Supplements-do you trust them?

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katie
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2014/01/19 04:50:02 (permalink)

Supplements-do you trust them?

I came across this article in a newsletter I get called Arthritis-Advisor put out by the Cleveland Clinic.  They had an article on herbal supplements that included this:  "recent research from Canada using a test called DNA barcoding examined 44 bottles of popular supplements sold by 12 companies.  The study, published in BMC Medicine(Nov 2013), found that the supplements were not what they claimed to be, and that the pills labeled as certain herbs were often diluted-or entirely replaced-by fillers such as soybean, wheat and rice.
 Among the findings, a ginkgo biloba supplement promoted as a memory enhancer was contaminated with black walnut, a potentially deadly hazard for people with nut allergies."

While this study seems to be specific to herbal supplements...I've been more wary since discovering that the filler "soy" is now in a lot of fish oil supplements.  I'm trying to get more of what I need from natural foods but it's not easy for some things.  What are your thoughts on the supplements you take...do you have confidence in them and can you tell if they are helping your body?

 ~A moment of patience in a moment of anger saves you a hundred moments of regret.~
#1

26 Replies Related Threads

    katie
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    Re:Supplements-do you trust them? 2014/01/19 04:53:34 (permalink)
    oops...I just read the guidelines for the nutrition forum...it says no supplements or pills...sorry Collage...although supplements have come up before and no one seems to mind....oh well.

     ~A moment of patience in a moment of anger saves you a hundred moments of regret.~
    #2
    Alice Kathleen
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    Re:Supplements-do you trust them? 2014/01/19 05:46:00 (permalink)
    I want to, as I buy Evening Primrose Oil,  it's the only one I take.   Oh,  "krill oil".   

    I gave up daily vitamins after reading that excess of a certain B and calcium are not good for those
    with a family history of heart disease.   ????   It's a tough decision,  what to do, who to believe, 
    how much to take.
    #3
    kimd
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    Re:Supplements-do you trust them? 2014/01/19 16:00:03 (permalink)
    AK, I agree it's tough to figure out. It's ironic to me when I think about all the FDA-approved medicines so readily available despite potentially deadly side effects, but when it comes to vitamins and supplements, we get no guidance or consistency. I don't want to get controversial, but, you know, big money...
    #4
    Slinks
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    Re:Supplements-do you trust them? 2014/01/19 16:38:25 (permalink)
    How about this one .. 

    To test if your tablets have undesolvable fillers, I can't remember the parts water and vinigar probably 1/4 vin and 1 cup water ??? Pop a pill in it to desolve, if it's got floaties it's sawdust, if it's got sinkies it's sand .. everything should desolve .. scary !!

    $0
    #5
    Vantreesta
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    Re:Supplements-do you trust them? 2014/01/20 08:46:34 (permalink)
    katie
    oops...I just read the guidelines for the nutrition forum...it says no supplements or pills...sorry Collage...although supplements have come up before and no one seems to mind....oh well.

    i've wondered about this guideline too, katie.  i was never sure if it meant supplements period or if it meant weight loss supplements, which would make sense to me.  like you said, we've had threads on supps before.


    "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
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    LNW
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    Re:Supplements-do you trust them? 2014/01/20 08:53:36 (permalink)
    Gross Slinks!  I'm a homeschooler so most all my friends are the "crunchy" type.  I'm not really sure why homeschoolers are like that, maybe because we are living on one income and have to save money somehow ;)  
    Anyways, a lot of them live on supplements and rave about them.  I have friends who have a this or that for whatever ails you.  I just got over a cold, with good ol rest and water.  But my crunchy friends insisted I would have kicked it fast had I eaten some cloves of raw garlic.  I'm not sure what that would have achieved besides me vomiting my face off but they ALL swear by it.  Even my friends who are nurses are all on the natural, herbal bandwagon.
    Personally I like to just suffer through it until I'm like coughing up blood or something ;)  I'm sure not eating raw garlic :P  No offense to those of you who may.  

    My husband was the Director of IT for a pharmaceutical company and they did clinical trials of drugs at his facility.  He said the drs and nurses call the vitamins and supplements they test "bedpan bullets" because they come out in exactly the same shape they went in.  The nurses have the distinct privilege of digging through the testers stool to dig out the pills to see what, if any of it, was digested.
    I stopped wasting my money on vitamins and junk after that.  Besides, after my year long adventure in mega doses of iron pills just to have my iron levels get LOWER I have learned the best way to get your vitamins and minerals is through food.  I juice, I smoothie and I eat gross things that I certainly wish there was a simple pill version of so I wouldn't have to, to get what I need.  Plus your body digests and absorbs that stuff better anyways.
    #7
    Vantreesta
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    Re:Supplements-do you trust them? 2014/01/20 09:30:33 (permalink)
    what does "crunchy type" mean??


    "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
    #8
    LNW
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    Re:Supplements-do you trust them? 2014/01/20 10:39:31 (permalink)
    Natural type people.  In my circle you are "crunchy" if you home birth, exclusively breastfeed, use cloth diapers ONLY, wear your babies, use all natural products, homeopathic remedies and of course you have to homeschool.  I'm so NOT crunchy even though I did/do a lot of those things.
    Some people like to think crunchy is the new hippie but that isn't accurate.
    #9
    katie
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    Re:Supplements-do you trust them? 2014/01/20 11:00:40 (permalink)
    Thanks LNW, I've not heard the term "crunchy" before and was wondering too.  :)   Also, the info on the nurses and the "bedpan bullets".  Can't really argue with that.  lol  My provider has also emphasized that you get the best nutrition from real foods and that you can actually get toxic levles of vitamin C taken in supplements but that you can take as much as you want from real food and never worry about too much(at least with Vitamin C anyway).  Some things are really hard though....I constantly battle below normal levels of vitamin D even though I try to get a lot through food and take a supplement but maybe the supplement doesn't have in it what they say it does.  Hard to get enough sun since we live in a northern climate and are covered up a lot.  At one point I was so deficient that my provider put me on a prescription dose and then at least I got into the low normal levels.  I'm thinking of asking her to put me on that dose again.  I figure if it's prescription than it has to be FDA approved and so would have had to go through quality testing.
    post edited by katie - 2014/01/20 11:10:27

     ~A moment of patience in a moment of anger saves you a hundred moments of regret.~
    #10
    LNW
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    Re:Supplements-do you trust them? 2014/01/20 12:06:29 (permalink)
    Katie the same thing happened with me and my iron levels.  They were really low so my dr put me on a crazy high dose of iron 3xs a day.  After a year my levels were lower then they were when I started so I stopped using the pills.

    I started eating a super iron rich diet, every kind of iron rich food I could google up.  The stuff I couldn't stomach in the amounts I needed to get any benefit from them I juiced or tossed into smoothies.


    I finally got my iron level up but only in the just barley normal range.  I talked with my dr about it and he suggested that my body may not absorb iron very well.  He set me up with a nutritionist.  


    She discovered that while I was stuffing myself with iron rich foods I was also stuffing my face with foods that inhibit the absorption of iron.  I eat a diet very high in whole wheat and I drink a lot of tea and coffee which apparently all make it harder for your body to absorb iron.


    So she told me to eat more food rich is vitamin C, which apparently makes it easier for your body to absorb iron, and cut out some of the wheat an coffee but keep up with the iron rich foods and I should see and increase.  She was right!  4 months later my iron levels were well within the normal range.


    Why does food have to be so hard?
    post edited by LNW - 2014/01/20 12:07:00
    #11
    Simone
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    Re:Supplements-do you trust them? 2014/01/21 01:00:10 (permalink)
    LNW - what iron-rich foods did you find most helpful? I am currently on the mega-dose of iron three times per day.  I have googled iron-rich foods and try to eat them.  I used to eat mostly a vegetarian diet, so I was eating spinach, beans, fortified cereal, etc.  I have recently tried adding some red meat to my diet because I read bodies absorb iron from animal sources better.  My iron level fell quite a bit when I was only taking 3 times the RDA, so I am curious to see what my next reading is.
    #12
    katie
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    Re:Supplements-do you trust them? 2014/01/21 05:07:44 (permalink)
    LNW, so glad you got to that nutritionist.  It's amazing what some of the answers are if we just know how to get there. 
    Well, I googled vitamin D and what might contribute to low levels...they listed about 9 things and I think in my case it's because I live in a higher latitude...they say that people in a higher latitudes(they gave Boston as an example)don't absorb any Vitamin D through the skin tissue from the sun from November through February because of covering up and the lower angle of the sun in the sky.   I've noticed towards the middle or end of winter my finger nails get really thin and strange ridges...then they go away in the summer.  I think I'm going to talk to my provider about getting on prescription doses of vitamin D for the winter months.....the OTC doesn't seem to be working very well.  I should probably get retested too.
    post edited by katie - 2014/01/21 07:39:04

     ~A moment of patience in a moment of anger saves you a hundred moments of regret.~
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    LNW
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    Re:Supplements-do you trust them? 2014/01/21 12:38:30 (permalink)
    Simone
    LNW - what iron-rich foods did you find most helpful? I am currently on the mega-dose of iron three times per day.  I have googled iron-rich foods and try to eat them.  I used to eat mostly a vegetarian diet, so I was eating spinach, beans, fortified cereal, etc.  I have recently tried adding some red meat to my diet because I read bodies absorb iron from animal sources better.  My iron level fell quite a bit when I was only taking 3 times the RDA, so I am curious to see what my next reading is.

    Oh Simone that sucks :(

    I ate everything you have already mentioned; anything that could be fortified with iron, leafy greens (I made smoothies out of spinach, kale, broccoli and cucumbers - they were actually tasty) but the big thing was meat.  I only eat small amounts of poultry and fish and on occasion, because my husband is a hunter - deer.  I read that deer is the best source of iron from animals you can get AND it's super lean.  So I loaded up on the deer meat which was easy because I have two deep freezers full of them ;)  I had to learn to like it.  


    The nutritionist had me add lots more fruits to my diet, strawberries, cantaloupe, kiwi, oranges and oddly enough bell peppers.  She said that would help my body absorb the iron better.
    Awesome thing about not being iron deficient (besides not having to take those awful pills and dealing with the constipation...) is that I have more energy.  I was SO TIRED before and never really noticed.  I thought that was just part of being a stay at home mom with three kids that I homeschool.  Oh and I lost weight too.  That was a nice surprise.
    post edited by LNW - 2014/01/21 12:38:57
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    Simone
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    Re:Supplements-do you trust them? 2014/01/21 15:30:51 (permalink)
    Thanks, LNW.  Glad you had such positive results.  I am curious to see what my next readings will be, as I eat many of the things you mentioned regularly.  I had a steak and bell pepper fajita tonight with a large leafy green salad.  At some point, this all has to pay off.  I keep noticing that dark chocolate has quite a bit of iron in it, but I am trying to resist!
    #15
    mlb
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    Re:Supplements-do you trust them? 2014/01/21 17:13:31 (permalink)
    I had not heard the term "crunchy" before either. 
    People who ate nuts and seeds for health were called "healthnuts".  The "healthnut" gave way to "granola girl".  Granola is crunchy....so perhaps that was the evolution.
    #16
    LNW
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    Re:Supplements-do you trust them? 2014/01/22 10:11:26 (permalink)
    Someone called me that once as an insult a loooooong time ago.  I didn't get it until they explained I was one of those weird moms who bf and carries my baby in a sling and horror of all horrors I HOMESCHOOL!!!!  Quick someone save my children from me!!!!

    And now it's all super cool to do that stuff and then some.
    #17
    SCARLETT
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    Re:Supplements-do you trust them? 2014/01/22 12:41:00 (permalink)
    What comes around goes around....It's amazing how things never really change.  Sometimes it's the way it's presented or the verbage used.  Same with supplements.  They used to tell us to take all sorts of stuff, then nothing, now I'm hearing some things are beneficial.  Personally, I take 16 supplements and swear by them.  My doc approved them for me.  She's an osteopath.  Some people would probably say it's all in my head.  So be it.  I'm well, healthy-just slightly elevated cholesterol, and feel good.  I teach preschool and am around children all the time.  I can't afford to be sick.  That's just my input. :)
    #18
    LNW
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    Re:Supplements-do you trust them? 2014/01/23 11:47:18 (permalink)
    HOW do you keep the kid boogers away Scarlett? I teach pre-school at our homeschool co-op, volunteer to teach bible study to pre-schoolers at one church and teach Sunday school to 3-4yo at our church. And then I have my own, 12yo, 5yo and 3yo. I am ALWAYS sick!
    #19
    SCARLETT
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    Re:Supplements-do you trust them? 2014/01/23 12:49:41 (permalink)
    Wow, girl, you are busy! I've been taking this regimen of supps for about 5 years now and in the last 4 years have not called in sick once. I've had some colds but not the knock down drag out kind. I have 23 3yos and teach kinder/1st grade at church too. And most likely if there's a child around, you'll find me too.   I know some people would scoff at the things I take but, hey, it works for me. :)
    #20
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