Vitamin etc Supplements: don't waste your money

Posted By
12/17/2013 8:36am
Replies: 9

Anonymous - (12/17/2013 - 9:50am)

I am seeing a spate of similar stories about supplements....not effective, dangerous, etc.  And wondering if these are part of the campaign to put them under FDA oversight.  At present they can only check for ingredients that might be harmful apparently, but the supplement makers don't have to go thru all the expensive and time consuming trials that drugs do, at great cost.  This is OK with me, as long as they are weeding out the bad boys.  But a number of drugs that did go thru all the approval process were later taken off the market due to bad side effects.  And the FDA does not have the manpower for the jobs they now have.  Look at all the imported product made in India, China that we are being given, unknowingly.  How often does the FDA send inspectors to these countries?  Hardly ever.

Well, that is slightly off the subject of whether the supplements do any good.  And so was the story, and the the subject.  Maybe well people do not need these, and maybe they do not fend off disease, but the group that may really need some supplements are those who are sick already.  I have other health problems and am taking supplements because they definitely are needed.  Just want to know that the contents are safe and are what they are supposed to be.

Taking this story with a grain of salt.

I agree.. taking this with a grain of salt as well. I take Vit C and D suppliments as well as a balenced diet and I feel great.


I agree that this story seems more political than medical and you could be right-- it could all be about the FDA trying to regulate vitamins and supplements, I don't know.

But the bottom line for me is that few people take a daily multivitiamin thinking that the pill will actuallly prevent cancer or heart attacks. We take it to try to keep our bodies generally healthy and functioning well just in case our normal diet is deficient in something. There is certainly no harm in that, not even great expense, so why not?

There have been and probably will continue to be many studies showing that taking large amounts of specific or exotic vitamins and supplements can be useless and even dangerous and can certainly be expensive. Many manufacturers do lie or at least greatly exaggerate the benefits. Each individual should think carefully and critically about what supplements they take. But that has always been the case.

To me, this is a tempest in a tea pot. Lots of media hype about nothing new.




Anonymous - (12/17/2013 - 11:20am)

I think this is a government ploy to try to take these supplements and put them under their rule.

Over 3,000 people a day die from properly prescribed drugs in America.  So as you can see the FDA does not do a good job with those drugs either.  As far as supplements they can't make any money from them like they do the prescribed drugs, just more greed in my opinion.

Many naturalists will tell you about supplements that can help many conditions and some as well as a prescribed drug.


Anonymous - (12/17/2013 - 3:04pm)

NO plot here at all.  You've been ripped off for years by multi-vitamin and supplement companies, this came from a medical journal (well it was posted on MIF and then copied here)  and the only conspiracy is to take your money for worthless products.

Anonymous - (12/18/2013 - 12:02pm)

Sorry, I no longer believe everything in a medical journal.  And you don't know my medical situation and cannot judge whether supplements are useful  for me (or any other stranger whose medical history you don't know).  Or, in fact, people whose history you do know.  You are practicing medicine without a license here.

Anonymous - (12/18/2013 - 12:17pm)

they may not be worthless and it is the fact that the medical personnel and the FDA cannot make any money from supplements so lets make them look like they are a waste of money.

Many pharmacy drugs cause many bad side effects and kill people from the side effects.  I take supplements that can help me.

Anonymous - (12/18/2013 - 12:34pm)

"The FDA can't make money from supplements?"  The FDA doesn't make money from anyone in that they don't get any cut of the proceeds.  Yes, they have personnel to test and review and all the rest. But the real problem is Big PHARMA companies can't make money from supplements because they can't patent them.  That's why there aren't clinical trials for supplements - clinical trials are extemely expensive to run and if you can't patent the formula, big pharma has little incentive to go there.  So money is an object for pharma, but not the FDA.

The difference between pharmacy drugs and supplements is that pharmacy drugs go through rigorous clinical trials.  Supplements RARELY do.  So while there is plenty of HYPE regarding supplements, there are very few rigorous clinical double-blind trials showing the effect of supplements.  That doesn't mean they don't work, they are just not PROVEN like other pharmacy drugs.  Yes, pharma drugs can have bad side effects, but those are very well documented.  Supplements, not so much.  No drug interactions, no definitive dosages proven to do good.  Information is much more limited and subjective on supplements.  That last place I trust for information on supplements is the manufacturer.  Their "hype" is not regulated like pharmaceuticals is.

I'm not pro or con when it comes to supplements - it's whatever makes everyone happy.  But I do look for "proof" provided by double-blind clinical trials as a standard on whether or not I think something may help me.  Good clinical data is hard to find with supplements. 

One of the problems with the change to remove supplements from any FDA oversight is that we don't even know what is actually in many of the bottles and in what strengths.  While the strengths of FDA approved drugs is also not known for each bottle, at least they are in a more narrowly controlled range.   While I would like to see more control over the supplements, I do not want a requirement for the same extensive Clinical trials for supplements that are required for The "other Drugs".    Smaller studies by Universities and Medical centers do help give an indication as to the effects of supplements.

I'm me, not a statistic. Praying to not be one for years yet.