> Probably, but to be honest I'm dubious that they're effective
> either. I haven't seen any studies wither way (mind you, I
> haven't been looking either). On the other hand it's most
> unlikely that they'll do any harm, and they might help a bit.
They do seem to help. To her credit, she does usually check things like
mouth and throat for signs that I might be deprived of something first. I'm
not convinced vitamin shots would help in every such case or for every
illness of course.
Interestingly, this was how Ebola was spread -- the nuns were giving
B-complex shots via dirty needles to pregnant women. In any case, B-complex
does seem to give an energy boost; I have used it on occasion to "wake up"
in the afternoon when I couldn't take a nap and had to be alert.
My father and I both have chronic allergies (one of the reasons I got
interested in reading about virology lately was because of the info I'd
been reading about the immune system and concern over the long-term effects
of keeping my immune system on alert). I've taken various meds for years,
mostly prescription and strong. We both have been going to allergists and
keeping up with the various drug changes. I couldn't even begin to count
how many things I've tried. As it turns out, I learned that taking about a
gram of Vitamin C (which has decongestent effects) a day and washing my
face more frequently (4-5x/day plus after any prolonged exposure to known
allergens) kept it under better control for most of the year (and with
fewer side effects) than just taking the drugs.
My understanding of how strong biochemical interactions can be was severely
influenced by something I saw as a pre-vet student. We went on the rounds
with an equine vet one day; he went to a place where a mare suffered from
severe milk fever (where the mare is so calcium-deprived that her bones are
softening to generate milk). She was listless and could barely move, though
her muscles sometimes flinched in obviously painful spasms.
One IV shot of calcium gluconate and within fifteen minutes, the mare was
able to stand albeit shakily. Later on that day, the mare was walking
around and came over and nuzzled the vet when he checked back on her.
After seeing that, I had a whole new respect for the effects of vitamins
and minerals. For me, it was a profound example of how simple some "fixes"
could be and yet also how complex the whole system was. As a woman, it also
depressed me that nature had selected the mother to die, if necessary, to
ensure the foal's survival.
Clearly, most diagnoses and remedies are not so simple, as he mentioned
when doing tests for a mysteriously ill horse. I never did find out if he
figured out what was wrong. However, I did see a case of a horse dying of
VEE and subsequently spent a lot of time reading up about it and the
various issues about that disease and the politics of it.
I left pre-vet for two reasons: 1) I'm terribly squeamish and I'm not
certain I'll ever get over that (nothing clears me out of a movie faster
than a surgery scene); 2) I wasn't interested in small animal work and I
was living in Southern California, where there was little opportunity for
I've thought about getting a degree in botany and learning more about plant
diseases. My specific interest is in butternut trees (if anyone has or
knows anything, I'd appreciate it). No special reason other than I'm a
woodworker living in an area with butternuts that are dying. I love the
In any case (whether the B helps or not) the placebo effect certainly can
have its effects. I tend to think vitamins are like prayer: in moderation,
probably a good idea if it makes you feel better.