Eyes and supplements questions


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Harve Curry
January 21, 2008, 11:40 PM
As it pertains to being able to shoot good and see your sights, the target whatever it may be. What is new in taking care of our eye health.
Eye read that Billberry , Lutien are good for your eyes. Any truth to that?
Also eye glass wearers have protection from the suns harmful rays.
What does knowledgeable folks on THR say?

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Just Jim
January 21, 2008, 11:43 PM
In the long run stay away from sugar. It is a toxin to your body and can ruin your eyes with Diabetes. It is soon to kill more people than aides.

jj

Kingcreek
January 22, 2008, 09:30 AM
Billberry is helpful if it is properly processed, stabilized, and stored. So are some other fruits and berries. There are some great herbals but most of the market is flooded with junk. Just Jim is absolutely right about sugar, especially evil is the high fructose corn syrup that is in so many processed junk foods.
Don't get sucked in to the synthetic nutrient movement. Almost all "vitamin" supplements are synthetic fractions. (example: the FDA says that only ascorbic acid can be called "vitamin C" yet it represents only about 10% of the known vitamin C complex.) In the long term, these fractions may cause more harm than good.
What's new in nutritional supplements? Nothing. The only real nutrition comes from fresh whole foods just like it always has. Fresh fruits and veggies, lots of variety and color. They are the best sources of real nutrients, essential co-factors, trace minerals etc.

Khornet
January 22, 2008, 09:42 AM
sugar is not a "toxin" and won't hurt your eyes *unless you have diabetes*.

I'm not aware of any supplements which have been shown to benefit eyesight except in cases of actual eye disease such as glaucoma.

As far as diet goes, eating three squares of a well-balanced diet is all you really need, as long as you don't have any diseases which cause nutrient deficiencies.

Kingcreek
January 22, 2008, 10:00 AM
Actually, high insulin is damaging to blood vessels by causing thickening, promoting oxidation of LDLs, increased fibrinogen, increased BP, etc. So indirectly, sugar is atleast somewhat responsible wether we call it a "toxin" or not. I tend to think of it as an "anti-nutrient" as it leads to depletion of some other nutrients (high insulin drives the kidneys to waste magnesium and potassium and retain sodium and water and causes excess sugar to be converted to triglycerides)
I know this thread is wandering a little.
I stand by my previous reply and quote myself:

What's new in nutritional supplements? Nothing. The only real nutrition comes from fresh whole foods just like it always has. Fresh fruits and veggies, lots of variety and color. They are the best sources of real nutrients, essential co-factors, trace minerals etc.

and I was not excluding fresh meat, eggs, nuts, etc.

Chuckulator
January 22, 2008, 10:13 AM
This might be a good starting point for some information. The Life Extension Foundation is at the forefront of research for many illnesses. I have been a member for a couple years.

http://www.lef.org/protocols/eye_ear/healthy_eyes_01.htm

B yond
January 22, 2008, 12:03 PM
Just eat your carrots.

Just Jim
January 22, 2008, 12:12 PM
Sugar is a toxin in the amount Americans eat. In one can of Pepsi there is a quarter cup of sugar. Diabetes in 1985 had 5 million victims, in 2003 17 million and it's all because there is too much sugar put in our foods. Eat only natural sugar or you may get diabetes and go blind or worse.

jj

Atticus
January 22, 2008, 01:15 PM
Just eat your carrots
...and tomatoes and most other red/yellow fruits and vegetables. Carotenoids are generally good news for the eyes.

http://eyecombo.wordpress.com/2007/11/09/tomatoe-lycopene-and-eye-health/

Harve Curry
January 22, 2008, 06:55 PM
As we get older our eye sight changes. For whatever aging reason it seems to directly affect eyesight about 45-50 years old. Are any of the supplements for older eyes worth buying? Younger people might get along fine with three squares a day.

AK103K
January 22, 2008, 07:05 PM
I crossed over the 50 year mark three years ago. I've been wearing glasses on a daily basis, and going in for regular check ups (and up grades) for about 25 years up until last summer. I trashed my photo gray, progressive bifocals at work and could not get anywhere to get a new set at the time, so I just started wearing my safety/sunglasses instead. I still havent got a replacement for the prescription lenses, and I dont think I'm going to bother. So far, other than trying to read small print, up close, I havent missed them at all, and I actually feel like my eyes are actually better. I picked up a set of the cheap reading glasses, not even a strong set, 1.25's, and the up close stuff has been fine.

I've often wondered if going to the eye doctor and continually upping the prescription wasnt a counterproductive thing, and so far, I think I was right.

v35
January 22, 2008, 09:52 PM
I have been taking the ocular nutrition supplement from hi-health (http://shop.hihealth.com/Optim_3_Premier_Formula_for_O_P4277.cfm), and I do believe it makes a difference. It's basically a concoction of lots and lots of antioxidants along with amino acids, Lutein and herbs. I do not take the recommended dose of 4 capsules per day; I prefer just one or two.

I've noticed I have a noticeably higher tolerance for bright light with the supplement. Without it I take much longer to get accustomed to darkness after being exposed to bright light. In any event, I've found it a good general supplement, and I've been taking it for years. My eyes are perfectly healthy.

The retina needs copious amounts of oxygen to function. Anything that limits oxygen saturation or impairs your circulation is going to affect your eyes before anything else. Exercise has obvious benefits. Smoking is just as obviously out of the question.

I've often wondered if going to the eye doctor and continually upping the prescription wasnt a counterproductive thing, and so far, I think I was right.

While reading glasses eventually become necessary for almost everyone as the lens loses its ability to focus on near objects, eyeglasses for myopia are nothing more than a crutch. There are numerous self-help courses on the market for counteracting nearsightedness (they used to have a lot of radio advertisements), but the technique they use is not new at all. In fact it's very old, and it also happens to work. If you want to try it for yourself go get a book called "The Art of Seeing" written by none other than... Aldous Huxley??? Yes. He was nearly blind, and cured himself with these simple eye exercises. He then wrote this little book to explain how he did.

It's called the Bates Method. 100% of eye physicians will tell you it's bunk, it's a hoax, and doesn't work. 100% of people who have tried it report success. Some of it is dramatic. They can't both be right, but if more people tried the Bates Method a lot of eyeglass-dispensing doctors would be out of work. In any event you could buy 10 of Huxley's books for the price of a single pair of eyeglasses. Try it. Here's the link:

http://www.amazon.com/Art-Seeing-Aldous-Huxley/dp/0916870480

Reading the reviews alone is worth the effort. Good luck!

AK103K
January 22, 2008, 10:24 PM
Thanks for the link V35. :)

LAK
January 23, 2008, 07:10 AM
What Just Jim said.

I agree - people should stay away from sugar as far as possible - especially the refined variety. High fructose corn syrup is another slow poison to avoid. Yes, it is in about everything processed, bottled, canned, etc. I eat well, and still avoid it almost completely. Odd it seems that so many food products "just have to" contain this junk.

I disagree with the idea that one should wear sunglasses all the time to "protect the eyes from harmful uv". If this was the case, half the the world would be blind by now - esp in the mid east, africa and asia etc where people spend an enormous amount of time outdoors in intense sun at all altitudes. My info suggests that your eyes need at the very least 20 minutes of sunlight a day, as does the body (skin), for the production of vitamin D. 45 minutes or so is better. If sunlight caused skin cancer all the primitive peoples of the world would be ridden with it.

The only time it is really necessary to wear sunglasses is on snow and perhaps water where the reflected light can be both severe and damaging. A brimmed hat helps as well.

Vitamin C is probably the single most important supplement you can take - unless you eat alot of fresh citrus fruit. I would take at least one 1000 mg timed release tablet morning mid, afternoon and night. Or one 250 to 500 mg capsule every two to three hours.

Khornet
January 23, 2008, 08:04 AM
any of you supplement users and sugar-avoiders have any studies or data to back that up?

Insulin levels rise with calorie ingestion. If you have insulin resistance, which is what type II diabetes is, and which is also present in obesity, you will tend to have abnormally high insulin levels because you have a disease.

Absent a disease or a true nutritional deficiency, I'm not aware of any good studies showing that sugar is a toxin, or that any supplements improve eyesight or prevent its age-related decline.

This is not to say that sensible eating habits, exercise, and all-around common sense are not a good idea.

I speak as an internist and gastroenterologist, not an ophthalmologist. So if there are any real studies, not anecdotes or folk-medicine beliefs out there, that contradict me, I'll be glad to start taking supplements. My scores could use some improvement.

LAK
January 23, 2008, 08:38 AM
No "studies" to hand; it is interesting that there are apparently no indepth longterm studies to investigate the effects of refined sugar. There is a pretty good timeline though in the growth of the sugar empire and sugar consumption - and the explosion of a plethora of conditions and unexplained "syndromes".

On the subject of diabetes; whereas in my youth (the 60s through early 70s) I had never even heard of diabetes - let alone anyone who had it. Now, everyone I know has, knows someone who does, etc etc.

As far as vitamin c is concerned, it is simply an essential part of our diet. Unlike cats for one, our body does not make it's own vitamin c. If you eat a primitive diet with plenty of naturally sourced C by all means you are probably fine. If not, the C supplement is a good idea.

Kingcreek
January 23, 2008, 12:08 PM
respectfully,
re Bilberry:
Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy, Mills and Bone, Churchill Livingstone 2000- lists 67 references for published articles/clinical trials from 1964-1996 (pages 300-302)
Specific to visual disorders: bilberry extract (including isolated anthocyanins) improved vision in healthy subjects. visual perception improved in %76 of myopic patients (equiv 54mg anthocyanins plus retinol per day). 115mg equiv for 90 days improved darkness adaptation in all myopic patients and improved day vision in light-medium myopia.
also evidence of beneficial effects of bilberry on peripheral edema, venous insufficiency, microcirculation disorders including retinopathy, reducing capilary fragility.
Dr Khornet,
I don't think the Merck Manual or Gray's would dispute my comments re effects of hyperglycemia/insulin but if you disagree with any part of my statements, point it out and I'll try to back it up. I don't want to be responsible for spreading any misinformation.
I also recomend reading:
Weston Price's exhaustive compilations, though not recent are excellent.
Biochemical and Physiological Aspects of Human Nutrition, Stipanuk, Saunders co 2000
The Crazy Makers: How the Food Industry is destroying our Brains and Harming Our Children, Simontacci and Tarcher, Putnam 2000 (alarmist title but good read)
Dr Bernstein's Diabetes Solution: The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars (rev ed) Little, Brown, and Co 2003
Politics In Healing: The Suppression and Manipulation of American Medicine by Haley, Potomac Valley Press 2000.

CAUTION
Herbal therapies are much more complicated than most folks realize. Only 4 countries require herbal products be manufactured to pharmaceutical GMP standards and the US of A ain't one of them. (IMO, Australia currently leads the world herbal market in quality and practice standards.) There are some potential side effects and drug interactions with some herbs and I recommend all herbs be used under the guidance of a competent professional. The likelyhood of buying a quality herbal product off the shelf in the US is probably slim to none. You can go to the corner health food store and buy armloads of herbal product and nutritional supplements but most of it is expensive junk.
I consider nutritional support and herbal (phyto)therapy as 2 distinct fields of study.

Conqueror
January 23, 2008, 02:32 PM
Use a supplement that contains the AREDS formula (things like PreserVision). It's the best medically-supported eye health supplement. I'm a med student and JUST finished the ophthalmology block, they mentioned this as a good formula for overall eye health several times.

Atticus
January 23, 2008, 04:11 PM
any of you supplement users and sugar-avoiders have any studies or data to back that up?

Primarily related to Age-Related Eye Disease Study...but supports a lot of anecdotal reports. Sugar I'm not sure about. Most of the studies I've seen on the subject generally indicate that "carbs are carbs".

The Role of Nutrition in Eye Disease Prevention
In October 2001, the NEI published the results of a seven-year study -- called the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) -- that showed that a high-dose combination of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and zinc significantly reduces the risk of developing advanced stages of AMD by about 25 percent. These high levels of antioxidants and zinc are the first effective treatment to slow the progression of AMD. The nutrients are not a cure for AMD, nor will they restore vision already lost from the disease. But they are playing a vital role in helping people at high risk for developing advanced AMD keep their vision. In the same study, the antioxidant and zinc combination showed no significant effect on the development or progression of cataract.

Lutein was not part of this study because during the AREDS planning stages in the early 1990s, lutein and zeaxanthin were not commercially available.


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

1 Seddon, Johanna M., MD, et al, "Dietary Carotenoids, Vitamins A, C, and E, and Advanced Age-Related Macular Degeneration," JAMA, Vol. 272, No. 18, November 1994, pgs. 1413-1420.

2 Chasen-Taber et al., "A Prospective Study of Carotenoid and Vitamin A Intakes and Risk of Cataract Extraction in US Women," American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1999, Vol. 70, pgs. 509-516.

3 Brown et al., "A Prospective Study of Carotenoid Intake and Risk of Cataract Extraction in US Men," American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1999, Vol. 70, pgs. 517-524.

4 Lyle et al., "Serum Carotenoids and Tocopherols and Incidence of Age-Related Nuclear Cataract," American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1999, Vol. 69, pgs. 272-277.

5 Mares-Perlman et al., "Lutein and Zeaxanthin in the Diet and Serum and Their Relation to Age-Related Maculopathy in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey," American Journal of Epidemiology, 2001, Vol. 153, No. 5, pgs. 424-432.

6 Mares-Perlman et al., "Association of Zinc and Antioxidant Nutrients With Age-Related Maculopathy," Archives of Ophthalmology, 1996, Vol. 114, No. 8, pgs. 991-997.

7 VandenLangenberg et al., "Associations Between Antioxidant and Zinc Intake and the 50-Year Incidence of early Age-Related Maculopathy in the Beaver Dam Eye Study," American Journal of Epidemiology, 1998, Vol. 148, No. 2, pgs. 204-14.

TEDDY
January 23, 2008, 08:15 PM
Dr Whitaker:Whitaker wellness institute=newport beach cal.
health & healing forrester center wv 25438
I used his vision essentials and did seem to help.however the VA offered to do cateract surgery and it worked fantastick.you might try contacting the wv group as he recomends their quality.:)---:)

I am 83 and can see the front rear and target on pistol.

LAK
January 25, 2008, 09:59 AM
For what it's worth ....

http://www.drmyhill.co.uk/article.cfm?id=319

Chromium - a major player in the prevention of arteriosclerosis

Chromium - a major player in the prevention of arteriosclerosis and a risk factor for diabetes. From Dr John Mansfield's paper on arteriosclerosis and heart disease.

Since the early 1960s chromium has been recognised as being essential to human beings. Substantial geographic and racial variations have been found in chromium concentrations reflecting probable differences in chromium ingestion in various parts of the world and chromium appears to be absolutely necessary in the maintenance of human health. There is now an exceedingly well documented paper coming from the Biolab Medical Unit demonstrating a marked decrease of chromium levels both in the sweat, hair and serum with age.

Chromium levels can be seen to be lower in males than females from about the age of 20 onwards and there is a marked decrease in chromium levels between the ages of 45 and 65 which correlates well with the increase in coronary artery disease during those years. This study was the result of a retrospective computer analysis of chromium levels in 51,665 samples of hair, sweat and serum from 40,872 patients according to age and sex. The numbers involved here are so enormous that very little doubt can be ascribed to these findings. [24]

Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus have lower serum chromium than non-diabetics and chromium supplementation in diabetics has been shown to improve glucose tolerance, decrease blood cholesterol and triglycerides and increase high density lipoprotein cholesterol. [25]

The aorta in patients dying of coronary artery disease has been shown in an Israeli study [26] to contain exceedingly little chromium, whereas the aorta of patients not dying in accidents has been shown to contain aortic chromium. Chromium supplementation has been shown to reverse arteriosclerosis in rabbits.

To test whether increased chromium intake could improve glucose control in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Richard Anderson (Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, M.D., USA) and colleagues in the USA and China studied 180 people with Type 2 Diabetes. Patients were assigned to three groups; a placebo group, a group where the normal diet was supplemented with 100 meg of chromium (as chromium picolinate) two times a day and a third group given 500 mcg of chromium - 2 x three times a day. All patients continued to take their normal medications. There was enormous improvement in all objective criteria in patients taking high dosage chromium, even by two months, and more markedly so by four months. [27]

Natural sugars and grains do contain substantial concentrations of chromium sufficient to facilitate the metabolism of these high carbohydrate foods. However, almost all chromium is removed during the refining process leading to the production of most of the sugars which we eat, either in the form of sucrose or glucose. Evidence from human studies links deficient or marginal chromium intake with diets high in such processed carbohydrates.

Such findings would correlate well with the observations that societies who increase their refined sugar intake have a very high incidence of coronary artery disease. While the amount of fat in the diet has not increased significantly over the past one hundred years, refined sucrose intake has increased by over a thousand percent and it is this factor which lead me, back in the 1960's, to feel very uncomfortable about the cholesterol theory.

Thus, chromium depletion is demonstrably a major factor in the formation of high serum cholesterol levels. Chromium supplementation of a previously low chromium diet decreased rat serum cholesterol levels and in males restrained the tendency of cholesterol levels to increase with advancing age. Other studies showed that elevated age dependent serum cholesterol levels in rats consuming white purified sugar. In contrast, low cholesterol levels were found in rats ingesting brown sugar or white sugar with added chromium. All these findings and countless other ones of a similar nature suggest that serum cholesterol is not a fundamental cause of coronary artery disease, but a result of other factors such as chromium deficiency, which are themselves major factors in the engendering of this disease.

AND ...

Tissue levels of chromium tend to decrease with age, which may be a factor in the increase of adult-onset diabetes, a disease whose incidence has risen more than sixfold in the past 50 years. This increase may mirror the loss of chromium from our diets because of soil deficiency and the refinement of foods. Much of the chromium in whole grains and sugarcane is lost in making refined flour (40 percent loss) and white sugar (93 percent loss). In addition, there is some evidence that refined flour and sugar deplete even more chromium from the body. Reduced absorption related to aging, diets that are stressful to the digestive system, and the modern refined diet all contribute to chromium deficiency. Higher fat intake also may inhibit chromium absorption. If chromium is as important as we think it is to blood sugar metabolism, its deficiency may be in part responsible, along with the refined and processed diet, for the third leading cause of death (more than 300,000 yearly) in this country, diabetes mellitus, and this figure does not reflect other deaths that may be related to chromium deficiency, since high blood sugar levels seen in diabetes also increase the progression of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, our number one killer.

http://www.bodyandfitness.com/Information/Weightloss/Research/chromium1.htm

LAK
January 25, 2008, 10:22 AM
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 84, No. 5, 1171-1176, November 2006
© 2006 American Society for Nutrition

ORIGINAL RESEARCH COMMUNICATION

Consumption of sugar and sugar-sweetened foods and the risk of pancreatic cancer in a prospective study1,2,3
Susanna C Larsson, Leif Bergkvist and Alicja Wolk
1 From the Division of Nutritional Epidemiology, National Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden (SCL and AW), and the Department of Surgery and the Centre for Clinical Research, Central Hospital, Västerås, Sweden (LB)


Background: Emerging evidence indicates that hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia may be implicated in the development of pancreatic cancer. Frequent consumption of sugar and high-sugar foods may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by inducing frequent postprandial hyperglycemia, increasing insulin demand, and decreasing insulin sensitivity.

Objective: The objective of the study was to examine prospectively the association of the consumption of added sugar (ie, sugar added to coffee, tea, cereals, etc) and of high-sugar foods with the risk of pancreatic cancer in a population-based cohort study of Swedish women and men.

Design: A food-frequency questionnaire was completed in 1997 by 77 797 women and men aged 45–83 y who had no previous diagnosis of cancer or history of diabetes. The participants were followed through June 2005.

Results: During a mean follow-up of 7.2 y, we identified 131 incident cases of pancreatic cancer. The consumption of added sugar, soft drinks, and sweetened fruit soups or stewed fruit was positively associated with the risk of pancreatic cancer. The multivariate hazard ratios for the highest compared with the lowest consumption categories were 1.69 (95% CI: 0.99, 2.89; P for trend = 0.06) for sugar, 1.93 (1.18, 3.14; P for trend = 0.02) for soft drinks, and 1.51 (0.97, 2.36; P for trend = 0.05) for sweetened fruit soups or stewed fruit.

Conclusion: High consumption of sugar and high-sugar foods may be associated with a greater risk of pancreatic cancer.

http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/84/5/1171

Just Jim
January 25, 2008, 10:31 AM
I am not real big on medical studies because I don't trust the proffesion. Most are anti gun. However I remember when the proffesion kept telling us all that we eat too much salt causeing blood pressure problems. So Americans cut back on salt (sodium) and now we have problems with erectile dissfunction. The doctors come up with Viagra (a sodium dirivative) to help the problem.

I really don't think they have fine tuned enough information to take the stands that they do in most cases. The numbers on diabetes speak for themselves.



jj

Kingcreek
January 25, 2008, 11:01 AM
Off topic but true:
Many of the studies are designed and funded by drug companies. Negative outcomes are less likely to be reported than positives.
The Journal of the American Medical Association relaxed its standards on accepting papers from authors with financial interests in the outcomes.
I'm a med student and JUST finished the ophthalmology block, they mentioned this as a good formula for overall eye health several times.
Conqueror,
I am curious. How much, if any of the current medical education curriculum includes nutrition and/or herbal therapy?
An effort to be ON topic:
I think evidence and not just opinion has been presented for the OP in this thread.

Conqueror
January 25, 2008, 11:09 AM
^^^Probably not enough. We do spend a bit of time in each block talking about relevant herbal therapies. The trouble is that many herbal therapies are unproven, and more often are interfering with proven medicines. I do think herbal remedies have a valuable place in medicine when properly studied and used. Unfortunately most people who use herbal remedies don't understand what's in them. For example, many people drink Valerian Root tea because they don't trust prescription sleeping pills. They don't have a clue that the main active ingredient in valerian root - desmethyldiazepam - is also the main metabolite of prescription benzodiazepines like Valium. So they're getting the same chemical, but in an uncontrolled, random dose from the tea, which can be dangerous.

The doctors come up with Viagra (a sodium dirivative) to help the problem.

Uh, what? Viagra has nothing to do with sodium. I'm not even sure what "sodium derivative" means, since sodium is a bare element - you can't derive anything from a single atom. Anyway, sildenafil is a phosphodiesterase inhibitor that relaxes smooth muscle throughout the body. If anything it lowers blood pressure by dilating arteries - so it acts synergistically with a low-sodium diet, not against it.

Khornet
January 25, 2008, 11:10 AM
I went to the drmyhill site. Sorry, it is full of outright quackery. Doesn't disprove your point, but doesn't support it either.

The nutrition and pancreatic cancer study is based on a design well known to be among the most untrustworthy of all: patient diet history questionnaires. Remember the coffee and pancreatic cancer scare? Same junk method.

Note the odds ratios (hazard ratios): not one even reaches 2.0. Such ORs are absolutely meaningless. Confidence intervals (CI) which include 1, e.g. "1.69 (CI 95% 0.99, 2.89) are statistically invalid. All of the CIs in that study include 1.

The chromium study I can't trust because the references are not included. In any case, correlation does not equal causation. And when a scholarly-looking blurb for chromium just happens to end with a sales pitch for chromium supplements, my BS alarm goes off.

If some folks take supplements and notice health improvements, that's great, but it ain't science. The plural of anecdote is not data.

If the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition publishes studies with such shabby design and ORs and CIs, I can't really trust it. AND they don't specify what they mean by pancreatic cancer. There are several types: adenocarcinoma, cystic neoplasms, mucinous neoplasms, endocrine and neuroendocrine, etc.

I don't trust Dr. Whitaker:http://www.acsh.org/healthissues/newsID.901/healthissue_detail.asp

The age-related eye disease study gets back to my earlier point: they were looking at disease, not normal eyes.

Look, it may well be true that supplements, chromium, avoiding sugar etc etc do improve health. But the studies and sources cited here don't back that up.
When a properly done study shows a discernible benefit ( and odds ratios of less than 3 don't do that), I will be the first to recommend them. I'm not saying you guys are wrong or stupid. I'm saying that the sources don't support your beliefs.

Sorry if I sound testy, but there is so much junk science out there, and it is infuriating to see people led astray by it. Our best science is slow and blind enough as it is without all the lousy science being published. Remember when dietary fiber was supposed to prevent colon cancer? Turned out not to be true. Yet we all got on that fiber bandwagon, and food merchants made millions on it.

Jorg Nysgerrig
January 25, 2008, 11:13 AM
I am not real big on medical studies because I don't trust the proffesion.
Well, that explains the random nonsense about medical subjects you've been posting.
So Americans cut back on salt (sodium) and now we have problems with erectile dissfunction.
That's one hell of a leap of logic. Are you actually suggesting that erectile dysfunction is a result of too little salt in one's diet? I'd ask for a cite, but you seem to be making it up as you go. Either that, or you'd refer me to a web page selling ear-candles, crystals, and chicken feet.
The doctors come up with Viagra (a sodium dirivative) to help the problem.
Viagra isn't a sodium derivative. Neither is Cialis or Levitra. So much for that brilliant theory.
I really don't think they have fine tuned enough information to take the stands that they do in most cases.
On the other hand, your practice of just making things up based on something someone told you is a valid method of reaching a conclusion. :rolleyes: How exactly are they supposed to fine tune the information without these medical studies you don't believe?
The numbers on diabetes speak for themselves.
Your information about diabetes above was off-base. It starts with the nonsense about saying it is about to pass AIDS in the number of deaths (which, btw, it already far surpasses AIDS, but don't let facts get in the way) and goes downhill from there. The causes of diabetes are far more complicated than just eating sugar. Obesity and inactivity are rather large players. While consuming lots sugar certainly can contribute, there's much more to it than that.

This kind of thread is why one shouldn't take suggestions for anything serious (such as medical treatment, legal issues, or investing advice) on the internet without a grain of salt (or apparently a Viagra). While you might get some good information, there's always a chance that someone is going to suggest that putting some more salt on your french fries will make your penis work properly.

Conqueror
January 25, 2008, 11:17 AM
Khornet - Do you give no weight to P values? If an odds ratio is 1.85 with a P value of 0.0005, I would imagine it safe to say that the observed 85% increased odds are true and significant. You do mention confidence intervals, but IMO they are similarly important to P values and can indicate reliable results even with ORs that contain 1 (ie, an OR of 1.92 with a 95% CI of 1.78-1.96 would be more convincing than an OR of 1.92 with a CI of 0.78-2.31).

I did not read the linked "studies", I am just commenting on your post which does not mention these things. It's been a long time since I took stats and I'm still a bit shaky on clinical epidemiology so I'm not trying to outright correct you, simply asking your take.

Khornet
January 25, 2008, 11:48 AM
the P values cited were 0.05, 0.06, and 0.02. That means there was, respectively, a 95%, 94%, and 98% chance that the finding of non-significant confidence intervals and nonsignificant odds ratios was not due to chance. P value alone is not enough, which is why we have ORs and CIs. Put the three together and we find that there is a high probability that the study in question accurately found that there was no significant difference between the high-sugar and low-sugar groups, because the odds of cancer in the high sugar group were not significantly higher.

For those of you scratching your heads over all this, I offer this point: we humans have a huge capacity for BS-ing ourselves. A good and honest scientist keeps this in mind, and is constantly asking himself "Now, in what way could I be kidding myself about these results? Is there any way I could have made this study find what I wanted it to find, or have I set it up so that it will find the truth irrespective of what I'm hoping for?"

So we have statistical tools to test whether there is really any difference between the test group and the control group, how much of a difference there is, and whether the difference means anything at all. Beyond that, we must look at the design of the study to see whether it is reliable in the first place. Studies based on the subjects' self-reporting, such as the one based on diet histories, are notoriously unreliable. Anyone notice the recent embarassment of the Lancet, the venerable British medical journal? They reported huge civilian casualties in Iraq, and they got their numbers by the same method: self-reporting from subjects. When the numbers were checked by a more sound method, it was found that the Brits had exaggerated by a factor of FIVE. They also got sucked in because they didn't do the honest science thing and look hard to be sure they weren't finding what they wanted to find. And they clearly (and by their own admission) wanted to show how "Bush's war" was slaughtering Iraqi civilians by the stadium-full.

Khornet
January 25, 2008, 11:50 AM
When I say "CIs that include 1" I mean that they traverse 1, ranging from below 1 to above 1. So 1.78-1.96 is meaningful, but 0.78-2.31 is not.

Khornet
January 25, 2008, 11:58 AM
but I must respond to Kingcreek's statement. While it is true that many studies are funded by drug companies, that by itself is no reason to discount them. You have to look at the studies themselves.

If I do as study purporting to show that shaking a rubber chicken over your head each night reduces blood pressure, you don't respond by saying "Oh, you're just a shill for the rubber chicken industry." You duplicate my study and report whether you got the same results or something different. Only after you've proved me wrong can you indulge yourself in speculating why I did such a damnfool thing.

Conqueror
January 25, 2008, 01:12 PM
When I say "CIs that include 1" I mean that they traverse 1, ranging from below 1 to above 1. So 1.78-1.96 is meaningful, but 0.78-2.31 is not.

Thanks for the clarification. I read your post as saying "any CI that has 1 as the first digit is not valid" and that's mostly what I took issue with. You also said an OR less than 2 is not significant, which I think falls under the same misunderstanding - an OR of 1.8 but with a small CI is still significant.

Khornet
January 25, 2008, 03:49 PM
if by OR you mean odds ratio, we may not be speaking the same language. The study used the term 'hazard risk', which I'm taking to mean 'risk ratio' or 'relative risk'. A relative risk of 2 or less is not meaningful, and some respected epidemiologists think less than 3 is not meaningful.

Also, it must be kept in mind that relative risk does notmeasure risk. It is only a quantification of the difference between the study groups, e.g. high sugar and low sugar, in this study. It most certainly does not prove that, for example, at a RR of 2.0, high sugar folks are at twice the risk of low sugar folks.

Enjoy med school. That was 24 years ago for me. What a ride. I was in St. Louis, and had some of the best shooting experiences of my life there.

Incidentally, it was in my freshman year that the scare stories about the dreaded "plastic gun" first came out in the news. Having handled, fired, and field-stripped said plastic gun (G17) a few days earlier, I knewe that it was BS. That began my life of skepticism about the media, especially when reporting science and medical news.

For a great example of shoddy study desighn riddled with bias, see the famous Kellerman study in NEJM, showing that you are 34 times more likely to be killed with the gun in your home than to be defended by it. Junk science costs lives.

Sharps-shooter
January 25, 2008, 06:37 PM
I spend all day in a clinic talking to people about their health. could we maybe talk about, i dunno, guns, or something?

I realize I'm the one who brought up bilberry on the other thread but this is a long thread that is sort of tangent-y.

LAK
January 26, 2008, 10:17 AM
KHornet,

No more full of quackery than an establishment that maintains that mercury amalgam dental fillings are "safe".

The nutrition and pancreatic cancer study is based on a design well known to be among the most untrustworthy of all: patient diet history questionnaires. Remember the coffee and pancreatic cancer scare? Same junk method.

And just how many studies are done any other way? We can dispute the possible error factor in any study that includes a patient questionaire; what about the actual biochemical and physiological process described?

but I must respond to Kingcreek's statement. While it is true that many studies are funded by drug companies, that by itself is no reason to discount them. You have to look at the studies themselves.
Given the track record of drug companies and not just a few genuinely dangerous drugs and vaccines, many with fatal consequences, I see no reason to trust any study conducted by a drug company.

Khornet
January 26, 2008, 12:07 PM
no offense intended, but the mercury amalgam filling stuff is the rankest junk science, and no scientific study has ever shown they do any harm. If you believe that then you are not rational, at least on this subject. That makes you a perfect target for junk-science health-scare scams.

The pancreatic cancer study doesn't address the biologic mechanisms other than to say 'emerging science' suggests a link between insulin levels and pancreatic cancer. I'd love to see what the authors consider "emerging science" when they don't practice science themselves.

If you believe you can judge the truth of a study by its authors instead of evaluating the science itself, then you do not believe in reason and are operating on emotion instead.

As I said before, if a well-designed study shows that supplements help eyesight in non-diseased subjects, I won't get mad.........I'll get supplements, because I want the truth. Why is it that junk-science believers always get mad, instead of addressing the criticisms?

Just Jim
January 26, 2008, 12:09 PM
I'd ask for a cite, but you seem to be making it up as you go.

Just like the mediical proffession. The Federal government tells us tha 90,000 Americans a year die from poor medical help. I believe it cause I have seen it for years. Both friends and FAMILY have died due to the poor quality.

Worst of all most in the medical proffession are anti gun. Not only do they hurt people by their practice but they want to refuse people the ability to defend themselves.

Todays doctors or voodoo, not much different. IMHO

jj

Edited to add, the pills and potions that doctors push along with their dirty hospitals have killed many thousands of Americans. People here who carry a gun for self defense are far more apt to run into a bad doctor that a BG. Think about it.

Conqueror
January 26, 2008, 02:34 PM
It's easy to bash doctors while you're in good health. Lets see how you feel if you ever get a kidney stone. Most people who love to bash doctors and pills are the first ones in line for morphine and surgery when something hurts. To compare modern medicine to voodoo and say there's not much difference is asinine - if medical science was junk, we'd be facing the same problems today that we were 200 years ago.

How many people do you know who've died of cholera, dysentery, polio, smallpox, or malaria lately?

Slugless
January 26, 2008, 05:18 PM
Just eat your carrots.

Yup. Eat fruits and vegetables. Fresh is better but any kind is better than none.

In the South Pacific, many Japanese aviators found themselves cut off from their supply lines. Limited primarily to rice stocks, the vision of their aviators began to deteriorate. They discovered that by scrounging up & providing fresh fruits and vegetables the vision of their pilots recovered.

Most all sunglasses provide good UV protection. I don't, however, trust the cheap Chinese $1.99-type sunglasses to protect my eyes. Usually there's a sticker on them declaring their UV protection.

Just Jim
January 26, 2008, 11:25 PM
It's easy to bash doctors while you're in good health. Lets see how you feel if you ever get a kidney stone. Most people who love to bash doctors and pills are the first ones in line for morphine and surgery when something hurts. To compare modern medicine to voodoo and say there's not much difference is asinine - if medical science was junk, we'd be facing the same problems today that we were 200 years ago.

How many people do you know who've died of cholera, dysentery, polio, smallpox, or malaria lately?

It's even easier to bash doctors after you watch your family die in their care. I have had doctors tell me the system is broken with surgeries being done just for the money. I have seen people die of infections they got in a hospital,FAMILY

I am going to leave it at that as I have no respect for the proffesion in general and trust damn few of them.

jj

Conqueror
January 27, 2008, 12:57 AM
"I have seen people die of infections they got in a hospital'

And that's the doctors' fault? Think about what a hospital is: a single building where ALL the sick people from a given region congregate. It's unavoidable that people will get infections there occasionally that they didn't have when they arrived. I'm very sorry you've had bad experiences, but many, many more people are alive because of modern medicine than are dead because of it.

LAK
January 27, 2008, 08:34 AM
Khornetno offense intended, but the mercury amalgam filling stuff is the rankest junk science, and no scientific study has ever shown they do any harm. If you believe that then you are not rational, at least on this subject. That makes you a perfect target for junk-science health-scare scams.
Right. That's why more than a few dentists I know have avoided or had their mercury amalgam fillings taken out because of health concerns. But they can not recommend to their patients they do so out of fears of establishment retributions. It is a "cosmetic issue" only.

How many cancer patients and sufferers of these 1001 "syndromes" have mercury amalgam dental fillings? They isolated these people intheir "studies"?

The level of vapors from mercury amalgam is safe you might say? A documentary aired in the UK during the 1990s told of the little quandary that arose from an unexplained gain in weight of the calibrating weights at the weights and measures laboratory in London.

Long story short; after an exhaustive search for the cause, an analysis of surface deposits on the weights showed that mercury vapor from the dental fillings of workers at the lab had condensed on them.

You want to talk about junk science - just tell us all what the "safe" levels of mercury or mercury compounds are permissible in the body. I am all ears.
The pancreatic cancer study doesn't address the biologic mechanisms other than to say 'emerging science' suggests a link between insulin levels and pancreatic cancer. I'd love to see what the authors consider "emerging science" when they don't practice science themselves.

If you believe you can judge the truth of a study by its authors instead of evaluating the science itself, then you do not believe in reason and are operating on emotion instead.

As I said before, if a well-designed study shows that supplements help eyesight in non-diseased subjects, I won't get mad.........I'll get supplements, because I want the truth. Why is it that junk-science believers always get mad, instead of addressing the criticisms?
Well, science is a divided subject on a great many topics. Be it global warming or health issues.

Junk science believers get mad when they find out they've been had. Like a friend of mine whose teenage child has the mind of an eight old after getting a "safe approved" vaccination. Needless to say he and his wife no longer trust junk science.

I have not been treated for any illness by a doctor in a decade or more. I rarely get a cold, or flu even though I work in areas frequented by and in daily contact with hundreds or thousands of people. The few times I have I'll generally get rid of it in 24 to 48 hrs. Oregano oil, sambucol and maybe some extra C.

I can not count the numbers of people I see every year, year round with cold or flu-like symptoms. I know a couiple from india with a couple of kids; they told me that until they came to this country they rarely got sick - now it is flu, colds etc and frustrating trips to the doctor. They are switching to organic food and alternative treatments. No more junk science.

RDak
January 27, 2008, 09:14 AM
I've found that juicing apples, carrots, celery and spinach are the best things for my overall health. Carrots and spinach are especially good for the eyes from what I've read.

We all know about carrots and benefits to our eyes but spinach has lutein and antioxidants also which are very good for the eyes. I don't think many people know that about spinach?

Some people say take a gulp of olive oil after consuming spinach because we need the oil to absorb the lutein?

I've read about bilberry and there seems to be something to it. Never tried it though.

Spinach:

http://www.ilovespinach.com/MacD.html

http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:CG9VdmcFC4AJ:www.ocuwel.com/case.html+spinach+and+lutein&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=5&gl=us

Khornet
January 27, 2008, 09:46 AM
which is the logic used by our friends at the EPA. It holds that if large doses or high exposures to a given agent can cause disease in lab animals, and you have no idea what is a safe level of human exposure, then the safe level of exposure is presumed to be zero. Thus if high doses of mercury are toxic, minute ones must be as well. That's not science, it's a policy decision.

You can poison yourself with water. Prolonged exposure to high oxygen levels damages the retina. That doesn't mean they are toxins.

No study--I repeat, NO well-done study--has EVER shown any disease from mercury amalgam fillings. That doesn't mean that the suffering is all in the patient's head, but that the fillings aren't the cause.

Yes, medical errors and shabby practice are all too common. But they are not typical. LAK, you are treating the medical profession the way anti-gunners treat you and me. I don't blame you for your anger, but it's misdirected.

I've wasted enough of everbody's time with my ranting. I will leave you with one comment: junk science is an important tool of those who wish to disarm us. Shooters should learn how to recognize and debunk junk science if they want to keep their rights. Next time you hear that "A child is killed by a gun every 15 minutes", ask how they got that number. Do they include 19-year-old gang members? (They do.) Do they count suicides? (They do.) Is there a steady stream of killing every 15 minutes? (There isn't. They take the annual total of deaths and divide by the number of hours in a year. It's as if a jumbo jet with 365 passengers crashes with no survivors, and the media then say that every day someone dies in a plane crash.) I'm done. Sorry to hijack the thread.

LAK
January 27, 2008, 10:02 AM
You also avoided the same question as the FDA et al; what is the safe level of mercury?

Cheerio doc. And happy hunting.

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