supplements may shorten your life

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  1. #1
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    supplements may shorten your life

    the medical community has been warning us against using supplements for years.

    Vitamins and Supplements May Lead to Earlier Death

    People taking vitamins or supplements are more likely to die over a given period than people not taking them, a new study from Finland says, adding weight to recent findings from the U.S. along those lines.

    In the new study, researchers gathered data on nearly 1,800 people between the ages of 62 and 74 who were participating in a prospective, population health study of the residents of one town in Finland.

    Over a 10-year period, 59 of the 221 people (26.6 percent) taking a vitamin or supplement died, whereas 281 of the 1,553 people (18.1 percent) of the nonusers died.

    After the researchers took into account other factors that can affect a person's risk of dying — such as age, gender and smoking — they found that people taking vitamins or supplements were 50 to 70 percent more likely to die over the course of the study than those not taking them, said study researcher Dr. Tomi-Pekka Tuomainen, of the University of Eastern Finland.

    The findings are in line with a recent study from University of Minnesota researchers, who looked at 38,000 women who were around age 62 at the study's start, and found a slight increase in mortality among those taking vitamins or supplements. They found, for example, that 40.8 percent of 13,000 women taking a daily multivitamin died over the 19-year study, whereas 39.8 percent of the 10,000 women who hadn't taken a daily multivitamin had died.
    Both studies showed an association, not a cause-and-effect link.

    The Minnesota study had prompted ideas that supplement users were a "self -selected" group, Tuomainen told MyHealthNewsDaily. It could be that people who take supplements tend to have more health problems than nonusers to start with, or are more likely than nonusers to have close relatives with health problems (which could mean they are at greater risk for developing later problems themselves).

    But the new study suggests that those hypotheses may not explain the increased death risk, Tuomainen said. He and his co-authors adjusted their analysis to account for people who reported pre-existing diseases and a family history of the "major killer" diseases, he said.

    The adjustment brought down the increased risk of dying seen among the supplement users, but did not make it disappear, he said.

    Part of the reason behind the link may be that taking vitamins or supplements that include more iron or copper than the body needs are harmful for health, Tuomainen said. These metals are pro-oxidants, and may trigger the type of stress in the body (oxidative stress) that is associated with chronic diseases, though more work is needed to show this.

    The findings are published today (March 12) in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

  2. #2
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    What's this? Wow I dont know what to think. Is this your opinion as well, exphys?

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    My opinion is that most supplements are worthless, not all, but most. The literature strongly supports the idea that they're worthless, and quite a bit of new research is suggesting that some, particularly the megadosed ones may actually be harmful.

    You just can't isolate single nutrients and put them in pill firm at 1000% of how much you should get and think that you're going to get the same results as eating a well balanced diet full of whole grains, legumes and tons of fruit and veges.

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    Complete crap. That study is flawed..2% over 13000 people over 19 years? Please.

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    Quote Originally Posted by booze View Post
    Complete crap. That study is flawed..2% over 13000 people over 19 years? Please.
    That's a well respected journal, are you suggesting that you know research better than them?

    This is one of many well executed studies that are suggesting this.

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    Dietary supplements and mortality rate in older women: the Iowa Women's Health Study.

    Mursu J, Robien K, Harnack LJ, Park K, Jacobs DR Jr.
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    Department of Health Sciences, Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio Campus, Kuopio, Finland. jaakko.mursu@uef.fi

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND:

    Although dietary supplements are commonly taken to prevent chronic disease, the long-term health consequences of many compounds are unknown.

    METHODS:

    We assessed the use of vitamin and mineral supplements in relation to total mortality in 38,772 older women in the Iowa Women's Health Study; mean age was 61.6 years at baseline in 1986. Supplement use was self-reported in 1986, 1997, and 2004. Through December 31, 2008, a total of 15,594 deaths (40.2%) were identified through the State Health Registry of Iowa and the National Death Index.

    RESULTS:

    In multivariable adjusted proportional hazards regression models, the use of multivitamins (hazard ratio, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.02-1.10; absolute risk increase, 2.4%), vitamin B(6) (1.10; 1.01-1.21; 4.1%), folic acid (1.15; 1.00-1.32; 5.9%), iron (1.10; 1.03-1.17; 3.9%), magnesium (1.08; 1.01-1.15; 3.6%), zinc (1.08; 1.01-1.15; 3.0%), and copper (1.45; 1.20-1.75; 18.0%) were associated with increased risk of total mortality when compared with corresponding nonuse. Use of calcium was inversely related (hazard ratio, 0.91; 95% confidence interval, 0.88-0.94; absolute risk reduction, 3.8%). Findings for iron and calcium were replicated in separate, shorter-term analyses (10-year, 6-year, and 4-year follow-up), each with approximately 15% of the original participants having died, starting in 1986, 1997, and 2004.

    CONCLUSIONS:

    In older women, several commonly used dietary vitamin and mineral supplements may be associated with increased total mortality risk; this association is strongest with supplemental iron. In contrast to the findings of many studies, calcium is associated with decreased risk.

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    Multivitamin use and risk of prostate cancer in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study.

    Lawson KA, Wright ME, Subar A, Mouw T, Hollenbeck A, Schatzkin A, Leitzmann MF.
    Source

    Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA. lawsonka@mail.nih.gov

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND:

    Multivitamin supplements are used by millions of Americans because of their potential health benefits, but the relationship between multivitamin use and prostate cancer is unclear.

    METHODS:

    We prospectively investigated the association between multivitamin use and risk of prostate cancer (localized, advanced, and fatal) in 295,344 men enrolled in the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-AARP Diet and Health Study who were cancer free at enrollment in 1995 and 1996. During 5 years of follow-up, 10,241 participants were diagnosed with incident prostate cancer, including 8765 localized and 1476 advanced cancers. In a separate mortality analysis with 6 years of follow-up, 179 cases of fatal prostate cancer were ascertained. Multivitamin use was assessed at baseline as part of a self-administered, mailed food-frequency questionnaire. Relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated by use of Cox proportional hazards regression, adjusted for established or suspected prostate cancer risk factors.

    RESULTS:

    No association was observed between multivitamin use and risk of localized prostate cancer. However, we found an increased risk of advanced and fatal prostate cancers (RR = 1.32, 95% CI = 1.04 to 1.67 and RR = 1.98, 95% CI = 1.07 to 3.66, respectively) among men reporting excessive use of multivitamins (more than seven times per week) when compared with never users. The incidence rates per 100,000 person-years for advanced and fatal prostate cancers for those who took a multivitamin more than seven times per week were 143.8 and 18.9, respectively, compared with 113.4 and 11.4 in never users. The positive associations with excessive multivitamin use were strongest in men with a family history of prostate cancer or who took individual micronutrient supplements, including selenium, beta-carotene, or zinc.

    CONCLUSION:

    These results suggest that regular multivitamin use is not associated with the risk of early or localized prostate cancer. The possibility that men taking high levels of multivitamins along with other supplements have increased risk of advanced and fatal prostate cancers is of concern and merits further evaluation.

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    These studies always crack me up. I get your point, taking supplements doesn't make up for other life choices, like exercise and diet, but taking a study with such a small number of people and make assumptions and not correcting for the externalities does allow for any solid conclusions.

    For the record, I agree most of the supplements are worthless, and some actually do harm people. For example, the article you referenced about prostate cancer; research is linking chemical vitamin E to increased incidences of prostate cancer. From what I understand, the chemical version of the vitamin actually displaces the vitamin obtained from food sources and causes damage to the prostate. So, I don't take that.

    But, just because someone makes a blanket statement that supplements are bad for you, doesn't mean I'm going to stop taking vit d, fish oil, or my organic green source multi. That would just be alarmist, and stupid.

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    Horse crap...... The difference in death rate between the women who took them and didn`t is too small to attribute any conclusion. Old people die..... that's what they do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyMack View Post
    These studies always crack me up. I get your point, taking supplements doesn't make up for other life choices, like exercise and diet, but taking a study with such a small number of people and make assumptions and not correcting for the externalities does allow for any solid conclusions.

    For the record, I agree most of the supplements are worthless, and some actually do harm people. For example, the article you referenced about prostate cancer; research is linking chemical vitamin E to increased incidences of prostate cancer. From what I understand, the chemical version of the vitamin actually displaces the vitamin obtained from food sources and causes damage to the prostate. So, I don't take that.

    But, just because someone makes a blanket statement that supplements are bad for you, doesn't mean I'm going to stop taking vit d, fish oil, or my organic green source multi. That would just be alarmist, and stupid.
    Well said. I tried to emphasize that most, not all supps are worthless. This is one of many studies done recently that are discovering that many supplements can actually be harmful. Experts use to say that they're not harmful but useless, but we're actually seeing that some supps are actually harmful, particularly megadosed ones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by redz View Post
    Horse crap...... The difference in death rate between the women who took them and didn`t is too small to attribute any conclusion. Old people die..... that's what they do.
    Did you do the calculations to determine a lack of significance? If you know anything about research stats, then you should know that a lay person like you can't say that the difference is too small to make conclusions, unless you determine the p value, among other stats.

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    I supplement my sex life with porn! Does this mean i should be buying funeral insurance?

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    Quote Originally Posted by exphysiologist88 View Post
    My opinion is that most supplements are worthless, not all, but most. The literature strongly supports the idea that they're worthless, and quite a bit of new research is suggesting that some, particularly the megadosed ones may actually be harmful.

    You just can't isolate single nutrients and put them in pill firm at 1000% of how much you should get and think that you're going to get the same results as eating a well balanced diet full of whole grains, legumes and tons of fruit and veges.

    The overwhelmingly majority of supplements aren't worth a shit but they are ultra-profitable for their marketer/manufacturer.

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    "The Minnesota study had prompted ideas that supplement users were a "self -selected" group, Tuomainen told MyHealthNewsDaily. It could be that people who take supplements tend to have more health problems than nonusers to start with, or are more likely than nonusers to have close relatives with health problems (which could mean they are at greater risk for developing later problems themselves)."

    This along with mega doses of certain vitamins or minerals might carry more weight than is suggested in this article. I'd like to see a similar study of only high risk individuals, seperated by critical illness.

    I take half the recommended dose of opti-men, just as insurance (among other things). I also believe you can get most of your nutrients through food, though overfarming has reduced the nutrient content of a lot of foods...
    Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard

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