Carrots and pumpkin might reduce your risk of cancer, but beware taking them in pill form

Carrots and pumpkin might reduce your risk of cancer, but beware taking them in pill form

'The value of the global vitamins and dietary supplements market is predicted to reach US$59.6 billion by 2020;

:

Yet, the vast majority of this mass consumption, often helped along by celebrity endorsement, is just generating oceans of very expensive urine; relatively few people have medical conditions requiring specific nutrient supplements.

So why do so many people waste their money?'

Simon Chapman, Emeritus Professor in Public Health, University of Sydney explains: theconversation.com/carrots...

And in his reply to a comment claiming complementary medicines are an important and valuable contributor to preventative health: 'There’s a huge amount of evidence that supplements are mostly useless nccih.nih.gov/health/provid... Many would argue that that in itself means they are harmful to people’s wallets.

Not hard to find examples of harm either. consumerreports.org/cro/201... and nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/N...

The last paper concludes that: 'An estimated 23,000 emergency department visits in the United States every year are attributed to adverse events related to dietary supplements. Such visits commonly involve cardiovascular manifestations from weight-loss or energy products among young adults and swallowing problems, often associated with micronutrients, among older adults.'

Food for thought?

Neil

10 Replies

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  • A good read Neil.

    Sue

  • I love to eat those small carrots, I share them with my 2 dachshunds. They love most all fruits and vegetables, peanuts, a little yogurt to .I don't use supplements. Best wishes to all.

  • I used to have 2 mini dachshunds, 1long and 1 short hair, both tan.

    Sue

    They never ate carrots though.

  • Great reading. Especially love the list of supplements and ailments and the documentation for each. I will admit that my diet is lacking in a lot of areas. I will admit that I take some vitamins and supplements. I will admit that I am probably flushing some money down the toilet. The vitamin and supplements that I take have been prescribed by my GP ( vitamins B and D, and Calcium). I don't know if they help or not, but my levels are where they should be now on these three. The only other supplements that I take are a glucosamine/chondroitan combo and MSM. There has been a lot of studies done on the glucosamine/chondroitan and most of the studies I have read says there is not enough evidence to warrant the use of it. However, in my case it appears to work. When I don't take them, my aches and pains in my back get worse. Placebo effect? Could be, but it works, and I don't spend a whole lot of money for them. I do not encourage others to take my supplements. It is a personal choice. I hate it when people find out you are sick and they say, take this or that and the CLL will go away. It worked for their great uncle Bob, so it must work for me as well. I understand when something works for you, you want to share it with others, and this is great. Just don't be obnoxious about it and try to force it down my throat (pun intended). Thank goodness it does not happen very often on this site. I don't like to be preached to unless I am in church. Hope I did not offend anyone, as it was not intended. Now I will go and drink a cup of green tea (I like green tea - if it helps, great, if it doesn't, I still like it).

    BeckyL

  • Thank you for posting this, Neil. I take massive amounts of supplements and this has challenged my thinking.

  • It is fine to cite statistics on the number of hospital visits caused by adverse effects of dietary supplements, but really, to balance out such an article you need to post about the number of hospital visits and DEATHS in the U.S. directly caused by the adverse effects of prescription drugs and medications! It is by far higher, and those numbers are available.

    By now, the medical profession has come around to the need for Vitamin D supplements, for example, and CLL and other cancer patients can benefit by taking appropriate minerals and vitamins where they are deficient, prescribed by knowledgeable professionals such as naturopaths.

    No one wants to flush money down the toilet in their vitamin-enriched urine, I agree, and the supplement industry is big business (so is big pharma) but let's please distinguish between the snake oil salesmen and the prudent use of nutrients to help our bodies fight cancer!

  • While deaths from prescription drugs is a big and growing problem, I'm not sure of its relevance to this discussion. Prescription drugs are by definition prescribed by a health professional for an existing medical condition, whereas supplements are most commonly bought by an individual with the belief that they will improve health without the risk of adverse effects. From Table 3 of Who takes dietary supplements and why: sciencebasedmedicine.org/wh... 'This suggests that over 75% of supplement decisions are being made without (or despite) the recommendation of a health professional.'

    That entire article is pertinent to this discussion.

    Sadly, our community isn't healthy, having a chronic health condition and there's general recognition by CLL specialists that we may benefit from vitamin D3 and vitamin B12 supplements. I've regularly encouraged members who are fatigued to have their vitamin D and B12 serum levels checked by their doctor and many report an improvement by getting these into normal levels.

    Given the typical age our membership, other supplements might also benefit our quality of life - again, ideally managed via a health professional, rather than just buying and taking supplement X based on the recommendation of friends or marketing.

    Time and time again, studies shows that we can do more to improve our health by improving our diet to obtain nutrients from unprocessed foods, rather than taking supplements - as stated by the title of this post and the referenced article.

    Neil

  • I must admit I am on the fence when it comes to supplements. I have taken certain ones switched to others and eliminated them all at times. It is easy to fall down the vitamin rabbit hole. Thank you for posting this. Definitely food for thought.

  • I would like to know if it's crucial to take vitamin D and b12 having cll at whatever stage were at.

    I'm not sure where I got this advice either!!

    Can you enlighten us Neil or point to a relavant topic

    Sheila

    .

  • Oops just seen your latest piece Neil I will read and learn

    Sheila

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