Supplements - new study suggests they may not be good for us after all.

By Nick1962 Latest Reply 2013-07-24 13:36:50 -0500
Started 2013-07-20 19:21:33 -0500

Since I was diagnosed and started a new eating plan, I have become anti-supplement. Now that’s not to say that if you have a blood work-up done, and a deficiency is found (like vitamin D in my wife), that you shouldn’t take something. No, by all means I’d consider that medically necessity
However, a lot of people take supplements based on advertising claims, figuring they’re just safe, natural vitamins and minerals, without any medical proof they do anything. What I call the "may" effect - the claims on the bottle that say "may" reduce blood sugar levels, or "may" reduce blood pressure. None of which say "have been proven to"…

A study came out this month that startled me. It seems to link higher concentrations of omega-3’s (fatty acids in fatty fish or fish-oil supplements) are linked to a 71 percent higher risk of aggressive prostate cancer. Now, to be honest, this is a rare type of prostate cancer, and limited to men, but I’m a bit concerned because up until about a year ago I had been taking a good quality fish oil twice a day for blood pressure. Almost seems like I get to pick what kills me.

You can read the article here
The senior author of the article (Alan Kristal) was on Science Friday this week, and the 12 minute audio discussion can be heard here:

This study is actually the second one to make this claim (they actually didn’t believe the first), and in the audio version you’ll hear Mr. Kristal actually explain that food and nutrition study has always been “soft ” or “low quality work”, and is of the opinion that supplements in general have no widespread health value. In fact supplements can be doing more damage that the things we take them to prevent.

You can make up your own mind, but I’d really recommend listening to the audio, if for nothing else than a little extra education.

13 replies

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-07-21 21:58:07 -0500 Report

I have never been on the supplement band wagon. My take is that these companies are in the business to make money and to feed off of gulliable people who believe just about everything they read or hear from the media. Take this to prevent that, add something else to prevent another problem and before you know it you have a shelf full of supplements that may not be doing a thing for you or could be causing you harm.

I do not beleive any studies if I can't varify the source of the information provided in the study. I love the studies that says something causese cancer in lab rats. Think about it, lab rats are given a high concentrate of asparteme over a specific period of time. The end result is the asparteme (used as an example) will cause cancer in humans. What they don't say is that humans may never get cancer from aspartme because they are not getting it in its pureset for at the high level of concentration given to the rats.

I would ask myself where do these supplements come from? What is actually in the bottle? People will do anything including take anything if it promises to reduce wrinkles, burn fat faster and prolong life. The end result is they have spent all this money to look younger, thinner and live longer only to find out none of the hype is true.

Nick1962 2013-07-22 12:05:39 -0500 Report

Good points Joyce! The only other things I could add is ask yourself why you need the supplement and are you taking it to counteract a current bad habit. Kind of like taking cinnamon to lower BS numbers whil still overdoing carbs and sugar.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-07-22 12:19:03 -0500 Report

True Nick, people also take supplements thinking there is a cure. There isn't a known cure for diabetes so why take the supplements. I think they also take them because of false hope and they hype that is given them.

GabbyPA 2013-07-21 17:27:30 -0500 Report

This is very interesting. I do think that supplements and drugs are all in the "hype" category. I have been on those band wagons for both. I know there is a big rift between the FDA approved drugs and the non regulated supplement worlds. It is better in the long run to get your nutrients from your foods, but it's hard to know for sure if the food we eat gives us what we need.

Nick1962 2013-07-22 11:57:11 -0500 Report

Ideally, we could get everything needed from food, but unless you’re someone who sees a doctor and has blood tests regularely, you’re kind of in the dark. Add to this the fact that the nutritional information we were given as kids has long been exploited and undermined by the food industry, so the average person really does go through life with one deficiency or another.

jigsaw 2013-07-22 09:02:35 -0500 Report

Yes, but still you have to be aware of additives that may be in your foods also! It's a changing world as you already know. The foods we eat may not be what be what we think they are, and frequently have ingredients that are unbelievable! As usual, big Industry strikes again!!!

jigsaw 2013-07-21 05:14:25 -0500 Report

All these studies with claims and counter claims are simply frustrating. Here's my take on it, take fish oil or vitamins, and you might get cancer of some sort. If you don't take supplements, you might get cancer of some sort!!!
Actually, I wonder who funds most of these studies??? It could also be a clue!

Nick1962 2013-07-21 15:37:33 -0500 Report

Interesting thought - who funds the studies.
That's something I took away from the audio interview - maybe hinting that there is some lobbying going on?

jigsaw 2013-07-22 07:26:36 -0500 Report

It seems that wherever big dollars are concerned, there frequently is the influence of large corporations involved as well as some form of politics. Somehow so much of everything including medical studies, pharmaceuticals, medical insurance, and medical care is tainted by it. All the more reason to stay as informed as possible with ones health issues.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-07-22 12:23:32 -0500 Report

I agree with that jigsaw. Dollars and politics are involved in every major coporations financial bottom line. There is a lot of money involved in medical research. If cures are provided for cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and all other know diseases, there would be no money in reasearch. Why provide a cure if you can make even more money off the research.

People have to be informed about their health issues which means you have to educate yourself and communicate with their doctors. For the life of me, I can't figure out why people ask others about help with their medical problems. You have to be responsible and talk to the person familiar with your medical problems.

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