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

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

Something to bare in mind when considering supplements:

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…

It was recently discovered that the amount of vitamin A present in a balanced diet is enough to cause osteoporosis and double the risk of hip-fracture, yet many of us are still taking huge doses of vitamin A as part of our daily vitamin supplement.

It’s also been found that a diet high in naturally-occurring beta-carotene will reduce risk of lung cancer amongst smokers, but the same beta-carotene taken as a high-dosage pill has been found to actually increase instances of lung cancer among smokers by over 28% (the exact percentage isn’t known due to the study having been discontinued).

These are well-known, widely-used, ‘household-name’ vitamins which millions of us have known about, have been taking in large amounts for years, and are continuing to take, and which have serious negative effects that were discovered more or less by accident, for instance:

The findings regarding beta-carotene and lung cancer were the result of tests conducted amongst smokers to demonstrate beta-carotene’s effectiveness in reducing risk of cancer, but when the naturally occurring beta-carotene was replaced with a high-dose beta-carotene pill the tests yeilded almost the exact opposite result…

The data regarding Vitamin A and osteoporosis originated in Sweden following a Swedish scientist’s efforts to discover why Sweden had the world’s highest rates of Osteoporosis…it turns out that Sweden is the only European country that fortifies its low-fat dairy products with vitamin A for the health of the population.

The point is, these high-strength pills are relatively new and we don’t really know how they’re affecting us because it’s impossible to conduct clinical trials for every foreseeable or unforeseeable eventuality…whatsmore, these ‘unexpected and dangerous consequences’ were only stumbled upon due to the scale of the problem and the huge number of people exhibiting symptoms, and in light of that fact it seems impossible to guarantee the safety of relatively little-used substances like L-Arginine, L-glutamine, Tribulus etc.

“…because of these studies, in 2003 safety experts in the UK […] 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 have unexpected and dangerous consequences.”
www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes…ins_trans.shtml

So when it comes to dietary supplements, even with the most well-known and trusted vitamins it seems it’s a crap shoot- something to bear in mind the next time you find yourself swallowing 30g of L-Arginine for the daddy of all hard-ons.

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The following is from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/pro…ins_trans.shtml

Vitamin A

…NARRATOR: […] Sweden is a prosperous country, where people live long and healthy lives. But surprisingly it has one of the world’s highest rates of a debilitating disease, osteoporosis. It most often affects women over fifty. And its crippling condition gradually thins and weakens your bones, increasing the risk of fracture. But for years it has been a mystery why the disease is so common.

PROFESSOR MELHUS: When we look at known risk factors for osteoporosis, such as age, smoking, physical activity, they can partly explain why it’s so common with osteoporosis and bone fractures in Sweden, but that can not explain everything. And then, even more surprising, is that we have a diet rich in calcium, which should protect our bones.

NARRATOR: So Professor Melhus began to look for another explanation. And there was something in particular about the Swedish diet that made him suspicious. It was exceptionally high in vitamin A.

PROFESSOR MELHUS: We eat dairy products, oily fish, such as herring and salmon, we consume cod liver oil, vitamin supplements, all which contain high levels of vitamin A, and on top of that we are the only European country which fortifies low fat dairy products with vitamin A.

NARRATOR: This triggered an alarm for Professor Melhus. Because there was evidence that huge doses of vitamin A damaged animal bones.

[…]

NARRATOR: Professor Melhus then went further. He did a series of bone scans to work out what level of vitamin A was linked to weaker bones. His results suggested that long term consumption of even relatively small quantities of vitamin A were having a dramatic effect.

PROFESSOR MELHUS: What we saw was that a vitamin intake above 1.5 milligrams per day, which is approximately twice the recommended daily intake, there was a reduction in bone density about ten per cent, and the risk of hip fracture had doubled.

NARRATOR: If Professor Melhus was right then the implications were staggering. An intake of 1.5 milligrams per day is a level that can be reached from food alone. And it will be exceeded by taking just a single capsule of some high strength vitamin A supplements. So, tablets that people take every day to improve their health might actually be slowly, silently, weakening their bones. For Professor Melhus, the implication is clear.

PROFESSOR MELHUS: Based on our research I think people should continue to eat a healthy, normal balanced diet. But since supplements containing high levels of vitamin A may have adverse effects, I cannot recommend people to take them routinely.

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The following is from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/pro…ins_trans.shtml

Beta-carotene

…NARRATOR: […] In vegetables there is a chemical called beta-carotene, which your body converts in to vitamin A. It is found in carrots and leafy green vegetables. And it’s seen to have an extraordinary health benefit. Studies have shown that people who eat a diet rich in beta-carotene are much less likely to develop lung cancer. And this seemed to offer a genuine breakthrough. Demetrius Albanes is one of the leading cancer experts in America. He hoped that beta-carotene pills could be a simple way to fight one of our biggest killers. So he and his colleagues organised a study to confirm that high dose pills really could save millions of lives.

DEMETRIUS ALBANES: We were thoroughly expecting to see a reduction in lung cancer incidents. We designed the study actually to be able to detect at least a twenty five per cent reduction and I would say many of us at the time would have estimated we might observe a twenty five to fifty per cent reduction in lung cancer.

NARRATOR: Fifteen thousand people were given high dose beta-carotene pills, each one containing the equivalent of six carrots. To have the best chance of seeing whether the pills really could prevent lung cancer, they were given to people most likely to develop it, smokers. For eight years a team of safety experts monitored the volunteer’s health. And it seemed that everything was progressing normally. But then, just before the trial was due to end, they called a surprise meeting.

DEMETRIUS ALBANES: The key investigators were called in to the committee, and they informed us that we had some effect happening with respect to the beta-carotene. They informed us that we in fact had a small increase in lung cancer in the beta-carotene group.

NARRATOR: It seemed that beta-carotene pills, which every one had hoped would prevent lung cancer, were having the exact opposite effect.

PROFESSOR FRANK KELLY: I think there was a mass panic to begin with because this is really the way we expected the science to work.

NARRATOR: It was a devastating result. The people taking the pill had shown an eighteen per cent increase in lung cancer.

PROF JEFFREY BLUMBERG: My first response on hearing these results was being stunned and not really believing it. I thought the results were a fluke.

NARRATOR: But it was no fluke, eighteen months later the news about beta-carotene got even worse. Another similar study was stopped two years early.

CONTRIBUTOR: An interim analysis showed that there was a twenty eight per cent increase in the number of lung cancers in those taking the intervention.

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


Last edited by Beaver Eager : 07-03-2005 at .

Originally Posted by Beaver Eager
These studies were a salutary lesson that vitamin supplements were not just some harmless natural remedy. In high doses they could have unexpected and dangerous consequences.”

Apologies for the late addition of the final sentance- I didn’t notice it was missing until after the 10 minute time limit for editing the post.

Apologies,

Beaver.

I saw the documentry on this on the BBC. The person who was effected by the Vitamin a and suffred liver damage had been taking very high doses for the past 15 years. Infact all the cases of adverse effects were due to people taking very high doses for a very long period of time. The documentry made it clear that as long as the Vitamins were taken properly and not continiously there was no harm.

Also L-Arginie is an Amino acid not a vitamin. But I agree with you that anything taken in high doses for a long period of time is detrimental to health.

Vitamin E in high doses may also be a problem. Here is a possible explanation.

Both of these vitamins are fat soluble and as a result stay in your system a lot longer than water soluble ones like Vitamin C. Vitamin E comes in many forms/isomers of which only a few have been shown to exert beneficial properties. As for the amino acids, they tend to be water soluble and thus overdosing isn’t too much of an issue. As with anything in life moderation is the key though and some caution should be exercised.

Quote
As with anything in life moderation is the key though and some caution should be exercised.

I always find in almost every area of life this fact is so true if you think about it. Of course sometimes I like to push things a little. Another lesson in life is sometimes you need to takes risks.

Originally Posted by 7of9

I saw the documentry on this on the BBC. The person who was effected by the Vitamin a and suffred liver damage had been taking very high doses for the past 15 years. Infact all the cases of adverse effects were due to people taking very high doses for a very long period of time. The documentry made it clear that as long as the Vitamins were taken properly and not continiously there was no harm.

That’s not correct. The Documentary stated that even the amount of Vitamin A found in a natural balanced diet was enough to cause problems.


Previously known as Mr. Fantastic

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Size Myths in the Porn Industry

Originally Posted by Mr. Fantastic
That’s not correct. The Documentary stated that even the amount of Vitamin A found in a natural balanced diet was enough to cause problems.

Key words: natural balanced diet.

Most people DO NOT eat a “natural balanced” diet. Therefore i believe supplementation is important.

Originally Posted by viroid
Key words: natural balanced diet.

Most people DO NOT eat a “natural balanced” diet. Therefore i believe supplementation is important.

Read the article.

Originally Posted by Mr.F
“If Professor Melhus was right then the implications were staggering. An intake of 1.5 milligrams per day is a level that can be reached from food alone. And it will be exceeded by taking just a single capsule of some high strength vitamin A supplements. So, tablets that people take every day to improve their health might actually be slowly, silently, weakening their bones. For Professor Melhus, the implication is clear.”

Originally Posted by Mr.F
“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.”

Originally Posted by Mr.F
“These studies were a salutary lesson that vitamin supplements were not just some harmless natural remedy. In high doses they could have unexpected and dangerous consequences.”


Previously known as Mr. Fantastic

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Size Myths in the Porn Industry


Last edited by Mr. Fantastic : 09-29-2006 at .

So taking my normal vitamin/mineral pill daily is positive or negative? The pills are the usual ‘all-in-one’ vitamin/mineral supplement.

Originally Posted by cu_z
So taking my normal vitamin/mineral pill daily is positive or negative? The pills are the usual ‘all-in-one’ vitamin/mineral supplement.

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.

Originally Posted by Mr.F
PROFESSOR MELHUS: What we saw was that a vitamin intake above 1.5 milligrams per day, which is approximately twice the recommended daily intake, there was a reduction in bone density about ten per cent, and the risk of hip fracture had doubled.

NARRATOR: If Professor Melhus was right then the implications were staggering. An intake of 1.5 milligrams per day is a level that can be reached from food alone. And it will be exceeded by taking just a single capsule of some high strength vitamin A supplements. So, tablets that people take every day to improve their health might actually be slowly, silently, weakening their bones. For Professor Melhus, the implication is clear.


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’.


Previously known as Mr. Fantastic

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Size Myths in the Porn Industry


Last edited by Mr. Fantastic : 09-29-2006 at .

But I don’t see anything about L-Arginine. Is there anything scientific, or are you just speculating?

All fat soluble vitamins can be toxic because they can build up in your body. Water soluble vitamins are pretty much harmless.

OTC aspirin is much more dangerous.

What about prescription drugs? Many medical doctors write up scripts for prescription drugs that are not necessary. The drug companies give the doctors a kick-back when they prescribe them, so they have plenty of ‘incentive’ to prescribe as many as possible. Prescription drugs kill a lot of people. The media only talks about 1 or 2 of them, when infact there are thousands more out there that have horrible side-effects. People blindly take these drugs like they’re candy. That’s something we should all be very concerned about.


JAPP

Observe... learn from other people's mistakes.

Originally Posted by emitecaps
Both of these vitamins are fat soluble and as a result stay in your system a lot longer than water soluble ones like Vitamin C. Vitamin E comes in many forms/isomers of which only a few have been shown to exert beneficial properties. As for the amino acids, they tend to be water soluble and thus overdosing isn’t too much of an issue. As with anything in life moderation is the key though and some caution should be exercised.

Informed post.

I’ve been taking 1000 mg per day of Vitamin C for many years, and haven’t had a cold or the flu since.

Originally Posted by mike_rach
But I don’t see anything about L-Arginine. Is there anything scientific, or are you just speculating?

The point I’m trying to make is that if household-name vitamins such as Vitamin A & Beta Carotene can have such detrimental effects on a person’s health, and if these effects where discovered more or less by accident (the detrimental effect of Vitamin A only being discovered because of the sheer number of people affected by it, and the problems with Beta Carotene in a processed pill form only coming to light because it gave the exact opposite effect that the research was designed to elicit.) how can we ever expect to know what possible harm might be caused by lesser-known substances such as L-Arginine (or for that matter, other vitamins).

The point I’m trying to make is based on the scientific evidence detailed in this thread’s initial post.


Previously known as Mr. Fantastic

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Size Myths in the Porn Industry

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