When More is not just Less, but Fatal

29 04 2010

Free range, hormone free skinless chicken breast with pan sauce over pea and mushroom risotto made with from scratch light chicken stock: with proper planning healthy and natural is as easy as the prepared kuk-but better tasting and non-toxic

The other day I wrote about the positive effects of a diet rich in folate and B-vitamins. Notice I did not say the positive effects of massive consumption of high dose vitamin B and folate supplementation; because as Buddha seeks enlightenment, Doc walks the Middle Path to Culinary Nirvana. In Medicine we have a caveat, “Better is the enemy of Good.” Like everything else in America, we tend to think More is Better (which makes it the enemy of Good if you’re following  along). So while a diet rich in folate and B-vitamins is clearly beneficial, in the following case of diabetics with any kidney disease More is not only not Better, it is Fatal. Read on, intrepid culinary acolyte, as Alton Brown says, “There’s a lesson here.”

In a study published in the April 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association it was revealed that high-dose vitamin B therapy is dangerous for diabetics with kidney disease (of people with diabetes, about 40% develop kidney disease), and patients on this regimen should stop immediately.

The original hypothesis was that high-dose vitamin B therapy (folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 supplementation) would improve patients’ kidney function and reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke. A recent study looking at diets rich in these compounds in the general Japanese population of both men and women found this to be true (that’s the study discussed the other day-see Tuesday’s post).

However, this study found that high-dose vitamin B therapy was associated with a significant worsening of kidney function, and twice as many patients taking supplementation had heart attacks and strokes as compared to patients not taking the high dose supplementation.

“Because B vitamins are water soluble, we suspect that while healthy people would excrete excess vitamins in urine, those with renal failure would not be able to do so, perhaps causing the adverse effects we have seen in this study…Vitamin B therapy may still be beneficial in people with normal kidney function, but this is clear evidence that high doses of vitamin B should not be given to those with kidney problems ” said Dr. David Spence, of the University of Western Ontario in Canada.

Thus endeth the lesson. The moral of the story is that Mother Nature is crafty and a whole lot smarter than we are. You can’t take what she gives you, process the bejesus out of it, add chemicals so it has a life span longer than George Hamilton’s tan and expect it to be the same as the original. And if you think the processed product (or you) lack that “certain something”; taking a pill with 10,000x the original amount of what was processed out does not make it better, or even as good as the original. The Law of Unintended Consequences applies to Medicine, Food and by the communicative property, us. Chew on that, my  young Padawan.

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4 responses

29 04 2010
tasteofbeirut

You crack me up! So you are following Buddha’s footsteps and walking the path to culinary nirvana! Haha!
So if I understand you correctly, no one should attempt to beat George Hamilton’s tan life span? That is a big disappointment to me ’cause I happen to really like his tan and always wanted to emulate him and his tan.

29 04 2010
whatscookingwithdoc

Absolutely-Culinary Nirvana awaits us all; no more things like Foodbuzz-kill!

29 04 2010
blackstargourmet

everything in moderation and eat food not pills!!!

30 04 2010
whatscookingwithdoc

BlackStar: Amen to that!

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