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The health-care myths we live by
Washington Post, by Charles Krauthammer

Original Article

Posted By:Dreadnought, 2/6/2014 11:05:29 PM

Swedish researchers report that antioxidants make cancers worse in mice. It’s already known that the antioxidant beta-carotene exacerbates lung cancers in humans. Not exactly what you’d expect given the extravagant — and incessant — claims you hear made about the miraculous effects of antioxidants. In fact, they are either useless or harmful, conclude the editors of the prestigious Annals of Internal Medicine: “Beta-carotene, vitamin E and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements are harmful.” Moreover, “other antioxidants, folic acid and B vitamins, and multivitamin and mineral supplements are ineffective for preventing mortality or morbidity due to major chronic diseases.”


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Reply 1 - Posted by: ColonialAmerican1623, 2/6/2014 11:26:00 PM     (No. 9722674)

Whatever vitamins you take, remember Americans have the most expensive urine in the world.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: jacooley, 2/7/2014 1:15:22 AM     (No. 9722720)

People are acting like the revelation that Medicaid members use the ER more is something new. It isn´t. It has been something well-known to health care policy types for years. What is a mystery to me is why the publicly available research showing it never was discussed.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Rumblehog, 2/7/2014 7:07:51 AM     (No. 9722816)

The government, by way of its leftist controlled medical organizations, like the AMA, is trying to make Vitamins & Herbals "controlled substances," and this type of reporting is part of that plan. If you want to read an excellent book on the beneficial effects of Vitamins, minerals, & herbals, read the book, "Dr. Atkins´ Vita-Nutrient Solution: Nature´s Answer to Drugs." In it he cites irrefutable, honest medical studies to back up the claims of benefical effects of Vitamins and the proper dosages (by the way, they´re NOT the USDA Approved amounts!).

I challenge anyone who thinks they can´t live without a cup of coffee in the morning to substitute one or two Vitamin B-Complex capsules, and see if you don´t have longer lasting energy the entire day, without the blood sugar highs. Or, as soon as you detect a cold coming on, start downing a lot of Vitamin C, and behold it doesn´t get any worse.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Foggybottom, 2/7/2014 7:16:15 AM     (No. 9722824)

I thought it was common knowledge that fat-soluble vitamins should be limited but water-soluble vitamins are OK to overdose because the excess is eliminated by the body. Maybe it´s not.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: wetenschapper, 2/7/2014 7:49:52 AM     (No. 9722865)

My late stepfather was a firm believer in megavitamins and "supplements", taking a veritable witches´ brew of such pills every day. Until he died last year of colon cancer complicated by heart disease and high blood pressure, I was forever trying to impress upon him that "natural" is not synonymous with "safe"; after all, strychnine and aflatoxin are natural. Nor is there anything magical about vitamins. These compounds are in most cases simply cofactors utilized by certain enzymes, one molecule of vitamin per molecule of enzyme. Once the corresponding enzymes have been stated, any vitamin left over is simply metabolized and excreted.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: SpencersMom, 2/7/2014 7:51:42 AM     (No. 9722868)

After spending a fortune on calcium pills and multiple vitamins over the last 30 years only to find out that studies show they do no good, I´m fed up with all these ´studies´. Just like the studies that said that butter and eggs are bad for you but now suddenly they aren´t. Coffee is good or bad depending on the month and day of the week, same for chocolate. I think these studies are all a bunch of whooee. It´s just a way to keep those research dollars pouring in for their ´studies´.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: M2, 2/7/2014 7:57:00 AM     (No. 9722876)

Interesting, the notation about average body temps. 98.6 was always "settled science". But I´ve had below 98 as my average every day of my life and I am healthy -- always have been. So there´s that.

Aside from that, the best healthy care system in the world is being chipped, like dried beef, into a disgusting pottage of digital trivia, superfluous workers, unnecessary man-hours and oppressive red tape for otherwise good doctors who, because of his mess, would rather retire and go fishing than deal with the much-vaunted US government.

It´s sickening. Literally.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: Patchy Groundfog, 2/7/2014 8:37:11 AM     (No. 9722926)

My first remark to the doctor would be to kick the bloody scribe out of the examination room.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: Avogadra, 2/7/2014 8:43:09 AM     (No. 9722931)

Let me say AMEN to #3´s suggestion about "Dr. Atkins´ Vita-Nutrient Solution. For instance, vitamin D3 has changed my life. I used to have colds all the time, but not one since I started it about 5 years ago. I take calcium citrate, not calcium oxide, and according to DEXA Scan results, it has helped with my osteoporosis. Finally, during these dark days of winter, 5-hydroxytryptophan really does improve my mood.

Not all supplements help all people. More is not necessarily better. But I have carefully chosen all the supplements I use, and my quality of life would be much worse if the FDA decided to take them away.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: Elvira, 2/7/2014 9:31:17 AM     (No. 9722978)

#s 3 & 9 Have convinced me to get the book. Especially if I can get help with my winter blues!

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Reply 11 - Posted by: mitzi, 2/7/2014 9:34:53 AM     (No. 9722980)

I´ve had various doctors tell me the same thing over the years.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: philemon1967, 2/7/2014 10:05:27 AM     (No. 9723013)

Given enough time, the rate of mortality in any human being is 100%. Cliche but truth.

You can take all the vitamins in the world and live to 120 but if much of that time is spent miserable and bitter, it is preferable to have a shorter 70 years if it is spent happily loving and being loved.

Yes, eat well, exercise but do so as a means to live well and not be obsessed with the idea that good health is owed you because you do all these things. Some people chase health fads hoping to live long but never really live life to its fullest until it is over.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: RancherJack, 2/7/2014 10:28:50 AM     (No. 9723040)

Krauthammer is dead to me.


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Reply 14 - Posted by: Arby, 2/7/2014 11:12:25 AM     (No. 9723121)

OK, so I´ve always been told that you live longer if your body temperature is a little cooler than ´average´. With Al Gore´s global warming it was -2 when I got up yesterday in a state where it´s usually 25-30 this time of year. Will this continuing ice age enable us to live longer so that we can dedicate our sunset years to ridiculing Gore and defeating the dims? If so, I´m down with it.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: jlw509, 2/7/2014 11:39:26 AM     (No. 9723170)

Posters, please read the whole Krauthammer article, not just the firrt few paragraphs. It´s not about multivitamins --- that was just the teaser. The whole rest of it was about the techno-gonzo follies of ObamaCare.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: OhMy, 2/7/2014 11:50:37 AM     (No. 9723187)

There is a lot of money riding on the outcome of the supplements vs drugs debate and so it will be politicized. Follow the money to help you evaluate the expert opinion. One of the difficulties is that natural cures are not patentable so a vitamin producer who funds a study into it´s effectiveness it giving away the money to competitors who can sell their product off the results as well as the one who paid for the study. The result of this is natural cures are dismissed as "anecdotal" because there is usually no expensive study to "prove" it works. This does not make it less effective. The drug companies can afford the studies but again corruption enters the process. The revolving door between the FDA and Big Pharma should be curbed or its influence acknowledged on these studies. The fact that big pharma can produce a higher return on investment ( ROI ) than other companies tells me a lot about the scientific validity of drug testing science. When I hear reps of big pharma talking about the money "wasted" on supplements I have to laugh. The medical establishment crying poor. Yes let us be humble and check out these health-care myths with big pharma and their supporters being scrutinized as well.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: Tall Oak, 2/7/2014 2:23:22 PM     (No. 9723420)

Whenever I have to see a doctor, which is seldom, they always want´t know if and how much alcohol I consume. My answer, 4 or 5 beers a day, to which they advise me to cut back. My standard answer to that is, "I know more old drunks than I do old doctors." They usually laugh and tell me that they have to let me know to cut back.

To let you know before the coming lectures, I´m 64 and have only been doctored for structural ailments, like ruptured disc and rotator cuff caused by years of physical work, but never for any permanent disease.

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Reply 18 - Posted by: Charactercounts, 2/7/2014 3:47:02 PM     (No. 9723570)

A veterinarian I know (vets learn a lot more about nutrition than MDs do, since our herd animals depend on it) once told me that America has the most nutrient-rich sewage in the world, #1.

As to electronic health records, the last doctor I saw who was using them barely looked at the patient, he spent all his time checking boxes on a little tablet he carried. Then he tried to generate a prescription, spent five minutes fooling around with that, and ended up writing it out by hand, which took 20 seconds.

Another doctor told his patient, no more questions, you´ve already used up your seven minute visit. If you have more questions, you have to make another appointment.

And Obamacare is only beginning.

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Reply 19 - Posted by: joew9, 2/7/2014 4:20:49 PM     (No. 9723621)

In Woody Allen´s Sleeper, Miles Monroe, a health food store proprietor, awakens after being cryogenically frozen 200 years and is immediately given a cigarette. Turns out everything he had thought was bad for him has now been deemed to be good. Allen was remarkably prescience in his spoof of health food way back in 1973.

Antioxidants are supported only by speculative theory. The scientists were saying, "well free radicals work like this so could it be that a dose of antioxidants will help the body to counter the free radicals?"
The idiot news media jumped on this speculation like it was some kind of evidence. No. It was only blue sky speculation. And so far the preponderance of evidence has only shown that the speculation was wrong.

It was worth speculating and worth investigating. The investigation takes time. But the news media doesn´t wait for scientific results. Unfortunately this gives a bad name to scientist for something that they actually did not do wrong while it should be giving a bad name to the news media.

A whole lot of science is "I wonder if it works like this?" And then we experiment and either prove it wrong or right. Most of the time we prove it wrong. And proving it wrong is usually informative in it´s own way. At a minimum we learn what doesn´t work.

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Reply 20 - Posted by: ArtieC, 2/7/2014 5:28:18 PM     (No. 9723690)

Just wait. In another year or two this will change. Nobody knows what the truth is about anything any more. No wonder the level of distrust in this country is unprecedented. I drink coffee because love the taste, thank you very much. And if I choose or not to take vitamins I´ll do that too.

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Reply 21 - Posted by: dman, 2/7/2014 5:34:55 PM     (No. 9723699)

IMO, Scripture has good advice here: moderation is key.

Now, as to moderation in the pursuit of justice .. (AuH2O is still my hero)

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Less than 16 hours after Chelsea Clinton announced she was pregnant, a lot of major news outlets started staring into the crystal ball of Chelsea’s womb, wondering what this currently floating zygotic multicellular being meant for the prospects of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, which is also a floating, zygotic, multicellular being. Their answer: The immaculately conceived Clinton child could mean everything. And no, it’s not just the fact that having a grandchild could be personally fulfilling to Hillary and Bill (mazel tov, by the way), or that a cute baby would be a sweet cherry on top of Hillary’s already

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