Sign up for periodic reports and bulletins
FREE access; FREE of commercials; FREE to use
Posted July 10, 2013: by Bill Sardi
Modern medicine is right on cue. In the wake of a vaccine advocate peddling a book that offers pseudoscience as evidence against consumption of antioxidant supplements (his false assertions have been roundly rebutted), now an animal researcher claims his lab rats lived shorter lives when their diet was supplemented with antioxidants and humans shouldn’t make the same mistake.
Hate to interrupt their anti-vitamin campaign, but about 7 in 10 Americans take dietary supplements and most daily vitamin regimens include the very same antioxidants used in this animal study (vitamins C and E), yet no decline in life expectancy has been noted yet (see chart from Centers for Disease Control below).
How this researcher makes the jump from lab rats to humans is a bit of a stretch. He says antioxidant supplements are likely to reduce the life expectancy of Americans by 25%, like they did in the caged animals. But while rodents have about the same number of genes as humans, that is where the comparison ends.
Rodents are nocturnal animals, venturing out at night avoid predators, and they make their own vitamin C as most other mammals do (except fruit bats, guinea pigs, primate monkeys and humans). So just how much impact, positive or negative, a single dose of vitamin C would make is very questionable since these animals make this vitamin as a hormone all day and night.
Also working in concert against dietary supplements is the Food & Drug Administration. Despite the fact dietary supplements are safer than table salt, vaccines, aspirin and tap water, the FDA insists these natural products must prove they are relatively safe and free of toxicity, even when they have been safely used in the marketplace for years. This is an expensive process that would cause many dietary supplements to disappear from the marketplace and the retail price on most others to rise.
The campaign against dietary supplements coincides with the expiration of drug patents and an effort by Big Pharma to make dietary supplements into drugs. Called the “patent cliff,” between 2012-2018 an estimated $290 billion in sales of pharmaceutical drugs will be at risk due to patent expirations.
You can take the pulse of the physician community and feel its anti-vitamin venom in biting articles written in medical journals. For example, a physician, writing in The Journal of the American Medical Association, says manufacturers of dietary supplements “are not required to disclose to the FDA or to consumers the evidence they have regarding their products’ safety.” However, the American Association of Poison Controls centers is monitoring dietary supplement-related deaths and serious side effects. Not even a single death for vitamin supplements has been reported in years.
Save all that drivel against vitamin pills for Peter Doshi, a researcher at Johns Hopkins University, and Dr. Ben Goldacre, author of Bad Pharma, both who have revealed it is the arrogant pharmaceutical manufacturers who are hiding the results of up to half of their human clinical trials, most believed to be negative studies, from public and professional view. It is the pharmaceutical companies, not the vitamin manufacturers, who need to come clean.
Furthermore, we already know that many widely used prescription drugs pose a greater risk for side effects than their alleged health benefits.
Upon careful reanalysis, statin cholesterol-lowering drugs, the centerpiece of American medicine for the past three decades, represent disease substitution rather than disease prevention. Only recently has it been revealed that statin drug use increases the risk for diabetes, muscle degradation, possible memory loss and even risk of death when used with a common antibiotic. And who knows how many negative human trials involving statin drugs are being hidden from view?
And look at the way the news media interprets an positive study involving B vitamins. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science noted that high-dose B vitamins (800 micrograms of folic acid, 20 milligrams of vitamin B6 and 500 microgram of vitamin B12) slowed shrinkage of the brain among elderly subjects. B-vitamin treatment reduces progressive shrinkage of the brain by as much as 7-fold, said the report, but the effect was mostly noted among older individuals who had high levels of homocysteine, a undesirable blood protein.
But a journalist writing in The Washington Post dismissed this important discovery, saying “the benefits were seen only in participants who started the study with high blood levels of homocysteine. The reporter concluded: “this result suggests that the vitamins may not help people with healthy (low) homocysteine levels.”
An investigator involved in the study said it was well designed and controlled, but steered Washington Post readers away, saying “I would not recommend that people go out and start taking high levels of B vitamins.”
That would only be millions and millions of Americans. High homocysteine levels (greater than 14) were found 29.3% of a cohort of 5209 men and women in the Framingham Heart Study (40% among individuals age 80 years and older. ©2013 Bill Sardi, Knowledge of Health, Inc.
You must be logged in to post a comment.