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Vitamin supplements bad?

2008-05-03 06:08:46.102166+00 by Dan Lyke 8 comments

Anti-oxidant supplements such as A, E and Beta-Carotene could lower life expectancy:

Looking at dozens of previous studies, Copenhagen University researchers suggested these appeared to raise, not lower, the risk of early death.

[ related topics: Health ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2008-05-03 13:05:52.144721+00 by: ziffle [edit history]

hhumm at least All Eggs Have Antibiotics and we feel healthier about that - Not.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-05-03 15:53:55.731442+00 by: TheSHAD0W

They show an increase in the risk, but not the total risk or the actual amount of increased risk. It might be worthwhile, for instance, to have a 0.5% risk of early death in exchange for a better life experience.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-05-03 17:02:46.438387+00 by: meuon

Or do a higher percentage of people with other health issues take vitamins?

I know I can feel the difference if I've been eating poorly, and can offset that some by taking basic multivitamins. It's better to eat better.. and I'm about to strip a bike and put it back together so I can get back to doing some exercise I enjoy.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-05-04 22:50:53.85561+00 by: JT [edit history]

Or do a higher percentage of people with other health issues take vitamins?

I think you're onto something with this one. I think there are a lot of factors that lead into these studies that aren't taken into effect. There is very limited data introduced and a conclusion drawn using limited input into the equation.

I remember reading a story about how riding your bicycle was bad for the environment. It seems that driving your car and not exercising contributed to an early death, so in effect, riding your bicycle would give you a longer life, which increases the length of your "carbon footprint" and you therefore did more damage due to electricity consumption, food consumption, etc than if you just got fat and lazy and had a heart attack at 65. This also didn't take into effect changes in technology and whether people who rode bicycles were more apt to recycle or use recyclable products, compost, etc.

For the most part, I think studies say what they're paid to say.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-05-05 00:21:56.862977+00 by: meuon

I think I saw a study that said that, and another that refuted it. By the same group.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-05-05 19:50:47.938699+00 by: m

Energy and pollution audits are extremely difficult to conduct accurately and completely. Such analysis is so subject to manipulation and distortion for the purpose of buttressing preexisting agendas, as to render just about anything printed in the mass media meaningless.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-05-06 13:03:06.521688+00 by: JT

Here's an interesting take on data. Adopted teens face higher risk of ADHD... via NPR.

Keyes and her research team studied 692 adolescents who had been adopted before age 2. When Keyes tested them, they were roughly 15 years old. Researchers conducted in-depth psychological interviews to check them for depression, anxiety, ADHD and ODD. For comparison, Keyes and colleagues also interviewed a control group of teenagers raised by their biological parents.

This lends some interesting places for speculation along the lines of the parents of the children who were giving them up for adoption. Could there have been a higher for potential of drug problems? Alcoholism? Mental or Psychological issues? Teenagers who were unwilling to use birth control? How does that compare with the "control group" of people who were willing and able to raise their own children?

#Comment Re: made: 2008-05-06 13:37:08.73784+00 by: Diane Reese

On the other hand, there could also be some element of the "difficult to manage" children being too exhausting, leading to them being more available in the pool of adoptable children.

Having had a severely ADHD kid, whose outlier status was evident before age 2, I know that it can be hell on earth. (I kid you not, every single day with that kid was utter exhaustion, and I realized in my heart how one could be driven to injuring or abusing one's child, if one didn't have the proper support mechanisms in place.) I used to say that if Number Two had been Number One, there would never have been a Number Two. I remembered clearly that when Number One was little and would cry, I would hurry in to see what I could do to help. I horrified myself one day when I realized that after a while, my first thought when Number Two cried was, "Oh shit, not him again."

If I were having difficulties otherwise, I can imagine how "easy" it might have been to give Number Two up for adoption.

And now almost 20 years later, I know that that would have been one of the worst mistakes of my life.