Archive | Vitamins

Do vitamin drips really work? The evidence says ‘no’, so save your money and eat real food

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Posted 21 January 2020

By Emily Burch Fearon

The Conversation

Do vitamin drips really work? The evidence says ‘no’, so save your money and eat real food

Want to boost your immune system, reduce your physical signs of ageing, or cleanse your blood to get rid of toxins? Intravenous (IV) vitamin therapy, or vitamin drips, promise to help. Some claim they can even benefit serious conditions like cancer, Parkinson’s disease, the eye condition macular degeneration, the pain of fibromyalgia and depression.

Celebrities have promoted them on social media. The demand has led to alternative therapy lounges popping up around the world, including in Australia. Patients can kick back in comfy leather chairs while they’re hooked up to IVs in the infusion lounge, watch Netflix and have some tea.

But do they work? Or are you just paying for really expensive urine? Let’s look at what the science says.

What is

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Sixty seconds on . . . vitamin drips

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Posted 27 July 2019

From the British Medical Journal

Sixty seconds on . . . vitamin drips

Abi Rimmer The BMJ
BMJ 2019; 366 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l4596 (Published 08 July 2019)

Vitamin what?

Vitamin drips. In the latest trend to sweep the “wellness” market, some people are now choosing to get their vitamin hit through “intravenous (IV) drip therapy.” Vitamin injections or “shots” are also available.

Why?

The companies offering these drips say that they have a whole host of benefits, ranging from basic hydration to anti-ageing. IV Boost UK, for example, offers “skin brightening IV therapy,” which it says “lightens and brightens for clear glowing skin”—for £180 (€201; $225).1 And REVIV says its IV infusion therapies “target a variety of wellness needs.”2

Are they a problem?

Some people have expressed concern over the claims these companies are making. On 2 July a company called Get A Drip withdrew its £250 … Read the rest

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Large-scale study finds most vitamin and mineral supplements have no positive effect

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Posted 12 September 2018

Many scientists claim that, for most people, the only outcome from taking vitamin supplements is expensive urine. Now an international team of scientists has added weight to that belief in a large-scale meta-analysis that has concluded that most common vitamin supplements provide no health benefits, particularly in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke and premature death.

Perhaps the most fundamental takeaway from this study is defiantly unsurprising but always worth restating. For those eating a normal, healthy diet, vitamin and mineral supplements are simply a waste of money. Extra boosts of vitamins we do not need will not confer enhanced protective benefits from disease or help us live longer.

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Older Americans Are ‘Hooked’ on Vitamins

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Posted 18 April 2018

By Liz Szabo, Kaiser Health News April 3, 2018

When she was a young physician, Dr. Martha Gulati noticed that many of her mentors were prescribing vitamin E and folic acid to patients. Preliminary studies in the early 1990s had linked both supplements to a lower risk of heart disease.

She urged her father to pop the pills as well: “Dad, you should be on these vitamins, because every cardiologist is taking them or putting their patients on [them],” recalled Dr. Gulati, now chief of cardiology for the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix.

But just a few years later, she found herself reversing course, after rigorous clinical trials found neither vitamin E nor folic acid supplements did anything to protect the heart. Even worse, studies linked high-dose vitamin E to a higher risk of heart failure, prostate cancer and death from any cause.

Dr. Gulati Read the rest

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Vitamin infusion drips

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Posted 14 March 2018

A recent craze spreading throughout the world is the use of ‘quickfix’ vitamin infusion ‘therapy’.

Danny Kaye Vitamin Infusion Danny Kaye promotes a vitamin infusion.

This company claims that for their Luminance Drip, costing only R1,500, helps keep your hair skin and nails looking pristine. It contains a high dose Glutathione, along with Vitamin C.

The company claims: “Vitamins and minerals used in our infusions are essential for biochemical reactions in every cell in our bodies. Our wide range of well-being treatments of vitamin infusions, are safe and most effective for sustaining long-term health and well-being”.

Consumers are bombarded by advertising for intravenous “therapy” products, with claims that appear to be truthful and believable.

This is pseudoscience at its best, for the statement seems to be true, but is actually not based on credible evidence for this specific ‘therapy’. For the average person, a balanced diet supplies all your Read the rest

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Vitamin and Mineral Supplements What Doctors Need to Know

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Posted 8 February 2018

From JAMA

Dietary supplementation is approximately a $30 billion industry in the United States, with more than 90 000 products on the market. In recent national surveys, 52% of US adults reported use of at least 1 supplement product, and 10% reported use of at least 4 such products.1 Vitamins and minerals are among the most popular supplements and are taken by 48% and 39% of adults, respectively, typically to maintain health and prevent disease.

Despite this enthusiasm, most randomized clinical trials of vitamin and mineral supplements have not demonstrated clear benefits for primary or secondary prevention of chronic diseases not related to nutritional deficiency. Indeed, some trials suggest that micronutrient supplementation in amounts that exceed the recommended dietary allowance (RDA)—eg, high doses of beta carotene, folic acid, vitamin E, or selenium—may have harmful effects, including increased mortality, cancer, and hemorrhagic stroke.2

In this Read the rest

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Food supplements prey on people’s desire for change

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Posted 13 January 2016

This article by Clare Allan and published in The Guardian, argues that that supplement peddlers prey on our vulnerabilities. They prey on our desire for change and on our lack of confidence in our own ability to effect it.

It won’t make the slightest difference. We believe because we want, or sometimes need, to believe. We feel powerless in the face of poor health, intractable external demands or our seeming inability to stick to a sensible diet plan. Sometimes we don’t even believe, that raspberry ketones, for example, will transform our bodies for us, but wouldn’t it be great if they did? It’s a lottery-ticket mentality. In it to win it. You never know, and besides what harm can it do?

In the case of raspberry ketones, it seems that there is potential for considerable harm. In 2013, 24-year-old Cara Reynolds died after taking an
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Supplements Don’t Fight Cognitive Decline, N.I.H. Study Says

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Posted 03 September 2015

This article by Roni Caryn Rabin and published in the New York Times on 31 August 2015, refers to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, who randomly assigned participants to take a lutein/zeaxanthin supplement, a supplement of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EHA), both or a placebo. The study recruited more than 3,500 subjects with an average age of 73.

The researchers evaluated the subjects’ cognitive function when they enrolled and then every two years. At the end of the study, the researchers did not find any differences among groups that had taken supplements and the placebo group.

Continue reading at the New York Times

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Fish Oil Claims Not Supported by Research

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Posted 31 March 2015

By Anahad O’Connor
March 30, 2015 5:06 pm

“Fish oil is now the third most widely used dietary supplement in the United States, after vitamins and minerals, according to a recent report from the National Institutes of Health. At least 10 percent of Americans take fish oil regularly, most believing that the omega-3 fatty acids in the supplements will protect their cardiovascular health. 

But there is one big problem: The vast majority of clinical trials involving fish oil have found no evidence that it lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.”

Continue reading this article published in the New York Times.

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What the Dietary Supplement Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know

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Posted 14 July 2014

This interesting article, was published on July 3, 2014 on www.alternet.org

“The nutritional supplement industry is big. Real big. Like $32 billion a year big, according to Forbes Magazine. And that amount, says Forbes, is expected to double by 2021. That’s a lot of vitamins. In fact, almost half of the U.S. population takes vitamins. Must be good for what ails you, right? Well, maybe not. Those billions of dollars go very far to enrich the supplement industry, but according to numerous scientific studies, virtually nowhere to enrich your health. In fact, because your body excretes out many of the vitamins it can’t use, you might say you are literally flushing that money right down the toilet.”

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