• SDN Site Updates

    Hey everyone! The site will be down for approximately 2 hours on Thursday, August 5th for site updates.

UFMed

Life Coach
10+ Year Member
Sep 21, 2007
367
1
Gainesville
Status (Visible)
  1. Post Doc
wow, that's an interesting study. i don't know if i completely buy into it either- i don't see how taking more minerals & vitamins can actually harm the body. so eating too many fruits & veggies can actually make you live shorter :confused:

i think more research has to be conducted before they make this claim
 
About the Ads

ZagDoc

Ears, Noses, and Throats
10+ Year Member
Jul 13, 2007
1,411
26
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
I find it fascinating the three supplements they found increased mortality risk are vitamin A, vitamin E, and beta-carotene (which your body uses to make vitamin A). All which are fat soluble. All which can build up to toxic levels in your body.

Anyone else see these study subjects as the type who would take a 500IU vitamin E caplet every morning because its "good for you!"? May not produce acute clinical toxicity, but may be the underlying etiology to other complications later in life.
 

wizenedone

Indeed...
10+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2008
524
2
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
I don't buy into that study. It depends on what kind of vitamins you take. Synthetic vitamins are a big no-no and have been known to cause more harm than good. On the other hand, I don't see how taking some good organic vitamins can harm you.
 

themule

Donkey Punch Central
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 22, 2006
3,808
1
The funny farm
Status (Visible)
I don't buy into that study. It depends on what kind of vitamins you take. Synthetic vitamins are a big no-no and have been known to cause more harm than good. On the other hand, I don't see how taking some good organic vitamins can harm you.

Do you have references for that? I couldn't find anything during a quick pubmed search.
 

UFMed

Life Coach
10+ Year Member
Sep 21, 2007
367
1
Gainesville
Status (Visible)
  1. Post Doc
I don't buy into that study. It depends on what kind of vitamins you take. Synthetic vitamins are a big no-no and have been known to cause more harm than good. On the other hand, I don't see how taking some good organic vitamins can harm you.

hmm... i don't really understand that assertion. What is the real difference between a synthetic vitamin (organic/chemical compound) and an "organic" one? At the molecular level wouldn't vitamin X be vitamin X no matter the source? How would the body tell the difference?
:confused:
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
15+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
25,487
43,316
Status (Visible)
  1. Academic Administration
Go to http://www.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab007176.html to read the scientific report of this meta-analysis. Combining the results of numerous studies and submitting the data to analysis makes it possible to study thousands of subjects (>200,000 in this analysis) which makes for a well powered study (enough subjects have been studied to detect a difference if one exists or to be able to say definitively that there truly is no difference.)
 

CTtarheel

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 23, 2006
775
3
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
by the way . . . for those of you who haven't studied Evidence Based Medicine yet, the Cochrane Reviews (LizzyM's link) are considered the GOLD STANDARD for evaluating the efficacy and safety of treatments.
 

Salsa45

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Nov 7, 2007
62
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Fat soluble versus water soluble... one of the previous posters had it right. The vitamins listed as harmful were fat soluble which can build up in concentration in the body, unlike water soluble vitamins which are flushed.
 
About the Ads

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
15+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
25,487
43,316
Status (Visible)
  1. Academic Administration
I really meant to say 'Natural'. There was an article some time back on synthetic vitamins (I can't seem to find it right now). Read the first question here: http://www.organicconsumers.org/nutricon/qa.cfm


Polar bear liver is a natural food but it will give you a bad case of Vitamin A overdose (hypervitaminosis A), your skin will turn red and peel off!

Anyone who has studed a modicum of biochem knows that this natural/synthetic dicotomy is bullsh*t
 

Chargers

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 7, 2007
229
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I just don't bother listen to these new scientific studies anymore, because they will flip flop at the speed that john kerry could never imagine.

Remember a couple years back when they said coffee may cause cancer? then couple weeks later some other studies said coffee is good for your health? all BS
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
15+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
25,487
43,316
Status (Visible)
  1. Academic Administration
I just don't bother listen to these new scientific studies anymore, because they will flip flop at the speed that john kerry could never imagine.

Remember a couple years back when they said coffee may cause cancer? then couple weeks later some other studies said coffee is good for your health? all BS

Interesting perspective. You might use this as a starting point for your personal statement and/or as a talking point at interviews. Good luck getting into medical school. :rolleyes:
 

Tutmos

MS0
10+ Year Member
Apr 10, 2008
533
1
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
The big one I'm waiting for more human data on is Resveratrol, now that has some promise.
 

foster033

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Nov 8, 2007
1,073
2
Columbus, OH
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I remember reading about this a while ago.

It seems to make sense that if you are taking up to 50X the amount of a vitamin/antioxidant found in a normal diet (many supplements provide this much) that it will have some negative effects on your body. It can interfere with the natural ability to fight off free radicals causing more harm than good. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association so it must have some validity...it was peer reviewed.
 

Karen12345

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 16, 2007
716
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Non-Student
wow, that's an interesting study. i don't know if i completely buy into it either- i don't see how taking more minerals & vitamins can actually harm the body. so eating too many fruits & veggies can actually make you live shorter :confused:

i think more research has to be conducted before they make this claim

The article warns against supplements. Diet rich in fruits and vegetables is actually recommended toward the end of that piece. I think that you can easily overwhelm your body with excess supplementation. Dose matters.
 

RySerr21

i aint kinda hot Im sauna
10+ Year Member
Dec 22, 2007
5,931
30
Status (Visible)
  1. Fellow [Any Field]
the problem with supplements is that people that take them likely feel the need not to eat lots of vegetables and fruits....they take 3 anti-oxidant supplements and have a false sense of security so they likely don't eat many vegetables and/or fruits (whats the point if you can just take a pill). the fact is that there are so many antioxidants that you coulnd't possibly get all the ones you need from a pill. on top of that...imagine how many have yet to be discovered!?!? there are thousands. vitamin supplements should never be a replacement for the real deal...
 

bodonid

Dr. Spaceman
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 18, 2007
1,885
2
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
don't the people who say "organic this, organic that" annoy you? Put a sticker on it and its healthy :rolleyes:

With all of the federal regulations and testing that have been slapped on all of the big companies/distributors in recent years, I would almost be more wary of "organic" foods that come from smaller producers. Any opinions out there? Is there something I'm not seeing?
 

Chargers

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 7, 2007
229
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Interesting perspective. You might use this as a starting point for your personal statement and/or as a talking point at interviews. Good luck getting into medical school. :rolleyes:
You probably missed the word "NEW" in my comment. What I meant is that I don't believe in these NEW scientific results until more extensive studies are conducted by more than 1 or 2 labs. I actually hold the same view for those new discovered drugs. Most of them have nasty side effects that have been and not have been studied extensively. It's not strange to see drugs get taken off the market after a couple years in use.
 
About the Ads

Vihsadas

No summer
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 17, 2007
5,474
55
An Igloo
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student

wizenedone

Indeed...
10+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2008
524
2
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
There is no factual basis to what you are saying. Vitamin A = Vitamin A no matter the source.

I agree Vitamin A = Vitamin A no matter the source. However, there have been reports that say 'Synthetic Vitamins' cause harm. Again, it is all heresay and I've read some reports. There is no scientific evidence to that but I do remember reading an article on it.

Read this: http://www.helium.com/items/105747-scientists-created-synthetic-vitamins

Taking the synthetic form of vitamin C, for example, can actually thicken the arterial walls of the heart by as much as 2.5 times which can harm the body!
 

Vihsadas

No summer
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 17, 2007
5,474
55
An Igloo
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I agree Vitamin A = Vitamin A no matter the source. However, there have been reports that say 'Synthetic Vitamins' cause harm. Again, it is all heresay and I've read some reports. There is no scientific evidence to that but I do remember reading an article on it.

Read this: http://www.helium.com/items/105747-scientists-created-synthetic-vitamins

The point is that if the 'synthetic' the form of Vitamin C can cause harm, and the 'natural' form of Vitamin C does not, then the synthetic form of Vitamin C simply is not Vitamin C. It might be something close, but if it has a different physiologic effect, it is a different molecule.

The article you posted is not only from a questionable source, it is full of pseudo science. From your MCAT studies and courses in organic chemistry, you should already realize that the article is deliberately skewing the concept of enantiomerism. They are taking a very specific concept for a very specific manufacturing process (one manufacturing process of Vitamin c) and attempting to apply that to an umbrella category (all synthetic vitamins). This tactic lacks logic and critical thought and is a concept widely used to 'pull the wool over' the eyes of the masses.

Here's an analogy:
"See!? That brown person hates America! Therefore ALL brown people hate America!" You can immediately see the ridiculousness in that statement.

The statement could easily be changed to:
"See!? Synthetic Vitamin C is bad for you! Therefore ALL synthetic vitamins are bad for you!"

Do you see the logical problem? The latter sentence is basically the summary of that article. Completely bogus.

No scientist is going to argue that the R-form of a molecule is the same as the L-form. We already know that different enantiomers are physically different molecules that have a different effect on the body. Any undergraduate science student should be able to tell you that. Look up 'nexium' for one example of where enantiomerism has had a direct impact on pharmacology.

Articles like this one need to be outed for what they really are: A poor attempt at scaring the general population who do not have knowledge of science. As future doctors, I think it is part of our duty to try and help our patients to educate themselves about medicine and science, and how to interpret the information that they read.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
15+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
25,487
43,316
Status (Visible)
  1. Academic Administration
You probably missed the word "NEW" in my comment. What I meant is that I don't believe in these NEW scientific results until more extensive studies are conducted by more than 1 or 2 labs. I actually hold the same view for those new discovered drugs. Most of them have nasty side effects that have been and not have been studied extensively. It's not strange to see drugs get taken off the market after a couple years in use.

But every study that comes out is the NEW study. You'll always be behind the curve if you always wait for more studies. In med school you will/should learn how to judge the credibility of the study and the quality of the findings.

Your earlier response seemed nihilistic.
 

ZagDoc

Ears, Noses, and Throats
10+ Year Member
Jul 13, 2007
1,411
26
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Beta carotenc shouldn't lead to toxicity because it is only converted to Vit A when needed. if there is excess it just results in a yellowing of the skin with no deleterious effects ... at least that's what they teach us in med school

True, just aimlessly hypothesizing.
 
8

8744

People take mega-doses of vitamins, an order of magnitude more than they could ever get from just eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. I think that's the issue.
 

wrongperson

Full Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2007
55
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Who is up to do a publication on how Reading StudentDoc Forum would reduce lifespan? Would be nice on resume too!

Seriously, statistics can "prove" everything to shorten your life.
 

Vihsadas

No summer
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 17, 2007
5,474
55
An Igloo
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
People take mega-doses of vitamins, an order of magnitude more than they could ever get from just eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. I think that's the issue.

Agree. I seem to say this everytime a thread like this comes up, but its worth repeating...

"Sola dosis facit venenum"
-Paracelsus
 

Doctor

of Doctors
10+ Year Member
Oct 25, 2006
852
0
Arctic
Status (Visible)
  1. Post Doc
It's not strange to see drugs get taken off the market after a couple years in use.

Actually, despite 1 or 2 headliners recently, this is still a highly unusual occurrence! Think of the myriad of drugs hitting the market every year and then think of how many get "recalled". I think you'd find that in most years the first number is large and the second number is 0.
 

Doctor

of Doctors
10+ Year Member
Oct 25, 2006
852
0
Arctic
Status (Visible)
  1. Post Doc
I really meant to say 'Natural'.

Yeah, natural ingredients are always the best for you! :thumbup: I always made my girlfriend this magnificent salad of daffodils, apple seeds, and hemlock. She loved it!





Well, up until the vomiting, paralysis, and death anyway. :hungover: Then I had to find a new girlfriend who shared my love for organic and natural foods.
 

AUD

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Mar 11, 2008
115
0
Delaware
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
The point is that if the 'synthetic' the form of Vitamin C can cause harm, and the 'natural' form of Vitamin C does not, then the synthetic form of Vitamin C simply is not Vitamin C. It might be something close, but if it has a different physiologic effect, it is a different molecule.

The article you posted is not only from a questionable source, it is full of pseudo science. From your MCAT studies and courses in organic chemistry, you should already realize that the article is deliberately skewing the concept of enantiomerism. They are taking a very specific concept for a very specific manufacturing process (one manufacturing process of Vitamin c) and attempting to apply that to an umbrella category (all synthetic vitamins). This tactic lacks logic and critical thought and is a concept widely used to 'pull the wool over' the eyes of the masses.

Here's an analogy:
"See!? That brown person hates America! Therefore ALL brown people hate America!" You can immediately see the ridiculousness in that statement.

The statement could easily be changed to:
"See!? Synthetic Vitamin C is bad for you! Therefore ALL synthetic vitamins are bad for you!"

Do you see the logical problem? The latter sentence is basically the summary of that article. Completely bogus.

No scientist is going to argue that the R-form of a molecule is the same as the L-form. We already know that different enantiomers are physically different molecules that have a different effect on the body. Any undergraduate science student should be able to tell you that. Look up 'nexium' for one example of where enantiomerism has had a direct impact on pharmacology.

Articles like this one need to be outed for what they really are: A poor attempt at scaring the general population who do not have knowledge of science. As future doctors, I think it is part of our duty to try and help our patients to educate themselves about medicine and science, and how to interpret the information that they read.

To keep going with this point:

There are also simple ways to separate enantiomers in the manufacturing process. Because everything inside the pill you take is tested for toxicity, if a stereoisomer was harmful it would simply be removed. Why would a vitamin producing company risk billions of dollars of their money by putting out a harmful steroisomer of their desired product?

The article is really sketchy too, take a look at this:

After reading this section, you will be shocked at how damaging synthetic vitamins can be to your body! Please take the time to read this entire section. If you do, you will never look at vitamins or your body the same way ever again! After reading this, please contact everyone you know and tell them about the serious effects that can happen when taking processed synthetic vitamins! Working together, we could improve the lives of millions of people!

There's just too many exclamation points. What proper journalist would write like that?
 

Dakayus

Full Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2007
167
1
california
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I don't want to read all of the stuff above, so I'll just post and hope not to be a double poster.
There's a study done for beta-carotene (carrots) vs vitamin A (pills) and they found that the vitamin A in pill form actually caused a rise in lung cancer by something like 3 fold. I believe vitamins are good for most since most people are deficient in various things so covering all of the bases with a modest pill would help more than hurt. I eat primarily junk food so I'm sure my supplements are quite helpful.
In the late 1800's there was a vit B deficiency since most of the southern states ate mostly black eyed peas, corn (which contains vit B 3 but was in an unusable form), pork, and something else. Eventually people started showing signs of dementia and the police started locking everyone up that seemed insane. Blah blah blah eventually a doctor found out it was niacin. Lots of people died. Vit pills rule! *going to class now*
 

Lshapley

Old Man Med Student
10+ Year Member
Jul 2, 2006
1,102
1
46
Portland
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
To keep going with this point:

There are also simple ways to separate enantiomers in the manufacturing process. Because everything inside the pill you take is tested for toxicity, if a stereoisomer was harmful it would simply be removed. Why would a vitamin producing company risk billions of dollars of their money by putting out a harmful steroisomer of their desired product?

Here are three reasons that come to mind:

1) Because they don't know it is harmful at the time it is marketed since they are not required to go through the rigorous testing required by the FDA.

2) Because they don't consider the steroisomer "harmful" and know they can get away with false labeling since supplements are rarely tested for content accuracy. How are you going to know if you have had your full daily recommended allowance of vitamin C?

3) Because, even though they might claim to have health and well being as their primary motivation, in actuality they are a business most concerned with making a profit. The founders can turn a quick profit and then let the the corporation go bankrupt from the lawsuits that follow. They can hope to still keep the millions they made individually off of selling the pills (assuming the courts can't prove criminal intent...)
 
About the Ads
This thread is more than 13 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.