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Supplements and Safety - Why Your Supplement May Damage Your Health (L-Arginine)

Wow! This is a crushing blow to me!

I have been eating about 4 carrots a day sometimes more in order to get more Vitamin A in my system in addition to taking a Centrum. All this in order to get my acne under control. Nothing else seems to work. The Carrots really seemed like they were working.

Now what am I gunna do! :/

One or two posters to this thread seem to think that if the substance is water soluble it might not be too harmful (although if it sticks around long enough to provide health benefits, who knows what else it’s doing while it’s there)— maybe it might be worth looking into water soluble antioxidants (but to be honest I don’t know that much about the subject).

As for Beta Carotene, the study that revealed the harmful effects seem to show that it only caused those effects if taken as a supplement.

That being said, personally I’m not sure what to do. When I saw the documentary (and subsequently read the article linked to in the first post of the thread), I stopped taking all supplements and haven’t taken any since.


Previously known as Mr. Fantastic

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Size Myths in the Porn Industry

Originally Posted by Mr. Fantastic
That’s a good question. I originally wrote the post after watching the documentary that the transcript in the post was taken from, and after watching it I stopped taking my multivitamins. I’m especially concerned with avoiding Vitamin A.

I’m not sure what to tell you— ultimately it has to be your own decision but I would definitely recommend limiting your intake of Vitamin A, purely based on the findings detailed in the documentary to which the original post refers. Personally, my primary reason for giving up my multivitamin was because it contained Vitamin A and Beta Carotene.

Although the details re. Vitamin A and Beta Carotene are obviously worth knowing, I submitted the post to make a more general point— that these are household-name vitamins that millions of people take everyday and have been taking everyday for years, without really knowing the full consequences. The (very serious) negative effects of these two particular vitamins were discovered purely by accident, so we don’t really know what effects all the other vitamins are having, or if they might be having a cumulative negative effect.

(On a side-note, it appears however that calcium might be pretty valuable in terms of health (although in light of the above article it’s still uncertain as to whether or not taking high levels of any kind of substance is really a good idea). If you cut vitamin A out of your diet, you’re probably going to lose a few sources of calcium, so it might be a good idea to find an alternative natural source of calcium (I.e. Not a pill) and obviously one that doesn’t contain Vitamin A. Also— if you’re taking cod-liver oil for bones and joints (or for any reason for that matter), it’s often fortified with Vitamin A, so check the bottle (and try and find a brand without added Vitamin A)).

Also— for everyone who might be reading this— ultimately this is a health issue, and as such it’s up to the individual to make his or her own decisions as to what kinds of action to take. This information is provided as an example only and with the intention of provoking thought. It is not intended as medical advice in any way shape or form— it’s just a ‘heads-up’.

Do you know of any commonly available multivitamin/mineral which doesn’t have vitamin A, or at least it in low doses relative to the other vitamins?

Originally Posted by Mr. Fantastic
NARRATOR: Scientists still do not fully understand why beta-carotene appears so beneficial in food but seemed to have such a devastating effect on smokers when taken in a high dose pill. But because of these studies, in 2003 safety experts in the UK advise smokers not to take beta-carotene supplements. And advised everyone to limit their daily intake from high dose pills. These studies were a salutary lesson that vitamin supplements were not just some harmless natural remedy. In high doses they could

Are you a smoker? I don’t see much (in this quote) to support the idea that non-smokers would have this risk.


regards, mgus

Taped onto the dashboard of a car at a junkyard, I once found the following: "Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." The car was crashed.

Primary goal: To have an EQ above average (i.e. streetsmart, compassionate about life and happy) Secondary goal: to make an anagram of my signature denoting how I feel about my gains

The problem with the documentary is that it does not reference any studies. If you can find any studies that back up what these people are saying then that would make it a lot easier to swallow.

Originally Posted by cu_z
Do you know of any commonly available multivitamin/mineral which doesn’t have vitamin A, or at least it in low doses relative to the other vitamins?

Unfortunately not. I don’t know a lot about the subject; I just happened to catch the documentary and thought I’d post about it here since it seemed like useful information.

Originally Posted by mgus
Are you a smoker? I don’t see much (in this quote) to support the idea that non-smokers would have this risk.

The study was to find how Beta Carotene might affect the development of cancer in general. The reason smokers were used in the study was because smokers are the most likely and fastest to develop cancer, and are therefore the easiest group to study in terms of yielding measurable results relatively quickly.

The tests were designed to show how Beta Carotene can help prevent the development of cancer, but it just ended up proving an unforeseen effect: that beta carotene in a processed form such as a supplement does (at least) accelerate cancer development.

Originally Posted by viroid
The problem with the documentary is that it does not reference any studies.

I disagree with that entirely— the content of the documentary is based entirely on medical findings and at least one controlled study. If what you’re referring to are actual text-string references to specific papers, I’d suggest contacting the production company that made the documentary.


Previously known as Mr. Fantastic

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Size Myths in the Porn Industry

Yes,

but if they only tested smokers, it doesn’t tell us whether there is something special going on between the tar/nicotine/junk and betacarotene - we don’t know if this is relevant to non-smokers. Right?


regards, mgus

Taped onto the dashboard of a car at a junkyard, I once found the following: "Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." The car was crashed.

Primary goal: To have an EQ above average (i.e. streetsmart, compassionate about life and happy) Secondary goal: to make an anagram of my signature denoting how I feel about my gains

Originally Posted by mgus
Yes,

but if they only tested smokers, it doesn’t tell us whether there is something special going on between the tar/nicotine/junk and betacarotene - we don’t know if this is relevant to non-smokers. Right?

mgus— am I right in assuming you’re a vitamin-taking smoker? ;)

To everybody reading this thread:

Ultimately it’s you that has to make the decision as to how to react to the above information. All I’ve done is translate the information from the documentary into a forum post— I’m not an expert on the subject and I don’t know all the details, but I will say this:

With regards multivitamin supplements I personally would not take a multivitamin tablet purely because of the vitamin A content.

With regards Beta Carotene, the issue is not with the substance itself but with the fact that it had the exact opposite effective intended because it was administered as a processed tablet. The fact that it had been processed into tablet form, reversed the effects from positive to negative.

Ultimately it’s really up to you guys what you do with the above information. Arguing semantics with me shouldn’t affect your decisions regarding the above, regardless of how many ‘points’ you’re able to score.

Furthermore it’s pointless posting to this thread to say I’m wrong when you’ve not even read the first post or the article it pertains to (which several people have done).

I’m not here either to ruin your fun or to ease your conscience. All I’ve attempted to do is to impart some information I consider to be very valuable. It’s up to you what you do with that information and how you choose to respond to it. I can’t answer all your questions because I don’t have all the answers, and I don’t want to enable any kind of denial by making an argument that you can then choose to ignore. You have the information; what you do with it is up to you— it’s a matter of personal choice and not one of allegiance or loyalty, to either your supplements, the alternative health community, or your cigarettes & smoking buddies. It’s your decision and yours alone (or at least it should be).


Previously known as Mr. Fantastic

-------------------------------------------------------------

Size Myths in the Porn Industry

I don’t smoke nor take vitamin pills.

It is because I don't smoke I don’t take it as “truth” for non-smokers. I did read the section concerning beta-caroten (in your link) and they say the study was carried out on smokers. As I mentioned earlier, we just don’t know if the beta-caroten turns nasty in conjunction with tar/nicotine/other crap in cigs or if beta-caroten turns nasty after 8 years regardless.

If they had a control group of non-smokers we’d know. But I don’t think it sounds reasonable to extrapolate that study to non-smokers, at least not from my (very) limited knowledge of oncology.


regards, mgus

Taped onto the dashboard of a car at a junkyard, I once found the following: "Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." The car was crashed.

Primary goal: To have an EQ above average (i.e. streetsmart, compassionate about life and happy) Secondary goal: to make an anagram of my signature denoting how I feel about my gains

Some of the main symptoms that [may] arise when overdosing or taking high dosage amounts of L-Arginine are:
- Skin thickening
- Coarsing of the skin
- Nausea
- Weakness
- Diarrhea (bet you can’t wait for this one)
- Increased activity of some viruses

Again, the afforementioned side-effects are directly linked as known possible side-effects when taking in high dosages of L-Arginine (high dosages obviously meaning notably higher than what is recommended…. 30g of L-Arginine/day and you’re just asking to be on the sh*tter, nauseous, wondering why the f*ck you suddenly feel weak [the Arginine knocked the sh*t out of you.. literally]).

I think mgus has some ground to stand on. I think it was pretty ignorant of the people to only test it on smokers. Whether it previously has been found that there isn’t any difference when testing for side-effects with smokers or not, I think they should’ve had a control group of non-smokers as well… just for the sake of completeness if not for anything else. If there was a study done on ‘Air-toxins in our bodies and how we’re all endangered’, and the only people they performed the study on were people living in Los Angeles, CA* (United States).. why the [expletive] would they expect somebody living in Denver, CO (United States) to believe that they too have the same chance of developing the negative effects found in the study as somebody living in Los Angeles?
*Los Angeles has the worst air in the United States and continues be the top/amongst the top-ranked cities in the US for dirty air (“top-ranked”… don't think you'd want to be atop this one)

Also, like Mr. Fantastic is trying to say: realize that he’s just basically relaying this information to us so that we can come up with our own conclusion(s) on how we decide to go about taking supplements. He’s not saying (or at least I believe) that what he says holds more merit than anybody else’s word.. he’s just relaying the message. What we take out of the message is on us.

Somebody said something about maybe you cannot take in too much calcium. I think there was actually somebody on here that took in too much calcium, and he had experienced one of the possible side-effects of overdosing on calcium (the ‘danger-zone’ for Calcium is 3-4x the daily recommended intake).
The known side-effects that I know of for Calcium are:
- Headache (if I remember right, this was the one the member on here said he’d experienced)
- Irritability
- Fatigue
- Increased thirst
- Dry Mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Constipation
- Depression
- Having a metallic-like taste in your mouth

You don’t have to agree with the study, just as you don’t have to disagree with it. It is what you make of it. Remember, you can take in too much of anything - even water - so this concept of you-can-take-in-too-much isn’t exactly new - it just highlights it. This documentary highlighted Vitamin A’s possible side-effects, whereas I’m sure there’s probably another one out there that says if you sh*t 3x times a day you’re 75% more likely to have lower blood pressure.

Personally I think you should be fine if you decide to supplement with a multi-vitamin/mineral complex. You just have to bare in mind that, like with pretty much anything, you CAN take in too much of a “good thing”. All it requires is being aware of what you’re taking in. If you go over every once in a while, well that’s alright, just make sure you’re not overdoing it every day.


No dedication + No self-discipline = No Gains. This goes for working out as well. It\'s elementary math kids.

Starting Date: 1-17-05 - EL: 6 in. EG: 5.125 in. ... or 5 2/16 in. ..FL: 4.5 in. ... or 4 8/16 in. FG: 4.5 in. ... or 4 8/16 in.

14th Check-In Date (much 'rest time' so far): 10-01-06 - EL: 7 1/16 in. EG: 5 9/16 in. ................ FL: 5.00 in. ... or 5 in. FG: 4.75 in. ... or 4 12/16 in....1st Goal: EL: 7 in. EG: 5.75 in ... or 5 12/16 in.

Endow— thanks, that’s exactly what I meant. I’m not here to argue in favour of the findings I’m just passing on the information for whoever reads it to do with it what they will.

To be honest I’m not really interested in arguing the details. My intention was just to communicate three basic ideas suggested by the documentary:

(1) Vitamin A is just plain bad for you.

(2) The findings posted above demonstrate that there’s no way that we can be sure that either any number of or even all of the supplements we’re taking aren't causing us harm (none of them have been tested for every eventuality either foreseen or unforeseen).

(3) It’s possible that processing a substance into pill form can under certain circumstances either negate or totally reverse its positive effects.

That’s really all I want to say. If there are still people reading this thread who take issue with the above, either take it up with the BBC, Horizon, or the medical professionals quoted in the Horizon documentary (I’m just the messenger).


Previously known as Mr. Fantastic

-------------------------------------------------------------

Size Myths in the Porn Industry

I might of skimmed a few posts out of laziness but isn’t any high dose of vitamin bad for you? It’s called vitamin poisoning I think.

Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_poisoning

I can’t believe that vitamin A is just plain bad for you. They always say something is horrible for you like how everyone is fucking afraid of the sun now a days.

The sun has always been here, hasn’t changed it’s distance from us like the moon. Yet now it’s horrible for us.

Staying out of the sun might decrease the risk of skin cancer a bit but now people are terribly vitamin K deficient and don’t even know it.

And the highest source of vitamin K is from the synthesis that takes places in our bodies from the UV rays from the sun.

We go from one extreme to the next. It’s called balance people, most people really have to figure out how to do that.

That’s how to keep our bodies healthy. Like Omega 3 is an anti-inflammatory and I’m sure we’ve all heard that everything to itchy scalp to fucking cancer is due to inflammation.

But too much is bad for us and we need Omega 6 which is a pro-inflammatory to BALANCE us out.

Balance people, balance, I can’t say or stress it enough.

Quote

If you’re thinking of taking, or are taking, high doses of L-Arginine, L-glutamine, Lecithin, Yohimbe or any other PE or performance-related dietary supplement it’s good to be aware that high dosage vitamins of any kind can potentially damage your health..

None of the items you listed are supplements. If you take more Arginine or Glutamine than your body needs you’ll just piss it out. No idea about yohimbe.

Don’t be paranoid. Synthetic vitamins are a lot different than powdered amino acids.

I typed my last response too fast. I meant to say that “none of the items listed are VITAMINS.”

Vitamins can be supplements but not all supplements are vitamins.

Does that mean that all supplements are safe? Heck no. Most immediately hazardous items get pulled though. Remember that ephedra may be banned, but more people were sent to the hospital from “safe” things like NSAIDs.

I venture to guess and I am guessing, that this link was a bias finding published by some drug companies so you can go out and get drugs instead of eating a healthy diet and taking a few supplements.

Anything in high dosage can cause ill health. Calcium works better with magnesium, we are over calcified anyway the real deficiency especially in the states is magnesium.

I had an illness where my calcium levels were so high that it hopitalized me four times. I learn that I can keep this in check with green tea and magnesium. And you don’t have to take mega dosages of anything to get the health benifits.

Four carrots are not going to kill you, eat you carrots.

30 grams of arginine is asinine your body will kick off what it can’t use.

You know there is a such a thing as moderation.


Speak softly carry a big dick, I'm mean stick!

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