/ Food & Drink, Health

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

Vitamin pills exploding

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?

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?

Comments

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.”

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
Post a comment
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,…
Last updated at March 19 2013
Post a comment
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
Post a comment
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…
Published at April 24 2012
Post a comment

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.?

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

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.

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.

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.

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

Matthew says:
21 December 2013

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

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.

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%, 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 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.

Matthew says:
22 December 2013

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.

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

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%

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.

Matthew says:
22 December 2013

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.

Matthew says:
22 December 2013

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.

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?

Matthew says:
23 December 2013

How about the JAMA.

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.

Matthew says:
22 December 2013

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

How many people have died taking tyrosine supplements.?

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.

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.

Matthew says:
9 January 2014

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.]

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.

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.

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.

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.

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/

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

[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]

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.”

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

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.

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

Mandy says:
27 August 2014

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 ?

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.

amalia says:
30 January 2015

I see two major issues with the way the vitamin/ food supplement industry works at the moment: one is that their claims may be exaggerated and/ or false and the supplements we are buying may actually be useless or of very low efficacy. In this case we are “only” wasting our money.

A second issue that I believe to be far more important: is whatever they contain manufactured to a proper standard, are the contents accurately described, and are they free from toxic substances and generally safe to ingest? Who provides a guarantee for this? For instance: Vitamic C supplements; are they actually 100% vitamin C? are they manufactured in a safe and controlled environment the way most medicines are? are they tested for impurities which when talking about chemicals could be anything from the most benign ie sodium/salt to the most toxic and poisonous for instance lead or far worse? For chemically produced substances minute amounts of dangerous impurities could have a huge effect on human health. In my opinion far more stringent controls are required and supplements should be tested and approved for human consumption the way medicines are.