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Removed (Banned)Oct 26, 2022
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deletedOct 26, 2022·edited Oct 26, 2022
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I talked to a guy managing Linus Pauling's estate and he said he takes copious quantities of Vitamin C, as recommended by LP

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Besides the variance making finding the optimum hard--variance itself will be very detrimental to a medication (or supplement) working effectively. If you want to take 50 mg of Vyvanse, but instead you're swapping between 80 and 20 on alternating days, you're not going to have a good time.

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On MYASD - I’ve read you for a long time and trust you. But for one thing, the stuff I trust you about is generally stuff for which you don’t have a direct financial interest in convincing me. For another, one of the reasons I trust you is that you generally do your best to “show your work” about why you’re convinced about something. And if you say you’ve done your homework on this guy for 10 years and trust him, great! But in the original piece this just really came across as you being significantly less skeptical than is typical of somebody’s claims without really showing why you believed that.

Anyway as I said I don’t really think MYASD is straight up lying about anything. He just is in a position where he’s more likely than average to engage in hyping his results , because his livelihood depends on it.

“ I said at the end that it’s probably not a problem if your supplement has +/- 25% of the active ingredient, so I don’t know where we’re disagreeing here.”

We’re not! Which is a big part of why I found your uncritical presentation of MYASD odd. This is one of the key results he uses to conclude that the industry sucks and is full of lazy hucksters and why his supplements are way better… but it’s probably actually irrelevant! That’s not a red flag?

On snake oil… selling fake oil was part of the problem, sure. But the other big part (and I think more relevant to the point I was trying to make) was that snake oil was pushed not merely as a nice fatty acid supplement to maybe have some modest health benefits, but as a miracle cure for whatever ails you.

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IMHO, anyone who is more concerned about variability in supplements than variability in generic meds from India is misallocating their time.

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I'm surprised - you doubled down on the attack on Labdoor with the same hearsay that stems from Illuminate's initial claim. Of course there'll be an echo chamber.

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Why is the supplement industry full of major players (seemingly) openly and frequently accusing each other of libel, lies, secret business dealings, etc.? This industry seems so dramatic.

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> That’s 2 mg. For context, a medium dose of the antipsychotic risperidone is 2 mg/day. So these supplements contained as much arsenic as a risperidone pill does of risperidone.

I don't get it. Paracetamol comes doses of about 1g. L-Thyroxine comes in dosages of about 125ug.

Was Scott's point here simply "if a pill contains 2mg of something, it is probably meant as the active ingredient instead of a random contamination"?

If the contamination was 2mg of the well-known toxin NaCl, that would be a safe level. If it was botulinum toxin A, it would be enough to kill a horse. For lead, poisoning starts at 40ug/dL. Arbitrarily assuming that the bioavailability of lead is 100% (in reality, it probably depends on the compound or oxidation state), that is spreads evenly over 500dL worth of blood and soft tissue and has a biological half-life of 40 days and the natural logarithm of two is one, 2mg a day would result in about 160ug/dL, which sounds pretty bad.

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I have been the MYASD in another industry (which shall remain unnamed, and which I haven't been connected with for about fifteen years now) -- basically the guy who get into a business because he believes in the product, discovers that there is a ton of shady stuff being done by competitors, and is up front and outspoken about the issues in the industry even though it might be more financially remunerative to just shut up and be shady. The situation wasn't exactly parallel -- I never criticized competitors directly. This was both out of legal concerns but also more generally because getting in a food fight with a specific competitor seemed less productive than advocating for best practices and standards.

Anyway, I'm mentioning this just to say that this type of person exists and I think their perspective should be valued. They generally have a great deal of insider knowledge and -- perhaps more importantly -- they thread a useful line between blanket cynicism and mindless boosterism.

Was I ever cross-pressured by my own financial interests? Undoubtedly, although it's hard to think of any specific instances. Obviously, some skepticism is warranted. But if Scott has been reading this guy for 10 years, that is way more than enough time to come to an informed opinion of his credibility.

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Oct 26, 2022·edited Oct 26, 2022

I'm with Helen: medicine and especially nutrition is still so variable and strange that informed random self-experimenting can have good results.

Case in point, I recently decided to go on a limb and trust a nutrition blogger with unorthodox ideas who has a decent chance of being a crank (because there's hundreds of cranks with blogs and unorthodox ideas). He was recommending a high dose of calcium-pyruvate (12-15 grams per day) combined with l-carnitine (2 grams per day) because he has a theory about the Krebs Cycle and metabolism and seed oils, etc. He claimed that since he started taking the combo his body temperature has gone up (which he touts is a sign of improved metabolism, which seems plausible to me) and that he's been able to break through a weight loss plateau.

The subreddit dedicated to his particular variety of nutritional crankery (r/saturatedfat) had a post on this theory, and it was the typical thing: a lot of posters saying they tried it and didn't feel any affects, one or two saying it caused digestive distress, and one or two claiming it was working. Just like any other supplement I've looked at. Yet, I decided to try it anyway (I've been trying to lose weight for a long time, and the supplements were cheap, and I was reasonably sure they were very unlikely to kill me).

The first day I started taking it within a half hour I felt more energetic than I have in years. My mood improved, I took care of a few chores that have been sitting undone for weeks (because I couldn't bother to do them), my memory seemed to improve, and overall I felt great. Also my temperature spiked up to 100.4 degrees (after taking it for a week it seems to have stabilized around 99.1 degrees on average).

Quite frankly, I love this stuff. I can't say it's helped me lose weight (I'm losing weight, but I'm also on a calorie restricted diet and I'm only losing about a pound a week) but its improved my life significantly overall.

And I'm sure for most people, like those on the subreddit, it would do little, nothing, or just have bad effects. Because they're body chemistry isn't screwed up the way mine is, I guess.

I really don't know what else to say about it other than I was really, really, really surprised that a supplement I took actually had the advertised effect. I don't think that has ever happened to me prior to this.

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What about Ashwagandha makes it interesting, rather than unsatisfactory? In my feeble attempt at due diligence, I tried to identify (read: google) relevant papers/studies. Most I come up with are published in things like the "Journal of Herbal Medicine" and its ilk, which triggers my obvious 'pseudo-science mag says pseudo-science works!" bias. Without an academic background to score a papers scientific rigour, how can I judge the enthusiasm for Ashwagandha as opposed to a myriad of other supplements?

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Re: Vit C for common cold: there's a newer high-powered study that showed significantly decreased incidence of the common cold with high doses (6g per day): https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32139409/

6 grams is quite a lot even when taken as 2g after every meal 3 times a day. Personally I can hardly tolerate even 1g in the regular (readily soluble) form due to gastrointestinal side effects. However, when using a time-release formula, I can easily do 3-4 grams at a time, up to 12 grams per day, without any negative side-effects whatsoever. And at least in my experience, when you take such a time-released megadose at the very onset of cold symptoms (that is, even before the sore throat/runny nose, when you get that "aura" that frequent common cold sufferers are probably familiar with), you may very well skip getting sick altogether. Unfortunately, even though vit C's rapid excretion rates and strong GI side effects at high doses strongly suggest using time-released formulas, as far as I can tell, no one has conducted a proper study with time-release vit C megadoses yet. But that Korean one is pretty close.

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