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We talk a lot about our physical health around here, and I think it's a good thing.  If you work hard on being physically healthy, it can often help with your mental health.  Many of us take vitamins and supplements, so I thought this article from the "Atlantic" might be of interest to people.

 

http://m.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/07/the-vitamin-myth-why-we-think-we-need-supplements/277947/

 

Some of the studies seem strange---why did they give the subjects in a study just a few vitamins?  And in some of the studies, they gave mega-doses, which I don't think is a great idea.  Anyway, it's all interesting and I'm still not giving up my multi-vitamin and my Vitamin D.

 

olga

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Thanks for posting. 

 

The "antioxidant paradox" is a really interesting theory. 

 

It is funny, though, that at the end they mention Pauling's death from prostate cancer as a kind of warning against taking high-dose vitamin C.  He was 93!

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I was *just* reading about this for my nutrition class today.

 

I think this is really the best summation:

 

The logic is obvious: if fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants -- and people who eat lots of fruits and vegetables are healthier -- then people who take supplemental antioxidants should also be healthier. In fact, they're less healthy.

 

It's because when you take supplements of antioxidants, you're not taking them "in the context" of the whole food in which they exist, so any benefit from naturally co-occurring vitamins and minerals is lost in the isolation of the particular compound.

 

At high doses, things that tend to act as antioxidants (vitamin C, A, E) start acting as pro-oxidants. I don't quite understand the science behind it yet.

However, if you're taking a regular multivitamin and vitamin D, olga, you're probably fine, especially since you live in a part of the world where you won't get enough sun exposure 3/4ths of the year to make your own sufficient supply. Though to be honest, you eat such a good variety of whole foods that you probably don't need the multivitamin!

 

(and I'm not a health care provider... just a random wingnut on the internet who's taking a class in nutrition)

Edited by Wooster
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That information looks pretty consistently in line with what I have been learning, Melissa. Thanks for finding it.

 

The one thing I noticed was different was that they talked about dairy milk for infants... Yesterday I learned that until about age 2, babies' intestinal lining isn't robust enough to handle dairy, and can cause irritation so much that the wee one gets microscopic intestinal bleeding.  :o

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Finally, a way that my laziness has helped me!  I'd much rather concentrate on buying good food than buying 30 dollars worth of vitamins a month.

 

That having been said, I'm on high dose vitamin D for another four weeks.  :glare:   But my levels were tested and they were very low, so probably even the doctors in those articles wouldn't take offense.

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