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Thread: Vitamins for the homeless - our tax dollars at work

  1. #1

    Default Vitamins for the homeless - our tax dollars at work

    Unbelievable - pseudo science nonsense is receiving our tax spend (note - not just an NDP failing).

    Pure North had previously received public funding. As CBC News reported earlier this month, Alberta Health gave Pure North a $10-million grant in December 2013 to expand its existing seniors program against the advice of senior ministry officials who said the foundation's alternative treatments were not adequately supported by science and could pose a health risk to participants.

    A subsequent review by three independent experts found Pure North couldn't prove its program produced any of the health or economic benefits it claimed.

    CBC News also reported that senior Alberta Health Services officials were informed in July 2013 of a serious potential health risk that provincial dietitians believed could have been caused by Pure North's lax distribution of high-dose supplements at the Calgary Drop-In Centre.

    When the NDP assumed power in 2015, Health Minister Sarah Hoffman refused, based on advice from her officials, to extend funding to Pure North for its seniors program beyond the $10 million provided by the previous government.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmont...erta-1.4068844

  2. #2

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    Primarily the previous regime did the vast bulk of the spending. The NDP was just stupid as opposed to 'nudge, nudge, wink, wink.'

  3. #3

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    Moa, how's that concoction you drink working out?


    Sorry, couldn't resist. Remember that universal truth of social media: Whatever you say or do, WILL be used against you.
    Last edited by KC; 16-05-2017 at 01:07 PM.

  4. #4
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    Top_Dawg kinda remembers that.

    Isn't that the ***** that looked like sweathog diarrhea ?

    What thread is that in again ?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Dawg View Post


    Top_Dawg kinda remembers that.

    Isn't that the ***** that looked like sweathog diarrhea ?

    What thread is that in again ?

    Maybe search for ? Soylent Green ? Look what it did for Charton Heston

  6. #6

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    Sounds like a snake oil salesman story. Most of those 'alternative health care (or diets)' are garbage. Drink this, swallow that and you will be blessed with good health and vitality. More like the chits and a big dose of annoyance.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Moa, how's that concoction you drink working out?


    Sorry, couldn't resist. Remember that universal truth of social media: Whatever you say or do, WILL be used against you.
    Lol - soylent - still on it for my lunches, and love it. Its food though - no different from buying a bunch of vegetables (albeit, it is grown in Algae vats). I'd rather the government had just bought some food for the homeless (even McDonalds vouchers), than expensive vitamin shots administered by a private clinic of nurse practitioners making lots of profit from it - I guess if you are going to experiment on people though, it might as well be the homeless

    A subsequent review by three independent experts found Pure North couldn't prove its program produced any of the health or economic benefits it claimed.

    CBC News also reported that senior Alberta Health Services officials were informed in July 2013 of a serious potential health risk that provincial dietitians believed could have been caused by Pure North's lax distribution of high-dose supplements at the Calgary Drop-In Centre.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmont...erta-1.4068844
    Last edited by moahunter; 16-05-2017 at 02:32 PM.

  8. #8

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    Adding extra vitamins to the food served by homeless shelters is not a bad idea. Buying vitamins in large quantities is a good idea. What it seems is this Pure North business is the most expensive way the government could operate a food program. That a deputy minister is involved in this should be thoroughly looked into. More than likely the stuff Pure North is selling is no better than the vitamins bought in bulk from Costco only with a Saks of Fifth Ave price tag.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Moa, how's that concoction you drink working out?


    Sorry, couldn't resist. Remember that universal truth of social media: Whatever you say or do, WILL be used against you.
    Lol - soylent - still on it for my lunches, and love it. Its food though - no different from buying a bunch of vegetables (albeit, it is grown in Algae vats). I'd rather the government had just bought some food for the homeless (even McDonalds vouchers), than expensive vitamin shots administered by a private clinic of nurse practitioners making lots of profit from it - I guess if you are going to experiment on people though, it might as well be the homeless

    A subsequent review by three independent experts found Pure North couldn't prove its program produced any of the health or economic benefits it claimed.

    CBC News also reported that senior Alberta Health Services officials were informed in July 2013 of a serious potential health risk that provincial dietitians believed could have been caused by Pure North's lax distribution of high-dose supplements at the Calgary Drop-In Centre.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmont...erta-1.4068844


    It all has shades of the 40s? 50s? attempts to deal with malnourishment of the native population that was roundly criticized a couple years ago when such experimentation was revealed.


    Canadian government withheld food from hungry aboriginal kids in 1940s nutritional experiments, researcher finds - The Globe and Mail


    "...
    They found people who were hungry, beggared by a combination of the collapsing fur trade and declining government support. They also found a demoralized population marked by, in the words of the researchers, “shiftlessness, indolence, improvidence and inertia.”

    The researchers suggested those problems – “so long regarded as inherent or hereditary traits in the Indian race” – were in fact the results of malnutrition.

    Instead of recommending an increase in support, the researchers decided that isolated, dependent, hungry people would be ideal subjects for tests on the effects of different diets.

    “This is a period of scientific uncertainty around nutrition,” said Mosby. “Vitamins and minerals had really only been discovered during the interwar period.

    “In the 1940s, there were a lot of questions about what are human requirements for vitamins. Malnourished aboriginal people became viewed as possible means of testing these theories.”

    The first experiment began in 1942 on 300 Norway House Cree. Of that group, 125 were selected to receive vitamin supplements which were withheld from the rest. ...


    A spokeswoman for Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt said the current federal government is shocked by the findings.

    “If this story is true, this is abhorrent and completely unacceptable,” Andrea Richer said in an email. “When Prime Minister [Stephen] Harper made a historic apology to former students of Indian Residential Schools in 2008 on behalf of all Canadians, he recognized that this period had caused great harm and had no place in Canada.” ..."


    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news.../%3Fservice%3D

    Bolding is mine - as if it wouldn't be mine
    Last edited by KC; 16-05-2017 at 06:21 PM.

  10. #10

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    Sure .... It's ok to put fluoride in the water but Vitamins ..those are evil .

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by champking View Post
    Sure .... It's ok to put fluoride in the water but Vitamins ..those are evil .
    People work with what they are given. We think we know what's right and wrong and what helps and hurts but we really aren't playing with a full deck at the best of times. The historical revisionists will likely have their day with any hazards from fluoride, but that's a long ways off. They are only now dealing with vitamins, etc.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    Adding extra vitamins to the food served by homeless shelters is not a bad idea. Buying vitamins in large quantities is a good idea. What it seems is this Pure North business is the most expensive way the government could operate a food program. That a deputy minister is involved in this should be thoroughly looked into. More than likely the stuff Pure North is selling is no better than the vitamins bought in bulk from Costco only with a Saks of Fifth Ave price tag.
    The concern isn't necessarily that the cost of the vitamins were more expensive than if they'd bought them from another vendor. The concern is that their whole vitamin regime was hocus pocus pseudoscience where they give people MASSIVE doses of certain vitamins. We're talking several times the recommended daily dose. On top of that, the vitamins were distributed in unlabeled packaging that gave no indication that they contained such high doses. If someone were to take a second dose on a regular basis, because 2 is better than 1, it could well have resulted in serious health consequences. And just overall, the entire program was really poorly designed, but somehow the deputy health minister drank the Kool-Aid and was working from the inside to get the government to fund what was essentially a private health initiative.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by champking View Post
    Sure .... It's ok to put fluoride in the water but Vitamins ..those are evil .
    People work with what they are given. We think we know what's right and wrong and what helps and hurts but we really aren't playing with a full deck at the best of times. The historical revisionists will likely have their day with any hazards from fluoride, but that's a long ways off. They are only now dealing with vitamins, etc.
    I think there are a lot of scientific studies that say most people do not need vitamin supplements, but I suspect those studies are mostly of people that are not homeless and who have relatively good, balanced diets. Somehow I doubt the homeless have good, balanced diets so perhaps there could be some health benefit here.

    As people get poorer, diets get worse and the homeless are at the bottom of this. There are various agencies that try hard to supply poor or homeless people with healthy meals, but I suspect some people do fall through the cracks.

    As a society we have things a bit backward. It never ceases to amaze me that any preventative measure to ensure better health is usually extensively scrutinized and criticized and often the first thing to be cut as a "frill" or unnecessary. Then we wonder why we spend so much on sick people and emergency care in hospitals. It is exactly like the old saying - penny wise, pound foolish.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by champking View Post
    Sure .... It's ok to put fluoride in the water but Vitamins ..those are evil .
    People work with what they are given. We think we know what's right and wrong and what helps and hurts but we really aren't playing with a full deck at the best of times. The historical revisionists will likely have their day with any hazards from fluoride, but that's a long ways off. They are only now dealing with vitamins, etc.
    I think there are a lot of scientific studies that say most people do not need vitamin supplements, but I suspect those studies are mostly of people that are not homeless and who have relatively good, balanced diets. Somehow I doubt the homeless have good, balanced diets so perhaps there could be some health benefit here.

    As people get poorer, diets get worse and the homeless are at the bottom of this. There are various agencies that try hard to supply poor or homeless people with healthy meals, but I suspect some people do fall through the cracks.

    As a society we have things a bit backward. It never ceases to amaze me that any preventative measure to ensure better health is usually extensively scrutinized and criticized and often the first thing to be cut as a "frill" or unnecessary. Then we wonder why we spend so much on sick people and emergency care in hospitals. It is exactly like the old saying - penny wise, pound foolish.
    And there's studies supporting vitamin supplementation for pregnant mothers and newborns (higher IQs, improved school performance or some such long term results - but of course, not proven and not high dose)

  15. #15
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    Even pregnant women really only need a couple supplements, the main one being folic acid. To a lesser extent Vitamin D, iron, and calcium can be helpful: https://www.theguardian.com/society/...nts-study-says

    Unfortunately the vitamin and supplement industry is largely unregulated, and it's massive. Tens of billions of dollars a year in revenues globally. In Canada, there is little or no restriction on marketing and really loosey-goosey rules on what health claims they can make. The vast majority of the money spent on vitamins and supplements is wasted. Worse, a lot of the supplements don't even have in them what they're supposed to, because they're so poorly regulated.

    http://news.nationalpost.com/health/...ealth-benefits

    https://www.thestar.com/business/201...nder-fire.html

    The average person eating even a pretty mediocre diet is probably not going to have any vitamin deficiencies, unless they have a medical condition or really strange eating habits (eating the same thing over and over again). It's possible that more vulnerable people like the homeless might have a need for it, but the way the program was set up was not the right way to go about assessing or treating that. Essentially, a rich benefactor with some very goofy ideas about health was more or less able to infiltrate AHS to get the government to fund his pet project, without proper oversight, controls, or ethical guidelines. To me the amount of money spent on is not the main concern. The concern is why a Deputy Minister who was in a clear conflict of interest didn't recuse themselves from involvement, and in fact was lobbying from within the government for said money. There's also a significant ethical issue in regards to this experimental program being targeted towards vulnerable populations (seniors and homeless) who may well not know what they're taking, how it will interact with other medications or conditions they might have, and so on.

    I have no doubt that Markin and Amhrein felt that they were/are trying to do society good, but unfortunately they've been blinded by their strong belief in this pseudoscience.

  16. #16

  17. #17

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    I should imagine a lot of us buy food that has been enhanced with vitamins. Most of us don't look at labels that closely unless we have a medical condition that requires us to do that. How many foods have the word 'fortified' or 'enriched' on their label or list of ingredients. What that means is they have been enhanced with vitamins or minerals that are not necessarily natural to that particular food. I bet there are more foods than we think that are enriched or fortified and we eat them without knowing (or caring). Cereals come to mind.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

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    Your point being?

  19. #19

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    The point being that we really don't know what we are doing promoting or criticizing vitamins. The science just isn't in.

    Better food for the disadvantaged is probably the solution no one wants to talk about and deal with. Was in the 1940s and likely is today. Failure to deal with such issues just creates generation after generation unable to escape their poverty.

    Failing to take multivitamins during pregnancy could set child back a year in school, study suggests

    Sarah Knapton 16 JANUARY 2017

    Failing to take multivitamins during pregnancy could set a child back by a year by the time they reach secondary school, a new study suggests.

    The issue of taking supplements is controversial for pregnant women, with research last year suggesting that it was a waste of money to take anything except folic acid and vitamin d.

    But a new study by an international team including Harvard University, the University of California and the University of Lancaster, found that multivitamins can add the equivalent of up to a full year of schooling to a child’s cognitive abilities between the ages of nine and 12. ..."


    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/...ild-back-year/



    Last edited by KC; 17-05-2017 at 12:33 AM.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    The point being that we really don't know what we are doing promoting or criticizing vitamins. The science just isn't in.

    Better food for the disadvantaged is probably the solution no one wants to talk about and deal with. Was in the 1940s and likely is today. Failure to deal with such issues just creates generation after generation unable to escape their poverty.

    Failing to take multivitamins during pregnancy could set child back a year in school, study suggests

    Sarah Knapton 16 JANUARY 2017

    Failing to take multivitamins during pregnancy could set a child back by a year by the time they reach secondary school, a new study suggests.

    The issue of taking supplements is controversial for pregnant women, with research last year suggesting that it was a waste of money to take anything except folic acid and vitamin d.

    But a new study by an international team including Harvard University, the University of California and the University of Lancaster, found that multivitamins can add the equivalent of up to a full year of schooling to a child’s cognitive abilities between the ages of nine and 12. ..."


    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/...ild-back-year/




    All this land, all these resources , and we can't even provide the basic necessity's like fresh food. How hard would it be to provide power, heat, hot water.. or shelter. Back in the day people get together and put up a barn or a house in a weekend , it cost nothing.
    Last edited by champking; 17-05-2017 at 07:26 AM.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    How many foods have the word 'fortified' or 'enriched' on their label or list of ingredients.
    Quite a few. But most fortified/enriched foods are legislated by governments because they eradicate diseases caused by specific nutrient deficiencies.

    Sometimes it's because nutrients were unintentionally removed during processing, so we add them back in (E.g. niacin added to processed white flour to prevent pellagra). Sometimes nutrients are added to foods to prevent other nutrient-deficiency diseases (E.g. Vitamin D added to milk to compensate for our lack of winter sunlight - which prevents rickets, or iodine added to salt to compensate for low-iodine foods in landlocked areas - which prevents cretinism and goiter).

  22. #22
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    Yup. Enriched foods are a totally different ball of wax than mega-doses of unlabeled vitamins. There's good reasons for them.

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