Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I have wide ranging and very eclectic tastes in reading material. When I came across this article this morning, it occurred to me that there are some pertinent parallels between the risky behavior and false sense of invulnerability from multivitamins and firearms.

I think I can safely speak for my co-bloggers that it appears to us that those who engage in firearm carry, whether open or concealed carry, have a very mistaken idea of how that adds to their safety and the safety of those around them - a sense which ignores or denies to themselves the statistical reality. They epitomize the 'not me, that can't happen to me' delusional thinking about violence and firearms.

I would argue here that there are parallels between attitudes with using vitamins and attitudes with guns.  Or should we say 'peril'-els?

From MSNBC.com:

Popping a multivitamin can lead to debauchery

Could taking one of these vitamins lead you down the path of bad behavior? Yes, say researchers.
Taking supplements may lead to poorer health, not because of what they do to your body, but what they do to your mind.
When people take supplements they get a false sense of invulnerability, a new study shows. And that can translate into a greater tendency to head down the path of risky behavior.
The intriguing study published in Psychological Science, found that people didn’t even need to be given real supplements for this devil-may-care attitude to develop – they just needed to be told they were swallowing something healthful.
For their study, Taiwanese researchers gave placebo pills to 82 volunteers, half of whom were told the capsules contained vitamins. The rest were told the truth – that these were simply sugar pills.
The big surprise came when the researchers surveyed the two groups. Those taking phony supplements reported a greater sense of invulnerability and less of a desire to exercise. They also were more likely to consider engaging in casual sex, sunbathing and binge-drinking.
At the end of the study the two groups were told they could choose between a healthful meal and an all-you-can-eat buffet. Sure enough, more of those in the group who were told they'd taken a supplement said they’d prefer the buffet.
The findings come as no surprise to Leslie Bonci, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
“You see this even in professional athletes,” Bonci said. “Sometimes they attribute to supplements superhuman properties that let them off the hook for healthy behaviors. They’ll say, ‘I’m taking this supplement so it doesn’t matter what I eat.’”
Bonci lays the blame on ads that show healthy fit people taking supplements. You don’t see this kind of advertising for all the foods that actually do lead to good health she said.
And those ads lead to unreasonable expectations, Bonci said.
“We this face challenge every day,” she added. “And it’s not just athletes. There are many patients who believe there is exercise in a bottle.”
People have just come to expect that pills can cure everything, said Dr. Andrew Leuchter, a professor of psychiatry and director of the Laboratory of Brain, Behavior and Pharmacology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“We live in a society that is very oriented towards taking medication,” Leuchter said. “People feel like they can take a pill and it will almost immunize them from any unhealthy lifestyle choices”
And then there’s the fact that human beings are very good at keeping two contradictory ideas in their heads at once. “It’s one of those quirks of human nature,” Leuchter said. “We do something we think will enhance our health but at the same time we’re happy to do something that may in the long term be detrimental.”


  1. And you wonder why I don't trust the conclusions of psychologists. Here we have a study in which half of the participants, forty-one, were told that they were taking vitamins, and they did silly things. How much did those forty-one know about the effects and functions of vitamins? How "informed" were they about what they were taking?

    Besides, Dog Gone, you engaged in concealed carry. Did you believe that doing so added to your safety? How were you able to be such a responsible person with a handgun, when the rest of us cannot?

  2. Aw Greg, you can answer the question for yourself, the answer is in the archives.

    I don't think this study justifies a fear of psychologists; only someone unreasonably fearful would ever come to that conclusion.

    Oh, wait! That's YOU!

    I'll be delighted to respond to you; I have a great answer.

    You just have to produce those missing CREDIBLE responses to the earlier questions.

    We're still waiting.

    You still don't have any.

  3. This article is absolute nonsense. My guess is it is just another spoke in the wheel trying to turn over control of herbs and vitamins to Big Pharma so people will need prescriptions and a visit to the doctor for these helpful, healthy products.

  4. No, it seems to be pretty clearly a study of behaviors and attitudes that are NOT promoting either pharmaceuticals or nutraceuticals either.

  5. As I said, a study to show that people are too stupid to responsibly take vitamins so the government has to control how you get them. Naturally, it is cahoots with Big Pharma. These bastards have been pushing this idea for years.
    Dickwad McCain tried to get a bill passed last for his Big Pharma buddies.

  6. http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/the-dangers-of-vitamin-megadoses.html


    There are some real dangers to taking vitamins in larger doses.


    or overdosing on mineral supplements


    I think you are wrong on what you see in this study; rather it shows what makes people properly confident and what makes them overconfident.

    It is not ABOUT regulating what supplements people take. It is about understanding risk taking in behavior.

    I found it very similar to studies in neuro-economics which have tracked the patterns of risk taking in financial / investment transactions as it relates to testosterone levels.


    Studying how we engage in risk is a legitimate separate area from vitamins. This appears clearly to be about studying risk,not some government conspiracy relating to vitamins.

    I would further point out to you that there is a very legitimate concern that people too often believe more is better and fail to understand that sometimes more is dangerous.

  7. Dog Gone,

    Promises, promises. I've answered your questions. You don't accept my answers. You don't answer our questions.

  8. In fact, you have NOT provided the sources required.

    I'm still waiting for an historic verification of so-called "Mexican Carry'

    Ayoob is not an historic source, nor is Chic Gaylord. So far as I could discern, neither of them have anything other than myth to go on, in an attempt to explain away the terminology.

    But if you found something in their writing that is a valid and credible, verifiable source that does seriously document such a practice, please produce it.

    If it was as common as it is asserted to have been,then it shouldn't be too hard to do that.

    You haven't provided CREDIBLE valid sources for any of your other answers either.

    You are not well read, and you mistakenly rely on your gunloon heroes without fact checking them.

    Tsk tsk-- mistake on your part. Or do you still believe John Lott's post about Limes in the UK being prohibited as well?

    (Has anyone else noted that pretty much NOTHING posted here by RedAz turns out to be factually accurate btw?}

    This crap about Mexican carry seems to be on a par with that.

  9. GC wrtoe:
    Besides, Dog Gone, you engaged in concealed carry. Did you believe that doing so added to your safety?

    In fact, No,not particularly. But the explanation of that,any elaboration on it, will have to wait for you to go do your homework.

    Although I'm beginning to wonder if you know how....

  10. Your wiki link summed it up quite well:
    Death by vitamin poisoning appears to be quite uncommon in the US, typically NONE in a given year.[2]

    You can disagree with me till the cows come home, but I am absolutely 100% correct about the fact that Big Pharma and their co-conspirators in Congress are up to no good - for profit.
    Ignore the facts, I don't really care.

  11. I liked the post very much, and that study. It makes sense to me.

    And I loved the connection to the invulnerability many gun owners feel. Fearful people who are convinced they need a gun to be safe, "just in case," would naturally go to the other extreme when armed, in many cases anyway.

  12. I tell you what--I'll take a multivitamin before I strap on my gun. How about that?