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  1. #1
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    Multivitamins a waste of money?

    Surfing CNN (I know, I know....), on the front page: Are multivitamins a waste of money?

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/16/health...html?hpt=hp_t1

    The article basically poo-poos on the idea that multivitamins and, pretty much all supplements, saying they have no scientific proof of having any health benefit.

    Does Foo agree? Does Foo even care? I've been taking a fairly strong b-vitamin complex for close to a month now to help with day-to-day stress and it seems to help. I swear by mega-doses of Vitamin C when feeling or being around sick people. Not too other experience.

  2. #2
    Senior Member toytech's Avatar
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    Old news. supplements = expensive urine
    "Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day."--Harry S. Truman

  3. #3
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    Getting daily nutrients from whole foods is much more synergistically beneficial than taking a pill. In most cases it’s not that hard to get your health needs for vitamins and minerals from nutritious food/liquid.
    I agree with the article on its points about….taking a supplement in place of a poor diet doesn’t work and focusing on diet and exercise is key to a healthy lifestyle

  4. #4
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Latest articles I've been reading is that multi-vitamins supplements can lead to *worse* health;
    Example:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/09/op...-vitamins.html

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    Latest articles I've been reading is that multi-vitamins supplements can lead to *worse* health;
    Example:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/09/op...-vitamins.html
    Subscription required to read. But I imagine it's true - some vitamins build up in the system (K, A, etc) and can be damaging.

    How about homeopathic treatments: as worthless as vitamin supplements? Or does oregano oil, ginger, tumeric, st johns wort, etc have a usefulness?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Strange. I load that page with no login required.

  7. #7
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    My doctor was very adamant about me taking Vitamin D.

    We hear a lot about bone loss so I think Calcium is important.

  8. #8
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    No doubt in my mind they have benefits. It's like a plant and fertilizers. Lots of plants will do just fine without them, but if you had used the proper fertilizers, the plant would've flourished... but someone who knows what they're doing needs to figure out what's necessary before you start dumping crap in there. I just take vitamin c and cal/mag/zinc when I feel a cold coming on, or a multivitamin when I'm feeling malnourished. (hungover)

  9. #9
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    Potassium suppliments definitely keep my cramps in check as I've gotten older (63 years old). There's just no doubt about that. I can't run down to the store and get enough fresh bananas to stay stocked up when I'm riding and a couple little boxes of raisins don't quite handle it anymore when I'm doing some decent hills in my rides. I also do some B12 on rides but haven't done the multivitamen thing since I came back to cycling from a decade layoff.

    Doctor also made me buy some Calcium & vitamen D suppliments as well now that I'm older. Sometimes a couple of caffine pills with my mid ride rice cakes or potatoes will kick me onto the big ring too. Kinda like spiking your peach with some No Doze

    No EPO though.
    "I never lost a race because my bike was too heavy".......George Mount

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by palesaint View Post
    How about homeopathic treatments: as worthless as vitamin supplements? Or does oregano oil, ginger, tumeric, st johns wort, etc have a usefulness?
    The things you listed are not "homeopathic".

  11. #11
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    problem is your body doesnt absorb it in a pill,,you need sun and food with it

    doctors dont know sheep **** from apple butter

  12. #12
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Taking one just because is probably stupid, especially if it's in place of a balanced diet. But specific supplements to take on specific problems a person can have are a very potent source of help for many people, myself included.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    The things you listed are not "homeopathic".
    A very simple, but useful reply. The general perception, at least in the very limited world I grew up in, is that homeopathy=herbs and tinctures. Doing some very basic googling, I now know they are very different.

    This thread has been quite enlightening.

  14. #14
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    Wonder how good Gels and stuff that "Hammer Nutrition" sells are for you. Something about all of this new stuff bugs me if only because when I'm hungry I like real food. I like Allen Lim's boiled potatoes (wrapped up well so they don't leak olive oil) and rice cakes for energy on rides. I've had a sample gel pack sitting around for months that I haven't even tried yet.

    And I'm sure that electrolytes can probably save you from bonking alright but when I'm thirsty I like water. I never even liked Gatorade mixed in until sometime after the ride. Can you even taste these additives in your water?

    I just wonder what medical studies find out about these products someday.
    Last edited by Zinger; 12-17-13 at 02:50 AM. Reason: added some links
    "I never lost a race because my bike was too heavy".......George Mount

  15. #15
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjtesch View Post
    We hear a lot about bone loss so I think Calcium is important.
    Regular, daily weight bearing exercise would be more important.

  16. #16
    Why not? EthanYQX's Avatar
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    Alright, I use a significant amount of supplements so I guess I'll offer up some input.

    Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday I use a preworkout supplement based on beta-analine. During the workout, I use a BCAA supplement mixed with water. I would not be able to train without them, honestly. i finish work for the day at about 3, get into the gym for an hour, and then 90% of the time I go back in to study or whatever. Reality of full time schooling means sometimes sleep is less than optimal, so the help in both energy and recovery make a huge difference for me.

    I also do use a multivitamin and a fish oil capsule. Fish oil is more noticeably beneficial but I seem to have more energy when I use the multivitamin. Could just be a placebo, but I've been low on Vitamin C pretty often in the past and that isn't fun.
    "It is not the critic who counts."

  17. #17
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Hey, I for one can see the benefit of having glow in the dark, fluorescent neon yellow urine. If you are lost in the snow, you can write an SOS with it.
    Are you a registered member? Why not? Click here to register. It's free and only takes 27 seconds! Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.
    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  18. #18
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howeeee View Post
    problem is your body doesnt absorb it in a pill,,you need sun and food with it

    doctors dont know sheep **** from apple butter
    This is why I never order my breakfast of buttered toast and sheep**** from a doctor. I did that once and got buttered toast with apple butter.
    Are you a registered member? Why not? Click here to register. It's free and only takes 27 seconds! Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.
    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  19. #19
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    They are a waste of money for the average person. If you are an athlete, body builder on a food restricted diet, or some other regime that unusally taxes the system they can be useful, imho. Personally, after a couple very stressful days and difficult travel I find a B Complex pill is a great recovery supplement. But one day, one pill. Otherwise it's just expensive urine.

  20. #20
    Why not? EthanYQX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
    They are a waste of money for the average person. If you are an athlete, body builder on a food restricted diet, or some other regime that unusally taxes the system they can be useful, imho. Personally, after a couple very stressful days and difficult travel I find a B Complex pill is a great recovery supplement. But one day, one pill. Otherwise it's just expensive urine.
    aren't all of us athletes? It is a cycling forum.

    Further, I'd bet most people are short on some vitamin or another. I think my Multi costs me ~$5 a month or so.
    "It is not the critic who counts."

  21. #21
    BF Risk Manager
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    I work in healthcare so I pay attention to the literature on these issues. In recent years, there has been a growing body of articles stating that taking various vitamins or supplements may not do a whole lot of good to prevent, cure or treat disease, and in some cases (beta-carotene, Vitamin E, fish oil) may actually cause harm in some patient populations. Based on the literature at the time, I used to take Vitamin E and fish oil, and I stopped when more recent articles came out.

    Taking vitamins to cure, prevent or treat any disease other than deficiency diseases or malabsorption syndromes probably does not do much good. I myself take 5000 IU Vitamin D, 81 mg. aspirin and a generic copy of Centrum Silver every day. The Vitamin D and aspirin for their known health benefits, and the multivitamin to plug any nutritional gaps because my diet is not optimum. All of these are cheap and do not actively cause harm. I have not yet read compelling studies in the medical literature prompting me to take anything else.
    Regards, MillCreek
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  22. #22
    covered in cat fur katsrevenge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MillCreek View Post
    Taking vitamins to cure, prevent or treat any disease other than deficiency diseases or malabsorption syndromes probably does not do much good. I myself take 5000 IU Vitamin D, 81 mg. aspirin and a generic copy of Centrum Silver every day. The Vitamin D and aspirin for their known health benefits, and the multivitamin to plug any nutritional gaps because my diet is not optimum. All of these are cheap and do not actively cause harm. I have not yet read compelling studies in the medical literature prompting me to take anything else.

    This. I don't always eat what I should. Lately I've been drinking coffee, milk, and eating potato soup and ham and cheese quesadillas. Oh, and oranges. I normally eat a bit better but it's definitely a diet with a few holes! (Generally I eat a lot of spinach salads but the fresh greens are getting too $$$ and squashed/not great looking this time of year.)

    So I take a daily multivitamin and sometimes fish oil/cod oil if my hair and skin get a bit too dry. I feel better, my skin looks better and it costs less then a fast food dinner a month.

  23. #23
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    You need to be able to absorb any nutrient you take in for it to do you any good, and most of the cheaper multivitamins you find in the drug stores or the multilevel marketing brands aren't absorbed very well.

    And as far as the studies showing how dangerous some of these products can be, you need to look a little deeper than the headlines or summary. Some of these studies are designed to get the results they wanted, and receive much more attention than they should when compared with other studies that show the opposite results.

  24. #24
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjtesch View Post
    My doctor was very adamant about me taking Vitamin D.
    We hear a lot about bone loss so I think Calcium is important.
    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Regular, daily weight bearing exercise would be more important.
    Yep, the Dairy Council is a very powerful and miss-leading lobby. Dietary calcium supplements are only beneficial when you're not getting sufficient calcium from your regular diet. At which point, it can only help slow down bone-density loss with aging.

    The only thing that can actually reverse bone-loss and actually increase it, is load-bearing exercises such as running, weight-lifting (which also helps rheumatoid arthritis).

    Also note that calcium is an antagonist to iron. Taking too much calcium lowers iron and vice-versa. Everything is in a delicate balance.

    BTW - the Dairy Council has also been very effective at suppressing publishing of studies linking cow-milk to allergies and other joint complications. As Ahhnold said way back when, "Milk is for baby-cows!".

  25. #25
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    My dad takes a multitude of supplements and he smells like a medicine cabinet. I already told him to stop taking the garlic tabs...
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