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IceAlisa
05-09-2012, 03:15 AM
One would think that your doctor would provide you with a reliable source if they were savvy enough to Rx it in the first place.

Allskate
05-09-2012, 03:28 AM
One would think that your doctor would provide you with a reliable source if they were savvy enough to Rx it in the first place.

I would hope so. But, really, it doesn't take much savvy to see test results saying that a patient is severely deficient in vitamin d and then decide that the patient should take vitamin d. :lol: She's my doctor because I had a hard time finding a doctor who was taking my health insurance and accepting new patients. She's notorious even with her staff for rushing through appointments. I wouldn't be at all surprised if she doesn't know which vitamin companies are reputable. In my experience, doctors haven't been very knowledgeable about vitamins. My vitamin levels were tested only because I requested it. I had symptoms for a long time and no doctor, dentist, or physician's assistant thought to ask me about vitamin D or test me for it. When my B-12 levels were low, the doctor told me to eat more bread, which was not only not a very good source of B12, but turned out to be particularly bad advice because I found out that I was a gluten intolerant.

In any event, it's not something I'm particularly worried about. It would just be nice if supplements were regulated so you could have confidence in them and wouldn't have to do research on which companies can be trusted.

barbk
05-09-2012, 03:35 AM
Consumer Reports has generally had pretty good things to say about the purity of Costco's vitamins and supplements. I buy Nature Made D3. Particularly with D3, I'm not especially worried about whether the stated dosage is perfect or not -- we kept upping it until the blood value looked to be in the desired range, and then I went onto a maintenance dose and checked it again in six months.

Allskate
05-09-2012, 03:51 AM
Thanks barbk! I never would have thought of Costco for vitamins and supplements.

snoopy
05-09-2012, 02:51 PM
FWIW, my brother who is a chemist has a friend from his undergrad program who used to work for a vitamin manufacturer. He told me a list of reputable vitamins – based upon materials used and their known efficacy. (Something about the form of the substance wrt certain minerals, chelates being more absorbable by the body than sulfates?) I remember Super Nutrition was highly regarded but Country Life and Solgar were on the list as well. Though I took Centrum for years and was fine with it. For me, if I go without taking a multi for more than six weeks, I WILL get a cold. And I never get one if I am diligently taking one. Centrum was fine for that but now I take Super Nutrition and the only improvement I notice is that I don’t get any stomach upset.

Jenny
05-09-2012, 02:56 PM
One would think that your doctor would provide you with a reliable source if they were savvy enough to Rx it in the first place.

Not necessarily. It's my understanding that a medical education includes very little on nutrition, if at all. And really, with so many developments and new research in both medicine and nutrition continually coming forward, I don't think one can expect a general practitioner to be expert on everything.

The fact that the doctor prescribed vitamin D doesn't make them savvy - it's the latest "it" trend in nutrition and health, with laypersons jumping on the bandwagon as much as doctors.

Remember oat bran? Massive doses of Vitamin C? Echinacea? Zinc? Aspirin in small daily doses? Gingko bilboa? Anti-oxidants? Each of these was or is touted to be the Greatest Thing Ever, with drug companies and food companies all rushing to sell you their newly packaged products.

I'm not saying Vitamin D isn't a good thing, but if you can possibly get it from natural, whole sources rather than as a supplement or enrichment, it makes sense to me that it's the better choice. Science does not yet fully understand how all the components of foods work together with our bodies and environment, even if all those components were fully identified. Yes, the supplement may do the job for you, but I don't think that we can universally rely on it since there is still so much to be learned.

I don't think anyone should leave something as important as their health in the hands of governments, doctors, pharmacists, drug companies, food companies or herbal practitioners. Take expert advice, certainly, but don't assume that they know everything, or that they know what's right for you.

snoopy
05-09-2012, 03:04 PM
Though I agree that we can’t replace nature piecemeal, my reading also suggests that modern farming practices translate into less nutritious food than 100 years ago. One example being that cows don’t graze as much on grass anymore and instead eat more corn….which translates into more omega 6’s in beef versus the balances of omega 3s and omega 6s from a grass fed diet. So what happens is we end up supplementing with fish oil* to get more omega 3s to rebalance again.

Maybe it is all a racket to get us to buy more crap, from the dairy farm to the drug store aisle.

*ETA: assuming one doesn't like fish and then there is the whole sustainable fishing issue.

Jenny
05-09-2012, 03:16 PM
Though I agree that we canít replace nature piecemeal, my reading also suggests that modern farming practices translate into less nutritious food than 100 years ago. One example being that cows donít graze as much on grass anymore and instead eat more cornÖ.which translates into more omega 6ís in beef versus the balances of omega 3s and omega 6s from a grass fed diet. So what happens is we end up supplementing with fish oil to get more omega 3s to rebalance again.

Maybe it is all a racket to get us to buy more crap, from the dairy farm to the drug store aisle.

Exactly. Ditto for fruits and vegetables that are bred for longevity, transportability, fast growth, abundance, looks etc, but not nutritional value. And the soil itself - fertilizers and pesticides and overfarming mean that soils don't have the nutrients to nurture what they grow - including animal feed. And then there are the chemicals in the soil, all over our fruits and veggies and in the animals we eat (not to mention our water sources) - not only having direct harmful effects, but compromising nutritional value as well.

It's all rather overwhelming.

IceAlisa
05-09-2012, 04:31 PM
The fact that the doctor prescribed vitamin D doesn't make them savvy - it's the latest "it" trend in nutrition and health, with laypersons jumping on the bandwagon as much as doctors. Lay persons don't have the burden of adhering to the standard of care.



Remember oat bran? Massive doses of Vitamin C? Echinacea? Zinc? Aspirin in small daily doses? Gingko bilboa? Anti-oxidants? Each of these was or is touted to be the Greatest Thing Ever, with drug companies and food companies all rushing to sell you their newly packaged products. Baby aspirins are still prescribed daily to many patients. :confused:



I'm not saying Vitamin D isn't a good thing, but if you can possibly get it from natural, whole sources rather than as a supplement or enrichment, it makes sense to me that it's the better choice. Science does not yet fully understand how all the components of foods work together with our bodies and environment, even if all those components were fully identified. Yes, the supplement may do the job for you, but I don't think that we can universally rely on it since there is still so much to be learned. I wholeheartedly agree with you on your whole paragraph here. I've done some research into vitamin D and cancer and the results are hardly conclusive.



I don't think anyone should leave something as important as their health in the hands of governments, doctors, pharmacists, drug companies, food companies or herbal practitioners. Take expert advice, certainly, but don't assume that they know everything, or that they know what's right for you. I like that "don't trust the government part" :lol:

I do have to say that usually the docs who jump on the vitamin D bandwagon have a brand in mind and dosing as well.

Jenny
05-09-2012, 04:52 PM
Baby aspirins are still prescribed daily to many patients. :confused:

A relative who tends to jump on whatever she reads in the paper took the lose dosage aspirin (conveniently marketed by Bayer with the exact milligrams) for years for her heart, and I'm pretty sure with her regular doctor's blessing. Eventually, she developed severe digestive issues, and her specialist said she should have never done that, because it was contributing to the problem the whole time.

The same relative now tells me with authority that the one supplement I absolutely must be taking is Vitamin D.


I like that "don't trust the government part" :lol:

I didn't mean it as a joke; I was referring to my post earlier about government oversight of both products produced domestically, and those imported. I think most people, without really thinking about it, assume that any product that comes into the country must have been inspected by someone and adhere to our supposed lofty standards, and that all domestic production facilities are inspected regularly, and therefore completely safe. And of course, they're not.

IceAlisa
05-09-2012, 05:02 PM
A relative who tends to jump on whatever she reads in the paper took the lose dosage aspirin (conveniently marketed by Bayer with the exact milligrams) for years for her heart, and I'm pretty sure with her regular doctor's blessing. Eventually, she developed severe digestive issues, and her specialist said she should have never done that, because it was contributing to the problem the whole time.

The same relative now tells me with authority that the one supplement I absolutely must be taking is Vitamin D. I wouldn't use this case to make sweeping conclusions about standard of care. Decisions in medicine are based on the risk/benefit ratio. As to vitamin D, again it's rather inconclusive in terms or preventing cancer. IIRC, in one study it was found to actually increase the risk of a specific cancer (forgot which).



I didn't mean it as a joke;

I didn't think you were joking.

Jenny
05-09-2012, 05:12 PM
I wouldn't use this case to make sweeping conclusions about standard of care. Decisions in medicine are based on the risk/benefit ratio. As to vitamin D, again it's rather inconclusive in terms or preventing cancer. IIRC, in one study it was found to actually increase the risk of a specific cancer (forgot which).

I'm not judging the medical profession at all. I'm saying that just because something showed positive results in a few studies or research, it might not be right for everyone, and further, I don't think we can expect our general practitioners to be expert on every aspect of health and nutrition, including taking time to review all the latest research.

The tendency of people to believe everything they see in the news, coupled with the continuing hope that some magic pill (in this case, literally) will solve all their problems, spelled disaster in the case of this person. I think many also have the attitude, when it comes to vitamins, supplements and a little wee dose of innocent aspirin, that "it can't hurt." But sometimes, it can.

It makes me a bit skeptical of the whole Vitamin D thing right now.

IceAlisa
05-09-2012, 05:16 PM
I'm not judging the medical profession at all. I'm saying that just because something showed positive results in a few studies or research, it might not be right for everyone, and further, I don't think we can expect our general practitioners to be expert on every aspect of health and nutrition, including taking time to review all the latest research. That's true. Studies are frequently flawed and only describe a group of subjects they study but say little about an individual. So yes, there will be individuals for whom a specific treatment is not the best fit. But a lot of the time the docs don't know until they try, in the absence of a test. I do encourage skepticism when it comes to studies: how was the data collected, what were the inclusion/exclusion criteria, was it a randomized controlled trial, and last but not least, who sponsored the study...



The tendency of people to believe everything they see in the news, coupled with the continuing hope that some magic pill (in this case, literally) will solve all their problems, spelled disaster in the case of this person. I think many also have the attitude, when it comes to vitamins, supplements and a little wee dose of innocent aspirin, that "it can't hurt." But sometimes, it can.

It makes me a bit skeptical of the whole Vitamin D thing right now.
The evidence I've seen is far from convincing. And you are right, there are fads in medicine too.

Anita18
05-09-2012, 09:33 PM
That's true. Studies are frequently flawed and only describe a group of subjects they study but say little about an individual. So yes, there will be individuals for whom a specific treatment is not the best fit. But a lot of the time the docs don't know until they try, in the absence of a test. I do encourage skepticism when it comes to studies: how was the data collected, what were the inclusion/exclusion criteria, was it a randomized controlled trial, and last but not least, who sponsored the study...


The evidence I've seen is far from convincing. And you are right, there are fads in medicine too.
Absolutely. I'm a microbiologist who works with mammalian stem cells and scoffs at population studies. Human bodies are just SO different. What works for one definitely doesn't always work for another.

Then again, the yeast people look at our experiments and scoff too. :P Yeast is a lot more tolerant and give more drastic results than even stem cells on a plate. Science is weird like that.

Allskate
05-09-2012, 10:25 PM
The fact that the doctor prescribed vitamin D doesn't make them savvy - it's the latest "it" trend in nutrition and health, with laypersons jumping on the bandwagon as much as doctors.

That's not why she prescribed it. She prescribed it because the test results showed that I am severely deficient. IMO, it would have been a mistake for her not to tell me to take the vitamin D pills. I'm not someone who thinks that vitamin D is a cure for everything or that people should be popping vitamin d pills even if they have healthy levels. But, I do think there are adverse health consequences to being deficient in vitamin D.


I'm not saying Vitamin D isn't a good thing, but if you can possibly get it from natural, whole sources rather than as a supplement or enrichment, it makes sense to me that it's the better choice. Science does not yet fully understand how all the components of foods work together with our bodies and environment, even if all those components were fully identified. Yes, the supplement may do the job for you, but I don't think that we can universally rely on it since there is still so much to be learned.

I would have to drink a lot of milk to get that much vitamin D. The prescription dose has the equivalent amount of vitamin D found in 500 cups of milk. I'm not going to drink that much milk in one week. (This isn't a nutty doctor; it's standard dosage for someone as deficient as I am.) Even after I'm up to a healthy level, I plant to take at least some supplements to maintain it. There isn't a lot of food these days that naturally has a lot of vitamin D. Most of the vitamin D found in foods like milk come from fortification. That is partly because of changes in dairy farming practices, but milk never was a huge source of vitamin D. There is some wild fish that has a significant about of D, but I'd have to eat a lot of that fish (and then I'd probably be worrying about mercury levels. :lol:). Historically, most humans got their vitamin D from the sun. But, the environment and lifestyles were different then and so there was less chance of sunburn and skin cancer,and there was more exposure to the sun. It really shouldn't be surprising that more people are deficient in vitamin D these days. So many people don't spend as much time outdoors as our ancestors did and/or use sunscreen.

I burn and there is a family history of cancer, so I am very careful about sun exposure. Having said that, because I do think that there probably are nutrients that we get from the sun and don't get elsewhere, I have decided that I am willing to try some limited exposure to the sun. But, that probably won't be enough, so I probably will take a supplement. You may disagree with me, but I don't think the vitamin D supplement is going to hurt me, especially if I'm monitoring my levels. Vitamins and supplements aren't a magic cure for everything, but they also aren't always harmful and sometimes can be helpful.