There were interesting developments last week in medicine and the lay press reporting – count’em – not one but TWO studies showing that “vitamins don’t work.” What suckers we have been! Did we really think those vitamins were going to help us?
Now listen, friends. If I could design the absolutely PERFECT societal system for getting people sicker faster, and even more dependent on a bureaucratized medical system, it would have the following ingredients:
- government bureaucrats and representatives would accept large sums of money from specific interests – Monsanto and the GMO crowd, corn, wheat, and dairy producers to emphasize “more grains and milk” in the diet (PROVEN to contribute to obesity and food sensitivities in many people);
- the same government bureaucrats and representatives would be allowed to accept political contributions of the food additive industry which makes unhealthy food even more addictive (hey, they do that already);
- allow the marketing of sewage plant sludge – containing volatile hydrocarbons, organic solids, disease-causing pathogenic organisms, heavy metals, ataxic organic chemicals, and household chemicals and pesticides – to be legally marketed to farmers as fertilizer (reference: The Real Dirt on Sewage Sludge – Natural Life Magazine – green family living; Toxic Sludge is Good For You: Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry: John Stauber, Sheldon Rampton, Mark Dowie: 9781567510607: Amazon.com: Books );
- allow thimerosol containing or (either as stabilizer/antimicrobial contained in the vaccine or used in the preparation- in which case you don’t have to list it) vaccines to be used to ridiculous extremes (for example – do newborn babies in the nursery really need to be vaccinated against Hep-B when the only way they could contract it is to vault out of their cribs, score some IV drugs on the street, and jam it into their veins?). Do BOYS really need vaccinations with HPV vaccine which was originally developed for girls (and which has been found not to be 100% protective for all types of HPV and, in fact, has had FATAL immunization reactions?)
- allow unlimited first-person shooter games so that pre-pubertal and adolescent children can become “experts” at using semi-automatic and automatic weapons in the games, and be “programmed” that violence is fun and acceptable?? (Just witness the recent spate of school and public shootings. Hmmmm. I don’t remember these before the poisoning of the minds of our children with these games).
- Mix these same violent games in with pizza, sugary soda pop, frozen and “prepared” food with lots of additives, coupled with little activity, sitting on butts, and exploding obesity such that for the first time in history our children are not expected to live as long as their parents;
- Narcotize the public with vicarious enjoyment where they can watch OTHER people engage in competition while they sit on their (expanding) butts, eat snacks and drink pop (or beer) and just watch life go by [examples – Dancing with the Stars, Survivor, The Biggest Loser, all professional sports, endless hours of political jawjacking, endless hours of video games in immersive wide-screen enjoyment;
- Allow the public to buy in to the idea that medicine will “save them from themselves” and if they get fat enough, hyperlipidemic enough, diabetic enough, hurting enough, having erectile difficulty enough… well, then, a magic pill will be available to them that can end their woes, and furthermore, they will not have to pay for it because their insurance or government sponsored, taxpayer funded plan will;
- Further allow the public to sink into the idea, proffered by typical current American “medical practice,” that if you aren’t sick, then you must be well;
- And, finally, the coup de grâce: program your unwitting lemmings through propaganda (like the drone-like people in Apple’s famous “1984” commercial) that there is nothing available to them on a proactive, protective basis that could actually optimize and contribute to the structure and function of their bodies, repair nutritional deficiencies from our execrable diets, and contribute to improved levels of health, energy, and wellness. I see this repeatedly with cover stories in the Readers Digest with nice colorful pictures of vitamins on the cover saying, in essence, “vitamins don’t work.”
The latest brain-dead, biased, skewed “vitamins don’t work” stories were all over the news this last week. This new campaign of what, for me at least, seems to be deliberate misinformation, follows story after story that the mainstream media has mindlessly been parroting from what they have been fed. I have written about (or quoted others) about some of these assertions quite recently.
Here are some of the recent citations from the “Hall of Shame”:
- the first recent study that surfaced that purported to show that “Vitamins don’t work.” Reference: Federally-Funded Analysis Attempts to Undermine Vitamin and Mineral Supplements – Life Extension
- the history of obvious bias and the AMA’s having been bought off by the cigarette industry in times past, despite evidence that cigarettes were harmful to the public health: Can the US Government and the AMA be trusted? « Cady Wellness Institute
- the new junk science “Study” which appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association that purportedly showed that testosterone supplementation in men increased the risk of heart attacks and stroke, ably skewered by my friend, colleague, and mentor Neal Rouzier, MD: Testosterone – More Medical Bias & Junk Science Appears in JAMA « Cady Wellness Institute
Into this mix comes yet again, another skewed hortatory exposition that vitamins don’t work, trumpeted – in one spot – on the front page of the New York Post (and other media outlets, including no less robust a presence as the NBC Nightly News where Bryan Williams led with the story on December 17 – right along with news about the Duck Dynasty flap) entitled, “Wait, multivitamins don’t work?” In fairness to the New York Post they actually got it closer to the truth than the purported experts and their journal articles. Here’s what the NY Post said, and I quote directly from the article:
“WASHINGTON – There’s more disappointing news about multivitamins: Two major studies found popping the pills didn’t protect aging men’s brains or help heart attack survivors.
Millions of Americans spend billions of dollars on vitamin combinations, presumably to boost their health and fill gaps in their diets. But while people who don’t eat enough of certain nutrients may be urged to get them in pill form, the government doesn’t recommend routine vitamin supplementation as a way to prevent chronic diseases.
The studies released Monday are the latest to test if multivitamins might go that extra step and concluded they don’t.
‘Evidence is sufficient to advise against routine supplementation,’ said a sharply worded editorial that accompanied Monday’s findings in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
‘After all, most people who buy multivitamins and other supplements are generally healthy,’ said journal Deputy editor Dr. Cynthia Mulrow. ‘Even junk foods often are fortified with vitamins, while the main nutrition problem in the US is too much fat and calories, she added.’”
Now let’s take a look at these questionable statements and conclusions carefully. The first paragraph is interesting. Does anybody in his or her right mind actually think that popping a vitamin is going to help you after you’ve had a heart attack?? Secondly, what about those men and their aging brain? At a certain point, even the best FDA approved anti-Alzheimer’s medications do not work. Is a vitamin pill going to trump the best that Western allopathic medicine already has to offer?
Let’s take a look at the second paragraph of this article: It is an acknowledged fact, which is not debated in this exposition, that some people– indeed, the evidence is that 100% of people–do not get enough certain nutrients in the regular diet. However, “The government” appears not to be recommending routine vitamin supplementation as a way to prevent chronic diseases.
It has been known for some time that Americans were vitamin and nutrient underachievers. As far back as 1993, Hallfrisch & Muller, writing in Experimental Gerontology (vol 28, pp 473-83), noted that “North Americans, unfortunately, obtain about one-third of their total calories from nutrient-poor junk food. Even well-educated…adults…fall short in their consumption of important minerals, like magnesium, iron, zinc, and calcium.” Do we actually think that it’s gotten better since 1993?
More recently, there have started to be studies appearing in the peer-reviewed medical literature, supporting the use of multivitamins and supplements. Just such a foundational study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association back in 2002. It was authored by two physicians, one of them who also had her Doctor of Public Health degree. This paper by Fletcher and Fairfield, entitled “Vitamins for chronic disease prevention and adults” came to the following conclusion: “pending strong evidence… from randomized trials, it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements.” The authors took as the basis for their conclusion, the position that “Suboptimal intake of some vitamins, above levels causing classic vitamin deficiency, is a risk factor for chronic diseases in common in the general population, especially the elderly. Suboptimal folic acid levels, along with sub optimal levels of vitamins B6 and B12, are a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, neural tube defects, and colon and breast cancer; low levels of vitamin D contribute to osteopenia and fractures; and low levels of the antioxidant vitamins(vitamins A, E, and C) may increase risk for several chronic diseases. Most people do not consume an optimal amount of all vitamins by diet alone.”
Let’s go back and take a look at the fifth paragraph from our friends at the New York Post, where we find the journal Deputy Editor, Dr. Cynthia Mulrow, bravely advancing the dual assertions that “Most people who buy multivitamins and other supplements are generally healthy,” as well as “even junk foods often are fortified with vitamins, while the main nutrition problem in the US is too much fat and calories.”
Is Dr. Mulrow so brain-dead that she actually believes that ”Most people who buy multivitamins and other supplements are generally healthy”?
Recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(2010) reported higher numbers of obesity in Americans than ever seen before: 35.7% of American adults and 17% of American children are obese. Is this ”healthy?” The US actually had the highest rate of obesity for large countries until the obesity rate in Mexico surpassed ours in 2013. According to Blackburn and Walker (July 1, 2005 in the American Society for clinical nutrition), Obesity has been cited as a contributing factor to approximately 100,000 to 400,000 deaths in the United States per year. This is correlated with an estimated $117 billion in direct and indirect costs to our society. (“Statistics related to overweight and obesity: economic costs related to overweight and obesity.” Weight Control Information Network, 2006.)
According to statistics that I accessed on December 21st , from the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, I noted that 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year. This is one out of every four deaths that occur in this country. One wonders if these are some of the people that Dr. Mulrow considers “healthy”? As a practicing physician, I should also point out that these people are not ”healthy” all the way up to the point that they keel over clutching their chests and take their ambulance ride to the hospital. In point of fact, and specifically, they are clearly not well nor are they “healthy.” The fact that current American medical practice sees them as “healthy” up to the point that they actually have a critical medical illness that can be “treated” by the best that our high-tech, high-priced, interventional practice can deal with is tragic.
Let’s set aside heart disease for a moment. Consider Alzheimer’s disease. At present, it is estimated that 5.2 million Americans of all ages as of this year, 2013, have Alzheimer’s disease. This number is expected to grow by 40% by the year 2025, or 7.1 million of all Americans. By 2050, (by the time that our children reach their older age) that number is expected to triple all the way up to 13.8 million. Let us also take note of the fact that Alzheimer’s disease is not something that strikes one down acutely and suddenly. It is the steady, malevolent progression of neuroinflammatory processes, and microscopic cognitive declines over a period of decades. This ultimately culminates in the diagnosis of an incurable, degenerative dementia when it is already too late to do something definitive about it. Were these people “well” until they began drooling into their soup and wandering around their neighborhood getting lost?
Wouldn’t it make sense to try to “stabilize and optimize the biological platform” way before this horrible disease strikes people down? One wonders if, being fully aware of these statistics as an internist, Dr. Mulrow thinks that all of these people who will ultimately develop Alzheimer’s disease are “healthy”?
Dr. Mulrow also asserts that since junk foods are ”Fortified with vitamins,” then this ought to make up for the presumptive vitamin and mineral deficiencies in our diets. First of all, you can’t have it both ways: either vitamins are helpful or not. If they are not helpful, then even if they are in junk food they should be considered unnecessary and not required. If they are helpful, then one can’t but help wonder about perhaps a more healthy way to get them into the diet and consumed by American children, adolescents, and adults than passively lying back and just accepting that the food conglomerates will “put them in junk food for our own good.” (By the way, I have seen no evidence of this.) And one wonders about her medical training if she is asserting that junk food should be consumed in the context of eating a food that is already defined as “Junk” – typically containing high doses of carbohydrates, food additives, and sugar. Does a board-certified internist really think that eating junk food to get your vitamins is a good thing?
The second part of her dubious assertion includes the well-worn (and inaccurate) saying that it is excess fat and excess calories that are, in fact, making us fat. I will concede the point that “excess calories” are in some way responsible. However, it is worth noting that the American medical establishment fought Dr. Robert Atkins, M.D. to his death for advancing the then-heretical point of view that it was excess carbs, and not meat or fats, that was making us obese. Indeed, the previously well-worn USDA “food pyramid” that asserted that we should get most of our calories from “low-fat” foods such as grains and carbs has been thoroughly discredited, and it has been replaced. Eating such a “low-fat” diet that is carbohydrate rich is the single, most sure way to achieve obesity. All one has to do is open one’s eyes and observe what our overweight, increasingly diabetic children are eating. They are not gorging on “Excess fats” so much as they are consuming “excess calories.” The “excess calories” that they are consuming are largely carbohydrate in nature (pizzas, Twinkies, cookies, cokes and other sugary carbonated beverages and crunchy, addictive snacks. They then consume “Energy drinks” to dynamite them out of their reactively hypoglycemic induced stupors. Is this really in the service of public health?!
Lest I be accused of not going to the primary source documents, here they are:
- Oral high-dose multivitamins and minerals after myocardial infarction: A randomized trial (Lamas, GA et al. Annals of Internal Medicine 17 December 2013, vol 159, no. 12.)
- This study showed that “high dose oral multivitamins and multiminerals did not statistically significantly reduce cardiovascular events in patients after MI who received standard medications. However, this conclusion is tempered by the nonadherence rate.” (In other words, their own conclusions – even on the ridiculous hypothesis that a vitamin supplement is going to help you after you’ve had a heart attack – is called into question by the fact that the patients did not consistently take the supplement that they had agreed to take. Can this study even be called science?!?!)
- Long-term multivitamin supplementation and cognitive function in men: a randomized trial. (Grodstein F et al. Annals of Internal Medicine 17 December 2013) – this was a continuation of The Physicians’ Health Study II, looking at 5,947 male physicians aged 65 years or older. They were followed for 12 years and up to 4 cognitive assessments that were completed by telephone interview. It found that physicians that took the active supplement versus the placebo didn’t’ do any better on tests of mental performance.
Now, as Lyndon Johnson might have said, “Come, let us reason together.”
Does one really think that after you’ve been laid low from a heart attack a vitamin supplement is going to do ANYTHING for you after the damage has been done?”
- And in the long-term study of physicians to see if their multivitamin supplement would protect them for cognitive decline, the confounds were almost too numerous and laughable to believe.
- First of all, physicians are, as a whole, more intellectually adept than the general population. One would presume that any performance “hit” would be more difficult to pick up. On the whole, they also had good nutritional status – as opposed to most of the population. The study notes that “it may be that a beneficial effect of multivitamins on cognitive function would be seen in only those with greater nutritional inadequacy” – let’s say, like the rest of the non-physician, or non 1-percenter or 2-percenter population. Like most Americans.
- Wouldn’t you be curious about the “multivitamin supplement” that was used? It was, in fact, CENTRUM SILVER – just one of a number of poor-quality, underpowered supplements on the market. For every person taking it that I have tested either on serum blood testing or the Pharmanex BioPhotonic Scanner, it has failed miserably.
- Come on. Do we really think that popping a Centrum Silver is going to keep us all from getting demented? My advice is, “save your money.”
- In contrast to this laughably under-dosed study, another friend, colleague and mentor, Daniel Amen, MD and his colleagues performed and published a study of their own: Effects of brain-directed nutrients on cerebral blood flow and neuropsychological testing: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. (Advances in Mind Body Medicine 2013, Spring;27(2):24-33. Dr. Amen and colleagues determined, using 15 healthy men and 15 healthy women, that by using a regimen of a high-potency, multiple vitamin/mineral supplement, a brain enhancement supplement, and roughly 3 grams of fish oil per day, profound improvements were seen both in active SPECT brain imaging as well as MicroCog neuropsychological testing. (The brain enhancement supplement contained ginkgo biloba, Vinpocetine, Huperzine, and 400 mg of N-acetyl cysteine.) Not surprisingly, this cocktail worked. Not surprisingly, Centrum Silver isn’t going to cut it.
But what if there ARE, in fact, nutritional deficiencies that should and could be addressed?
Let’s get back to some of the other supporting documents from the literature. Dr. Bruce Ames, the remarkable physician and researcher who developed the famous and ubiquitous “Ames assay” to determine if drugs or substances are toxic or mutagenic, published a remarkable article in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America in November, 2006. This became known as the ”Ames triage theory.” The title of this article was the following: “low micronutrient intake may accelerate the degenerative diseases that aging through allocation of scarce micronutrients by triage.” His conclusion was that “inadequate intakes may result in chronic metabolic disruption, including mitochondria decay.” He also noted “micronutrient deficiency causes DNA damage, such as chromosome breaks, in cultured human cells or in vivo.” [In vivo means in real life – like in your living body, for example – not just a lab Petri dish].
It should be kept in mind that it is just the sort of deficiency that supplementation with a good quality multivitamin/multimineral is designed to prevent. Essentially, what Dr. Ames is asserting is that if there is a micronutrient deficiency, the body will channel all of its resources to the critical tasks at hand: these include keeping the heart beating, keeping the brain thinking, keeping the kidneys & liver detoxing, etc. Given a relative shortage of resources, the body will not devote any further micronutrients or vitamins toward tasks that could be deferred to a later day. Unfortunately, this deferral and procrastination of essential repairs to the body lead to the predictable systemic decay and breakdown about which Dr. Ames.
Dr. Ames continued to publish, including the following:
- Vitamin K, an example of triage theory: is micronutrient inadequacy linked to diseases of aging? (in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Oct. 2009)
- Optimal micronutrients delay mitochondrial decay and age-associated disease (in Mechanisms of Ageing Development – Jul/Aug, 2010)
- Prevention of mutation, cancer, and other age-associated diseases by optimizing micronutrient intake. (in Journal of Nucelic Acids, Sep 2010). In this article, interestingly, Dr. Ames asserts that modest micronutrient deficiencies are “common in much of the population.”
- Adaptive dysfunction of selenoproteins from the perspective of the triage theory: why modest selenium deficiency may increase risk of diseases of aging. (in FASEB journal, 2011)
Let’s forget micronutrient deficiencies and less than optimal cellular repair. Let’s consider DEATH.
In the Archives of Internal Medicine, [2011, March 28;171(6):507-15 in a review of the Third National Healoth and Nutrition Examination Survey Follow-Up Study, 15,318 US adults were analyzed. “Serum alpha-carotene concentrations were inversely associated with risk of death from ALL CAUSES (my emphasis) [including] CVD [cardiovascular disease], cancer, and all other causes.” In other words, the lower your serum alpha carotene, the higher were your odds that the Grim Reaper would be calling on you, personally, and much sooner. One would suppose that levels of that vitamin might be helpful.
Another study, entitled, Total plasma carotenoids and mortality in the elderly: results of the Epidemiology of Vascular Ageing (EVA) study by Akbaraly et al, reviewed 1,389 adults ranging from 59 – 71 years. It cold-bloodedly concluded that if you were a male and in the lowest quintile (bottom 1/5th) of the range of plasma carotenoids (a direct measure of your total antioxidant capacity), you had a 2.94 TIMES higher relative risk of all cause mortality. In other words, older guys, here it is: if you are in the bottom fifth of total carotenoids you are three times likely to drop over DEAD from any cause. That is what “all cause mortality” means.
Much like the essay of Dr. Rouzier on the JAMA article about the purported “dangers” of testosterone, (previously cited), these two recent ballyhooed “studies” showing that “vitamins don’t work” fly in the face of a reasonable and balanced reading of the entire peer-reviewed medical literature up to this point. In point of fact, there was a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in November, 2012, which found that in The Physician Health Study II that “daily multivitamin supplementation modestly but significantly reduced the risk of total cancer.” Hmm. This is the same group of docs that were popping their Centrum Silvers. Lo and behold, it actually WORKED – at a crummy dose – to “modestly but significantly reduce the risk of total cancer.” How inconvenient. This fact was overlooked in the recent uproar over how a Centrum Silver couldn’t keep an aging doctor from cognitively slipping.
Another example about how the medical establishment can lie and mislead was in the now notorious “Iowa Women’s Study” – a study that is now so famous, and so misunderstood, that I heard it brought up in discussion at a medical conference I attended by an attendee who was wondering openly if multivitamins were “dangerous for our older patients.” The study is entitled, Dietary supplements and mortality rate in older women: the Iowa Women’s Health Study [Mursu J et al. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2011 Oct 10; 171(18):1625-33.] Here, from the abstract, are the hair-raising conclusions: “In older women, several commonly used dietary vitamin and mineral supplements may be associated with increased total mortality risk; this association is strongest with supplemental iron. In contrast to the findings of many studies, calcium is associated with decreased risk.”
One would think after taking a look at this abstract that the matter is settled and that Grandma should certainly not be taking those dangerous vitamins.
What was actually found was that over 50% of the women in the Iowa study lived longer than the average predicted life expectancy by being on the vitamins. And the ones that died prematurely had unfortunately been left on multivitamins with iron – oops – with either they or their physicians not putting together the fact that since they were no longer menstruating they would become iron toxic. This study also correlated benefits, not just with calcium, but with vitamins C, D, and E as well. (Vitamins C & E are potent antioxidants; vitamin D is increasingly getting more respect in the literature for improvements in mood, bone mass retention, anti-neoplastic (anti-cancer) effect, and general strengthening of the immune system. Parenthetically, I would add that most of our patients at CWI are low in it. We check it, and supplement appropriately). Also, parenthetically, I would note that none of these specific benefits showed up in the abstract. Curious. Very curious.
Perhaps the definitive as the most tragic point of view about the skewed research being published is from Harvard Medical School’s Dr. Marcia Angell, a former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine. (I want to acknowledge my friend and Metagenics representative Andy Robbins for calling this outstanding op-ed piece to my attention, as well as reminding me that The Physician Health Study II supplement that was used was Centrum Silver.) The New England Journal of Medicine is probably the most prestigious medical journal in the United States. According to Dr. Angell, its former editor, “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine.” Interestingly and tragically, after her two decades of editorship and a lifetime of practicing allopathic Western medicine according to the treatment guidelines and accepted orthodoxy of her training, she was laid low with a heart attack and is now on multiple medications (which she has bemoaned, appropriately, in essays). One wonders if she would have faced this unhappy outcome if, years ago, she had modified her diet, increased fruits, vegetables, fish oil, been on protective bio0identical hormones, and engaged in preventive, instead of reactive, medical practice (both for her patients and for her own personal medical care).
Dr. Angell lays the blame squarely on the pervasive influence of Big Pharma companies and what is, in essence, legitimized drug-pushing of prescription drugs.
In another citation, Dr. Peter Parry and Dr. Glen Spielmans noted, “Drug marketing is a very sophisticated system which corrupts every part of the scientific and medical network. Science has largely been taken captive in the name of increasing profits for pharmaceutical firms.”
In 2009, one of the most scathing, double-barreled assaults on intellectual and academic corruption in medicine was fired by Dr. Imre Zs-Nagy. In it, he noted the tyranny of what he referred to as the “gerontological elite” against the upcoming field of age management medicine (a field which focuses on optimized function and structure of the human body with appropriate nutritional and hormonal supplementation):
- “Complete disregard by certain individuals bearing some of the most prestigious affiliations in the gerontological establishment, for truth, academic integrity, and scientific professionalism. Instead they have waged a wanton effort to sabotage and retard a global movement of clinicians, practicing physicians on the front lines who have embraced that aging is not inevitable, and is indeed, preventable.”
- “The gerontological elite has instead sought to obfuscate the facts … the reason for this is nothing less than an abject fear … to avert their loss of control, power, prestige, and position in the multi-billion dollar industry of gerontological medicine.”
- “The gerontological elite have waged a multi-million dollar campaign to influence media and exert deliberate control of public information … selective funding of journalists aimed to deliberately misrepresent the anti-aging movement [with] public funds that were appropriated by the US National Institute of Aging.”
- “The gerontological elite has trumpeted meaningless public relations stunts .. mocking the anti-aging medical movement and its physician leaders. These frivolous efforts, led by non-clinicians … were clearly mounted for personal gain … [and] speak volumes as to the extremes of intellectual dishonesty.”
What have we seen so far in the two recent citations about “vitamins don’t work” and others of its ilk? Here are the facts.
- A multivitamin won’t help you after you’ve had a heart attack. What a surprise.
- A Centrum Silver doesn’t have any measurable impact on sequential cognitive tests conducted over the telephone… but may lower your risk of getting cancer.
- The supposedly deadly supplements in the Iowa Women’s Health Study actually PROLONGED the women’s lives (if they didn’t have iron in them).
There are a number of other resources, points of views, and established “authoritative experts” in the literature that I have not covered, and will not have time to cover, in this essay. However, I can list some of the deliberate attempts to show that vitamins are not helpful:
- Deliberately under-dose the vitamins – so that they won’t work;
- Deliberately OVER-dose the vitamins (so that there will be bad side effects, toxicity, or intolerability);
- Use only ONE particular ingredient – such as Vitamin E only instead of a balanced regimen of multivitamins and multiminerals. (so they won’t work);
- Use a totally synthetic version of a vitamin (the cheapest kind that you can find on the shelves of any big-box “discount” retailrer) rather than a more expensive kind that has all of the naturally occurring forms of that vitamin in it (again, Vitamin and the alpha, beta, delta, and gamma tocopherols – most of which are missing in the cheap stuff – is a prime example);
- Avoid the consideration of polyunsaturated fatty acids (fish oil);
- Allow the test group to be poisoned by excess iron (oops. Women’s Health Study in Iowa);
- Use vitamins in a situation where the damage is already done (oops. Recent “heart attack study”);
- Ignore the so-called “sick user” phenomenon, where people that are not feeling well are more likely to be taking vitamins. (Guess who has more health problems?);
- Confuse the cheap, ineffective, or sometimes dangerous “over the counter supplement” that you can buy from the least costly supplier with high quality, high purity supplements from legitimate companies.
There are helpful, factual, research-based articles and citations that paint an entirely different view of multivitamins and supplements than the jaundiced, skewed, perverted point of view being espoused by the mainstream media. Dr. Chad Larson, NMD, DC, compiled an excellent educational slide show entitled, “The Necessity of a GOOD Multi [vitamin].” It is free and available to the public on the internet.
For a complete review of the appropriate use and rationale for most of the B-vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant supplementation, the viewer may avail himself or herself of the CME lecture that I delivered this year in Chicago, IL for the Fourth Annual Integrated Medicine for Mental Health. In this presentation, I documented that a powerful B-vitamin complex significantly elevated the study group’s mood and ability to deal with stress within twelve weeks . I documented that B-vitamin supplementation not only slowed the rate of brain shrinkage in the elderly (using homocysteine as a marker for effectiveness), but their cognitive decline as well. I documented that another study shows that if you are in the lowest quintile for serum levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (that you get from either eating fish or taking fish oil), you are five times more likely to have a sudden death from all causes.
For a complete review of the rationale behind a total multivitamin/ multimineral/fish oil supplement (and the BioPhotonic Scanner that we use to obtain baseline antioxidant scores and monitor improvement), the inquisitive can view the recorded webinar version of the program that I delivered in Santa Ana, CA.
- Be careful about what you read, and read it with an eye to microscopic appreciation of the detail. Screen what you read carefully for some of the obvious scientific and experimental errors I have pointed out above.
- Be on a good, solid, high-quality multi-vitamin/multi-mineral and fish oil from a trusted, high quality source. (At Cady Wellness Institute we use Pharmanex, Metagenics, Designs for Health, and Orthomolecular Supplements). We also use Max International supplements for glutathione enhancement by precursor loading. And yes, it’s scientifically validated.
- For heaven’s sake, don’t be planning on “getting your vitamins from junk food” – or, for that matter, “low fat/high carb” eating that the government was pushing in its famous USDA Food Pyramid up until it crumbled under the weight of scientific evidence. Also, consumption of adequate PROTEIN is an important and overlooked component of most people’s diets. Here is an outstanding reference called to my attention by friend and virtual colleague Jeffrey Goodman, an acupuncturist.
- Have your response to your current supplement CHECKED. We can do it painlessly and efficiently in 30 seconds at CWI on our Biophotonic scanner. (This will only give you a reference on your antioxidant levels, but typically we find that if you are absorbing enough from your supplement that your antioxidant levels are coming up, and it’s a good supplement, then you are absorbing the other micronutrients and minerals as well. By the way, we can also engage in some blood-letting, get some specimens, and have your levels checked by an outside lab. But you’ve got to bleed for it! And it’s expensive!)
- If you want to get on a supplement that is GUARANTEED to perform, talk to us about how you can do it. There is only one supplement on the planet that I am aware of that has a performance guarantee to actually raise your antioxidant level.
- Deal with a physician or health care practitioner that knows the peer-reviewed medical literature and can explain/defend his/her position on any advice that (s)/he may offer.
And, in the words of Bobby McFerrin, “Don’t worry; be happy.” The “news” that “vitamins don’t work” is bogus. YOURS may not be working. Your levels should probably be checked. If you are on a good quality supplement, and you absolutely know it and have looked at the supporting documentation, then relax and enjoy it. You are doing at least some of what is right for you to protect and maintain your health. (Check back in with us in January of 2014 to learn about the REST of what you can be doing. 🙂
As 2013 draws to a close, and the mouthpieces of organized disinformation fade into the dustbin of history after another year of vapidity, all of us at CWI wish you a wonderful Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanza/holiday season and a healthy and prosperous new year in 2014!
Louis B. Cady, MD
December 23rd, 2013
This essay is © 2013 by Louis B. Cady, MD, Inc. and Cady Wellness Institute and may not be copied, reproduced, or distributed in paper form without express permission from the author. Dr. Cady and Cady Wellness Institute, however, encourage the LIBERAL sharing of links to this essay to all of your interested friends and contacts to stave off further misunderstandings and lies propagated by the media and the “gerontological elite.” Ho, ho, ho.