New Article on Vitamin Study: Thoughts?

mimivac
mimivac Member Posts: 2,143
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Here is an article that came out today in the NY Times about the effect of vitamins, including antioxidant supplements on diseases, including cancer:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/17/health/17well.html?_r=1&8dpc

Any thoughts? I am wondering what the scientists controlled for when they did the mortality study on people who take antioxidants. It could be that people who are are less healthy in the first place are more likely to take supplements. So the 5% higher mortality rate could actually represent a gain in mortality for these people. Unless you do a double-blind human study it is hard to tell. The mice with the vitamin C is troubling though. There was another study that found the opposite result: they tested several nutrients, Vitamin A (beta-carotene), selenium, magnesium, and Vitamin C (I think) on mice with no immune systems and found that the mice who were feed each ingredient in normal food doses were significantly less likely to develop breast cancer tumors, and when they did they were much smaller. As they introduced each one, the rate of cancer went from 100% to 10% when the mice got all four at once. I don't take supplements, but I'd like to know that all my efforts at eating an "anti-cancer" diet may have some affect, or at least will not be harmful.

Mimi

Comments

  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
    From that article....
    Scientists suspect that the benefits of a healthful diet come from eating the whole fruit or vegetable, not just the individual vitamins found in it. “There may not be a single component of broccoli or green leafy vegetables that is responsible for the health benefits,” Dr. Gann said. “Why are we taking a reductionist approach and plucking out one or two chemicals given in isolation?” “But we need to learn the lessons from the past. We should wait for large-scale clinical trials before jumping on the vitamin bandwagon and taking high doses.”

    Mimi,

    Basically, eating a well-balanced diet is the best bet. LOTS of bright fruits and vegies, watch the fat. Nutritionists have been swearing by this forever. Mega doses of supplements have gotten the frown...especially the fat-soluables (KADE)which are harder for your body to purge.

    Thanks for the article. Like mom always said..."Eat your vegetables!"

    Kathi
  • mimivac
    mimivac Member Posts: 2,143
    KathiM said:

    From that article....
    Scientists suspect that the benefits of a healthful diet come from eating the whole fruit or vegetable, not just the individual vitamins found in it. “There may not be a single component of broccoli or green leafy vegetables that is responsible for the health benefits,” Dr. Gann said. “Why are we taking a reductionist approach and plucking out one or two chemicals given in isolation?” “But we need to learn the lessons from the past. We should wait for large-scale clinical trials before jumping on the vitamin bandwagon and taking high doses.”

    Mimi,

    Basically, eating a well-balanced diet is the best bet. LOTS of bright fruits and vegies, watch the fat. Nutritionists have been swearing by this forever. Mega doses of supplements have gotten the frown...especially the fat-soluables (KADE)which are harder for your body to purge.

    Thanks for the article. Like mom always said..."Eat your vegetables!"

    Kathi

    True
    But I am wondering if taking supplements that are NOT mega-doses, but closer to or less than what you should get from food on a daily basis are harmful or just do no good. I eat a very healthful diet now and don't do supplements, but I was planning to start a few (not mega doses) like antioxidants when I finish treatment.

    Mimi
  • Marcia527
    Marcia527 Member Posts: 2,729
    mimivac said:

    True
    But I am wondering if taking supplements that are NOT mega-doses, but closer to or less than what you should get from food on a daily basis are harmful or just do no good. I eat a very healthful diet now and don't do supplements, but I was planning to start a few (not mega doses) like antioxidants when I finish treatment.

    Mimi

    pills
    My parents both took 50+ pills a day. This included vitamins, minerals, and herbs. Anything that they came out and said it prevented something, they took. Both my parents were malnourished before they passed away.
  • mmontero38
    mmontero38 Member Posts: 1,510
    Vitamin Supplements
    Mimi, my oncologist said I should eat a healthy diet which included very little red meats, lots of fish and chicken, lots of green leafy vegetables and fruits. I also take a multi-vitamin every day and my calcium. I exercise 6 days a week now and do some weight lifting for strength. You're mediterranean and so am I so following that diet should not be difficult and we reap many benefits from it. The article meant to say that we shouldn't replace with a pill the benefits of eating the actual vegetable or fruit which is the natural source of the vitamin. You are doing the right thing by eating healthy and once you are done with ytour treatments and start feeling better, you'll have more energy to do some excercise. Hugs, Lili
  • mimivac
    mimivac Member Posts: 2,143

    Vitamin Supplements
    Mimi, my oncologist said I should eat a healthy diet which included very little red meats, lots of fish and chicken, lots of green leafy vegetables and fruits. I also take a multi-vitamin every day and my calcium. I exercise 6 days a week now and do some weight lifting for strength. You're mediterranean and so am I so following that diet should not be difficult and we reap many benefits from it. The article meant to say that we shouldn't replace with a pill the benefits of eating the actual vegetable or fruit which is the natural source of the vitamin. You are doing the right thing by eating healthy and once you are done with ytour treatments and start feeling better, you'll have more energy to do some excercise. Hugs, Lili

    Thanks for your take
    Yes, that is basically what I am doing. You seem to have the healthy lifestyle down pat. Good for you, Lili. I want to continue with mine as well as you have. I do exercise now, but not as much as I used. I hope to get back to my normal routine one day soon. Yes, I am Mediterranean, so I already love that diet. Your oncologist sounds very progressive. They don't usually give too much advice on diet, but I think it can make a big difference.

    Mimi
  • creampuff91344
    creampuff91344 Member Posts: 988
    mimivac said:

    Thanks for your take
    Yes, that is basically what I am doing. You seem to have the healthy lifestyle down pat. Good for you, Lili. I want to continue with mine as well as you have. I do exercise now, but not as much as I used. I hope to get back to my normal routine one day soon. Yes, I am Mediterranean, so I already love that diet. Your oncologist sounds very progressive. They don't usually give too much advice on diet, but I think it can make a big difference.

    Mimi

    One of the major assets I
    One of the major assets I found as I was going through treatment was the assistance of a nutritionist. My cancer center has one on staff, and they were good enough to sit down and give me advice on what to eat, and when to eat, which, believe it or not, is very important. Even during chemo treatment, certain food types are helpful to give you more strength and energy. This was a big help for me, and I would suggest an inquiry at your oncologist's office to see if you can have access to this. I believe at my center that the nutritionist is available, but only if you ask for assistance. (Seems like it would be beneficial for everyone, but sometimes the system only works if you know how to use it.) Vitamins are a good source, but the "real thing" is better. Hugs to all.

    Judy