Your view: do you feel the need for food supplements?

by , Conversation Editor Energy & Home 2 September 2013
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You had a lot to say about our research which concluded that people are wasting money on unnecessary food supplements. Do you buy into food supplements?

Vitamin pills exploding

A third of adults regularly take supplements, despite government advice recommending that most people should just eat a balanced and varied diet. Wavechange made his opinion clear:

‘I will continue to eat a healthy diet, rather than paying for supplements and supporting the companies that make them.’

James takes multivitamins:

‘I take the cheap multivit supplements from the local supermarket because I am on low income and can’t afford a balanced healthy diet. The healthy food you buy is always more expensive than the unhealthy food, so us people on minimum wage don’t have much of a choice.’

However, Alan Henness thinks James should rely more on the food he eats:

‘Healthy food can be cheap – I suspect you may well be getting enough from the food you eat – perhaps ask your GP or a Dietitian?’

Moving away from food supplements

Stephen has since moved away from food supplements:

‘I used to take garlic tablets, cod liver oil, glucosamine and vitamin c. As an experiment I stopped them all at the end of last year, as far as I can tell it has not affected my health.’

L2 is similarly sceptical:

‘My grandmother took cod liver oil for her whole life as she thought it would be good for her joints, but it did her no good. She is crippled with arthritis.’

Does gulcosamine work?

A debate about glucosamine soon took hold. In our research, 94% of people who took this said they thought it supported healthy joints. Even though this health claim has been rejected by the European Union, commenter Michael G feels it helps him:

‘I tried glucosamine and chondroitin and have used it successfully for 12 years, thus avoiding any operation. I’ve tried many times to stop taking it to see what happens and my knees within two weeks start to click and buckle. Evidence or no evidence… it works for me.’

Rosalind also takes glucosamine and can apparently feel its effects:

‘I was told by several orthopaedic surgeons to take glucosamine and choindroitin, as I have traumatic arthritis in my ankle from an old sports injury and had to have my ankle replaced. I find that if I don’t take it for a couple of days, I definitely feel less supple and stiffer.’

However, Maurizio had a different experience:

‘I used to take glucosamine & chondroitin, I stopped two years ago, I didn’t find any improvements in my joints when I took it or a worsening when I stopped. If it works for you, whether is the placebo effect or not, if you think it works, carry on and take it. We all respond differently, it seems.’

Malcolm M lays it on the line for glucosamine and other unproven supplements:

‘When I see properly-derived scientific evidence that particular medicines work – conventional or alternative – I’ll believe the claims made. Until then I’ll be sceptical. However, if other people believe a medicine does them good, then it may be they are in the right mindset to help themselves. However, where I believe unproven medicines are dangerous is when you have a potentially serious condition that is not properly treated by a proven drug, in favour of a so-called alternative.’

Don’t believe the hype

Guy Chapman thinks it’s about time the spotlight was on the supplement industry:

‘The supplement industry has been getting away with misleading claims for as long as I can remember. Even now, US websites will still be carrying essentially unregulated claims for these products, entirely due to industry lobbying. I support a level playing field for health claims: no robust evidence, no advert, no exceptions.’

John Ward, who gets our Comment of the Week, thinks Brits need better health education:

‘It seems to me that there is a powerful case for much better health education on diet and well-being to combat the influence of commercial promotion. I am concerned that too many people who can ill afford, or might be at risk from, unprescribed supplementation do not realise how much they could do to help themselves without synthetic preparations.’

So, what do you think about the comments above? Do you buy into food supplements or are you sceptical of their efficacy?

130 comments

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dieseltaylor

I do currently use Vitamin D3 and Vitamin C. The C is apparently useful for reducing the incidence of gout attacks. The D3 is taken in an attempt to reach [ the low] British standard for D3 in the blood. I hope later this week to report on the difference/effect since we started taking them last July after having the specific blood test taken; and failed.

These excerpts of views stated in the original thread perhaps does not provide a full picture of the arguments and data offered which is a shame.

However during that thread I think there was a consensus that some supplements are probably hogwash and that others, particularly those recommended by the Government are sensible. One thing not resolved was why the UK recommendations are always lower than other countries!

I had just come to the conclusion that some supplementation we do not really think about such as iodised salt and fluorided water so to an extent we all take supplements. And talking of chemicals we unwittingly imbibe I wonder at the lack of regulatory hoops that drinks do not go through despite being bad for your health.

I am curious that if sodas/pop/cokes were described as supplementing normal diet whether they would be subject to more scrutiny than they are. It seems very much that they add actually nil value to diet and on balance are harmful which begs the question why what has become established as a “drink” has no standards to cross.

http://www.rodale.com/facts-about-soda?page=0

This article below talks of water fluoridation being forced upon a population to lower dental requirements. Consider the consumption of soft drinks and effects on teeth and then wonder if perhaps we are intent on treating effects rather than causes.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1156783/Fluoride-water–dont-want-it.html

Apparently the average person drinks 107 litres per annum of carbonated water up 7 litres over 7 years and I would be surprised if this were not an inverse relationship to milk consumption.
http://www.britishsoftdrinks.com/PDF/UK%20soft%20drinks%20report%202012.pdf

Interesting reading especially taken in context with:

“One of the most consistent and powerful findings is the link between soft drink intake and increased energy consumption. Fully 10 of 12 cross-sectional studies, 5 of 5 longitudinal studies, and all 4 of the long-term experimental studies examined showed that energy intake rises when soft drink consumption increases. The effect sizes for these studies, respectively, were 0.13, 0.24, and 0.30.

The available literature also supports the observation that people do not adequately compensate for the added energy they consume in soft drinks with their intake of other foods and consequently increase their intake of sugar and total energy. ………”
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1829363/

Anyway in the next few days the before and after of high dose Vitamin D3 over 13 months.

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wavechange

Dieseltaylor

You have been tested to see if you require additional vitamin D, which is a sensible approach.

I do not understand the basis of the assumption that because some other countries recommend a different daily intake of certain vitamins that they are right and the UK recommendations are wrong.

If drinking soft drinks is discouraging us from drinking milk or decreasing our consumption of wholesome food, then perhaps that is the problem that we should address and not by taking vitamins to compensate.

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dieseltaylor

My Vitamin D3 results are in

July 2012 49.3 nmol/L
August 2013 89.3 nmol/L

So taking 5000iu’s almost daily for a year has moved me to borderline inadequate to adequate. Now the interesting thing here is looking at this research below the geometric mean for the participants was 72.9 nmol/L in September without supplements but falling to what looks like
sub 30 nmol/L in February.
“Vitamin D status has a linear association with seasonal infections and lung function in British adults ”
http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayFulltext?type=6&fid=8415192&jid=BJN&volumeId=106&issueId=09&aid=8415191&bodyId=&membershipNumber=&societyETOCSession=&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S0007114511001991#cjofig_fig1

My suspicion is that taking daily high iu levels of vitamin D supplement in the summer, even an English one , is perhaps redundant and that perhaps the point is to take them commencing the autumn until say March. Given the levels I take perhaps less than daily. However when we receive my wife’s results we will arrange different regimes and have further tests at the beginning of January.

Just to note that the British recommendations for the over 65′s does not mention seasonal effects whatsoever.
“people aged 65 years and over and people not exposed to much sun should also take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms (0.01mg) of vitamin D “

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dieseltaylor

Wife’s results in:
July 2012 46.8
Aug 2013 87.3

SO we will give it a rest until the end of sSeptember and I will go to one 5000IU per week and she will go to two per week and we will re-test the first week of January.

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Mark

It is not just the daily intake that can differ. What counts as an essential nutrient in one country may not be recognised as such in another.

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wavechange

Perhaps we should consider foods with added vitamins and minerals. Cornflakes are an early example. The processing removes vitamins that are naturally present in the grain, and these are added after the cooking process. Addition of vitamins is used to help market the product, though I see it as a way to compensate for the loss of nutritional value caused by processing.

Another example is margarine. This was introduced in the UK because of the shortage of butter during the second World War. Vitamins A and D were added because it was recognised that butter was an important dietary source of these vitamins. In the UK it is not mandatory to include these vitamins in the spreads that have largely replaced margarine, but these blends of fats, water and emulsifiers often contain various vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients including omega 3 fatty acids.

Processed food is an important part of our diets and I believe that there is a case for adding vitamins etc. to compensate for loss of nutritional value during production. I am certainly NOT supporting processed foods (and believe that we should cut down consumption of it) but we must acknowledge that it is a major component of most people’s diets in the UK.

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dieseltaylor

According to my 1950 copy of Law’s Grocer’s Manual the advent of margarine , invented 1869/70, was largely due to WW1 and consequent shortages. : )

I am in complete agreement about the downsides of processed foods. I also have doubts about the usability of Vitamins and additives added to these foods. I can make a bold claim of adding but what is really available at the end of the processing? And for some items they are cooked again.

The food in Maidstone Hospital, Kent is prepared in South Wales. One has to wonder. I looked at Wiltshire Foods to see some information on Vitamins not a whisker but at least they do break down the fats proteins etc.

This looks a very interesting read: Maximizing the Nutritional Value of Fruits & Vegetables
http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/datastore/234-780.pdf

This is old [1968] but very interesting looking at it from a growers angle:
http://www.fao.org/docrep/t0073e/T0073E00.htm#Contents

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wavechange

There are so many factors affecting the vitamin content of food that perhaps the only things we can be sure of are useful sources of vitamins and that storage and processing are generally detrimental. It is not all negative. We have a wider choice of fruit and veg available and more people avoid overcooking vegetables than in previous generations.

I stand to be corrected on the history of margarine, and your book was written before I was born. Butter was certainly rationed in WW2.

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dieseltaylor

I am a fan of history, geography, and food [amongst other interests] hence the old books. It is also older than me. : )

This is a very fine study designed to show how Vitamin D has effects far beyond bone health and well worth reading to get a gist of what is going on. The measurement they use multiply by 2.5 to get the European equivalent of Vitamin D in blood in mol.
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0058725

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wavechange

Dieseltaylor

The Introduction of this article starts: “Vitamin D deficiency defined as a serum concentration of 25- hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D],20 ng/ml is the largest pandemic in the world” and cite a couple of their own papers. I wonder if the authors understand the convention that writing for scientific journals requires an objective approach, unlike the tabloid newspapers, and that the term ‘pandemic’ is generally used to describe a widespread epidemic of an infectious disease. PLoS ONE is available to the general public as an open access journal, but is primarily intended for use by scientists, so perhaps the editor should try harder to maintain standards.

Maybe we should be supporting the use of testing to determine whether people do have vitamin deficiencies. I have just had a load of blood tests done in addition to the routine annual tests, but these did not include vitamin D or any other vitamins. In the meantime, I will enjoy the summer sunshine and the fact that the blood tests have revealed nothing to worry about, which is very reassuring. If I remember, I might have a test done in January or February. I need to take advice on whether this is something I should ask my GP about (on the basis that many adults do have vitamin D deficiency in the winter months) or if I should pay to have this done privately. If the latter, where can I trust to do the test. I would not consider any company that sells supplements, for obvious reasons.

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dieseltaylor

Ah well writing for Americans not totally surprised at misuse though I am perplexed as to what a more correct alternative would be.

I use :
http://www.vitamindtest.org.uk/vitamindbackground.html

You should be aware that laboratories do not all report the same results as it is equipment dependent. Someone I know has had his tested at this and another lab with a 40% discrepancy and he feels this NHS facility under-reports. Fine by me as it may mean we are over 100nmol.
This would be good for the US Endocrine Society values.

Certainly get some testing done come Jan/Feb to see where you are in terms of sufficiency. I feel incredibly confident you will be insufficient or inadequate – score wise that is : )

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wavechange

Thanks. I had already found looked at the Cityassays site. Offering a pin-prick test is obviously convenient for DIY use, but I do wonder how the results compare with conventional tests using blood samples. It is ridiculous to report values to 3 significant figures when – as you say – the results tend to be rather variable.

When testing vitamin D and other analytes, we look for readings within a reference range that has been identified as normal or desirable, based on current knowledge at the time the range was established. Within that range, higher is not necessarily better. For example, when I test my blood glucose concentration, I’m rather glad to see that it is not at the upper end of the reference range. I will have a look at unbiased reviews but unless I see a convincing case that my vitamin D concentration should be >50 nM, I will let my body get on with the job rather than taking the largely unknown risk of swallowing supplements.

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dieseltaylor

Very relevant as to maximising the value of the food you eat.
http://chge.med.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/resources/local_nutrition.pdf

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dieseltaylor

Came across this at the Beeb from December last year – what is rather chilling is the final piece that in the land of sunshine Australia there is a Vitamin D deficiency!!

“Unfortunately, there is limited national research on the true extent of vitamin D deficiency in the UK population.

But we do know that there has been a four-fold increase in admissions to hospital with rickets in the last 15 years and that some groups are more ‘at risk’ than others – namely children, pregnant women and certain ethnic minority groups.

Pilot studies and regional monitoring suggests that vitamin D deficiency is likely to affect at least half the UK’s white population, up to 90% of the multi-ethnic population and a quarter of all children living in Britain.

A recent study in Australia revealed that a third of under-25s are vitamin D deficient – perhaps surprising in a country blessed with plenty of sunshine.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-20710026

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wavechange

The obvious reason is that Australians have become wary about the sun, as a result of the high incidence of skin cancer. Various friends who have visited Australia have come back very pale, so I wonder if there has been a major change in lifestyle.

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chrisb1

Interesting conversation and input, but no one seems to have considered the nutritional content of our foods, which by most all accounts has deteriorated over the years.

This is esp’ true concerning minerals.

The main factor here is the reporting of nutrient-depleted soils, which produce nutrient-depleted crops and therefore nutrient-deficient people.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=soil-depletion-and-nutrition-loss
http://www.dailypaul.com/92623/1936-us-senate-report-soil-depleted-99-of-americans-nutrient-deficient

So is supplementation really necessary?

“You could trace every disease and every ailment to a mineral deficiency.” Dr Linus Pauling.

The body can utilize minerals without vitamins, but vitamins and most other nutrients are basically useless in the absence of minerals.
http://www.biologicaltherapeutics.com/documents/Scientists%20Trace.pdf

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Guy Chapman

The problem with quoting Pauling is that he was wrong.

Just saying.

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chrisb1

If the twice winner of the Nobel Prize (Pauling) was wrong Guy, you will have to prove it.

I suppose you also think that the scientific report of 1936: “U.S. Senate Report: Soil Depleted, 99% of Americans Nutrient Deficient”, is also incorrect as well?
http://www.dailypaul.com/92623/1936-us-senate-report-soil-depleted-99-of-americans-nutrient-deficient

Senate Document No. 264, 1936.
These are Verbatim Unabridged extracts from the 74th Congress 2nd Session………………….
http://www.colloidal-min.com/gvt.htm

Quote…………
“Certainly our physical well-being is more directly dependent upon the minerals we take into our systems than upon calories of vitamins or upon the precise proportions of starch, protein of carbohydrates we consume. This discovery is one of the latest and most important contributions of science to the problem of human health.”

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Guy Chapman

You don’t understand this science business do you?

It doesn’t matter how many Nobel prizes Pauling won, he still bears the burden of proof for any claim he makes.

Alexis Carrel (Physiology or Medicine, 1912) supported eugenics and n*** racial theories. Pierre Curie (Physics, 1903) was outspoken in support of a “psychic medium”. Ivar Giaever (Physics, 1973) is a climate denialist. Louis J. Ignarro (Physiology or Medicine, 1998) supports a pyramid scheme. Brian Josephson (Physics, 1973) believes in psychic and paranormal phenomena and cold fusion. Philipp Lenard (Physics, 1905) believed in the Deutsche Physik. Luc Montagnier (Physiology or Medicine, 2008) believes in homeopathy and promotes vaccine hysteria. Kary Mullis (Chemistry, 1993) is an AIDS denialist who also believes in alien abduction, astrology, conspiracy theories, cosmic raccoons, global warming denial and ozone denial but at least he has an excuse, as he admitted to being a heavy user of LSD back in the day. Linus Pauling (Chemistry, 1954, and Peace, 1962) believed in vitamin C quackery and orthomolecular medicine generally. Charles Richet (Physiology or Medicine, 1913) believe din ESP, the paranormal, and ghosts. William Shockley (Physics, 1956) was into eugenics. John William Strutt, Lord Rayleigh (Physics, 1904) was a paranormalist. Nikolaas Tinbergen (Physiology or Medicine, 1973) is into crank theories of autism. James Watson (Physiology or Medicine, 1962) was a racist.

It’s common enough that there’s even a popular culture term for it: the Nobel disease.

Science, unlike SCAM, does not judge claims on the eminence of the claimant, but on the strength of the evidence. I’ll leave it at that, long experience shows that you and I have fundamentally different views of what evidence means; I prefer the normal scientific definition of course.

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chrisb1

Guy,
if I do not understand this “science business” then you must have overlooked the science that I have reported on, and that which I have researched over the years.

That’s quite a list of scientists who were mistaken, but then we should consider that no one is infallible. However, some of them were quite right in their assertions, and esp’ Linus Pauling who you say believed in “Vitamin C quackery” and “Orthomolecular Medicine quackery” generally.
Re’ Orthomolecular “quackery” as you call it means you have ignored the science on Vitamin C that he advocated, so here is a short list of a much longer one on its science and health benefits….

The National Library of Medicine, in fact, contains thousands of studies demonstrating vitamin C’s ability to significantly improve health, and treat disease successfully.

A study published in 2008 showed that higher plasma vitamin C levels are associated with a significantly reduced risk of stroke. Scientists from the clinical gerontology unit at Addenbrooke’s University Hospital in Cambridge, UK, tracked 20,649 men and women aged 40 to 79 years, between 1993 and 1997. The group was followed through March 2005. Individuals who had the highest vitamin C levels showed a 42% reduction in stroke risk! If you compare this with Plavix’s 8.7 – 9.4% risk reduction, and the profound side effects drugs like these generate, one begins to understand why the media projection of “vitamins are toxic” propaganda serves only the interests of the drug companies……..
Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Jan ;87(1):64-9. PMID: 18175738

Here’s quite a few more studies to be getting on with…………..
http://www.vitamincfoundation.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=9

“Modern science is now eagerly embracing vitamin C’s enormous potential as an antioxidant capable of preventing and, in some cases, reversing a host of human ills. Helping to maximize the beneficial effects of exercise while minimizing the impact of destructive toxins like tobacco smoke, vitamin C also acts at the most fundamental levels to prevent endothelial changes that lead to atherosclerosis, while also blocking harmful DNA degradation that triggers malignant change and sets the stage for cancer. And as scientists learn still more about the vital role of oxidative damage in diseases ranging from asthma to stomach ailments, vitamin C’s importance is growing literally by the day. There is no doubt that future research will uncover even more astonishing findings on the health benefits of vitamin C.”…………………………………..
http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2008/apr2008_Newly-Discovered-Benefits-Of-Vitamin-C_01.htm

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Guy Chapman

Chris, I have not overlooked “the science that you have reported on”, I have in fact repeatedly pointed out to you where you are going wrong in quoting this science.

1. You quote the science as cherry-picked by sites whose agenda you support.

2. You quote cherry-picked studies against reviews that already encompass those views but form very different conclusions based on the cumulative weight of evidence.

3. You cite things that absolutely are not science, alongside fringe science and the occasional bit of mainstream science, and don’t appear to be able to tell the difference.

You’ll know you’re getting it right when your reviews lead you to conclude that homeopathy and colloidal silver are quack remedies, and vitamin megadoses are not indicated unless you’re running marathons in the Arctic. Because that’s what independent, dispassionate reviews conclude.

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chrisb1

The research by WHICH concluded that people are wasting money on unnecessary food supplements. So does anyone buy into food supplements?

Well here’s some scientific proof that Multivitamins are good for you.

For example: the Iowa Women’s Health Study demonstrated that women who supplemented with vitamins C, D, E and calcium had significantly lower risks of mortality………………..Mursu J, Robien K, Harnack LJ, Park K, Jacobs DR Jr. Dietary Supplements and Mortality Rate in Older Women: The Iowa Women’s Health Study. Arch Intern Med. 2011 Oct 10;171(18):1625-33.http://www.lef.org/featured-articles/

Benefits of Vitamin B6 supplementation………….
http://www.iahf.com/b6-res.htm

The Harvard School of Public Health recommends taking a Multivitamin/Mineral……………
http://search.sph.harvard.edu/

The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN)……………………
http://thyroid.about.com/cs/ne

Also Tuesday, October 15, 2013. The journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment published an article this month which reported a lower risk of mortality from invasive breast cancer among patients who used multivitamin/mineral supplements. “Our study offers tentative but intriguing evidence that multivitamin/mineral supplements may help older women who develop invasive breast cancer survive their disease,” commented lead author Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, PhD, who is a distinguished university professor emerita of epidemiology and population health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.

Dr Wassertheil-Smoller and her associates analyzed data from 7,728 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer following enrollment in the Women’s Health Initiative. The subjects’ use of nutritional supplements was ascertained upon enrollment and at the visit closest to the time of diagnosis. The women, who were between the ages of 50 and 79 years at enrollment, were followed for 7.1 years after diagnosis, during which 518 deaths were documented.

Adjusted analysis of the data uncovered a 30% lower risk of dying from invasive breast cancer among women who used multivitamin/mineral supplements in comparison with those who did not report their use. Further adjustment for additional factors failed to significantly modify the association. “Controlling for these other factors strengthens our confidence that the association we observed – between taking multivitamin/mineral supplements and lowering breast-cancer mortality risk among postmenopausal women with invasive breast cancer – is a real one,” stated Dr Wassertheil-Smoller. “But further studies are needed to confirm whether there truly is a cause-and-effect relationship here.”

Also considering the prevalence of diabetes and pre-diabetes, research shows that a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement does indeed offer real health and quality-of-life benefits for people with type 2 diabetes. In a study reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2003, supplementation with a multivitamin and mineral supplement reduced infection and illness-related absenteeism in diabetic patients by startling numbers. Only 17 percent of diabetic patients who took a multivitamin and mineral supplement experienced an infectious illness – such as an upper respiratory tract infection or influenza-like illness – compared to 93 percent of patients who took a placebo. Equally impressive, no diabetic patients who took the supplement reported one or more absentee days from illness during the 12-month study period, compared to 89 percent of diabetic patients who received the placebo…..
Barringer TA, Kirk JK, Santaniello AC, et al. Effect of a multivitamin and mineral supplement on infection and quality of life. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2003;138:365-371.

“Scientific evidence in support of the health benefits of nutritional supplements has grown dramatically in recent years,” said Jeffrey Blumberg, Ph.D., a professor in the School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston. “We must now work to translate this knowledge to health care providers, policy makers and consumers so the simple actions people can take to promote their health and prevent disease can be more fully realized. The impact of a rational use of dietary supplements can also help reduce health care costs which escalate every year as our population grows older.”

Dr. Dickinson noted that while all people should strive to eat a healthy and balanced diet — no matter what their age or health circumstance — few in reality do. “While the overall improvement of dietary habits has been the focus of much research on health promotion and disease prevention, the medical and scientific communities are increasingly recognizing that nutritional supplements have a critical role to play. Too many studies have shown that most diets — even fairly healthy ones — fall well below the Recommended Dietary Allowance for many nutrients. Supplements are a proven bridge between what we should eat and what we actually eat,” she said.

Dr. Annette Dickinson, Ph.D. is an expert on the benefits of vitamins and minerals who has worked in the field since 1973. In 1995, President Clinton appointed Dr. Dickinson to the Commission on Dietary Supplement Labels, and in 2002 she was named to the Food Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). She is the author of numerous papers and is frequently asked to speak on the topic of dietary supplements to policy-making, scientific and other audiences.

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Guy Chapman

Astonishingly* all those sources seem to be committed to promoting the supplement industry. Unlike the independent research cited by Which?.

* No, not really.

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wavechange

It is better to focus on eating a good diet than take supplements to compensate for a poor diet.

Look at the shelves of supplements in any supermarket and you will have some idea of how the British public is being persuaded to spend a fortune on pills they don’t need.

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wavechange

Chrisb mentioned the Council for Responsible Nutrition. It is a US organisation with a vested interest. According to their website, ‘The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) is the UK trade association representing the leading manufacturers and suppliers of food supplements and their ingredients’. In this country we have the Natural Hydration Council, a trade association promoting sales of bottled water, another product that we don’t need. NHC has even posted on Which? Conversation.

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Guy Chapman

Correct. And let’s not forget that much of “big herba” is just “big pharma”. The companies manufacturing the “natural” dose of vitamin C recommended by Pauling (the equivalent of eating 25-30 oranges a day, which of course everybody has done throughout human history) are often the same companies who turn out drugs.

The most bizarre thing about the “health freedom” lobby, to my view, is the fact that they seem to be in denial that they are a lobbying organisation for a big, profitable and highly industrialised business.

I don’t know, maybe people prefer the unregulated supplements made by non-industrial makers instead. I don’t, since there’s god evidence that these are even more variable and even more heavily contaminated, but whatever.

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Guy Chapman

I found a picture of the machinery used to make “natural” supplements: http://wwddtydty.com/2013/12/natural/

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chrisb1

Wavechange,
yes I have mentioned the Council For Responsible Nutrition which is the leading trade association representing dietary supplement manufacturers and ingredient suppliers, but you are implying that they are biased in their reporting of the science behind the consumption of nutritional supplements.

The same could be said for pharmaceutical companies in promoting drugs and other organisations or trade associations who represent their own members.

The science that CRN publish on nutrition and its benefits is hardly likely to be published by pharmaceutical companies, so this role is left to them. Whether their findings are biased or not depends on the science that they publish for scrutiny by anyone, so any bias in favor of nutrition could be discovered in this way.

Bear in mind that the science on nutritional supplements is also published in reputable journals such as JAMA and so on, so publication could be censored or edited at source if found to be incorrect.

It is certainly advisable to eat a good diet Wavechange, but you have missed the point entirely here: food grown today is far less nutritious than it has been in decades past, and I allude here to Senate Document No. 264, of 1936, where minerals in the soil were severely deficient at that time. Nothing has been done since to rectify this crisis.

Nutrient-depleted soils produce nutrient-depleted crops, and therefore nutrient-deficient people, leaving the way open for the development of disease.
These are verbatim and unabridged extracts from the 74th Congress 2nd Session……
http://www.colloidal-min.com/gvt.htm

Health consequences of Global mineral deficiencies………………….

http://www.kingmaker.net/deaddoctorssum2.htm
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18201330
http://www.life-enthusiast.com/symptoms-of-mineral-deficiencies-a-2953.html
http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/82/3/News.pdf
http://www.publichealthreviews.eu/show/f/28

So what is the solution to a nutrient-depleted diet and regardless of how good that diet may be?: nutritional supplements.

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chrisb1

Guy,
your comment…………

“The companies manufacturing the “natural” dose of vitamin C recommended by Pauling (the equivalent of eating 25-30 oranges a day,”……………..

you may be surprised to hear that to obtain the same nutritional content of eating one orange grown a decade ago, you would have to eat 8 oranges today, so at least you are on the right track; and the two scientists who have verified Paulings work with Ascorbate (Vitamin C to the uninitiated) are Dr Steve Hickey (a Medical Biophysicist at Manchester University) and Dr Hillary Roberts PhD who co-wrote: “Ascorbate: The Science of Vitamin C”, which contains a wealth of unbiased science regarding the Orthomolecular use of the same.

Your interpretation and opinion as to the aims and intentions of the health-freedom lobby Guy, couldn’t be further from the truth, and based on little except the aforementioned. It is in fact about the rights of individuals to make their own choices in healthcare, and esp’ from the monopoly of mainstream medicine; these rights are gradually being eroded by corporations who DO have a “vested interest” in maintaining the status quo of exclusive drug-therapy.

You have yet to answer my post on another WHICH forum regarding the book and comments of Dr Peter C Gøtzsche, head of the Nordic Cochrane Centre, and a co-founder of evidence-based medicine’s standard-bearer, the Cochrane Collaboration, who has described the pharmaceutical industry as akin to the mafia, in his recent book: “Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How big pharma has corrupted healthcare”.

In the opening pages he writes: “In the United States and Europe, drugs are the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer.”

If this is what you are defending, then really you do not have a leg to stand on.

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chrisb1

Nice picture Guy of the machinery used to make “natural” supplements, but this is only part of the “picture”, so for example, manufactured Ascorbate or Vitamin C is chemically identical to that found in Nature.

In addition, still taking ascorbate as an example, most all animals manufacture their own which was lost in the eons of time to humans.

The amount manufactured by animals is approximately proportional to their body weight, and, converted to the weight of a human being, ranges from about 20.00 to 20,000 milligrams per day. Irwin Stone concluded that human beings with an average diet are accordingly all suffering from hypoascorbemia, a deficiency of ascorbate in the blood and tissues.

Hickey and Roberts set out to prove that Pauling was a quack regarding Vitamin C but came to this conclusion instead………………………
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/12154.php

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Guy Chapman

Chris, why do you keep citing websites that exist to advocate crank and alternative ideas, as if that somehow validates them?

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chrisb1

Try not to evade the issues Guy, which you are.

The websites I have posted do not advocate “crank and alternative ideas”, so they ARE valid.

Your views on them are obviously borne out of a biased and prejudiced belief-system, rather then the actual science that they report.
This was recently evidenced by your unfounded opinions on Rife: a reiteration of what you have been told to believe without recourse to any independent viable research of your own.

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Guy Chapman

Chris, the unreliability of your sources has been shown many, many times.

A reliable source on supplements looks like this: http://www.nhs.uk/news/2011/05May/Pages/supplements-special-report.aspx

You’ll notice that the don’t profit from selling them, but would profit (in reduced budgets) by recommending routine supplementation if it actually worked.

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chrisb1

A reliable source on supplements Guy does not derive from the conservative NHS.

These for example would be far more accurate:

How Dietary Supplements Reduce Health Care Costs…………………

“New research from the Lewin Group has shown that spending pennies a day on a few key nutritional supplements can dramatically reduce sickness and chronic disease — and greatly decrease healthcare expenditures as a result”.
“The Lewin Group looked only at rigorous scientific studies that documented the benefits of nutritional supplements. They used the Congressional Budget Office’s accounting methods to determine the economic impact of supplements. And they kept their analysis specifically to Medicare patients and women of childbearing age”.

(i) The Lewin Group. (2006). An evidence-based study of the role of dietary supplements in helping seniors maintain their independence. Prepared for: The Dietary Supplement Education Alliance.

(ii) Fairfield K.M., and R.H. Fletcher. (2002). Vitamins for chronic disease prevention in adults: Scientific review. Journal of the American Medical Association. 287:3116-3126.

(iii) Willett W.C., and M.J. Stampfer. (2002). What vitamins should I be taking doctor? New England Journal of Medicine. 345 (24):1914-1916.

http://drhyman.com/blog/2011/04/08/how-dietary-supplements-reduce-health-care-costs/

http://knowledgeofhealth.com/patients-can-save-on-out-of-pocket-costs-by-taking-dietary-supplements-in-lieu-of-prescription-drugs/

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chrisb1

Guy,
here’s a bit of science you can chew on for a while………….

http://orthomolecular.org/subscribe.html

http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/index.shtml

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wavechange

Here is a suggestion, Chrisb. Rather than trying to push us to swallow supplements, why not promote testing to see if there is a need?

Perhaps we should also focus on the UK situation, rather than what is happening in the US.

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wavechange

Sorry – my suggestion promoting testing the need for supplements was not intended as a reply to your comment to Guy.

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chrisb1

Wavechange,
well believe it or not I am not trying to push anyone into swallowing supplements, as all I am pointing out is the need for optimum nutrition which we used to be able to receive from our diets, but are unable to today; this is because of a variety of reasons as I have mentioned previously, not least of which are the state of our soils.

Other reasons for inadequate nutrition would include consuming processed foods which lack nutrition, and have more or less become a staple of our diets in the West.

Testing is a good way forward I agree with you, but many current parameters for testing, fall woefully short of the ideal for optimum health and freedom from disease. I refer here to Vitamin D levels as an example, or even Vitamin C RDI’s which are largely outdated by orthodoxy.

Supplementation should not really be necessary, but in the real World a pragmatic approach would act as a prophylactic against disease, and allow us to achieve an optimum state of health with boundless energy at any age.

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Guy Chapman

Chris: Your definition of “optimum” is drawn from cranks. The definition of optimum as promoted by those who are (unlike most cranks) medically qualified to comment, is that most people do not need supplements. Hence the article.

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wavechange

Let us agree then that testing is a good idea. Let us agree on the importance of a good diet. Perhaps we could agree that home-made food using locally produced ingredients is a good option, and something that should be promoted.

If there is sufficient evidence that an RDI is too low (or too high) it will be changed.

Despite the problems that you mention and the perils of pharmaceuticals you have mentioned on many occasions, life expectancy in Britain is rising. The Chancellor is likely to announce that younger people will have to wait longer for their pensions. If my GP recommends that I take supplements I will do so, but – as with taking pharmaceuticals – she will need to convince me of the need.

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chrisb1

Guy,
my definition of “optimum nutrition” is drawn from the science which you have yet again ignored.

Since when did your average medically qualified personnel have any or much knowledge of nutrition?
This is old ground, so you had better re-read my posts to re-educate yourself on this topic.

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wavechange

Chrisb – You recently told us that you used to be a driving instructor and made some points that are reasonable and might have been made by any driving instructor.

As someone who has spent his working life in scientific research, training others in experimental design and interpretation of data, writing papers and reviews, and reviewing papers I have some idea of scientific method. I have read many of your posts and it is fairly evident that you have not worked in a scientific discipline or received scientific training. You would take exception to anyone who claimed that mum and dad could be as good at teaching their child to drive as a trained driving instructor. I take exception to being told to go and read articles that have been selected to ‘prove’ a particular point. As a scientist, albeit retired, I want to see all the evidence.

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chrisb1

Wavechange,
I used to be a “driving examiner” employed by the DSA and not a “driving instructor”. Driving examiners are considered to be experts in driving behaviour.

No scientific training? I hold a BSc in one of the sciences, so I do have scientific training, and my articles are posted as accumulated evidence supporting my views shared by many.

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dieseltaylor

wavechange – There is testing on vitamin supplements and depending on the vitamin and the quality of studies it is a minefield. I only look at Vitamn D and the work on it.

I appreciate your scientific background but I also realise that scientists are not necessarily any better at quantifying risks/benefits against how much information is really required to make a decision. I personally would love 100% proof on everything but in the real world that is a very rare beast.

Sometime ago you asked why my opinion of the NHS on Vitamin D supplementation seemed less important than that of the US and Canadian government health services. I could say it is just the odds, or more likely that they throw more money at the investigations, or the NA lifestyle choices seem to presage ours by the odd decade.

More probably the NHS is cautious as it does not want to take on more costs. Neither of my in-laws who are in their 70′s have been tested for Vitamin D sufficiency though there is a NHS recommendation …….

However ultimately I think we are all in agreement that you are what you eat – more prosaically we are a chemical factory with inputs and outputs of life and waste products. The human body is flexible to a degree and can work on inferior products however perhaps behaviours and some illnesses become more apparent with diet :

“Probiotic Therapy Alleviates Autism-Like Behaviors in Mice”
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131205141900.htm

This taken into account with the other work on gut flora, makes one think perhaps the input side has a bigger effect on humans than Western medicine has acknowledged to date.

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wavechange

Dieseltaylor

As I have said before, I hope that the recommended daily intake of vitamin D will be reviewed. Because of the fact that exposure to the sun and diet both have a contribution, it is a rather special case. Rather than spending time outdoors, many of us are staying in our comfortable homes for longer than is good for us and many are taking sensible precautions to avoid skin cancer.

What concerns me is when people cherry pick information that suits their argument, disregarding the majority view, the classical example being those who promote homeopathy.

I do not discount that modifying the gut flora could be useful. Intact bacteria excrete many chemicals and if digested in the gut, many more will be released. During my PhD and postdoc work I did some analytical work, albeit not on gut bacteria. Of course we need to see other studies and to establish what effects probiotic therapy would have on gut function.

I am still planning to have a vitamin D test in February, as I mentioned some time ago. It it indicates that I have a deficiency, I will discuss this with my GP and ask to be tested periodically in future.

Some will say that taking supplements cannot do any harm, and that if a little of something is good, a lot may be better. It is fairly well known that overfilling a car engine with oil can cause serious problems. At the present time I am not sure that we know if taking a handful of supplements will cause problems in the long term. What I fear most of all is acceptance of a mediocre diet because taking supplements will compensate for this, when what we need is a good diet and a healthy lifestyle.

It’s a nice sunny day and I’m off to boost my vitamin D level. :-)

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chrisb1

Wavechange,
yes I also hope that RDI’s of Vitamin D are reviewed to match the current science which the NHS website has overlooked; bearing in mind that the current RDI’s for Vitamin D are 800ius for men and 600ius for women. So when direct UVB rays are exposed to the skin, this produces up to 20,000ius of D3 in one half-hour of exposure.
We also know that the body will not allow overdosing of Vitamin D from sunlight and produces this on a “need” basis, so when the NHS recommends the above RDI’s, this falls woefully short of what the body actually needs when we are unable to avail ourselves of the benefits of the Sun. The advice of Dermatologists over the last couple of decades in avoiding all sunlight exposure, for the fear of skin cancer, reveals that they have much to answer for.

I am also not in favor of cherry-picking information that suits any particular argument either, but if you are referring to my own sources, these are usually supported by a wide consensus within the nutritional sciences, and in particular with Prof’ Michael Holick, Dr Cedric Garland and Prof’ Veith and others, who all came to the same conclusions, independently of each other regarding Vitamin D intake in the prevention of disease and cancer in particular.

Prof’ Veith has stated: “In summer, sunbathing for 10 minutes on your front and 10 minutes on your back makes about 10,000 units of vitamin D. This is the equivalent of 100 glasses of milk or 25 vitamin pills – and enough for most people to produce the desired 75 nmol/L of vitamin D in their blood. We require – and are designed to survive – a certain amount of sunshine. People just need to remember to cover up before they burn”.

I am pleased to learn that you are having your Vitamin D levels checked in February, but make sure it is the correct test 25(OH)D, and that blood readings should ideally be 50ngml or even slightly higher in acting as a prophylactic.

You may be surprised to learn that I am not in favor of taking all and just any supplements, but where there is a specific need (as with Vitamin D) and other nutrients not obtainable from even the best of diets, then I am in favor.

What I am in favor of is the use of “Nutraceuticals” which in many a case can replace pharmaceuticals with far less if any harm, and do not have the toxicity and harm/dangers associated with them.

There is little to be concerned about with “overfilling the car engine” as Vitamin C (for example) taken to excess, results in what is known as the “bowel-tolerance-level” with no harm; in fact this is how we perceive an actual bodily need until the BTL is reached, and this can take up to 40,000mg or more per day, and even more than this when taken therapeutically during illness.

It can be prudent to have an extra health-insurance-policy of supplementing a good diet with a good multivitamin/mineral to make up any shortfall from a Western diet and the dominance of processed foods.

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wavechange

chrisb – I apologise for referring to you as a former driving instructor. The comments you did make were not radically different to what the majority of driving examiners or driving instructors might make, whereas your views on nutrition are radically different to those that are generally accepted.

On various occasions you have been accused of cherry picking information. You may not be, but the effect is the same if your sources have already done the cherry pickling. I would not expect any science graduate to be able to critically evaluate information unless they had worked in a research environment. Many of the websites you have provided links for are highly biased and perhaps the only use is to illustrate the extent of the bias in information presented to the public.

However hard you try, I don’t think you will bring about a radical change in nutrition because we need to review all the available information, taking into account the quality of studies and confidence in the data and its interpretation. Health recommendations usually evolve based on mainstream understanding.

I saw your username mentioned in another Conversation today and thought it would be good to invite you to join in on some of the other topics, since you are very regular contributor if only in a narrow area. I am sure that many of us would support your views on processed food. Have a good Christmas.

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chrisb1

Do we feel the need for food supplements?

If one of the world’s top medical experts gave you a golden nugget of advice, you’d probably sit up and take notice, wouldn’t you?

Especially if that advice virtually assured that you could live a long, vibrant life without spiralling into chronic illness and medicine dependency…

Well, this week, Professor Kefah Mokbel MB BS MS FRCS, one of the top 25 breast cancer experts in the world, did just that when he revealed:

‘I give Vitamin D to all my women patients at the clinic because the higher the levels, then the greater the protection from breast cancer.

All women from the age of 20 should take Vitamin D because it is effective in protecting against breast cancer,’ he said.

‘It is established science that women who have higher Vitamin D levels have a better chance of beating the disease.

‘Studies also show that women with higher Vitamin D levels are significantly less likely to develop breast cancer in the first place,’ he concluded.

Back in 2008, a Canadian study showed breast cancer patients with high Vitamin D levels were about half as likely to die from the disease as those with a serious deficiency.

And, according to the Harvard School of Public Health in the United States, being deficient in Vitamin D ‘increases the risk of a host of chronic diseases — including bone loss and osteoporosis… heart disease… some cancers… multiple sclerosis… infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and even seasonal flu’.

Professor Mokbel estimates that supplementing with Vitamin D — which costs a paltry 12 pence per day — would save the lives of 1,000 women every year in the UK… and save needless suffering to thousands more.

But, apparently, not everyone agrees…

A spokesperson for Cancer Research UK believes ‘there is insufficient proof’ to support what Professor Mokbel, the Harvard School of Public Health, the Canadian Cancer Society and literally hundreds of other conclusive studies are all saying about the benefits of Vitamin D.

So, let me ask you one question: who would you choose to trust…?

…Professor Kefah Mokbel MB BS MS FRCS, the lead breast surgeon at the London Breast Institute of the Princess Grace Hospital, an honorary consultant breast surgeon at St George’s Hospital, Professor of Breast Cancer Surgery at The Brunel Institute of Cancer Genetics and Pharmacogenomics (London, UK)… who is ranked among the top 25 breast cancer experts in the world and among the top 5 breast cancer experts in the UK… and who has NO commercial self-interest in promoting the use of Vitamin D?

…or would you choose to trust Cancer Research UK, a Cancer Industry stooge, who despite receiving hundreds of millions of pounds in charitable donations, tax breaks and Big Pharma sponsorship, has made precious little progress in preventing the shocking escalation in breast cancer rates over the last 50 years?

I’ll leave it up to you to draw your own conclusion…

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Matthew

Great posts chrisb1
So many overlooked for comment of the week.
There’s great money to be made fighting cancer, they wouldn’t want to help stop that cancer industry cold with a study that finds a cure. They just want to patent some medicine to continue making billions and if they end up killing people on top which the estrogen industry has been doing for 40 years then so be it.

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chrisb1

Thank you Matthew.
It has been a lone isolated battle here until you posted, so your comments are very welcome.

Wavechange is the usual epitomy of impartiality and diplomacy, and I admire him for that, unlike one or two others here who are unable to accept the evidence or the science that I have illustrated.

I don’t think for one moment that any of my posts would make the grade of “comment of the week” as this may upset the status quo as to how things are accepted and measured generally.

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Matthew

Another great article for them to chew on.
http://www.virginiahopkinstestkits.com/vitamindbreastcancer.html

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Guy Chapman

Citing Patrick Holford? You fail, big time.

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chrisb1

Guy,
“citing Patrick Holford is a “fail, big time” only in your mistaken opinion, and nothing to do with the facts.
Please try and get your facts right before making outlandish and incorrect comments.
Thank you.

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Matthew

Are food supplements good for your health. Far more research than than Lisa Barber has done on her article
http://www.virginiahopkinstestkits.com/vitamindresearch.html

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Matthew

They need to listen very carefully to doctors like Thomas Levy MD.
“Modern medicine through the popular press, through the scientific literature, just lie. They lie and they misrepresent and they withhold the truth.”

An example.
http://www.virginiahopkinstestkits.com/estrogen_breast_cancer_risk.html

Vitamin C has no known toxic dosage.
Thomas Levy MD.
“How many antibiotics, anti-inflammatory agents, calcium inhibitors, any type of prescription drug can you think of, can you say there is no known toxic dose,
you just can take as much as you want of it and you are not going to hurt yourself, this is pretty much the case with Vitamin C.”
http:///wwwriordanclinic.org/research/articles/89023765_iom.pdf

A person with normal kidney function can successfully kill himself with excess water ingestion. There is no established dosage at or beyond which such a person can reliably kill himself with vitamin C. Is water more toxic than vitamin C?
(2005) Hayashi T 12 15

Have you seen what happened tof this New Zealand fella.
http://www.peakenergy.com/video.php

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Guy Chapman

So because someone who has an extreme position advocating something (which, incidentally, he sells) says there is no toxic dose, so we should believe him an not the scientific consensus? Sorry, that’s not how it works.

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chrisb1

Magnesium or Aspirin Therapy.?

New research sounds a clear warning about the dangers of daily aspirin therapy… even if it is ‘baby aspirin therapy’.

The latest study is touted as the “most comprehensive review” ever of the benefits and risks of daily aspirin therapy. And at first it looks like good news.

Researchers found that a daily low-dose of aspirin apparently does have life-saving benefits. But your chances of reaping those benefits are about as likely as winning the lottery.

Results show that about 40 fewer heart-related deaths occur for every 100,000 people who follow the baby aspirin routine.

Not great odds, but worth a shot, right?

Actually not.

Researchers also found that about 100 of those aspirin users experience gastrointestinal bleeding. And many of those cases will result in death. Also, about 10 will suffer from an aspirin-induced stroke.

This study also doesn’t mention another danger of aspirin therapy.

Earlier this year it was learnt that aspirin use could lead to blindness through age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In one study, those who took a daily low-dose aspirin were twice more likely to develop wet AMD — a leading cause of blindness.

If you want to do something every day to keep your heart healthy, then discard the aspirin bottle and take another pill instead — a daily magnesium supplement.

A recent study shows that just 250 mg of magnesium dramatically reduces heart disease risk. Magnesium helps keep arteries elastic, while also helping control blood sugar — two things your heart thrives on.
http://hsionline.com/2013/11/18/protect-your-heart-better-than-statins/

Magnesium also causes no side effects. That’s something nobody will ever be able to claim about the “wonder drug” aspirin.

“Review of Daily Aspirin Dosage Highlights Concerns About Side Effects” Science Daily, 10/24/13, sciencedaily.com
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131024121312.htm

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chrisb1

Top Dementia Expert Speaks Out on Alzheimer’s – We’ve Wasted Billions ($40 billion) on Drugs When All We Needed Was Prevention with diet and supplements…..

“Professor David Smith, a top dementia expert, states that there are things that can be done to improve the situation right now — but governments, charities and other research bodies need to make a long overdue switch to a new strategy: preventing the disease.”

A controlled trial ran in Oxford three years ago showed brain shrinkage was cut by an impressive 90 percent in people with memory problems after they took high levels of B vitamins.
Scientists in the U.S., Germany and Australia have also shown that supplements of omega 3 fatty acids, as well as exercise, may cut the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Researchers at the Georgetown University Medical Center’s Memory Disorders Program found high-dose vitamins reduce levels of the amino acid homocysteine in people with Alzheimer’s. Previous research has found a link between homocysteine and the mind-robbing disease.

http://www.247wereport.com/disease-prevention/item/1576-top-dementia-expert-speaks-out-on-alzheimer-s-we-ve-wasted-billions-on-drugs-when-all-we-needed-was-prevention.html

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chrisb1

By Dr Al Sears MD.

Big Pharma giant Merck has been trying to re-package one of Nature’s most potent heart health allies and sell it to you as a heart “drug.”

They heavily lobbied the FDA to get it approved in the U.S. But a few weeks ago they had to pull it from the approval process.1

Why? Because their drug didn’t quite have the effect they wanted it to.

In a clinical trial, they gave half the people this new drug – a combination of a synthetic form of a vitamin and a synthetic molecule that reduces facial “flushing.” The other half got only a statin drug.

They wanted the combination of statins and their new drug to work … but it didn’t go so well. In fact, Merck suggested the side effects were worse than expected.

What they don’t tell you in any of their press releases is that people taking only the new “drug” had skin and stomach side effects and experienced flushing.

On top of that, when they added a statin to the mix, people got myopathy which is nonfunctional and painful muscles, and rhabdomyolysis which is the painful disintegration of muscles.2 These are typical statin side effects.

So what was in the new “drug” Merck was trying to create? It was a synthetic form of good old fashioned vitamin B3.

It’s also called niacin. You can remember it with a handy phrase to remember the names for all the B vitamins: “Teddy Roosevelt Never Painted Pyramids Blue in Fancy Clothes.”

This contains the first letter of all the B vitamins in numerical order: thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, biotin, inositol, folic acid and cyanocobalamin.

I can see why Merck wants to patent niacin. It’s an amazing nutrient. And now that raising HDL has become such a big topic in the heart health world, they’re trying to capitalize on a proven, safe, inexpensive solution that’s been around for years by making a drug out of it.

Well I’m glad their drug failed. You can get all the benefits of niacin safely… without lining Big Pharma’s pockets.

I’ve been prescribing niacin for years. I have tested its effectiveness in thousands of patients in my 25 years practicing medicine. And as usual, standard medicine has forgotten just how effective a natural solution can be at improving heart health.

One study gave over 1,000 people either niacin or a placebo and followed them for 15 years. It found that niacin did reduce heart attacks. But what’s really incredible is that 10 years after the end of the trial, doctors followed up and found that niacin was still working. It had reduced the people’s chance of dying from any cause by 11%.3

And in a breakthrough study from the prestigious journal Atherosclerosis, niacin improved heart health markers across the board, including:

24% increase in HDL—the heart-healthy “good” cholesterol

35% increase in adiponectin, the hormone that melts fat away

12% decrease in triglycerides, the real culprit behind clogged arteries

Niacin also improves nitric oxide activity. Nitric oxide release causes the linings of your blood vessels to relax and open up, improving circulation, and helping your body to deliver oxygen in the blood more efficiently.

The key to niacin is using the right amount and the right kind.

Unfortunately, 20 to 30 years ago, very slow-release niacin was used and caused liver toxicity in some people. This scared some doctors away from it, and most never learned how to administer niacin properly so they are afraid to recommend it.

I use sustained release niacin (sometimes referred to as extended release). It doesn’t act as slow as slow-release niacin which makes it much safer.

First, start by eating foods that boost your intake of natural vitamin B3. As always, stick with grass-fed meat, free-range chicken, and organic produce and nuts.

Here are some foods rich in B3 (niacin).4
Food Source

Mg of Niacin
Beef Liver 3.5 oz

14.4
Chicken White Meat 3.5 oz

13.4
Peanuts (1/2 cup)

10.5
Salmon 3.5 oz

8.0
Ground Beef 3.5 oz

5.3
Mushrooms – raw (1/2 cup)

1.7
Barley – cooked (1/2 cup)

1.6
Lentils – cooked (1/2 cup)

1.4
Almonds (1/2 cup)

1.4

Second, supplements are a great way to go. In this case, it’s crucial you take the right dose – and limit how much is in your body at any given time. I recommend taking 500 mg of “sustained release” niacin. Start by taking it every other day and slowly work up. In my clinic, I often gradually increase to up to 2 grams per day.

And, if you want to make niacin work even better, add a potent omega-3 supplement in phospholipid form. This will work with niacin to help reduce Lp(a), a dangerous marker for heart disease and heart attacks.5

To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD

1. “Merck Provides Update on Next Steps for TREDAPTIVE.” January 11, 2013. Retrieved Aug 2, 2013.
2. “HPS2-THRIVE randomized placebo-controlled trial in 25 673 high-risk patients of ER niacin/laropiprant: trial design, pre-specified muscle and liver outcomes, and reasons for stopping study treatment.” Eur Heart J. 2013 May;34(17):1279-91.
3. Canner P, Berge K, Wenger N, Stamler J, Friedman L, Prineas R, Friedewald W. “Fifteen year mortality in Coronary Drug Project patients: long-term benefit with niacin.” J Am Coll Cardiol. 1986;8(6):1245-55.
4. “Nutrition Fact Sheet – B3”, Northwestern University Department of Preventative Medicine. http://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu. Retrieved Dec 9, 2013.
5. Helmbold A, Slim J, Morgan J, Castillo-Rojas L, Shry E, Slim A. “The Effects of Extended Release Niacin in Combination with Omega 3 Fatty Acid Supplements in the Treatment of Elevated Lipoprotein (a).” Cholesterol. 2010;2010:306147.

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chrisb1

Vitamins, Minerals Reduce AIDS Mortality: Ignoring Supplements Means Unnecessary Deaths.

by Andrew W. Saul PhD.

Twenty-six years ago, I worked with a client (woman, late 20s) who was HIV positive. She was a heavy drinker and drug user, a smoker, had a terrible diet, and a series of bad personal relationships. Her health was deteriorating. Desperate, she decreased her drug and alcohol use. She still smoked, ate a poor diet, and was under great stress. She took multivitamin/multimineral supplements irregularly. But she took a lot of vitamin C very regularly, for over two decades.

Twenty-six years later, doctors cannot detect HIV in her system. They now say that she never had it. She did. She probably still does. But they cannot find it. She has no symptoms.

Robert Cathcart, M.D., in California treated AIDS patients with up to 200,000 milligrams of vitamin C a day. He found that, with very large intakes of vitamin C, even advanced AIDS patients lived significantly longer and had far fewer symptoms. [1]

Dr. Cathcart published in 1984, some 30 years ago. This clinical finding is very important. So important that it is hard to believe that the entire Wikipedia entry for Dr. Cathcart was deleted. His work was arbitrarily judged “too unsubstantial to provide notability.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia%3AArticles_for_deletion%2FRobert_Cathcart

Perhaps even Wikipedia might find it difficult to ignore this research:

A 1993 study at Johns Hopkins demonstrated that larger-than-RDA multivitamin supplements slow AIDS, and even help halt it. The seven year long study of 281 HIV positive men showed that those taking vitamins had only about one half as many new AIDS outbreaks as those not taking supplements. [2]

In 2004, a Harvard study by Fawzi et al found that vitamins cut AIDS deaths by 27% and slow the progression to AIDS by 50%. The study authors said, “Multivitamins also resulted in significantly higher CD4+ and CD8+ cell counts and significantly lower viral loads. . . Multivitamin supplements delay the progression of HIV disease.” [3]

Here you have something truly interesting: In 1984, 1993 and 2004, studies showed that HIV patients taking vitamins are 50% less likely to develop full-blown AIDS, and that vitamin-taking AIDS patients live considerably longer, with far fewer symptoms.

Have you heard anything about this on TV, or in a newspaper or magazine? Or a college course? Or from your healthcare provider?

And now, in 2013, a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association confirms it yet again. In HIV-infected adults, “supplementation with a single supplement containing multivitamins and selenium was safe and significantly reduced the risk of immune decline and morbidity.” [4]

Yes, that was with a single multivitamin supplement with added selenium.

Harold D. Foster, PhD advocated the use of selenium and amino acids, plus antioxidants, for HIV/AIDS a decade ago. [5-7] But the new JAMA study does not appear to mention his work at all.

Yet the public has been told, for months and years and decades, that they do not need multivitamins or other dietary supplements, told that supplements do no good, told that supplements are harmful, and told that supplements even increase death rates.

In short, the public has been lied to. For decades. How many lives have been lost that could have been saved?

(Andrew W. Saul is author or coauthor of twelve books, including four with Dr. Abram Hoffer. He is a member of the board of the Japanese College of Intravenous Therapy and has been inducted into the Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame.)

To Learn More:

A good introductory article by Dr. Foster: http://www.doctoryourself.com/news/v4n12.html Interviews with him: http://www.doctoryourself.com/fosterinterview.html Dr. Foster’s book: What Really Causes AIDS. Trafford; 2006. ISBN-10: 1553691326 and ISBN-13: 978-1553691327. Download the pdf version for a donation at http://www.hdfoster.com/publications

Brighthope I and Fitzgerald P. The AIDS Fighters. (Out of print but available on the used book market. Note the date of publication.) Keats Pub, 1988. ISBN-10: 087983482X and ISBN-13: 978-0879834821.

References:

1. Cathcart RF. Vitamin C in the treatment of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Medical Hypotheses, 14(4):423-433, Aug 1984. http://www.doctoryourself.com/aids_cathcart.html

2. Tang AM, Graham NM, Kirby AJ et al. Dietary micronutrient intake and risk of progression to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected homosexual men. Am J Epidemiol. 1993 Dec 1;138(11):937-51. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7903021

3. Fawzi WW, Msamanga GI, Spiegelman D et al. A randomized trial of multivitamin supplements and HIV disease progression and mortality. N Engl J Med. 2004 Jul 1;351(1):23-32. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15229304

4. Baum MK, Campa A, Lai S, et al. Effect of Micronutrient Supplementation on Disease Progression in Asymptomatic, Antiretroviral-Naive, HIV-Infected Adults in Botswana: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2013;310(20):2154-2163. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.280923. http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleID=1785464

5. Foster HD. Why HIV-1 has diffused so much more rapidly in Sub-Saharan Africa than in North America. Med Hypotheses, 2003 Apr;60(4):611-4.

6. Foster HD. How HIV-1 causes AIDS: implications for prevention and treatment. Med Hypotheses, 2004;62(4):549-53. Review.

7. Foster HD. A role for the antioxidant defense system in preventing the transmission of HIV. Med Hypotheses, 2007. 69(6), 1277-1280.

Nutritional Medicine is Orthomolecular Medicine

Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information: http://www.orthomolecular.org

Find a Doctor

To locate an orthomolecular physician near you: http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v06n09.shtml

The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource.

Editorial Review Board:

Ian Brighthope, M.D. (Australia)
Ralph K. Campbell, M.D. (USA)
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. (USA)
Damien Downing, M.D. (United Kingdom)
Dean Elledge, D.D.S., M.S. (USA)
Michael Ellis, M.D. (Australia)
Martin P. Gallagher, M.D., D.C. (USA)
Michael Gonzalez, D.Sc., Ph.D. (Puerto Rico)
William B. Grant, Ph.D. (USA)
Steve Hickey, Ph.D. (United Kingdom)
Michael Janson, M.D. (USA)
Robert E. Jenkins, D.C. (USA)
Bo H. Jonsson, M.D., Ph.D. (Sweden)
Peter H. Lauda, M.D. (Austria)
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D. (USA)
Stuart Lindsey, Pharm.D. (USA)
Jorge R. Miranda-Massari, Pharm.D. (Puerto Rico)
Karin Munsterhjelm-Ahumada, M.D. (Finland)
Erik Paterson, M.D. (Canada)
W. Todd Penberthy, Ph.D. (USA)
Gert E. Schuitemaker, Ph.D. (Netherlands)
Robert G. Smith, Ph.D. (USA)
Jagan Nathan Vamanan, M.D. (India)
Atsuo Yanagisawa, M.D., Ph.D. (Japan)

Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D. (USA), Editor and contact person. Email: omns@orthomolecular.org This is a comments-only address; OMNS is unable to respond to individual reader emails. However, readers are encouraged to write in with their viewpoints. Reader comments become the property of OMNS and may or may not be used for publication.

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Guy Chapman

And more sense from The Times: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/science/article3951187.ece

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chrisb1

Guy,
The study has already been debunked…………..

I looked at the study. They looked at the effect of vitamins on cognitive functioning in adult men 65 years old + and another part of the study looked at people ALREADY WITH heart issues and saw no improvement in either one of these categories. Ummm, why didn’t they look at the worst possible groups of people. That is hilarious. In order to see the effects that vitamins have on a person’s health you would have to have two people with the exact same genetic make up and health issues, etc. and give one vitamins and one not and follow them over the course of their life. This would be pretty close to impossible, not to mention unethical. For those who want to believe studies like this, keep in mind, traditional medicine DOES NOT look for cures or ways to prevent illness, they only treat the symptoms.

The first study cited was a review of 27 studies, but only 3 were on multivitamins; the rest were on singular nutrients. Second paper was on physicians – probably the best-nourished demographic in America. And in America, only about an estimated 5% of the population gets a nutritionally satisfactory diet, meaning there is much room for multivitamins to fill in nutritional gaps. In the third paper, the “nonadherence rate” was more than 50%! The authors themselves said any “interpretation is very difficult.” Also of note in this commentary, when a vitamin study was found to be successful (hint: there are many), it is characterized as an “enormous controversy.” The bias is clear: The mainstream American medical establishment wants people to be unhealthy so they can dispense profitable pharmaceuticals to treat people once they are sick, and they are not interested in keeping them well in the first place. As the Chinese proverb goes, “The superior doctor prevents sickness; the mediocre doctor attends to impending sickness; the inferior doctor treats actual sickness.”

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dieseltaylor

A Murdoch paper for a balanced view ….. : )

Have they printed a link to the research you can share?

I add the adjoining Times teaser articles they have carried. Its incredibly interesting that the top two articles I have copied are actually about different things which shows how stupid the media is in how it presents studies.

Last updated at May 24 2012
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Mothers’ vitamin D ‘does not help bone health in children’
Pregnant women taking vitamin D supplements to improve the bone health of their children may be wasting their money,…
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Vitamin D from sun may improve pregnancy chances
Scientists believe that vitamin D provided by the Sun might help embryos to establish themselves in the womb
Published at October 25 2012
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Millions of people are vitamin D deficient
A woman reads a book in the sunshine in Victoria Tower Gardens on September 2, 2011 in London, England
Almost every cell in the body has receptors for D and we now realise that it does far more than maintain the…
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wavechange

There is a long history of poor reporting of science in the press, but different articles can support different views, giving a very crude balance. Ignore the popular press and look at articles in New Scientist, Scientific American and other publications that aim to provide the general public with good quality information in a comprehensible format.

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chrisb1

Yes there is a link dieseltaylor and referenced at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, but am not able to locate it at the moment even from my browser history.
I shall keep on searching.

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chrisb1

Some simple lifestyle changes confer such remarkable benefits for the prevention of disease, that if they were pills, they would be called “miracle” drugs.

As we approach an epidemic in the number of newly diagnosed cases of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, irrefutable evidence continues to emerge supporting the science behind following simple lifestyle modifications to dramatically lower the risk of developing memory-robbing illnesses and most other chronic diseases as well. Based on the current trend, experts fear that as many as one in three Americans over the age of 65 will suffer from some degree of dementia by the year 2050. Not more than 50 years ago, Alzheimer’s disease was virtually unknown to the average person, yet it now threatens to directly or indirectly impact the life of almost every man, woman and child in the US. Fortunately, there are some very simple lifestyle changes that we can adopt to change the current course of this explosion in new dementia cases.

Publishing in the journal PLOS One, a research team from the Cardiff University School of Medicine in the United Kingdom has identified five lifestyle behaviors that have been shown to reduce the risk of cognitive decline, and researchers say these healthy habits are more beneficial than medical treatments or preventative procedures.

Researchers identified exercise as the most important lifestyle factor to lower dementia risk

The researchers followed a cohort of 2,235 men aged 45-49 from 1979 to 2004 in the UK. During this period, incidences of diabetes, vascular disease, cancer and death were recorded, along with an examination in 2004 to determine cognitive state. After a detailed analysis of all available data, the scientists identified the following five healthy behaviors as being essential for the best chance of living a disease-free life: performing regular exercise, not smoking, maintaining a low body weight, following a healthy diet and having a low alcohol intake.

Additionally, the study demonstrated that the individuals who adhered to four or five of these behaviors had a 60 percent lowered risk of dementia and cognitive decline, and there were 70 percent fewer cases of diabetes, heart disease and stroke, compared with individuals who followed none of the behaviors. As far as reducing the risk for dementia, the scientists noted that regular moderate-intensity exercise was the strongest factor.

“What the research shows is that following a healthy lifestyle confers surprisingly large benefits to health,” the lead study author, Dr. Doug Brown, concluded. “We have known for some time that what is good for your heart is also good for your head, and this study provides more evidence to show that healthy living could significantly reduce the chances of developing dementia.”

Many natural health enthusiasts already understand the importance of adhering to the five identified factors to lower disease risk, while many other people are on a direct collision course for dementia and declining health by ignoring these simple lifestyle modifications.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.plosone.org
http://www.bbc.co.uk
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com
http://science.naturalnews.com

Author………..
John Phillip, who is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life.

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Guy Chapman

A balanced diet and moderate exercise will benefit almost everybody (except the vitamin peddlers, and I don’t care about them).

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chrisb1

Further to the mention of Vitamin D.

Prof Norman Ratcliffe, from Swansea University, recently said that a record number of people in the UK are suffering with a vitamin D deficiency. Adequate levels of the sunshine vitamin are necessary to prevent common cancers, heart and autoimmune diseases, rickets, osteomalacia (bone pain and muscle weakness), diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and depression.

The truth is, vitamin D deficiency is slowly becoming a ‘major public health concern’ and some experts claim that Britain is heading back to the 1920s — a time when large numbers of children suffered bone pain and bowed legs from the effects of rickets.

Professor Nicholas Clarke, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Southampton General Hospital, said that all children at the hospital with musculoskeletal pain have their vitamin D levels tested and most of them are deficient. Children as young as two are being diagnosed with full-blown rickets with the classic Victorian symptoms of bowed legs that may require surgery.

According to Prof Clarke, pregnant women are not routinely informed that they should be taking vitamin D, and vitamins for children are not being promoted at all. Much as the vitamin is present in some foods, most of it is synthesized by our bodies when exposed to sunlight.

Alternative health expert, Dr. Jonathan V. Wright, recommends cod liver oil as a good source for vitamin D. It packs in 1,200 to 1,500 IU per tablespoon. When supplementing with vitamin D, Dr. Wright recommends 5,000 IU daily if you are an adult and 2,000 to 3,000 IU for children.

However, after saying that, it is important that anyone should work with a doctor skilled in natural medicine to find your body’s optimal level of vitamin D and remember to take extra vitamin E if you supplement with fish oils, as it will help keep them from oxidizing too rapidly in your body.

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chrisb1

Guy,
Just as a matter of interest I would like to ask if you have had you vitamin D levels checked and whether they are insufficient or optimal?

If insufficient, and in the absence of sunlight here in the Winter, I wonder how you think you could solve this issue unless you take vitamin D supplements.?

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dieseltaylor

Looking at a source for the original editoral, I see a much repeated phrase in the article around the world for the Murdoch papers. Google does show how a particular phrase fills the web and is quoted by others.

Anyway from one of the three papers in the Journal


Multivitamin Studies

We identified 4 good-quality trials (n = 28 607) (19–22) and 1 good-quality cohort study (n = 72 337) (23) that evaluated a multivitamin’s effect on cardiovascular, cancer, and mortality outcomes or harms (Table and Supplement) (47–55). Two of the 4 multivitamin trials were large (n = 27 658): SUpplementation in VItamins and Mineral AntioXidants Study (SU.VI.MAX) and the Physicians’ Health Study II (PHS-II). SU.VI.MAX was conducted among 13 017 men and women living in France and examined a 5-ingredient multivitamin (19). PHS-II tested the efficacy of a 30-ingredient commercial multivitamin among 14 641 U.S. male physicians (21). Neither SU.VI.MAX nor PHS-II reported that supplements affected all-cause mortality after 7.5 and 11.2 years of follow-up, respectively (Figure 1). A third trial, the Roche European American Cataract Trial (REACT), reported more deaths in the intervention group (n = 9) than in the control group (n = 3) after 3 years, but this difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.07) (20). We found no effect on all-cause mortality when we pooled the results of these trials (Figure 1).”

Couple of points here. Rather like bee populations if you are only looking for mortality as the measure are you possibly missing the point as to quality of life?

Don’t get me wrong I am not a multivitamin fan boy but I am a skeptic, and I do believe studies which show incontrovertible links for Vitamin D and reduced health problems. Notice I am not saying people lived longer taking D I am just commenting on the Manchester study showing people suffered less colds etc in winter when they had higher Vitamin D compared to those with low Vitamin D.

Which leads to the question – do Vitamins have an effect … and is being cold free a worthwhile objective.

More from the quotable study on its limitations :

“Our analysis has some limitations. We considered only primary prevention interventions in generally healthy people and excluded secondary and tertiary prevention trials and treatment studies. Thus, our results do not apply to the targeted use of nutrients in deficient or higher-risk individuals. Only 2 trials of multivitamin supplements were included for efficacy, even though we broadly defined a multivitamin as 3 or more ingredients. Those 2 trials studied very different supplements (19, 21). Because the only multivitamin trial to include women used a supplement with 5 ingredients (19), it could be argued that there are no data on a “true” multivitamin in women. Most of the included vitamin trials provided less than a decade of follow-up, and vitamin effects on CVD and cancer may take longer to manifest. The small number of studies in each pooled analysis made it difficult to evaluate between-study heterogeneity. We limited our examination of harms to fair- and good-quality trials and observational studies and thus may have underestimated harms. In addition, we did not assess harms from higher doses of vitamins and minerals than the upper tolerable limit set by the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board.”

http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1767855

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wavechange

It is well worth trying to avoid viral infections such colds and flu, since the latter can very serious.

My approach is to avoid the virus by keeping away from people with colds and hygienic measures such as hand washing because the virus can be transmitted by contact. The last time I had an infection was during the swine flu epidemic a few years ago.

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Guy Chapman

I think the evidence that older people might need vitamin D supplementation is reasonably sound. The evidence that everybody needs it, is absent, as is the evidence that almost anybody needs the massive levels promoted by extreme advocates.

What’s interesting is to compare the modest and cautious claims of the carefully designed studies, with the inflated claims of the unreliable studies preferred by the more extreme advocates.

Skepticism is the default i the scientific method. It’s the correct approach. Applying skepticism leads you to request a blood test to check for vitamin D levels, ignore virtually every claim around vitamin C, and so on. The only advantage of supplements is that they are probably less harmful for those who are determined to medicalise normality than other classes of drugs.

Much better to eat a balanced diet, take moderate exercise, and stop worrying unless you actually have symptoms. And of course never believe any claim made by a salesman, without independent corroboration. I analysed some of the criticisms of the ASA’s regulation of supplement claims: http://wwddtydty.com/2013/12/advertising-standards-authority-exposed/

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chrisb1

Guy,
indeed there is a perceived need for Vitamin D supplementation in the elderly, but we all need the vitamin, so lack of our main source from sunlight exposure (esp’ in the Winter) means that it is not only the elderly who have a need.

There is nothing remotely extreme in supplementing with Vitamin D of 5000ius to 8000ius per day in the Wintertime in the absence of sunlight, when in the Summer months, when we are lucky enough to receive exposure, sunlight will produce up to 20,000ius of Vitamin D within the skin, and within half an hour of mostly full body sunlight exposure.
According to your own reasoning this makes the Sun an “extremist”, so well done on that score.

BTW, Vitamin D is not a drug but a hormone precursor found in Nature essential for bodily health..

I agree that it is a wise choice to eat a “balanced” diet (plant-based) and take regular exercise as well, but you should have realized by now that our crops are nutrient-deficient, and therefore some supplementation (although not the ideal) is a prudent way of making good this shortfall.

In addition the website WDDTYDTY is such a scam it isn’t worth reading the nonsense it contains.

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Guy Chapman

OTC thyroid “supplements” may be harmful: http://www.medpagetoday.com/Endocrinology/Thyroid/43501

No wonder the Annals of Internal Medicine have spoken out against routine supplementation in the absence of evidence of deficiency: http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1789253

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Matthew

It’s Thyroid drugs. Are you are coming round to our way of thinking Guy?. Well done.

You could research instead on the supplement tyrosine the body makes this hormone from it. Also in food in small amounts.
http://www.thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/about_the_thyroid/thyroid_overview.html

Another equally informative artilce about thyroid drugs.
http://www.virginiahopkinstestkits.com/thyroidarticle.html

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wavechange

Tyrosine is an amino acid found in proteins. It can be made from phenylalanine, another amino acid present in proteins. Why take supplements that could cause problems unless there is evidence of deficiency? I suggest you read the articles provided by Guy rather than making provocative comments. :-)

Sooner or later, many untrained people could be victims of their self-medication.

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chrisb1

The Annals article has already been debunked so that should now be put to bed.

If thyroid supplements are harmful, this should be weighed against the harm of pharmaceuticals, where the latter have far more evidence of harm. If this suits your agenda, which it seems to, then that is good old fashioned bias that fits in with your argument quite well.

Further to the article of case closed on multivitamins and supplements generally………

Commentary by Mark McCarty

(OMNS Dec 21, 2013) “Centrum Silver Adults 50+” was the low-dose multivitamin tested in a much-trumpeted recent study that “proved that supplements don’t work.” Here is the manufacturer’s webpage for this paragon of applied nutritional science: http://www.centrum.com/centrum-silver-adults-50-plus#tablets However, to actually see in detail what’s in the product, you have to click the tiny “Product Labeling” link directly under the package illustration . . . and then scroll all the way down to the fine print in the “Ingredients” box.

But it is worth the effort. In addition to three artificial colors, note the whopping big doses (this is satire, now) of protective nutrients such as:

Vitamin D – 500 IU (Bet they thought they were going way out on a limb, adding that great extra 100 IU!)

Vitamin E – 50 IU (All provided by cutting edge, synthetic dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate)

Magnesium – 50 mg (Wow, one-eighth of the RDA, in the ever-so-soluble oxide form!)

Zinc – 11 mg (Cleverly well below the elevated range shown to exert any “dangerous antioxidant activity” by inducing metallothionein [1])

Calcium – 220 mg (Note the 4.4 to 1 ratio of calcium to magnesium; way too high, and that is not a satirical comment)

Lutein – 250 mcg (Macular degeneration is now a thing of the past!)

Evidently, the failure of this nutritional powerhouse to prevent dementia can only mean that all supplementation is inherently worthless.

Granted this supplement did reduce cancer incidence by 8% (http://www.nbcnews.com/health/daily-multivitamin-cuts-mens-cancer-risk-8-percent-large-study-1C6519472), but who can remember back that far?

Of course, you would think that even modest, conservative doses of micronutrients might provide some benefit to the many mentally-challenged people whose baseline diets are overloaded with empty calories. So to give the supplement the very best chance to demonstrate efficacy, the researchers chose a population of research subjects most likely to be nutritionally deficient: American physicians!

Now that we have gotten all this supplements nonsense out of our systems, we can all go to our doctors to get prescriptions for the many drugs proven to prevent dementia (of which there are none).

But as for vitamins, thank heavens our ever-vigilant media have set us straight again! What would we do without them?

(Mark McCarty is a nutritionist and Research Director at the non-profit organization Catalytic Longevity. He is also President of NutriGuard Research, and a consultant to several medical clinics.)

Notes:

1. In regard to zinc – are you aware of this result from the AREDS1 study?: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15136320 The 27% reduction in total mortality observed in those getting 80 mg zinc daily has been largely ignored – even though it was a robust finding in a rather massive controlled study – presumably because few people understand it. It likely represents a protective effect of metallothionein induction, which is dose-dependent above the usual dietary range of zinc (and is likely of minimal significance with modest zinc intakes). A key target of metallothionein is cadmium, which is emerging as a major mediator of multiple risks, even in people without industrial exposure: http://catalyticlongevity.org/prepub_archive/Cd11.pdf published here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22959313

For further reading:

Are Antioxidants Bad for Us? A Response to Dr. Paul Offit http://catalyticlongevity.org/prepub_archive/Are%20Antioxidants%20Bad%20for%20Us.pdf

Excellent analysis of the flawed research used to attack multivitamin supplements: http://www.lef.org/featured-articles/Flawed-Research-Used-to-Attack-Multivitamin-Supplements.htm

Gossard B, Schmid K, Huber L, Joyal SV. Flawed research used to attack multivitamin supplements. http://www.lef.org/featured-articles/Flawed-Research-Used-to-Attack-Multivitamin-Supplements.htm

Additional humorous commentary on vitamin-bashing:

Multivitamins dangerous? Latest leak from the World Headquarters of Pharmaceutical Politicians, Educators and Reporters: http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v06n15.shtml

How to destroy confidence in vitamins when you do not have the facts: http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v06n02.shtml

Confidential Memorandum from the World Headquarters of Pharmaceutical Politicians, Educators and Reporters: scroll down at http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v08n11.shtml

Nutritional Medicine is Orthomolecular Medicine

Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information: http://www.orthomolecular.org

The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource.

Editorial Review Board:

Ian Brighthope, M.D. (Australia)
Ralph K. Campbell, M.D. (USA)
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. (USA)
Damien Downing, M.D. (United Kingdom)
Dean Elledge, D.D.S., M.S. (USA)
Michael Ellis, M.D. (Australia)
Martin P. Gallagher, M.D., D.C. (USA)
Michael Gonzalez, D.Sc., Ph.D. (Puerto Rico)
William B. Grant, Ph.D. (USA)
Steve Hickey, Ph.D. (United Kingdom)
Michael Janson, M.D. (USA)
Robert E. Jenkins, D.C. (USA)
Bo H. Jonsson, M.D., Ph.D. (Sweden)
Peter H. Lauda, M.D. (Austria)
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D. (USA)
Stuart Lindsey, Pharm.D. (USA)
Jorge R. Miranda-Massari, Pharm.D. (Puerto Rico)
Karin Munsterhjelm-Ahumada, M.D. (Finland)
Erik Paterson, M.D. (Canada)
W. Todd Penberthy, Ph.D. (USA)
Gert E. Schuitemaker, Ph.D. (Netherlands)
Robert G. Smith, Ph.D. (USA)
Jagan Nathan Vamanan, M.D. (India)
Atsuo Yanagisawa, M.D., Ph.D. (Japan)

Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D. (USA), Editor and contact person. Email: omns@orthomolecular.org This is a comments-only address; OMNS is unable to respond to individual reader emails. However, readers are encouraged to write in with their viewpoints. Reader comments become the property of OMNS and may or may not be used for publication.

To Subscribe at no charge: http://www.orthomolecular.org/subscribe.html
Archive link http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/index.shtml are included.

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Matthew

Guys links refer to OverTheCounter drugs.

I think you are more likely to be the victim of a recommendation that is authoritatively put forward by your doctor. Look up iatrogenic deaths.

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wavechange

Sorry if I have made a mistake Matthew, but you did mention tyrosine as a supplement.

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Guy Chapman

When you look up iatrogenic deaths, be sure to check the massive difference between the claims of anti-medicine cranks like Gary Null and the actual facts, which are much more modest.

The magazine “what doctors don’t tell you” is a good example of anti-medicine disinformation on iatrogenic death: they claim that 8% of all deaths are due to medical misadventure, the source they used shows it’s actually around 0.1%

http://wwddtydty.com/number-crunching/

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Guy Chapman

Chris has obviously failed to point out that I favour a completely level playing field with all claims, whoever makes them, subject to identical scrutiny.

I will never adopt Chris’ policy of basing my acceptance f a claim on whether it’s labelled “natural” or not.

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Matthew

Still a darn good reason to avoid prescription drugs.

Now it seems the FDA has little to no control over the quality of drugs sold in the U.S according to this article in the New York Times.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/02/magazine/02fda-t.html?scp=1&sq=safety%20gap%20harris&st=cse&_r=0

Where does that leave the NHS and its sources.
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2009/jan/04/fake-pharmaceuticals-drugs-china-nhs

I suppose we could become worried by how natural vitamins and herbal remedies are produced if
and when the numbers of deaths match patent medicine.

One more reason to avoid prescription drugs whenever possible.

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Matthew

How the JAMA then.
http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=192908

In the United States an estimated 225,000 deaths per year have iatrogenic causes, with only heart disease and cancer causing more deaths.http://www.avaresearch.com/ava-main-website/files/20100401061256.pdf?page=files/20100401061256.pdf

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chrisb1

Guy,
This “massive difference” you mention between the claims of “anti-medicine” cranks like Gary Null, and not forgetting Dr Carolyn Dean MD ND and others who co-authored the report into iatrogenic deaths, doesn’t quite fit very well with your conclusions and opinions because of the comments made by Dr Peter C Gøtzsche, head of the Nordic Cochrane Centre, and a co-founder of evidence-based medicine’s standard-bearer, the Cochrane Collaboration; he has described the pharmaceutical industry as akin to the mafia, in his recent book: “Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How big pharma has corrupted healthcare”.

In the opening pages he writes: “In the United States and Europe, drugs are the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer.”

Perhaps you would like to explain this for me, or is this just another inconvenient fact that you choose to ignore?

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chrisb1

Guy,
judging by your posts that I have read it surprises me somewhat that you endorse a “completely level playing field with all claims if they are subject to identical scrutiny” when this has clearly not been the case at all.

It has also never been my policy to accept a claim on whether it is labelled “natural”, so I am not sure how you arrived at that conclusion.
Natural does not necessarily mean that it is beneficial for health; all I have said is that good health derives from those substances that are biologically compatible and necessary for the human body to function as it should in the avoidance of disease and ill-health.

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Matthew

How many people have died taking thyroid hormone properly prescribed by their doctor.?

How many people have died taking tyrosine supplements.?

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wavechange

It is unhelpful just to think in terms of death when evaluating the impact of anything we consume.

Salt is necessary in our diet or as a supplement. Too much is fatal. If we consume more than we need it is difficult to quantify the negative effect, but the more we take, the greater likelihood of harm.

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Guy Chapman

I have been going back over old issues of the anti-medicine magazine “What Doctors Don’t Tell You”.

They recently printed a story about pesticides in Chinese herbs. They have never mentioned the heavy metal contamination in Chinese herbs, the substitutions and adulterations found in recent Canadian tests, they never mentioned nephropathy and cancer caused by aristolchia.

Pretty much anything that has an effect, has a side effect. The only things that have on side effects are completely inert fake treatments like homeopathy. The problem with the SCAM industry’s relentless promotion of every tiny problem with medicine is that problems with medicine justify their competing claims in precisely the same way that plane crashes justify magic carpets.

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Matthew

I think it’s very helpful to know that tens of thousands die each year in Britain from drug reactions.

More accuracy and less ignorance on the subject.

M.Pirmohamed et al., Adverse drug reactions as cause of admission to hospital: prospective analysis of 18 820 patients.’ British Medical Journal 2004 Jul 3;329(7456):15-9.

Hippocrates said ‘first do no harm’ Yeah right,

And if you have children.
http://www.virginiahopkinstestkits.com/childrendrugs.html

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chrisb1

Thank you for that post Matthew, and I’m assuming these are prescribed pharmaceuticals taken as prescribed?

Perhaps the WHICH headline and investigation of: “Your view: do you feel the need for food supplements”? should be more aptly named: “Your view: do you feel the need to have your life threatened by prescribed pharmaceuticals”.

Will WHICH investigate prescribed drugs and how harmful they are? In my view unlikely, as this will severely upset the status-quo of “acceptability”, the machinery of conservatism, and the vested interests that support it.

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wavechange

Happy New Year, Chris. How about a NY resolution about having a balanced approach?

I don’t see why it is relevant to consider the harm done by pharmaceuticals in this Conversation about supplements, but if we are going to consider harm then perhaps we should also think about the lives they have saved, the suffering they have relieved and the general improvement in quality of life they have given the population as a whole.

I think highly of my own GP who seems to grudge every pill she prescribes. I had a medication review yesterday with a new GP who clearly shares the same view. I think we have come a long way since the days when some GPs handed out antibiotics to those with a simple cold. There is a lot more to be done and elderly people are sometimes given a worrying range of drugs, sometimes in combinations that are specifically not advised.

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chrisb1

That seems to be a good New Years resolution wavechange, as I would dearly love to take a more balanced approach.
However, this is unlikely, given the bias against supplements and the publication of misleading and erroneous information in the media, which is given much attention and publicity by them.
I would also wish there was more of a level playing field, to arrive at this balanced view, but it is sadly lacking.

I am sure that pharmaceuticals in general have made a very worthwhile contribution in aiding health-related matters, but what I am totally against is their unfair and sometimes corrupt monopoly, which excludes the use of supplements and other measures that have just as much if not more efficacy in treating the same conditions, and how these are denigrated by vested interests, in maintaining that monopoly and the status quo of profiteering.

Medicine generally is unaware of the science and efficacy of supplements and herbal remedies, and placed deliberately outside of their remit for this very reason, so there needs to be a paradigm shift to achieve any balance that I would accept and that you refer to.

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wavechange

You don’t want to take a balanced approach because there is a bias against supplements. I’m not sure about the logic there.

While visiting friends who work for the NHS over Christmas I was given a recent copy of BNF, which has pages devoted what you would regard as supplements. I’m sure your GP has a copy to hand. Although a GP may prescribe these drugs/supplement, they are not likely to prescribe herbal remedies because the amounts of active components can vary significantly. That point has been made numerous times in various Conversations, so please forget the herbal remedies. The sensible approach is to isolate the active component(s) and use appropriate dosages.

No GP has ever prescribed supplements for me, and during my adult life I have avoided taking prescribed drugs for any length of time unless it is very obvious that they are of benefit.

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chrisb1

I suppose this depends on what you mean by a “balanced approach” Wavechange.
If you would like to explain what you mean by that, I will answer more specifically.

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wavechange

I have done this before, and so have others. Until you stop looking at sources of information that have been selected to support a particular view, you are unlikely to understand scientific method and the value of a balanced approach.

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chrisb1

wavechange, your comment that I only look at sources of information that have been selected to support a particular view is correct, because this is the emerging voluminous science, researched by highly qualified scientists who have no axe to grind one way or another; this has nothing to do with bias or self interest, or even vested interests (you cannot make much money in the sale of Vitamin D3 for example), but you can save alot of misery and life-threatening diseases by its supplementation, and in the absence of sufficient sunlight exposure. So this has nothing to do with “balance”, but a perceived need.

What you fail to understand is that many alternative methods of healthcare and health-recovery (and I am referring in particular here to the Nutritional Sciences) have been suppressed and publicly denigrated in the mainstream media, in order to enhance the use of established medical pharmaceuticals who perceive these as “competition”.
You are just towing the party mainstream line, and a product of your education and upbringing, which I fully understand, so a balanced view will only be forthcoming if there is to be a level playing field, and we are far from that at this moment in time.

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wavechange

As has been pointed out by others, the mainstream line is mainstream because it based on a balanced view of the information currently available. Mainstream views change with time, which is more than can be said from homeopathy, which I presume you still advocate.

I am a great believer in evolution rather than evolution. For example, I believe the NHS should have gradually introduced statins, offering them to those who might benefit most rather than mass medication of a substantial proportion of the adult population. Likewise, I am keen that we should bring forward the review of RDIs for vitamins in the UK. If we are going to swallow pills of any kind, professional advice is what is required and dietary advice may be all that is needed.

As we saw in the first Conversation on nutritional therapy, there is an obvious need for training and regulation, and for those involved to distance themselves from crank therapies such as iridology.

I am going to pull out of this discussion for the time being because I don’t believe that it is achieving anything.

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chrisb1

wavechange, it seems you have much to learn concerning our present practice of Medicine. Mainstream is Mainstream because of the influence of the Rockefeller’s and Carnegie, who effectively banned any system of healthcare in the United States that did not conform to a drug-based approach. This had nothing to do with the evidence of how effective or not a system of healthcare actually was, but centered on the profit motive. This became the established paradigm of healthcare which spread to Europe and elsewhere, because of the influence of money, and which still presides today.

Your comment that the NHS should have gradually introduced statins is very typical of someone such as yourself, who is only aware of the status quo in health treatment, and I have posted on this previously as to how harmful statins are, and described as the biggest scam ever perpetrated by Modern medicine on an unsuspecting public. There is more than sufficient science to confirm this view. I am 60 years of age with what is regarded erroneously as having high cholesterol levels, but my blood pressure is well with a healthy range and see no need at all to damage my liver with a drug that is superfluous and damaging to health.
Again, there is much science to verify that what is considered by Mainstream to be a high level of cholesterol (after the drug companies have moved the goalposts to make sure more people fit into this category) is a normal process of the body in achieving the levels required for health: homeostasis. Cholesterol is required for vital for normal cellular processes such as brain function and the synthesis of Vitamin D, so to suppress the manufacture of same is sheer lunacy.

It is gratifying that you consider the RDI’s for Vitamins should be reviewed, and if we are going to swallow pills of any kind, professional advice would indeed be required and ideal for this aim, but if you are implying that GP’s should be involved in this process, they are going to need much more education and training to this end to be a reliable authority.

Nutritional therapists may have had some shortcomings it is true, but then so do dietitians, who offer unhealthy and potentially damaging advice to cancer patients. What is needed is for a professional body to be able to assess the actual overwhelming science in support of the Nutritional Sciences, and incorporate these into current Mainstream practice, but this will never happen because of the dominance of the pharmaceutical companies and the medical dogma of exclusive drug-therapy due to powerful vested interests.

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Guy Chapman

Chris, that is dystopian agenda-driven conspiracist nonsense.

The Flexner Report is the pivotal moment in the development of US healthcare. This closed any medical school that did not meed acceptable standards of clinical practice. That most of the worst one taught quackery not medicine is pure coincidence: in the US, osteopaths chose to embrace the higher standards and as a result a Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) has parity in scope of practice with an M.D. in the US.

There are many influences on medicine. Charitable foundations, medical schools, clinical practitioners, medicine and device industries.

Nutritional therapists have “some shortcomings” may qualify as the understatement of the year. A dietician is a regulated health professional, a nutritionist could be anybody who bought a diploma via the internet, specifically including Ben Goldacre’s cat.

The idea that dieticians offer unhealthy advice is founded on the idea that nutritionists (who have absolutely no quality assured training requirement and generally have a vested interest in selling specific products) have greater insight than the body of knowledge that informs evidence-based practice. It’s a point of view, but it has no obvious merit or utility and is clearly contradicted by examples of nutritionists promoting AIDS denial, germ theory denial, the idea that looking ata drop of blood under a microscope can diagnose blood alkalinity, the idea that chlorophyll contributes to blood oxygenation and so on.

Any valid advice from a nutritionist is as likely to be coincidence as it is to be knowledge.

The problem – really the heart and soul of it – is the existence of a group of people who want to practice as health professionals but either lack the intelligence, qualifications and dedication to enter the appropriate courses, or who reject for some ideological reason great chunks of current medical knowledge.

On or tow of them might, coincidentally, be at least partly right, but there’s so much evidence that many of them are badly and irreconcilably wrong that the consumer is placed in the position of having to know more about the subject than the purported practitioner, in order to ensure they are not being sold a useless or harmful product.

That’s why we have regulated health professions. The way to fix issues with these is within the confines of the system, like the All Trials initiative, not to set up a parallel field of practice with no objective standards at all.

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chrisb1

Guy,
No, this is most definitely not a dystopian agenda-driven conspiracist nonsense; a standard story of fiction and response, which I expected, but has little to do with the facts of the matter

The Flexner Report was actually a very useful tool commissioned by oil magnate John D. Rockefeller. Rockefeller had made a massive fortune with Standard Oil and was setting his sights on gaining a monopoly in the drug and pharmaceutical industry. However, first he had to get rid of the competition, which consisted of natural non-allopathic healing modalities – naturopathy, homeopathy, eclectic medicine (botanical and herbal medicine), holistic medicine, etc. Hemp was also a threat to his plans, since cannabis has tremendous medical benefit – it can be used to alleviate pain for numerous diseases and even has anti-cancer properties.

Rockefeller paid Abraham Flexner to visit all the medical schools in the US at that time. He released the so-called “Flexner Report” in 1910, which called for the standardization of medical education and concluded there were too many doctors and medical schools in America. Rockefeller then used his control of the media to generate public outcry at the findings of the report – which, by means of the classic elite strategy of “Problem, Reaction, Solution” as David Icke calls it, ultimately led Congress to declare the AMA (American Medical Association) the only body with the right to grant medical school licenses in the United States. This suited Rockefeller perfectly – he then used the AMA (which may be better called to the American Murder Association due their widespread use and endorsement of toxic vaccines, drugs, chemotherapy and radiation) to compel the Government destroy the natural competition, which it did through regulating medical schools.

The AMA only endorsed schools with a drug-based curriculum. It didn’t take long before non-allopathic schools fell by the wayside due to lack of funding. Thus, Rockefeller had his monopoly on drugs, and Big Pharma was born – and has only grown bigger and more terrible since, now routinely bribing doctors to prescribe their toxic and side effect-laden pills, not to mention their autism-causing vaccines. Rockefeller, the AMA and Big Pharma are now all key aspects of the NWO (New World Order), but it all started with the Flexner Report.

Further, there does need to be more proper regulation of nutritional advice, over and above that of dietitians who are themselves regulated by HCPC; this body has a Council of 12 members who oversee this statutory regulation; of these, 6 are lay members. Need I say more?
So if Dietitians are that well-versed in nutrition, they wouldn’t discount the scientific evidence on nutrition by Orthomolecular Medicine, which has a professional health-qualified body of over 30 highly qualified Doctors and pharmacists who support it.

Nutritionists are not as how you have described them, and have no vested self-interest in promoting nutritional products except for their value in the remedy of disease, and which is denigrated by other vested interests that perceive these as competition. http://americannutritionassociation.org/toolsandresources/descriptiondegreescredentials

False and incorrect……….

“Any valid advice from a nutritionist is as likely to be coincidence as it is to be knowledge”.

And yet again, a fictitious piece of nonsense………….

“The problem – really the heart and soul of it – is the existence of a group of people who want to practice as health professionals but either lack the intelligence, qualifications and dedication to enter the appropriate courses, or who reject for some ideological reason great chunks of current medical knowledge”.

Your arrogance in assuming only medical qualifications have any validity is again sheer nonsense, as there are many health-professionals who have no wish or desire to become legal drug dealers, and where many MD’s in the United States have abandoned this approach in favor of a more efficacious method of treating disease, without the use of harmful and life-threatening drugs.

So where is this evidence that: “many of them are badly and irreconcilably wrong” when the dangers of prescribed drugs, taken as prescribed, kill thousands upon thousands each year. So where are the bodies Guy from those who take nutritional supplements, if you are so convinced as to the truth of what you say?

The regulation of health professionals is a good idea in theory, but woefully short on standards in practice.

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Guy Chapman

I am not the one citing polemical (and occasionally outright insane) sources and advocating things that have been authoritatively demonstrated to be bunk, such as homeopathy, colloidal silver and cancer quackery. The American Nutrition Association, for example, is a trade body, not a credible source of information.

It is not arrogant to assert that valid qualifications based on sound knowledge are the correct benchmark for people claiming to be health professionals. You missed the bit where Ben Goldacre’s cat has the *same* qualification as a woman who was at one time TV’s leading celebrity “nutritionist”.

For nutritionists, there are no standards. No uniform body of knowledge, no regulation, the title is not protected, any idiot who fancies that chlorophyll increases the blood’s oxygen carrying capacity or apricot pips cure cancer, can call themselves a nutritionist.

The effect of this nonsense has been assessed: people die. SCAM believers who get cancer, present later, with more advanced disease, and even when that is controlled for, they die sooner. That’s a manifestation of Minchin’s Law: alternative medicine, by definition, either hasn’t been proved to work, or has been proved not to work. The SCAM industry uses research as a drunken man uses a lamp post: for support, not illumination. I cannot find a single example of a wrong idea within SCAM that has been dropped by all advocates after being shown to be wrong. The day *no* SCAM advocate promotes laetrile, coffee enemas or EDTA chelation for autism, will be the day I start believing this to be a reputable field.

There is a reason why the medical professions require training, certification, licensing and regulation. There is a reason why quacks have none of these things.

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chrisb1

Guy,
I have been very fortunate in that I have experienced both sides of the health equation, and the reason why I hold views that I do. Non-allopathic healthcare is far from perfect, and as you have highlighted with Gillian McKeith, but instead of attacking its failings, you fail to examine, appreciate or accept much of it that is evidence-based, and which is on many occasions far more efficacious than the pharmaceutical model of health-recovery.

Nutritionists do actually have high standards, and esp’ so within the United States and elsewhere, so if you had read the link I provided in a little more depth, you would understand this, and the reason you dismiss any that I have provided out of hand.

[This comment has been edited for breaking our guidelines. Don't make comments personal. Thanks, mods.]

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Guy Chapman

There’s your problem right there.

There aren’t two sides. There’s what can be proven to work, and the rest.

Minchin’s Law: “Alternative medicine, by definition, either hasn’t been proved to work, or has been proved not to work. You know what they call alternative medicine that’s been proved to work? Medicine”.

It is vitally important to distinguish between legitimate claims, claims that are overblown but have a grain of truth, and claims which are outright nonsense. There are some good litmus tests: advocating homeopathy, laetrile, Gerson, Budwig, colloidal silver, Miracle Mineral, coffee enemas, vitamin megadoses or detox in any form, or citing Natural News, Whale or Mercola as reliable sources, indicates that the writer is not able to make such distinctions.

That’s not evil, it’s human nature, it’s fine to believe in nonsense, but belief is belief and fact is fact.

As I have pointed out before, the SCAM industry is an industry every bit as much as “big pharma” (in many cases they are one and the same). The playing field should be level. Everybody should be judged by the same standards. SCAM believers do not do this: they accept or reject sources first and foremost on the basis of ideological consonance.

This use of fallacies as a core part of the weighing up of evidence is a guaranteed way to be wrong, and to stay wrong. That’s why SCAM proponents can’t be trusted: they do not amend their beliefs in response t evidence because their beliefs are defined largely in terms of denial of the legitimacy of the forms of evidence that challenge them.

Enough from me, anyway: it’s all been said before, you don’t accept it because it goes against your beliefs, and that’s not changing any time soon.

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chrisb1

But there are two sides Guy: the mindset of modern medicine whose practices are restricted to diagnostics, surgery and drug-therapy; and on the other, there is overwhelming evidence of efficacy from outside this limited and narrow view, which is discarded or ignored because and only because it does not conform, and not because “what can be proven to work, and the rest.” It is delusional to believe otherwise.

The use of the word “Alternative” is used nowadays to distinguish this from mainstream, and where mucvh of it has actually been proven to work over and above anything that medicine has to offer. You have ignored my posts and how I have substantiated this; just one case I have highlighted of many is the use of Vitamin B3 or Niacin, which is far more effective and cost-effective than statins. with no adverse side-effects.

Regarding legitimate claims, you have ignored the mass of science on colloidal silver; the effective use of the Gerson therapy in Japan by medical professionals; the overwhelming scientific evidence of Orthomolecular Medicine and so on and so on ad infinitum.
What you also fail to realize or appreciate, is that the sites you have mentioned as in Mercola, Whale and Natural News, actually publish the science on health that the mainstream media seem reluctant to publish, but is this any wonder, as in the United States, the medias funding is sourced mostly from the pharmaceutical industry.

The nonsense you refer to is supported and corroborated by sound and trustworthy science.

Whatever this SCAM industry is that you refer to, and I am assuming you are including the scam of much of modern medicine as anything else (and which I highlighted a day or two ago) does have some shortcomings, as with any industry or large scale enterprise, but the level playing field you refer to will only happen when ALL of the science is taken into account, and not just the science which favors drugs exclusively.

This is rather hypocritical
“SCAM believers do not do this: they accept or reject sources first and foremost on the basis of ideological consonance”.

The very same accusation can be leveled at much of mainstream, and the influence of the pharmaceutical industry . Where have you been not to keep abreast of my posts and the information that they contain? even mentioning a Cochrane Collaboration scientist who has published a book on the overwhelming corruption, dominance and damage of pharmaceuticals and its industry to healthcare generally. A true SCAM of the highest order.

My “beliefs” Guy are formulated by the evidence (nothing more and nothing less) and where you have been impervious to this from the very beginning. A very sad reflection of how the status quo has been able to grip and take hold of susceptible minds, and molded this to their way of thinking.

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chrisb1

Guy,
perhaps you will now be honest enough to admit that what you refer so often to as the “SCAM” industry, is actually a system of healthcare known as Modern Medicine, and here is just one very recent example of widespread and endemic SCAM that you should not ignore, but probably will…………………

The headline reads: “Medicine or Mass Murder?: Guideline based on discredited Research may have caused over 800,000 deaths in Europe over the last 5 years”……Forbes.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryhusten/2014/01/15/medicine-or-mass-murder-guideline-based-on-discredited-research-may-have-caused-800000-deaths-in-europe-over-the-last-5-years/

In summary it states……….

It seems that European guidelines to give everyone beta blockers to prevent heart symptoms during any type of surgery has lead to many unnecessary deaths. The original paper, studying the problem, found data was faked to create the guidelines and there were at least 10,000 deaths each year from the inappropriate use of beta blockers. Further research published Jan 3, 2014 in the European Heart Journal under the title Research Failure Can Result In Lost Lives estimates as many as 800,000 people in Europe over the last 5 years were killed by these inappropriate guidelines.

Researchers say the number of lives lost “is so large that the only context in the last 50 years comes from the largest scale professional failures in the political sphere.” Forbes says that “The 800,000 deaths are comparable in size to the worst cases of genocide and mass murder in recent history.”

The Forbes article ended with the following “There is, it has now become clear, a general lack of concern and response to evidence of scientific fraud and misconduct. Journal editors, deans, department chairs, and others seem more concerned with protecting the reputation of their respective institutions than aggressively upholding the integrity of science and research.”

Dr Carolyn Dean MD ND quotes: “I read the EHJ paper online, but one hour later I could no longer access it! I wanted to read the part where the main concerns expressed seemed to be for the humiliating blow to so-called scientific research, but nothing was said about the incredible number of lives lost. Of course, I wondered why it was pulled.”?

Compare this if you will to the use and efficacy of Nutritional supplements within Orthomolecular Medicine, and the actual science which supports their use in place of pharmaceuticals, and you will have no leg left to stand on.

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Guy Chapman

I am absolutely open about the problems wiht medicine, and I have signed up to All Trials and I promote it whenever I get the chance.

I have yet to see you say anything critical about the SCAM industry. Sectarian medicine tends to be like that: it picks sides. Science doesn’t pick sides, it reviews evidence. It’s the scientific method that reveals these problems with medicine, just as it reveals the problems with crank and quack claims.

There is only one standard of evidence, only one reliable way to separate true claims from false ones. That the SCAM industry exploits the honesty of medicine to promote its own wares – as if plane crashes somehow validate magic carpets – is one of its biggest problems.

You don’t get to “choose” if a treatment works or not. Proponents don’t get to “choose” whether conflicting evidence is valid or not. The science that found the problem you highlight above, is the self-same science that shows homeopathy to be bogus, the earth to be billions of years old, humans to have evolved by natural selection, laetrile to be a fraud that can give you cyanide poisoning, coffee enemas to be a fraud that can leave you with a perforated colon or other damage, colloidal silver to be a fraud that can turn you blue, “electrosmog” to be a fraud whose promotion is actually the principal cause of the effect it purports to document and so on.

Science is not censored for the protection of your cherished illusions.

You will never accept any of this, so feel free to have the last word. I’m sure it will be the same as most of the other words you’ve had.

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chrisb1

Guy,
Yet more information has emerged re’ the SCAM of pharmaceuticals and the Medical Industry, which I thought you may like to read, considering you have been silent on my previous post on the widespread Medical use of beta-blockers, being the cause of over 800,000 deaths………………

Unusual Epidemics and Statin Use………..

In the past decade of statin use, a number of epidemics have emerged associated with mevalonate pathway blockade and nuclear factor – kappa B (NF-kB) inhibition, two biochemical mechanisms of critical importance to cellular function.

Originally designed to block just the reductase step to cholesterol synthesis, the final truth about statins is that they block the entire mevalonate pathway, including the synthesis of CoQ10 and dolichols and several other biochemicals of critical importance to cellular function.

In addition, only in the past five years have we been informed that statins also block the transcriptase, NF-kB, present in the cytoplasm of each of our nucleated cells with both anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties. I now believe that it is the anti-inflammatory properties of NF-kB that reduces heart disease risk.

The first epidemic that has emerged has to do with the subject of cognitive dysfunction as reflected in the numbers of documented cases of transient global amnesia (TGA) reported to Medwatch.
http://www.spacedoc.com/unusual-epidemics-statin-use?utm_source=January+19%2C+2014&utm_campaign=Jan+2014+Newsletter&utm_medium=email

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3084964/

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chrisb1

Guy,
then you are very much mistaken, as I have and will continue to be critical of scam alternatives. There are some of which I know little, but if they have stood the test of time that would be a step forward, as in Ayurvedic medicine.

Sectarian medicine does not pick sides Guy, as they do not seek out any confrontation with Allopathic medicine in the way that you seek out and confront their own. Sectarian medicine is largely defensive because of the attacks against it from people such as yourself. There is also a need to be recognised and accepted by Mainstream for the benefit of all if they work and where many of them do, and with the science to support it.

Lest you forget, it was the “scientific method” that led to the overuse of beta-blockers that cost the lives of over 800,000 people, and compared by Forbes as the greatest act of genocide in recorded modern history. If this is science then you can keep it.

You refer to the “science” that claims homeopathy to be bogus; the earth to be billions of years old; humans to have evolved by natural selection; laetrile and colloidal silver to be a fraud and so on, which illustrates my point very well.
This may not be the time or place to discuss this here, but the science you rely on that proves the earth to be billions of years old is fraudulent, and I can prove this with the science; humans did not evolve by natural selection either, and I can prove this with the science: so for example, Darwins comment on “the survival of the fittest” actually meant being able to adapt to ones environment as in Microevolution, but excludes Macroevolution. It actually means: “Natural selection conceived of as a struggle for life in which only those organisms best adapted to existing conditions are able to survive and reproduce.”
Any alleged “transitional forms” and human evolution are within a generation or two of the same species, because of an adaptation to an animals environment, but this is not the case with transitional forms as with Macroevolution (Large-scale evolution occurring over geologic time that results in the formation of new taxonomic groups.) There has never been any evidence of Macroevolution and regardless of what you might say or think.

You mention colloidal silver is fraudulent, which I can also prove is nonsense, again with the science. So the very science that you rely on to prove your case is at best based on assumptions and has little scientific worth.

No I do not accept any of this, as my own stance IS based on the evidence, and mountains of it, which you have refused to accept.

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chrisb1

Guy,
assuming you are still here, and haven’t abandoned us because you lost the debate, I have a couple of samples of recent evidence on the efficacy of Colloidal Silver that you claim to be a fraud, as an antimicrobial………….
http://thesilveredge.com/pdf/Antifungal_Properties.pdf

This study published in the Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnolgy in August, 2008.
http://thesilveredge.com/study-antifungal-effect-of-silver-nanoparticles-on-dermatophytes.shtml

or this one…….
http://www.thesilveredge.com/pdf/In%20vitro%20Antifungal%20Activity%20of%20Silver%20Nanoparticles%20Against%20Ocular%20Pathogenic%20Filamentous%20Fungi.pdf

and this one……..
http://www.thesilveredge.com/fungalpath.shtml

and of course many many more including these………………
http://thesilveredge.com/studies.shtml

Btw, colloidal silver that turns anyone blue (argyria) is quite a laughable comment because this can only occur with prolonged heavy use with non-ionic large particles of silver which happened to the late Paul Karason (the legendary “Blue Man”) whose entire body turned blue after taking a liquid concoction that the mainstream media continues to refer to as “colloidal silver” and which is a fraud.
When considering that thousands, if not millions, of people take ionic silver or silver colloids solutions on a regular basis without incident, and none of them are blue. Argyria, is a very rare condition that only comes about as a result of consuming improperly-made silver solutions that contain too many silver particles that are too large in size, and that were made using the addition of salt.

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Agni

I am pro supplements, purely because my diet is bad and I do get vitamin D deficient, especially in these dark days. However, I am not into excess. A simple multi-vitamin should be ok, unless doctor specifically advised to boost something your body needs more, either for a condition, illness or otherwise. Being scare-mongered into buying different supplements is bad.
All these things that come out as beneficial from researches every five minutes is a bit overwhelming. We need to realise that there should be a moderation in the supplements as well as our diet.Too much can be bad for you.

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chrisb1

Supplements should not replace a bad diet Agni, but only complement an existing good diet, that has a shortfall of nutrients from depleted soils.
Much depends also on what you mean by “excess”, so if you are referring to nutrients that have a low RDI, this would not be excessive at all. Vitamin C would be just one example.

I don’t think anyone is scaremongering into buying supplements you do not need, but you are on the right track with Vitamin D, and perhaps a wholefood supplement to accompany it would be a wise choice for optimum health and the future risk of disease.

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chrisb1

Guy,
as you keep on grinding out the same diatribes of: scam, quackery, cranks and so on, just to balance the equation a little….

There are reasons WHY quackery is still allowed to exist:

1) Pharmaceutical companies fund their own efficacy studies and have been proven time and again to doctor results – therefore calling into question ANY basis of legitimacy for these substances unleashed on the public (whether scientific, anecdotal or otherwise). If there’s no scientific or even anecdotal basis for selling something as a “medicine”, it’s pure quackery.

2) The FDA outlaws proven natural remedies that are backed by scientific studies and evidence while allowing harmful improperly tested drugs to be unleashed on the public. Therefore the FDA is a massive institutional quackery enabler.

3) The medical establishment uses its lobbying, legal and other clout to only maintain the most expensive and profitable treatments while waging war on more effective, less expensive treatments. This is worse than quackery, since it also looks to destroy legitimate and generationally proven cures and treatments.

4) The medical establishment has determined that curing medical conditions is a revenue killer, and the highest revenue streams come instead by treating for a lifetime (however shortened). Any medical establishment that focuses on maintaining the patient in a diseased state rather than curing them is guilty of the most antihumanitarian form of quackery.

5) One definition of quackery is offering illusive cures for real profits. You couldn’t ask for a better definition of allopathic medicine (at least in regard to curing and treating disease).

6) Pharmaceuticals by design do not work by empowering the body’s natural defence mechanisms. (Remember – this would lead to a revenue killing “cure”.) Instead, pharmaceuticals are made to mask systems of one problem while creating more “treatable” problems as side effects, thereby maximizing revenue by minimizing peoples health. Absolute deception and absolute quackery.

Sorry but there is no fraud remotely as horrific in its effect on humanity as the scam perpetuated by the AMA, Big Pharma, the FDA, and originally contrived and funded by the Rockefellers via Sloan-Kettering.

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chrisb1

[This comment has been removed as it is a copy on an article published on another website. When commenting please join the debate and link to articles for further reference rather than copying and pasting them. Thanks, Mods]

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chrisb1

Moderators,
the copy of the article that you have removed can be reproduced with the permission of the authors as long as it contains two links: the subscribed link, and the archive link, so you have removed the post without good reason.
To verify this I suggest you contact the authors OMNS to establish this.

Thank you.

Hi Chris, and Merry Christmas. Whether it has the permission of the authors or not, we don’t allow the pasting of whole articles from other sources. You can post an extract with a link to the source, but pasting a whole article is not allowed. Thanks.

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chrisb1

Thank you Patrick, and I hope you have enjoyed your own Christmas celebrations.

However, if you do not allow the reprinting of a newsletter article and with no link to lead into it, makes me wonder why you have allowed this before in this thread from the very same newsletter?

This means that the central message of the article will have been lost, and my main points corroborating my viewpoints lost with it.

Hi Chris, sorry we haven’t been consistent. It is tough keeping on top of these debates. We have said before that you should not paste full extracts. The reason is that it is hard for others to debate with a full article – they want to talk with individuals, rather than being required to read through lots of text. This is one of the reasons that these threads have emptied of other contributors. I hope that makes sense. Happy to talk to you more about this on email: http://conversation.which.co.uk/contact-us/

Have a Happy New Year Chris and thanks for all your contributions in 2013 :)

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chrisb1

Thank you for that explanation Patrick. I understand how difficult it can be keeping tabs on posts in a forum/group-discussion, as I am myself an administrator/moderator of another large forum outside of WHICH where we have multiple moderators. It would be be helpful though if there were to be more consistency with mods’ approvals and moderations of posts throughout, and in my book, what has been approved previously, should continue in that vain.
However, I respect your decision and will abide by this in the future.
Many thanks.

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dieseltaylor

Vitamin D

Just to recap. My brother and his wife have completed their Vitamin D blood tests and today they will be winging their way to http://www.vitamindtest.org.uk/ which is part of the Pathology Department of the City Hospital Birmingham. So along with our two tests we have “donated” £100 to the NHS.

My brother as a computer database geek does not see sunlight frequently and indeed suffers lots of bronchial problems. His wife has currently a healthy cough.

I was wondering about running a sweep on how low will they read!!! In any event it will be interesting to see how they compare to the information in this survey.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21736791 Vitamin D status has a linear association with seasonal infections and lung function in British adults.

Our results will be an interesting test on what the drop of is in the Vit D reading from our summer readings – @ 80nmol – given we have altered how frequently we take pills with my wife now of 10000iu per week and me on 5000iu.

Obviously below 50nmol our levels would be inadequate. So wait for next weeks thrilling denoument.

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chrisb1

Are There No Hospitals? Are There No Nursing Homes?

by Andrew W. Saul, Editor

(OMNS Dec 23, 2013) Might be fun, but I have never shopped at Neiman Marcus, Hammacher Schlemmer or Saks Fifth Avenue. Years ago, as a Big Apple tourist, I did have a long look in the window of the Waldorf Astoria restaurant and read the lunch menu. A small green side salad cost more than I would have wanted to spend for an entire dinner anywhere else. When luxuries are predictably expensive, we can scoff, wish, or drool.

But what really grabbed my ever-miserly attention was a recent visit to a supermarket. Not an upscale munchie boutique, just a run-of-the-mill chain store in a working-class community. Over to the produce department, and there they were: Oranges, one dollar. Each. Grapefruits were even more. Later, I was at a well-known big-box department store. Ascorbic acid vitamin C, 500 mg, was under ten bucks for 500 tablets. That’s two cents a tablet, four cents per 1,000 mg……………read on………….
http://www.orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v09n32.shtml

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chrisb1

Vitamin E ‘beneficial’ in dementia.

A daily dose of vitamin E could help people with dementia, research suggests.

A study in the journal JAMA found people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease on HIGH doses of vitamin E had a slower rate of decline than those given a dummy pill.

They were able to carry out everyday tasks for longer and needed less help from carers, say US researchers………………………….
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25552768

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dieseltaylor

Just to round out the Vitamin D story. The latest tests show my wife at 116 nmol/ and me at 117nmol/. Obviously if you have been following the thread you will realise we have been taking Vit D soft gel capsules since our first readings in mid-2010 showing we both had inadequate levels of Vitamin D in our blood. The curiosity is that we both stopped daily dosing in September and she has being taking 5000 iu twice a week and I once a week. Both our levels have risen since the last test in mid 2013.

My brother incidentally was marked just over adequate and my s.i.l inadequate.

Now the question of what is adequacy has been queried. I have been told , but have not yet been able to prove, that the original adequacy level of nmol/ was derived during research into preventing rickets in children. What relationship that level has to the rest of the body’s function was not examined.

Now , just to shake your faith in medicine and statistics and what NICE tells us read this 2013 story on how 300 year old statistics were used on NICE’s website despite more reliable information being available.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24128176

I am off the opinion that the UK guidelines are wrong and that the “normal” level at 50 nmol is misleading and too low given the current research which is tending towards 100nmol as adequate.
Apparently the way the body uses Vitamin D means it is active in hundreds of sites in the body.
http://www.jabfm.org/content/22/6/698.full

I am not a fanatic about health, far from it, but I am always curious when I am told something is adequate, suitable etc and this judgement is based on possibly shaky reasons. The nice thing about Vitamin D [actually a parahormone] is that us laymen can actually experiment at relatively little cost, and no danger, ourselves.

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chrisb1

Do you feel the need for food supplements?

Effect of Vitamin E and Memantine on Functional Decline in Alzheimer Disease
The TEAM-AD VA Cooperative Randomized Trial.

January 1, 2014.
“Conclusions and Relevance: Among patients with mild to moderate AD, 2000 IU/d of alpha tocopherol compared with placebo resulted in slower functional decline. There were no significant differences in the groups receiving memantine (a standard prescribed pharmaceutical in the tyreatment of alzheimers) alone or memantine plus alpha tocopherol. These findings suggest benefit of alpha tocopherol in mild to moderate AD by slowing functional decline and decreasing caregiver burden.”
http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1810379

“Despite its frequent off-label use, evidence is lacking for a benefit of memantine in mild Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and there is meager evidence for its efficacy in moderate AD.”

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chrisb1

Do you feel the need for food supplements?

Not Taking Supplements Causes Miscarriage, Birthing Problems, Infant Mortality.

by Andrew W. Saul, Editor

(OMNS Jan 27, 2014) It is simply incredible what people have been told about vitamins. Now the press is trying to scare women away from prenatal supplements. (1,2) Didn’t see that one coming, now, did you?

Several friends who work as missionaries asked me if vitamin C supplementation would help the indigenous peoples they work with in South American rainforests. Since I think supplemental C is valuable for all humans, I said “yes.” They took it from there, and for years now have been giving multi-thousand-milligram doses of ascorbic acid powder to the natives daily. The result is that miscarriage and infant mortality rates have plummeted.

Vitamin C Protects Mother and Baby.

Far from being an abortifacient, vitamin C in fact helps hold a healthy pregnancy right from the start. Pediatrician Lendon Smith, M.D., known to TV audiences nationwide as “The Children’s Doctor, had this to say: “Vitamin C is our best defense and everyone should be on this one even before birth. Three thousand mgs daily for the pregnant woman is a start. The baby should get 100 mg per day per month of age.”…………………
http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v10n06.shtml

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chrisb1

Do you feel the need for food supplements?

In a recent study, leading US scientists, from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, found that the difference between beating breast cancer or becoming one of its victims may all come down to the multivitamin you pop every morning.

The study, published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, is considered to be one of the largest ever of its kind. The researchers analyzed the medical records of 161,608 women between the ages of 50 and 79 — all of whom participated in the Women’s Health Initiative Clinical Trials and the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study.

The results showed that taking a daily multivitamin could slash your risk of dying from breast cancer by an astounding 30 per cent.

Lead researcher, Prof. Wassertheil-Smoller, a professor of epidemiology and population health, said: “Our results show that there was a protective effect. Almost all of these women took a multivitamin before they developed breast cancer. So it’s not like we’re saying that once you get breast cancer, you should take multivitamins.”

Dr. Janice Lu, director of medical oncology at Stony Brook University Hospital, who specializes in breast cancer, said the findings are intriguing because they echo results involving vitamin D research. She added that “This is very similar to a report on vitamin D, which was found to lower the risk of a breast cancer recurrence.” She said that she always advises her patients to maintain healthy vitamin D level especially when their levels, are low.

Just last year a large clinical study found that men who took a multivitamin each day cut their risk of developing any type of cancer by a healthy 8 per cent..

To echo what Prof. Wassertheil-Smoller said, by no means are multivitamins a cure for cancer. However, if they increase your chances of survival then there is no harm in starting a supplement regime.

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chrisb1

Vitamins and Antioxidants under Attack!!!!

By Jon Barron.

If you’ve seen the headlines in the news and on TV over the past several months, you have no choice but to conclude that not only are supplements useless, but in fact, they’re downright dangerous. Beneath the headlines we are confronted with a seminal question: are supplements one of the greatest health frauds ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting public or is this a concerted effort by the establishment to discredit a thriving industry that inexpensively and massively benefits vast numbers of people, at the expense of big pharma and the medical industry? Read the headlines and there’s no mistaking on which side of the question the mainstream media comes down. Multivitamins are a dangerous waste of money. And antioxidants provide no health benefits and either cause or accelerate cancer. Here are just a handful of the actual headlines—————
http://jonbarron.org/dietary-supplements/vitamins-and-antioxidants-dangers#.UyaVvVB_vTo

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Mandy

After an eye examination in hospital I was told to go out and buy Ocuvite or Viteyes supplements to slow age related macular degeneration. I’m inclined to trust specialists when they make suggestions …or should I ?

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dieseltaylor

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age-Related_Eye_Disease_Study

Seems reasonable. You may of course carry out a bigger search to see for more up-to-date research than that which is linked at the bottom of the Wikipedia article.

The only other thing is cost which seems to be less than 40p per day bought from a reputable source.

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