Serious Dangers of Synthetic & Unnatural Vitamins

Hip

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How about the years-long fable of CFS? Learned medical minds for decades tried to have us and the public believe there was valid scientific reasoning that conclusively established it doesn't really exist except in the patients' own delusional mind/psyche.
That's precisely what happens if you accept people's ideas and theories when there is no solid evidence.

There's almost no evidence to support the Wessely School view that ME/CFS is caused by the patient's own mind and thoughts. Yet inexplicably, most medical scientists around the world adopted Simon Wessely's theory that ME/CFS is an "all in the mind" condition, even though evidence was completely lacking.

Had those medical scientists taken a hard line and said: "Prof Wessely, where's the evidence for your theory", then we would have never been in this state.
 
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pamojja

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Learned medical minds for decades tried to have us and the public believe there was valid scientific reasoning that conclusively established it doesn't really exist except in the patients' own delusional mind/psyche.
From my perspective this for and against science debate in relation to man-made vitamins is not having any significance.

When I got sick 10 years ago the first thing I had to learn is to interpret studies. The difference between relative and absolute risk reduction, the difference between clinical, different kinds observational, meta, in-vitro and in-vivo, as well as the difference between animal and human studies, red flags, and so on and on, for being enabled to evaluate each study for it's value. My life depended on it.

And because in these 10 years I experienced remissions in a number of conditions - where all my docs said, I would have to take prescription meds for the rest of my life, without any hope of remission (from most docs one must have the impression they are the least trained in science) I must assume having done reasonably well at it, as a laymen. Evaluating possible benefits against always possible risk, with singling out the kernels of truth possibly found in studies.

Science isn't about believing in authorities in science, it is essentially finding the right questions to evaluate the truth of a proposed causality oneself. Especially when one's own life depends on it, as it really did in my case.
 
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I thought i would search for some information that mirrored my theory that synthetic vitamins make people sick(er) ... cause illness ... cause harm, etc.. All I wanted to do was point out my experience with fortified foods in the hopes it would help someone, or that someone would share their insight with me. I found a paper that appears to be on point.

Food Fortification and Supplement Use - Are there Health Implications?
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4692722/

The main sections I would like to point out are these ....

THE DRAWBACKS OF FORTIFICATION AND SUPPLEMENTATION

We now examine the adverse health outcomes associated with excessive intake of nutrients. In addition to toxicities related with chronic, excessive intake of fat-soluble vitamins; excess intake of some nutrients can interfere with the metabolism of other key nutrients (for example, chronic excessive intake of supplemental zinc can reduce the absorption of copper and iron). We discuss below adverse health outcomes and implications of calcium and folic acid excess. ....

Adverse effects of excess calcium intake have been reported in both men and women. Warensjo ... recently reported that older women consuming > 1137 mg of calcium daily ... showed a higher rate of hip fracture .... In men, higher dietary calcium has been linked with increased incidence of prostate cancer.

..... the Women's Health Initiative data, Bolland et al. (2011a) similarly concluded that ≥ 500 mg calcium supplements with or without vitamin D increase the risk of cardiovascular events, especially myocardial infarction. ...

The Iowa Women's Health Study researchers evaluated the association of mortality with the use of multivitamins and several individual nutrients (pyridoxine, folic acid, magnesium, iron, zinc and copper) in more than 38,000 women > 60 years of age. Folic acid intake was associated with higher mortality among older women ... .

Additionally, multivitamin and mineral supplements, the most frequently consumed dietary supplement was associated with increased mortality ... in the Iowa Women's Study ... . Antioxidant supplements promoted to fight oxidative damage by free radicals have demonstrated significant adverse effects with use in several large clinical trials. The ATBC trial evaluated the benefit of alpha-tocopherol (50 mg/day) and/or beta carotene (20 mg/day) on the incidence of lung cancer and other cancers in 29,133 male smokers. Men who received beta carotene had a higher incidence of lung cancer after 18 months which increased progressively thereafter. A higher incidence of cancers of the bladder, stomach, and other sites were diagnosed in the participants who received alpha-tocopherol. ....

With increasing dietary supplement use and availability of more foods and beverages with nutrient fortification, consumption of nutrients above the recommended UL in various life stage groups will continue to increase. This raises the potential of adverse events, not only with nutrient toxicities, but secondary complications such as increased cancer incidence and declining organ function. Health implications of these increased intakes are examined below in greater detail. ....

HEALTH IMPLICATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

... It is evident that vitamin and mineral needs for disease prevention and management are dissimilar and that adverse health outcomes with excess intake are prevalent ... . Additionally, cancer patients undergoing treatment are cautioned to avoid certain nutrient supplements due to possible interference with therapy. However, no limitations are placed on food consumption, since there are no data indicating that fortified nutrients from foods cause any harm. With discretionary fortification and addition of “synthetic” ... nutrients to food, should patients be advised to limit intake of fortified foods during treatment? We do not know whether fortification has the potential to disrupt the synergistic effect of naturally present nutrients. We also do not know the long term impact of discretionary fortification on the health of consumers, since adverse outcomes may not necessarily be evident immediately. ...

The issues surrounding the combined use of food fortification and supplement use are complex. These issues present a pressing public health concern that should be addressed. For example, should discretionary or indiscriminate food fortification be allowed to continue? Should discretionary fortification be regulated? Which foods should be fortified and which foods should be exempt from fortification? Which nutrients should be included in the fortification program? And finally, what range of nutrient fortification should be considered? Stratification of the nutrient requirements for different age groups makes different levels of food fortification an enormous challenge. In light of increasing dietary supplement use, indiscriminate food fortification is ill advised, and should be better enforced and regulated. Additionally, it may be time for the regulatory agencies to define and then enforce what percentage of RDAs dietary supplements can provide, so they can complement dietary intake while minimizing excess intake of nutrients. A research priority should be to identify populations with higher nutrient needs and those at risk for adverse health outcomes with increased nutrient intake from both fortified food and supplements.
 
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pamojja

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, or that someone would share their insight with me
I posted some time ago my thoughts about which minerals and vitamins at high doses are better avoided, and especially folic acid, which for a large part of the population is probably to their disadvantage, in this post on an other forum.

And actually totally agree that food fortification almost equals medical treatment without having been asked for informed consent. I personally want to know what amounts of added nutrients I'm getting. Needless to say, I avoid any industrially produced foods. Therefore don't really have this problem of unknown amounts of nutrients but moreover unknown other chemical additives through prepackaged foods.

I agree this aspect of unknown additives is really scary, just got as gift some packets of 'Wobenzym' from someone no more using it, of which before I read good things. But always been to costly for my budget. What a shock when I read the ingredients label under other ingredients (in German, since I don't ever needed to know their english translations):

Mikrokristaline Cellulose, Lactose-Monhydrat, gereinigtes Wasser, Macrogol 6000, Talkum, Eudragit L12,5, Triethylcitrat, Saccharose, Calciumcarbonat, Titandioxid E-171, Povidon, Kaolin, Vanilin, Farbe Chinolingelb E-104, Erythrosin E-127, gebleichtes Wachs, Carnaubawachs, Schellack

- beside about 200mg beneficial ingredients of rutin, papain, trypsin, chemotrypsin, bromelain, and pancreas powder. Thanks god, there are many much more considerate supplement companies, that do take care to not add all that trash. But Wobenzym is produced by a pharma company here. One always has to read the ingredients label, if necessary with a magnifying glass!

(for example, chronic excessive intake of supplemental zinc can reduce the absorption of copper and iron)
Regardless of zinc, most omnivorous males and postmenopausal females rather suffer from iron overload. To fortify with iron without a warning of the exact milligrams is indeed worrying.

Supplementation itself especially of iron, zinc, copper or manganese is of course only wise with being self-informed and having done most basic lab-testing. For example I had copper overload which needed high doses of zinc and avoidance of copper in supplements for many years to correct.

Adverse effects of excess calcium intake have been reported in both men and women.
See the video Death by Calcium. I'm of the view that calcium needs are just too individual, so better stay away from any supplementation unless you know your calcium levels. In my case years long deficiency came up into the middle range with vitamin D alone.

The ATBC trial evaluated the benefit of alpha-tocopherol (50 mg/day) and/or beta carotene (20 mg/day) on the incidence of lung cancer and other cancers in 29,133 male smokers. Men who received beta carotene had a higher incidence of lung cancer after 18 months which increased progressively thereafter.
That's a good example to exercise verifying studies about their actual significance. If one searches one finds for example this follow-up review:

These findings suggest that the adverse effects of high-dose β-carotene on lung cancer incidence and overall mortality observed in the CARET and ATBC trials may be related to the pharmacologic doses of β-carotene used and the resultant supra-physiologic serum concentrations of β-carotene. This explanation is consistent with the apparent protective effect of β-carotene on lung cancer incidence and mortality reported in observational epidemiologic studies ( 2 – 4 ) , as well as in the recently reported 10-year post-intervention follow-up of the General Population Nutrition Intervention Trial of the combination of 30 mg α-tocopherol, 15 mg β-carotene, and 50 μg selenium in a poorly nourished Chinese population, which showed continued protection against total and cancer mortality ( 14 ) , and the null results from the PHS. Indeed, we agree with Forman and Altman ( 15 ) , who noted that “the effect on disease with long latency periods of pharmacological doses of specific micronutrients over a few years in middle-aged adults is a different scenario from physiological doses of the same micronutrients provided as part of a balanced diet on a lifelong basis, starting in childhood”. We also agree with Mayne et al. ( 16 ) , who noted that “interventions aimed at restoring levels of a given nutrient in populations at nutritional risk… may be more effective than interventions that emphasize populations with adequate nutrient status and supplementing to supra-adequacy” ( 16 ) .
Emphasis added by me. That's why I warned in my post linked to above especially of beta-carotene in higher doses too. Check your multivitamin if it contains too much. Also the vitamin E used available at that time of the ABTC trial was only synthetic, which @Hip already warned from. And nowadays can be easily avoided, at least in supplements.

Long ago I looked in the actual numbers of this trial, sadly can't find the sources now again. It's however a good example to understand the difference between absolute and relative risk.

Treatment: 14 560 patients
Placebo: 14 573 patients

No. of lung cancers
Treatment: 474
Placebo: 402

The relative difference in this case is 18%, but the absolute is smaller than 1%

It does take some self-education for not making the usual mistakes in supplementation. But in the end there is only a limited number of nutrients to learn about.

Ingredients labels can be read and problematic nutrients as well as fortified food can be avoided.
 
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"Ingredients labels can be read and problematic nutrients as well as fortified food can be avoided."

Well Pam that's easier said than done. Trying to find, afford, and acquire, (prepared) food that is unfortified is nearly impossible. I am in the process of doing it right now and it's proving a very difficult task.

I also have mast cell activation disorder so my choices of food to start with are limited a great deal already.

Finding unfortified, prepared, food for someone with inflammatory bowel disease and mast cell disorder is nearly impossible.
 
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pamojja

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Trying to find, afford, and acquire, (prepared) food that is unfortified is nearly impossible.
That's my shopping list with most commonly used items:

sauerkraut, red cabbage, kimchi, natto, cucumber, olive, carrot, bell pepper, red beet, tomato, potato starch, celery, chickpeas, bitter gourd, lady finger, garlic, onion, salad, broccoli, eggplant, radish, kohlrabi, lentil, green bean, coconut, macadamia, walnut, hazelnut, pekan nut, brazil nut, flax seed, pumpkin seed, sesame seed, black seed, chia seed, spirulina, chlorella, cocoa powder, coffee beans, tulsi tea, red wine, blueberry, apple, orange, avocado, black currant, red currant, blackberry, apple vinegar, egg, curd, aged cheese, ghee, mackerel, sardines, honey, salmon, cod liver, mollusc, beef (only once a month since 1 year), turmeric, salt, pepper, ginger, cinnamon..

Things where it's important (meat, coffee, certain berries and veggies) only organic, fish only wild caught. Some items pickled or fermented by traditional methods. Only industrially prepared food is at least 85% dark chocolate.

The nuts, seed and fruit components I use in muesli together with 2 soft-boiled eggs and coffee in the morning. Everything else in various combinations for dinner. Only eat twice each day.

But I'm sure even with such a list of 'real foods' many of the pollutants still can't be avoided. Also on my regular six week vacations to South-India (where organic isn't available and every piece of soil contaminated) I probably get more pollutants than the rest of the year at home.

1 thing for sure: The unneccesary and potentially harmful chemical additives/pollutants in supplements will be always exceeded by those through food and water by their sheer amounts.
 
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i cannot eat most of those foods, and herbs, you just listed because of mast cell disorder or crohn's disease or autoimmune disease in general. the days are gone when i could just eat an apple or handful of nuts. fermented foods are high histamine. i either have a histamine response or intestinal pain and bloody stools to most of what you just listed. besides, i am talking about prepared foods that i don't have to put a lot of effort in to make. like rice cakes and a nut butter. i have tried many, many, nut butters and all make me feel like i am dying ... a bad histamine response / anaphylaxis due to mast cell disorder NOT an allergy. i got allergy shots for a year ... it's not allergies.

i understand that natural whole foods are not fortified with synthetic vitamins! you completely missed the point. i spend 90% of my energy making myself food and there's nothing left, energy wise, after i get a little bite to eat. food has become the most difficult aspect of my disease at this point.

i can only eat very small meals and am certainly not going to eat only twice a day. that seems like bad advice for anyone even if they weren't sick.
 

pamojja

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@lilwren I'm aware and feel really sorry for your tire situation in which only a handful of food are left for you do eat. I just posted my list because it's long, so there are chances you haven't thought about some items already for a long time. And eating twice wasn't meant as advise, just as it always been with me. I too eat most of that raw (90%) without any preparation time to speak of.

i cannot eat most of those foods, and herbs, you just listed because of mast cell disorder or crohn's disease or autoimmune disease in general. the days are gone when i could just eat an apple or handful of nuts. fermented foods are high histamine. i either have a histamine response or intestinal pain and bloody stools to most of what you just listed.
You have all of these conditions, or you're still not sure?
 

Wayne

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i cannot eat most of those foods... food has become the most difficult aspect of my disease at this point.
@lilwren -- Really sorry to hear how difficult this is for you. The severity reminded me of a TESTIMONIAL by a woman who had very serious gastroparesis, and had it clear up from using mHBOT. Below is a brief snippet from that testimonial. BTW, I have my own mHBOT unit, and really like it for how well it calms my brain and neurological system. I haven't noticed anything per se about whether it's improved my digestion.

"I started out doing hbot at 2.0 ata at my doctor’s office and had amazing results with overall inflammation reduction, energy, brain clarity, and complete remission of gastroparesis symptoms. Previously I took 9 digestive enzyme capsules per day along with intestinal and colon cleansers. That’s about 21 capsules per day that I no longer need for my digestion and bowels to function."
 
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OMG wayne the chambers are $4,000! i'll have to see if anyone has one locally ... maybe a chiropractor's office or something. i've always wanted to try one and have read great things about them, but geez $4k is out of my reach.

i can't take enzymes because i get a huge histamine response from them. i think they would help a great deal, but can't afford to keep buying $40 bottles ... take one ... and then put it in the drawer or throw it out. for a few years i was able to take Alpha-galactosidase, but it recently started making me very sick. i have several histamine enzymes saved in my amazon shopping list, but can't bring myself to waste more money .. they are $60-$80 a bottle.

my immune system is in high gear and i can't get it to quiet down. my white blood cell count was through the roof last time i had a blood test (several years ago). prednisone is not helping. nothing i try has helped ... and i try lots of things all the time ... i never give up. the doctor i had a few years ago fired me telling me "You don't have enough money to find out what's wrong with you". i then went to the health dept and after a year of unrelated, unnecessary, tests they declared i had autoimmune syndrome "find a rheumatologist" and told me not to come back. i found a rheumatologist one county over and after my consult he handed me my check back and told me i was too sick and he didn't want to deal with me. SO ... i can't pay anyone to help me. it's terrible to not have access to medical care when you need it most. i'm in the process of applying for medicare, but not getting my hopes up that i'll get any help.

the only thing that keeps me going are forums like this and the hope that the next thing i try will help.
 
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My husband is completely addicted to supplements and eats almost no real food. He has like a suitcase. Tons of our money just disappears each month. We get in big fights about it. He swears each thing is totally required, if he doesn't take it, all these bad symptoms will worsen. I don't believe him.

I take like 10 supplemnts and he takes like 68. Then all these packages of concentrated supplements that also aren't food.
 

pamojja

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Well, some conditions are very obvious, when they come back with vengeance after stopping supplementation. I agree though, comprehensive supplementation has to be supplemented with a clean and varied diet. :nerd:

Then all these packages of concentrated supplements that also aren't food.
Worst is all the plastic waste from empty supplement bottles. Though most ingredients in supplements are indeed the same molecules as found in food and are essential for good health. At the higher doses found in supplements - not found in any food - some of these nutrients do expose pharmaceutical effects. But with the great advantage of not being able to cause such serious side-effects as real prescribtion drugs, even taken long-term (ie. Niacin, Ascorbic acid etc.).
 

Mary

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He swears each thing is totally required, if he doesn't take it, all these bad symptoms will worsen. I don't believe him.
@Rufous McKinney - you might consider cutting your husband some slack. I take a ton of supplements daily. And the thing is, I read a lot about everything before I start taking it, I take each thing for a reason, and I have found in general that when I try to cut back, I start doing worse. Overall I'm doing a lot better than 10 years ago, and it's due to these supplements. Before ME/CFS, I didn't have to take all these things to function, but now I do.

e.g., I take 10 capsules of BCAAs alone a day. This has cut my PEM recovery time in half. Without this, my crashes will last 3 days, and I crash at least once a week, so this one supplement alone has given me part of my life back. But somebody who doesn't know what I'm taking or why will just see a big handful of pills. I'd be happy to explain to them what each thing is for, but they don't want to take the time to find out. All they know is they do fine without all this stuff, so don't think I should need it either.

I totally understand about the money issue. I hate spending all this money, and yet it has given me small pieces of my life back. I hope someday we find the root of this illness and I can start doing other things with my money besides buying pills!
 
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Second star to the right ...
Had those medical scientists taken a hard line and said: "Prof Wessely, where's the evidence for your theory", then we would have never been in this state.
But that would require that they have any willingness, or even the basic information with which to question 'received wisdom' and dog paddle, ever so slightly, against the tide.


In the words of the immortal David Spade, "Not gonna happen" .....
Science isn't about believing in authorities in science, it is essentially finding the right questions to evaluate the truth of a proposed causality oneself. Especially when one's own life depends on it, as it really did in my case.
Hallelujah and absolutely agree !!!
All I wanted to do was point out my experience with fortified foods in the hopes it would help someone, or that someone would share their insight with me.
Apparently, a lot of people are doing just this, and this appears to be a hot button topic.


Thank you so much for starting this interesting and informative thread, @lilwren, and don't despair or feel attacked. It's just everyone sharing their opinions, some of them, including my own, strongly held.
Warensjo ... recently reported that older women consuming > 1137 mg of calcium daily ... showed a higher rate of hip fracture .... In men, higher dietary calcium has been linked with increased incidence of prostate cancer.
This was done without supplementing with Vit D, accompanied by K7, or K4 or both. The calcium would have most likely been stored interstitially or in arteries, which accounts for the weak bones. And the cardiac issues mentioned below.


As @pamojja has already said, it's really important to look at the study/research itself, read the details, be aware of what's gone into the creation of what you're being asked to believe. Always peek behind the curtain.

Like so many others, this is a particularly flawed and misleading study. I get the creeping feeling that the mainstream medical community is deeply alarmed by the number of potential patients seeking outher sources of healing, and are doing their best to deep six those options.
the Women's Health Initiative data, Bolland et al. (2011a) similarly concluded that ≥ 500 mg calcium supplements with or without vitamin D increase the risk of cardiovascular events, especially myocardial infarction. ...
Yeah. No. See above.
Men who received beta carotene had a higher incidence of lung cancer after 18 months which increased progressively thereafter. A higher incidence of cancers of the bladder, stomach, and other sites were diagnosed in the participants who received alpha-tocopherol.
If I'm remembering correctly, the most frequently and heavily quoted 'research' study was extremely limited in the number of participants, used only men, and most of them came into the research with ongoing pre-existing health issues. It was flawed in other ways, as well, tho I cant recall and am too tired to dredge that info up.