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Old 02-17-2003, 04:07 PM   #1
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*Awaits Another Pharmacological Disaster*

http://www.cnn.com/2003/HEALTH/condi....ap/index.html

Drug could prevent diabetes-related eye disease

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) --A synthetic form of vitamin B1 that is used in Europe to treat nerve problems has been found to prevent the most common form of diabetes-related eye disease in rats.

Diabetic rats treated with benfotiamine for 36 weeks did not develop any of the retina damage found in a similar group of untreated rats, according to a research team led by Dr. Michael Brownlee of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

Brownlee said he hopes to begin a clinical trial to determine whether a similar result would occur in humans once an effective dose for the drug in people is determined. That could happen as soon as a year, he said.

"We can't say it works in humans because there has never been a double-blind clinical study" of it, Brownlee said.

The new findings are published Monday in the online edition of the journal Nature Medicine.

In the United States, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people age 20 to 70. Diabetic retinopathy -- damage to the small blood cells in the retina -- is the most common problem. The American Diabetes Association estimates that between 12,000 and 24,000 people lose their sight each year because of diabetes.

In diabetics, excess sugar in the blood can damage some cells, especially those lining blood vessels, that are unable to block the sugar from entering. That sugar is burned for fuel by mitochondria, the energy engines of cells.

In cells that cannot regulate their amount of sugar, byproducts accumulate that can activate three different pathways of cell damage that can lead to blindness and other complications.

Brownlee's group focused on two compounds involved in this damage. Those compounds are affected by an enzyme called transketolase, which depends on thiamine -- also known as vitamin B1 -- for its activity.

The researchers sought to block the cell damage by using thiamine to boost the activity of transketolase, but this increased the enzyme activity only about 20 percent.

German researchers on the team suggested trying the synthetic thiamine form, benfotiamine, and it increased the enzyme activity by 300 percent to 400 percent, Brownlee said.

"So that was a stroke of luck," Brownlee said in a telephone interview. Benfotiamine blocked all three damage pathways by converting the damaging compounds into harmless chemicals.

While benfotiamine is a synthetic derivative of thiamine, it is different from that vitamin, Brownlee said. He cautioned diabetics that "going out to a health food store and buying a lot of thiamine is not going to help."

Dr. Francine Kaufman, president of the American Diabetes Association, said the findings are exciting because they show a way to block all three damage pathways in cells lining blood vessels.

There are other products in the pipeline dealing with one or another of the pathways but not all three, she said.

In addition, benfotiamine has been in use in Germany for years to treat painful types of nerve damage, including nerve damage caused by diabetes, and seems to have few side effects. Thus "it might not take forever to get into clinical trials," said Kaufman, a pediatric endocrinologist at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles.

"It's a big leap from animals to humans, but this is quite encouraging," she said.

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It looks good, but do you know why I'm concerned? Any of the B vitamins (B1-B12), if given separately, lowers the levels of the other B vitamins. In other words, this mega dosage of Vitamin B1 is probably going to make these people deficient in B2-B12, unless the doctors are smart enough to encourage them to take a B-complex (which probably won't happen).



Anyhow, I'm babbling. I'm tired of talking about Iraq and George Bush. So here is my attempt to change the subject.



Melon
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Old 02-17-2003, 04:38 PM   #2
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can you hurt yourself by taking megadoses of vitamins? i really would like to read more about this - could you tell me where i can find info online?
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Old 02-17-2003, 04:46 PM   #3
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Certain vitamins are harmful. Vitamin B complex is water soluble, meaning you urinate all the excess out. The downside, though, is that "megadoses" of water soluble vitamins just give you expensive urine.

Fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin A and Vitamin D can kill you if you overdo it, because you will absorb all that you take in.

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Old 02-17-2003, 04:56 PM   #4
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do you know anything about vitamin c? I've been taking 1000 miligrams a day, but sometimes more.
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Old 02-17-2003, 04:58 PM   #5
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i take a lot of vitamin e. about 400 mgs a day. am i going to die?

TELL US EVERYTHING MELON!
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Old 02-17-2003, 05:07 PM   #6
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and I was worried about smoking???
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Old 02-17-2003, 05:28 PM   #7
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LOL...Vitamin C is water soluble. I think Dr. Linus Paulding used to take 30,000 milligrams. You're doing great, and your immune system and adrenal glands will thank you. Taking too much generally leads to very citrus tasting burping most commonly and diarrhea if you're taking way too much.

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Old 02-17-2003, 05:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Screaming Flower
i take a lot of vitamin e. about 400 mgs a day. am i going to die?

TELL US EVERYTHING MELON!
Are you sure you're taking 400 mgs or 400 IU? Vitamin E is fat soluble, and 400 mgs is way too much. In fact, you should have blurred vision and headaches...and, frankly, be dead at that dose....lol. 400 IU is generally acceptable. I used to take about 400-800 IU a day.

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Old 02-17-2003, 05:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by UKTan
and I was worried about smoking???
You should. It depletes your Vitamin C levels, amongst the obvious worries like cancer.

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Old 02-17-2003, 06:11 PM   #10
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doh

Quote:
Originally posted by melon


Are you sure you're taking 400 mgs or 400 IU? Vitamin E is fat soluble, and 400 mgs is way too much. In fact, you should have blurred vision and headaches...and, frankly, be dead at that dose....lol. 400 IU is generally acceptable. I used to take about 400-800 IU a day.

Melon
400 IU.

thank god i'm not taking 400 mgs. it would suck to die of a vitamin overdose.

thank you melon.
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Old 02-17-2003, 06:23 PM   #11
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Mineral Ascorbates

When people think "Vitamin C" they usually think "Ascorbic Acid". This is the form found in nearly all supplements. The problem with ascorbic acid is that it is only an intermediary form of vitamin C when in the liver. It causes all the symptoms, if taken in large doses as described here: diarrhea, citrus burps, etc... Ascorbic Acid, while suitable for citrus fuits, etc.. is not really suitable for the human body. As more is ingested, the more difficult it becomes for the human body to utilize it. Further complications arise because ascorbic acid has a PH of around 2, and when ingested in any substantial quantities, will lower the urine from 7 to around 4, irritating the bladder and inducing excessive urination.

It is estimated that up to 98% of humans on planet earth suffers from subclinical scurvy. The FDA recommendations of 10-125 mg a day are defined as the bare minimum to inhibit scurvy. One of the problems is this conception that ascorbic acid is the "true" vitamin C. Nothing can be further from the truth. "Real" vitamin C is a complex of seven neutral (NOT acidic) mineral ascorbates. The body properly processes these ascorbates, and ascorbic acid is one of the substances produced. In addition, it has been found that vitamin C in all forms; including ascorbic acid - is always found with bioflavinoids. It is a sad misconception that we can "isolate" and "refine" a single chemical and call it healthy. This just doesn't happen in nature. It happens in the pharmaceutical, drug, and food industry. Bioflavinoids work in conjunction with the seven neutral mineral ascorbates in a properly balanced and harmonious system. This same balance should be applied to our vitamin supplements. Unfortunately, most multi-vitamin supplements are conconted in unhealthy, misunderstood, and fundamentally "broken" arrangements. The science for this is NOT perfect, but a lot IS known about what vitamins supplement each other, and how they interact. That said, there are a lot of good vitamin supplements out there.

If you are taking large doses of vitamin C, which I personally recommend, then please do NOT just pop 100% pure ascorbic acid. It's nuts. It's asking for trouble. Go to www.alacer.com, or any other vendor that understands mineral ascorbates, and get the real vitamin C. With mineral ascorbates, even in ultra large doses of 1000mg multiple times a day, your PH will not change, you will NOT get acidic burps, and you WILL be giving your body the vitamin C it needs. And you WILL feel the difference! At least I do. But talk to your doctor or whatever, and make your own informed decisions.

You know, this same concept isolating pure chemicals is rampant in modern society. It applies especially to the evil sugar industry. Void of any nutrious value, all empty calories, and full of harmful medical pitfalls, pure refined sugar is stripped of all the micronutrients, minerals, and vitamins that accompany it in nature. The sugar industry boats that sugar is so refined, at 99.999 percent pure or whatever - that it is purer than ivory soap. How we can't draw parallels to the hard and soft drug industries is beyond me.
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Old 02-17-2003, 06:24 PM   #12
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Dr. Melon

Paging Dr. Melon

I drink one large Coolata a day (Sometimes Two a day)
One 24 Oz Coffee (One a day)
One Large Eclair (One a Day)
A 1lb Bag of Doritos (2 days)
1b Bag of Chips (2 Days)
1 Pint of Dip (Original HIdden Valley)
24 Cans of Vanilla Coke a week


The good news is.....

I am not drinking or smoking anymore!


Am I going to die?
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Old 02-17-2003, 06:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


You should. It depletes your Vitamin C levels, amongst the obvious worries like cancer.

Melon
Seriously, I would never ever promote or encourage ppl to smoke, my addiction is my own problem. But it seems more and more, in the UK anyway, that all the things that are sposed to be good for u have their own downsides.

There was a new report today that pregnant women should not eat too much tuna because it contains a natural level of mercury!
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Old 02-17-2003, 06:43 PM   #14
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omg now i want an eclair.

i think melon should have his own forum where we just ask him random questions about vitamins and the index.dat thing and such.
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Old 02-17-2003, 06:48 PM   #15
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Yes, and I want a cigarette! I have to leave when the health teacher comes in to talk about smoking. Nothing would make me happier right now than to sit outside in the Blizzard and have a smoke. Well, I can think of one thing that would make me happier, but my son who is not sleeping at night again, would make me think twice.
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