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The Truth About Vitamins

Date: 20th January 2014 | Created by: Troo Healthcare | Tags: vitamins, multivitamins, supplements
Shortly before Christmas there was a media driven anti-vitamin campaign which saw many newspapers declare vitamins a waste of time. 'Vitamins Pills Are A Waste of Money Experts Warn' was the headline in The Times newspaper. In order to address the question 'Do vitamins Really Work?' I am going to work backwards and address this recent vitamin bashing.

Unfortunately this kind of anti-vitamin waffle is nothing new. We've been here before and the research on which the headlines are based is old research that has previously been discredited. Rather than do into a full scale explanation of everything wrong with these headlines, I'd instead like to refer you to the response written by the Alliance for Natural Medicine (ANH)

As you will see from the response there some wide-ranging problems with the reliability of the science behind the research. Not to mention the fact that it was all based around tests on cheap low quality synthetic supplements - basically the stuff you'll find in your chemist or supermarket. Anyone would think the studies were designed to fail! But why?

To answer why these studies are designed to make vitamins look bad you have to look at the source of the material. The big issue with headlines such as in that in The Times is they're based on an editorial published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a pro-pharma publication almost entirely funded by pharmaceuticals industry. It seems that there is an agenda with these billion £ companies which leads them to want to prevent any form of natural health maintenance and instead have you purchase their drugs.

Big Pharma - The Most Fraudulent Industry Group In the World

This whole incident actually just contrives to add further weight to the argument of the highly respected magazine 'What Doctors Don't Tell You.' Back in February 2012 they led with an editorial from which I have pasted an extract below:

'... highlights two disturbing statistics about Big Pharma: in 2011, it was recorded as the most fraudulent industry group in the world, while its drugs became more lethal than traffic accidents, killing one person every 14 minutes in the United States alone

These worrying facts beggar two obvious questions: Why hasn’t the media featured them? And why aren’t our politicians jumping up and down, demanding immediate controls? 

The answer lies in another statistic from the drugs industry: for every pound and dollar it spends on research and development, it spends two on ‘promotion’, which includes political lobbying and media influence.

Rupert Murdoch’s The Australian newspaper recently accepted an undisclosed sum from the drugs industry to run a series of ‘independent’ health-policy articles.

Murdoch’s son, James, sits on the board of UK drug giant GlaxoSmithKline’s corporate responsibility committee that reviews “external issues that might have the potential for serious impact upon the group’s business and reputation”—“external issues” such as The Times, The Sun, The Sunday Times and Sky TV perhaps, all part of the News International empire, which James helps to control...'

Conversely, you don't see mass media coverage of similar concerns over pharmaceuticals. For instance you don't see articles highlighting that there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that chemotherapy prevents the progression of cancer.  

Millions of people are prescribed statins each year in the UK yet there is no evidence to show that they work or enhance lifespan. The list of side effects on the other hand is ever increasing.

There is no evidence whatsoever that ADHD drugs create healthy children or that antidepressants cure depression. Yet all these drugs are heavily hyped by medical journal (i.e. "drug journals") and the mainstream media without regard for their disastrous lack of efficacy and safety.

Perhaps a slight wind of change was seen last week when the BBC reported on the concerns of a Group of MPs about the lack of data provided by Big Pharma companies about their drugs - to see this article click here.

Prevention, Cure Or Both?

The sad thing about all of this is the squabbles between the Big Pharma and natural health industries only serve to confuse the consumer. There is room for both natural health and pharmaceuticals to make the world a healthier place and the two would actually work better together. 

For instance many drugs cause bad side effects due to the effect they have on nutrient depletion - surely such drugs would benefit from being used alongside good nutrition supplements?

Natural health is really all about prevention (no nutrition company should be touting their products to you as cures for anything), whilst pharmaceuticals should be a last resort to help cure or manage problems when they arise. The danger is the pharmaceutical companies are priming us for the launch of a daily prevention drug which aided by the media they will no doubt try to convince us will lead to longer life. 

The Truth About Vitamins

In an ideal world we would get all of the vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids from our foods. Despite campaigns such as '5-a-day', surveys show that in the UK only 1 in 8 adults achieve this. In the case of some essential nutrients such as Selenium I would guess that 1 in 8 is very optimistic.

Despite the tripe highlighted by the media there are many more valid studies with regards the health long-term benefits of vitamins. We will address some of these specifically in coming articles. As a general overview a scientific review of over 150 clinical trials published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the lack of many vitamins is a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, some cancers, birth defects, osteoporosis, bone fractures and many other major chronic health problems. 

A study by Fletcher et al has gone as far as to state that 'pending strong evidence of effectiveness from randomized trials, it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements'.

Boil it down to basics and what we find is that our modern diet and lifestyle have become monumentally out of sync with what the body requires to stay fit and healthy. The problem is that deficiencies aren't apparent until they manifest themselves in the form of symptoms - which can take years to appear. Just because you can't see a problem it doesn't mean that it's not there.

If you feel that you need to use health supplements then always use natural food source supplements instead of synthetic manufactured vitamins. If you need advice on your diet or have any other health issues then please ask our experts for free and objective advice.

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