Lee Kirksey, MD  
Cleveland , OH

Specialties: Peripheral Arterial Disease, PAD

Interests: vascular, specialist, treatment options
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Are your vitamins effective or just placebo?

Dec 04, 2008 - 16 comments

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My co author in my book Your Guide to Optimal Health, has a weekly appearance on Fox News health segment. Although all of her segments are very informative, this one was particularly informative and surprised everyone that I know. I personally had no idea about the vitamin industry. The vitamin industry, because its over the counter and not physician prescribed is very poorly regulated. In fact, in many vitamin products-if chemically analyzed, one would find a great deal of variability in the quantity of the actual important substance. Dr Patel describes why it is so vitally important to consume pharmaceutical grade products. Because if you dont, you may be fooling yourself into thinking that youre getting any benefit. Furthermore, she describes and performs a very simple test to assess at home if the vitamins in your cabinet are being broken down and absorbed the way that they should. copy and paste in your url box to view the video. Its very simple and surprising. After seeing this, one of my colleagues found that $150.00 worth of recently purchased products were essentially useless.

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572651 tn?1531002957
by Lulu54, Dec 04, 2008
Would you believe that this thinking also leads us to suspect that generic drugs may be less effective than name brand ones?  

Avatar universal
by PlateletGal, Dec 06, 2008

I'm kind of changing the subject here but I've read that if you buy vitamins that are manufactured in the U.S.... you still may be getting ingredients in your vitamins that came from CHINA ! I wonder if this is the problem ?

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by ott70, Dec 06, 2008
I'm not sure that vinegar is a fair representation of stomach acid. Obviously, if the vitamin doesn't dissolve in hours then there is probably an issue. I "Googled" the vinegar test and most recommend that the vingar has to be at body temperature to be a little more accurate of a test and even that might not be quite enough.

Getting ingredients from China would be a concern except maybe some certain herbs.

Avatar universal
by healthnut2, Dec 06, 2008
i don't believe it for a second.  i think it's another way for the pharmaceutical companies to manipulate the "average joe"  into believing you need to buy their products.  what do they mean "pharmaceutical grade"?  who decides that it is such?   i do agree that there are some very poor quality products out there, and oddly enough, it's the ones sold in Pharmacy's.  

there is a major movement out there to try to stop natural supplements from being made available to anyone who wishes to purchase - and or treat themselves naturally.    

does anyone out there want that right taken away from them?  do you want to have to go to the dr - who by the way would get paid -  for a script for vitamin c?  and for that dr to decided how much you should take??    that is the purpose of naturopath's (ND) and registered nutritionist (RNCP) and homeopathic dr's

medical dr's have NO training in vitamins/herbs and almost none in nutrition!!  they are NOT trained in preventative or corrective medicine - cause they make money on the scripts given to their patients.

sorry to vent, but these situations need to be seen for what they are - a great big scam for the pharmaceutical companies to make people sicker, so they can make more money.

Avatar universal
by PlateletGal, Dec 07, 2008
SHIJIAZHUANG, China -- If you pop a vitamin C tablet into your mouth, it's a good bet it came from China. Indeed, many of the world's vitamins are now made in China.

"In less than a decade, China has captured 90 percent of the U.S. market for vitamin C, driving almost everyone else out of business."

link to article:


Avatar universal
by bonnie923, Dec 07, 2008
So what else is new???   We cannot believe ANYthing that we are told...........from politicians to physicians to "laboratory tests have shown......"  ----   nothing.  We must simply go along blindly and infer from our inner instincts,  and trust in God.

Avatar universal
by PlateletGal, Dec 08, 2008


Ain't that the truth ! One thing we can also do is follow the money and/or the people who have agendas.  ; ^ )

Oh... and I listen to the people over the government any day. (thinking of our soldiers with Gulf War Syndrome).

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by Heather5, Dec 08, 2008
Hmmm! I'm actually trying this test right now...but while i was waiting I did some additional research on it and came across some info on how the vinegar test is not very accurate. Vinegar is only PH 4.5 or something like that, while stomach acid is much more acidic at about PH 1. Additionally, the stomach has digestive enzymes not found in vinegar that also help dissolve food (and vitamins).

I'll check the vitamins after about 1/2 hour...but I'm not too sure about the accuracy of this test anymore.

203342 tn?1328740807
by April2, Dec 08, 2008
Because I have Crohns and digestive issues, my Gastroenterologist told me to use liquid vitamins because they're easier to process. When I talked to my physical therapist he told me that he uses liquid minerals and found he had more energy, etc. I'm wondering if liquid vitamins and minerals would be better for everyone since it's easier for the body to process?

Avatar universal
by PlateletGal, Dec 08, 2008

I purchase my vitamin B complex in liquid forum and my magesium in powered form.

Avatar universal
by imanhelmy, Dec 08, 2008
my 3 years son is an adhd
he takes efalex--->fish oil
vit b6
ginko bilobia
efalex was the thing that helped a bit

647397 tn?1307060215
by AquaGrl08, Dec 09, 2008
I am surprised to read that a topic can become such a "political" subject.
When I read the post by Dr. Kinksey talked to me about a subject that is a concern to me, i started to see a gyn a couple of months ago she put me in order to help my inmmune system under a bunch of vitamines, such as Vitamin E, C, betacarothene, Folic Acid, Omega 3 and complex B12, recently I got the need to look for another medical opinion and two of the "new" doctors said to me when I asked if I should keep taking the bunch of vitamins and they said: " it does not makes you bad or good at all".?! so to me this question fits perfect to me...where is the right or wrong...?.. i think our health will speak.

688980 tn?1229285580
by firefighterchic, Dec 10, 2008
I can't even find vitamins to take? I am allergic to fish and most vitamins although they don't say there are fish products in them do. I called every vitamin number of each bottle on the shelf and all of them had fish products. No wonder vitamins made me sick after taking them? So now should I just scratch that? and not take a vitamin? Only vitamin I take is Vitamin B12 and I feel no different.

Avatar universal
by NautyOne, Dec 10, 2008
dang it......The poor doctor post something for thought........and that he got.  No wonder he didn't post back. Ouch!!

I shudder the thought of vitamins or that I am ingesting anything from China.  I will certainly read things more closely after this.  I can tell you FACT that some generic medications are clearly not as effective as brand.

Thank you Dr. Kirksey for your post.


Avatar universal
by hubbylover, Dec 15, 2008
To healthnut2 Dec 15,2008
You need to know that someone whole heartedly backs you on your post!  
I could not believe it when I walked into my health food store and seen the petition about how the government wants control of our vitamins too! Seriously, do they not have control of enough?    Honestly, their eyes are opening to the fact that supplements work or they would not "want in". They bash them so hard but yet, why did they try to pass the vitamins to require perscription?  ( By the way it didnt pass right? I didnt ever hear back about it. )  One other thing, of course they need to bash the vitamins and herbs because doctors do get kick backs from pharmaceutical suppliers everytime they write out a perscription!  
Perscription meds can give you a vast array of side-effects, then they can perscribe something for that side effect. I find this so comical, my step-mom had depression, so they perscribed her an anti-depressant, a side effect was headaches. So then they perscribed her something for the headache, but what do you know? one side effect was depression. She was not feeling better so my Dad did a bunch of research and found that out. He took all her meds and threw 'em  in the trash, had her get some excersize and take some b- vitamins. and she started improving dramatically. So ya definetly they want you to stay sick!

Avatar universal
by maximilien, Jul 19, 2009
FOX news is a total joke, even worse then CNN, although not too much worse. I don't care if you had interviews with MSNBC to boot, all of those networks are a joke.

And you, Mr. M.D. are also a joke. You probably get incentives from pharmaceutical companies everytime you get a patient on a drug.

The health care industry is just that, an industry. They seek to make money first; caring for people falls perhaps third of fourth down the line. These so called Doctors are sold out drug peddling whores. The health care system fails because of this profit driven culture that is incompatible with humane treatment.

Open your eyes America, this country is a failure to its people.

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