition.." etc etc. for any number of TV advertized drugs. But none of this seems to keep many of us from taking the drugs our docs prescribe for us. They(the warnings in the commercials) actually are so bizarre as to be comical. But what is the FDA's concern about
these SEs being spelled out during commercials?www.nydailynews.com/news/national/fda-studies-limiting-tv-ads-drug-risk-lists-article-1.1617940
" WASHINGTON — TV ads for prescript
ion drugs sometimes include a list of risks so lengthy, you may stress out just listening.
It’s partly why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday will announce a study to decide whether those seemingly endless lists can be shortened.
The FDA said it’s concerned that the list “is often too long” and may “reduce consumer comprehension” and sensitivity to dangers."
So it would be for our own good if they told us less about
the SEs, and is the FDA considering limiting these drug companies from telling us about
all of the risks? That should tell us a lot, LOL!
Tim G said...
I take vitamin supplements, but only those that are USP tested ( what's listed on the bottle is what's actually in the pill).
Vitamin supplements are very controversial and studies are contradictory (remember Linus Pauling and his Vitamin-C-in-massive-doses-cures-everything stance)
Those of us who live in northern latitudes probably need a supplement with Vitamin D. I'm in that category and supplement with Vitamin D.
Food, with all it's complex chemistry, is probably the best sources of vitamins.
Some people, as prescribed by their doctors, need supplemental vitamins and minerals due to medical conditions.
There's no magic pill
You are probably right, and food probably is usually the best source, if you know what food to eat and can get quality. But you give at least one exception: if you don't get enough sunshine( with increased skin cancer risk? Maybe) you probably are going to be deficient and not get enough without at least some supplementation. BTW, isn't that Linus Pauling guy the only guy ever to win TWO Nobel prizes, one in chemistry?
Nothing really informative in this article. Taking massive doses for no apparent reason probably isn't good for you is what it says.
On the other hand, the leading specialists in just about every field, including those specializing in prostate cancer care, do typically recommend particular supplements in practical doses to accompany (supplement) other traditional care.
Well what the heck's wrong with those guys? Have they not read the articles like this one?
Research of this sort can never quite claim to show causality. There are too many potential confounding variables. One interesting one is that popular supplements tend to appear to "cause" the problems they are believed to prevent. People who feel themselves at risk for some disease that a popular supplement is believed to help with will self-select to take the supplement and, if they are right about their elevated risk level and if they do eventually develop the disease, then they will provide datapoints for post hoc ergo propter hoc "proofs" of causality.
Very well said indeed. Studies can be tricky things. And as always bias- on either side- must be considered.
Post Edited (BillyBob@388) : 4/22/2015 8:57:33 PM (GMT-6)