Logic honey, logic

Americans love a quick health fix in pill form: something to protect against illness, with minimal effort. For years, one of the go-to supplements has been vitamin D, thought to do everything from preventing cancer to strengthening bones.

Some bad news: Yet another big study adds to the pile of evidence that it’s useless for most people.

Hmm, OK.

But in most people with no symptoms of deficiency,

So, people who are not deficient in a vitamin do not benefit from having the non-existent deficiency removed.

Jeez, next they’ll be telling us that people without breast cancer don’t need their tits lopped off….

18 thoughts on “Logic honey, logic”

  1. This study, published in a major cardiology journal, only looked at cardiovascular events. Another recent study showed a 13% drop in cancer rates for Vitamin D pill-poppers; not to mention any of its other purported benefits.

    As for deficiency, given that we all spend more time indoors, and that the population is increasingly darker-skinned, deficiency rates could be quite high. Some estimates in the U.S. put the rate as high as 40%.

  2. I have been taking supplements for years and I haven’t died.

    Proof, surely, that taking supplements is the route to immortality.

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    Given the amount of time I spend outside I was surprised to find my Vit D levels were amongst the lowest my GP had seen. I’m now on max strength prescription supplements and I can’t say I feel any different.

  4. My gran used to smoke 80 a day, started drinking as soon as she woke up and carried on until she collapsed in a heap at bedtime, ate chips with everything and never did a single minutes exercise in her life.

    She died of a heart attack aged 42

  5. With the exception of Alaskans, Americans live at lower latitudes than the entire UK, in fact most of the Canadian population live south of the latitude London sits upon. They have hot continental summers in these places therefore Vit D, fat soluble so it can be stored until needed, should be a rarely in deficit phenomenon. The UK, on the otherhand….

  6. Yeah well. Health advice. Witchcraft without the warts. Mostly. Just because you don’t need it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be taking it. Especially if it’s expensive

  7. So if they were popping the Vit D pills and also showing up as deficient in Vit D we could say they have problems.

    I’m pretty well covered except part of my face when I go out most of the time. I’m not on Vit D supplement or deficient.

  8. Americans love a quick health fix in pill form: something to protect against illness, with minimal effort.

    Imagine. The lazy bastards, eh? Why can’t they settle for something unpleasant that wastes hours instead?

  9. Andrew C
    I realise you’re taking the piss but my gran actually made to 96 on a diet consisting largely of Player’s Weights, Guinness and Birds Eye fish fingers. An inspiration to us all.

  10. @Martin June 20, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    Re: popping Vit D pills and Deficient

    One can eat lots of B12 rich foods and be deficient; digestive system not absorbing it – can occur at any age. Regular intramuscular B12 injections required. Maybe D can be same.

  11. “This study, published in a major cardiology journal, only looked at cardiovascular events.”

    Hell, if you only look at cardiovascular events you can even persuade yourself that statins are slightly beneficial.

  12. Most of these “studies” are cockrot financed by drug companies who don’t like even minor rivals.

  13. Ecks, it’s unlikely any of the studies in the publicly funded meta analysis were pharma-sponsored. Vitd is generic, i think there are now only 2 manufacturers selling serious doses into Europe.

    Food supplement manufacturers are careful to avoid anything that looks like an explicit efficacy claim (vitd cures toenail cancer!) So also unlikely they paid for any of this. Plus they can’t sell the kind of doses doctors prescribe in osteoporosis or ckd.

  14. A very interesting presentation of some evidence and the importance of Vitamin D, by someone who knows how to sort well performed studies from the chaff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72SiVOMjHJI

    A key point is that you must be taking a therapeutic dose, otherwise, no, there’s no effect. But above that, the benefits are broad and potent.

  15. Pcar – I’m on quarterly B12 injections, have been for years. Painful stuff and no visible change. Doc is happy though.

    Possibly D is the same. Have known people be told by their GP to get more sunshine – amusingly my dad was one of them, at the time he was spending about 16 weeks of the year scattered through the year staying with his daughter in Cyprus, mostly wearing just shorts and sandals.

  16. @Martin Davies June 21, 2019 at 11:16 am

    Painful? Put needle deep, gradually withdraw needle while slowly depressing plunger (as dentists do).

    Reason I know about B12 def is I developed in mid 40s. Surprised me as I like and ate a lot of B12 rich foods.

    Go to GP/Nurse for injections? PITA and wastes my time, so No

    I set up a send to self email reminder for 1 x 1ml hydroxocobalamin injection every 12 weeks – I inject it myself. Yes, I have cut myself snapping top of those glass vials.

    As an aside, GP said my bad-cholesterol was “disgustingly low”

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