Is The Case for Dietary Supplements Collapsing ?
By Dr. Dana Myatt
Do vitamin supplements increase the risk of death as current headlines would have us believe?
Before you give up your daily supplements, let’s take a careful look at the “science” behind the headlines.
First, “consider the source.”
Conventional medicine and medical researchers have been “gunning” for natural remedies and supplements for decades. This current “study” (and I use the term loosely) behind the headlines is brought to you by the same conventional researchers who gave us Premarin (which increases breast cancer risk), Vioxx and Avandia (responsible for 47,000 cardiac deaths since its introduction in 1999).
Second, did you actually read the original study?
I’m BETTING YOU DID NOT, and neither did the “reporters” from the Wall Street Journal. How do I know? Because the study is only available for pay — $30 to be exact — from the Archives of Internal Medicine. No one has access to the original study for free except for doctors who already subscribe to the magazine.
As a doc who actually reads medical journal articles much of the day, I can tell you that “abstracts” (“the short course” at the beginning of articles) frequently say one thing while the actual conclusion of the article says something very different. In order to know what was really said, the original article needs to be read. How many “reporters” (another term I use loosely) bother to do this? Would they understand what they were reading even if they did purchase the original medical journal article?
Third, can you remember what supplements you were taking and in what amounts, say, six years ago? No?
Interesting, because this “study” did exactly that: asked participants to recall from memory what supplements they had taken for the past six years, times three. This means that eighteen years of vitamin and supplement intake “data” was collected from memory. What could possibly go wrong with a study like that?!
Fourth — without boring you with research jargon such as “hazard ratios” and “multivariant analysis”, let me tell you what else the study showed:
B complex vitamins were associated with a 7% reduction in mortality
Vitamin C intake associated with a 4% reduction in mortality
Vitamin D intake associated with an 8% reduction in mortality
Magnesium intake associated with a 3% reduction in mortality
Selenium intake associated with a 3% reduction in mortality
Zinc intake associated with a 3% reduction in mortality
Hundreds of well-conducted studies have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of nutritional supplementation. This statistically massaged collection of “from my distant memory” numbers doesn’t qualify as a real study in my book, and not in the mind of any genuine scientist.
I’d be ashamed to put my name on a pseudo-study such as this. The fact that it has been misrepresented by the Lamestream media (do these folks actually “do” real journalism any more?) is an insult to thinking people everywhere.
I wouldn’t even remotely consider giving up my daily vitamins based on such a pitiful “study,” especially in view of the many studies showing their benefit.
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