Active Low-Carber Forums
Atkins diet and low carb discussion provided free for information only, not as medical advice.
Home Plans Tips Recipes Tools Stories Studies Products
Active Low-Carber Forums
A sugar-free zone


Welcome to the Active Low-Carber Forums.
Support for Atkins diet, Protein Power, Neanderthin (Paleo Diet), CAD/CALP, Dr. Bernstein Diabetes Solution and any other healthy low-carb diet or plan, all are welcome in our lowcarb community. Forget starvation and fad diets -- join the healthy eating crowd! You may register by clicking here, it's free!

Go Back   Active Low-Carber Forums > Main Low-Carb Diets Forums & Support > Low Carb Health & Technical Forums > Nutrition & Supplements
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members Calendar Mark Forums Read Search Gallery My P.L.A.N. Survey


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   ^
Old Sat, Feb-20-16, 07:09
bkloots's Avatar
bkloots bkloots is offline
Posts: 8,441
 
Plan: Atkins/LCHF
Stats: 195/153/135 Female 63in
BF:
Progress: 70%
Location: Kansas City, MO
Default Is "complementary medicine" a bad idea?

This morning DH and I were consuming our daily OMMs, along with our daily dose of microbes. We started taking these a few weeks ago when DH was on a course of antibiotics, which I figured would well and truly mess up his digestive system by killing all the Good Guys along with the "germs." Anyway, a day or two ago, I suggested that when the current supply ran out, we might quit taking them. So he asked, quite reasonably, how do we know if they are or are not working?

This question applies--and I have often asked it--to the whole range of supplements I've been taking for years. These include a multi-vitamin, fish oil, CoQ10, glucosamine/chondroitin (for joint health), calcium with Vit D, chromium picolinate, alpha lipoic acid, magnesium. That's a boatload of pills, I'll tell you! Do they actually do what I'm hoping they do? Am I practicing "complementary medicine" without a license?

Coincidentally, one of my feeds this morning has a discussion of a recent paper dealing with CAM--Complementary and alternative medicine--as sold in retail stores. It's efficacy (or not) and ethics. You can find the page Here.

There's really no way for me to know whether I'm happier or healthier now or in the future because, for instance, my joints don't hurt, and I do not see signs of progressive osteoarthritis, except in my toe joints where it's always been. I do not know, currently, whether I have osteopenia--but suspect yes, because, well, I'm almost 70 years old. Does a calcium supplement help? And so on and so on.

Since I can afford these supplements, and since they appear to do no harm, I will probably continue to take them. My doc has the list, and has no objection, or no comment.

We'll probably continue taking the gut bugs, too. I suspect they die in my stomach and never reach the intended destination. But never mind. Maybe it's all in our heads. All of it. And I feel pretty good about it.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2   ^
Old Sat, Feb-20-16, 07:16
Zuleikaa Zuleikaa is offline
Posts: 16,500
 
Plan: Mishmash
Stats: 365/333.8/160 Female 67
BF:
Progress: 15%
Location: Maryland, US
Default

I'm in the same boat. My instinct, research, and logic votes on the side of the supplements.

I compare my general health, barring lymphedema and arthritis, to that of others my age (62) and younger and I'm much better off health wise (arthritis and 1 knee replacement) and number of prescriptions (l take 1 hbp pill).

I also think given my accumulated knowledge at this age that if I had had the knowledge and started supplementation at a younger age I probably would be even better off then I am now.

Last edited by Zuleikaa : Sat, Feb-20-16 at 07:22.
Reply With Quote
  #3   ^
Old Sat, Feb-20-16, 07:29
cotonpal's Avatar
cotonpal cotonpal is online now
Posts: 2,483
 
Plan: very low carb real food
Stats: 245/122/135 Female 62
BF:
Progress: 112%
Location: Vermont
Default

I take a bunch of supplements too. My method is to track my food in Chrono-meter and see what nutrients I am low on and then supplement these. It's not a perfect method but it's the best I can come up with. It's also the reason I eat only "nutrient dense" foods. The only nutrient that I register low on that I don't supplement is calcium. There is so much ambivalent data on calcium supplementation that I decided to stop supplementing. Who knows? Right now I take B complex, magnesium glycinate (a form of magnesium without the laxative effect), soy free vitamin e, potassium, and vitamin D3. Over time I have cut a bunch out and this is what I am left with. I've been making fermented veggies rather than take a probiotic. It's a crap shoot.

Jean
Reply With Quote
  #4   ^
Old Sat, Feb-20-16, 11:17
MickiSue MickiSue is offline
Posts: 8,006
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 189/148.6/145 Female 5' 5"
BF:36%/28%/25%
Progress: 92%
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Default

Here's my n=1 for calcium, Barb. In 2011, I was Dxed with osteoporosis in my hips and ankles. I started being VERY religious about my Ca supplement, as well as walking.

In 2013, I was back at osteopenia, in the absence of meds or any other intervention other than the Ca and the walking. And this was prior to my beginning a grain free, low carb WOE.

I take a boatload of supplements, too. One is a supplement for joint pain. The joints are even better, since I started this WOE, but, even so, if I run out, within about 5 days I notice that my knees hurt as I climb the stairs. Not excruciating, but they hurt.

Even with the very best diet available from a store, we still are missing out on so much that our ancestors took for granted in their food supply. I figure that supplementing just evens out the game, a bit.

I haven't used a lot of fermented veggies, yet, but will. My guts are still somewhat messed up from the antibiotics, despite eating high fat, high quality and low sugar yogurt, and taking a lactobacillus supplement daily.
Reply With Quote
  #5   ^
Old Sat, Feb-20-16, 11:24
GreekRibs's Avatar
GreekRibs GreekRibs is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 2,580
 
Plan: LCHF
Stats: 188/139/138 Female 5'9"
BF:
Progress: 98%
Location: Saskatchewan
Default

Hi Barbara - I say keep doing what you're doing. I don't believe it can hurt. I will share that my late mother took all manner of supplements, never smoked or drank, ate very healthy, yet she got lung cancer and a horrid neuropathological illness which caused her tremendous pain (I won't go into details to spare myself and everyone else). I often wonder why someone as healthy as her had to experience this.

I take 1000 mg Ester C in the morning and 450 mg Magnesium Citrate at night. Sometimes in the winter I'll take D3 and B12. There are no scientific studies that demonstrate benefits. It is a crap shoot like Jean says. Most of us take them because we know we can't get them all through diet alone.
Reply With Quote
  #6   ^
Old Sat, Feb-20-16, 11:35
jschwab jschwab is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 5,523
 
Plan: Atkins72/Paleo/NoGrain/IF
Stats: 285/191/195 Female 5 feet 5 inches
BF:
Progress: 104%
Default

I was perplexed by your post because I don't think of things like vitamins or probiotics as falling under the category of "CAM". Fish oil even comes in a prescription dose (Lovaza). I think of CAM as encompassing things more like naturopathy and homeopathy or things like are pictured in the article. Will you avoid colds by taking Airborne? Probably not. If you are deficient in Vitamin D, though, taking Vitamin D is conventional medicine. If you are fat, taking an "herbal remedy for weight loss" is probably not backed by conventional medical practices and, therefore, would be "CAM".

I don't think anything you are doing counts as CAM as defined by the author. I had a doctor who would actually test blood levels to determine supplement needs but most doctors don't do that so you can only go by how you feel. That doesn't mean you are not following conventional medical wisdom by taking vitamins and probiotics.
Reply With Quote
  #7   ^
Old Sat, Feb-20-16, 14:46
bkloots's Avatar
bkloots bkloots is offline
Posts: 8,441
 
Plan: Atkins/LCHF
Stats: 195/153/135 Female 63in
BF:
Progress: 70%
Location: Kansas City, MO
Default

Quote:
That doesn't mean you are not following conventional medical wisdom by taking vitamins and probiotics.
Yes, I hear what you're saying. I don't think multi-vitamins, calcium, and other things I take as supplements would be considered outside the realm of conventional medicine.

Dr. Atkins, back in the 70s, practiced what he called "complementary medicine," meaning the use of what might have been "unusually large" dosages of vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements. He called them "vita-nutrients," and I have his book on that. I think it would be important to have the advice of a professional before attempting to solve medical issues with even "normal" kinds of supplements in high amounts. He considered it a significant part of his practice as a cardiologist and weight loss guru.

My unfinished bottle of Green Tea Extract, however, is hidden far back in the recesses of the linen closet. I feel the same way about it that I feel about the "look twenty years younger in two weeks" face creams I have occasionally purchased. What a silly dreamer. Oh well.

My brother the doctor believes fervently in the Power of Placebo. So perhaps my use of supplements will be, as long as possible, a case of mind over matter. That's fine with me!
Reply With Quote
  #8   ^
Old Sat, Feb-20-16, 16:08
cotonpal's Avatar
cotonpal cotonpal is online now
Posts: 2,483
 
Plan: very low carb real food
Stats: 245/122/135 Female 62
BF:
Progress: 112%
Location: Vermont
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkloots
Yes, I hear what you're saying. I don't think multi-vitamins, calcium, and other things I take as supplements would be considered outside the realm of conventional medicine.


In theory it is not outside the realm of conventional medicine to use vitamin supplements. However doctors get so little training in the use of supplements and most of that has to do with the RDA's which are based on the amount needed to prevent gross deficiency disease rather than optimal health. Then there are the issues involved with how well any person is able to absorb any given nutrient either from whole foods or from supplements, which tests are valid ways to measure a person's nutrient status, what form of the nutrient is the most bioavailable. Most conventional medicine doctors just are not trained to give this kind of advice. Just like with figuring out what foods to eat, I have found that I have to do my own research to try to determine what supplements, if any, to take. I have found this site to be helpful:

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic

Still it's mostly guess work.

Jean
Reply With Quote
  #9   ^
Old Sun, Feb-21-16, 08:19
leemack's Avatar
leemack leemack is offline
NEVER GIVING UP!
Posts: 5,030
 
Plan: no sugar/grains LCHF IF
Stats: 478/354/200 Female 5' 9"
BF:excessive!!
Progress: 45%
Location: UK
Default

I put this response in your journal, but I'll transfer it here for the discussion:

Quote:
One thing I do with supplements is to stop taking them for a while and see if there is a difference between taking them and not - I've got rid of quite a few supplements that way. The ones that I saw a difference with were: probiotics (biokult), digestive enzymes, b12, evening primrose oil, magnesium, potassium, milk thistle and msm. I also take d3 because I don't get enough sunlight. I've just started a general multi too, but we'll see on that one. I'm on the fence on iodine.

I think the only way to see if they do good is to trial without them then reintroduce, but beware like you said of any placebo effects.
Reply With Quote
  #10   ^
Old Sun, Feb-21-16, 08:46
Meme#1's Avatar
Meme#1 Meme#1 is offline
Posts: 7,280
 
Plan: Atkins DANDR
Stats: 210/178.5/160 Female 5'4"
BF:
Progress: 63%
Location: Texas
Default

I stopped taking vitamins for about a week to ten days until I began having horrible muscle pain, first in my thighs. I was at a doctors appointment and came off of the exam table with doctors help when my knees collapsed as I began going down but leaned against the table.
I couldn't figure out what was happening.
When I woke up the next morning the pain was in my upper arms and many other areas of muscle too.
Then it hit me that I needed the potassium, badly....
I just wonder about the heart muscle.
So glad that I figured it out before it got worse.
Within a couple of hours the muscle pains began subsiding.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:01.


Copyright © 2000-2017 Active Low-Carber Forums @ forum.lowcarber.org
Powered by: vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.