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Do Vitamins or Drugs Kill You

Periodically, a medical journal will announce a new study ostensibly proving that vitamins and minerals are dangerous at most and useless at best. The popular media, supported by Big Pharma advertising dollars, is more than eager to jump right on this bandwagon (see addendum below).

Since over half the US population continues to take supplements, and essentially the whole population continues to use cereals and pet foods that are vitamin and mineral fortified, the public is not buying it. If each person in the US took only one single supplement tablet daily, that would equal 165 million individual doses per day, for a total of over 60 billion doses annually. Since many persons take far more than just one single vitamin tablet, actual consumption is considerably higher. This makes the safety of vitamin supplements all the more remarkable.
 
People know intuitively that the modern processed diet consisting of chemicalized, genetically modified, and industrially mined crops (land replenished with only nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium [NPK] fertilizer) is inadequate for best health.

Facts revealed in tens of thousands of scientific studies in journals bear this out as well. For example:
  • Journal of the American Medical Association: Multivitamin supplements reduce cancer risk by eight percent.
  • Preventing Alzheimer's disease-related gray matter atrophy by B-vitamin treatment: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/05/16/1301816110.full.pdf+htl
  • Vitamins B12, B6 and folic acid shown to slow Alzheimer's in study: http://www.healthcentral.com/alzheimers/c/62/160989/vitamins-b12-shown-alzheimer/
  • Aids morbidity and mortality reduced with vitamins: www.Doctoryourself.com
  • International Journal of Cancer: Just 10 ng/ml increase in serum vitamin D levels was associated with a 15 percent reduction in colorectal cancer incidence and an 11 percent reduction in breast cancer incidence.
  • American Heart Journal: Each 20 micromole/liter (µmol/L) increase in plasma vitamin C was associated with a nine percent reduction in heart failure mortality.
  • International Journal of Cancer: Gamma-tocotrienol, found in natural vitamin E preparations decreases prostate tumor formation by 75 percent.
  • International Journal of Cancer: 300 IUs of vitamin E per day reduces lung cancer risk by 61 percent...
  • American Journal of Preventive Medicine: a serum 25(OH)D level of more than 33 ng/mL was associated with a 50 percent lower risk of colorectal cancer.
  • American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: after four years of follow up, cancer-free survival was 77 percent higher in women who received 1,100 IU vitamin D and 1,450 mg calcium per day, compared to those who received either a placebo or calcium by itself. The link between vitamin D deficiency and cancer has been tested and confirmed in more than 200 epidemiological studies, and more than 2,500 laboratory studies.
This paltry list does no justice to the overwhelming evidence. Regular readers of my newsletters know this.

Due to the undeniable facts, even the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2002 reversed its long-standing anti-vitamin stance based on a review of 30 years' worth of scientific papers and recommended daily multivitamin supplementation for all adults. Unfortunately, the public is not made aware of this because most MDs don't have time to read such things, and the media tends to ignore any information that diminishes the profitability of their Big Pharma advertisers.

The safety of supplements enjoys more proof than any medical intervention that has ever been devised. Since 2008, the supplement industry has been required to report adverse events to the FDA's adverse effects reporting (AER) system.

For the year 2008, 1,080 dietary supplement AERs were reported. Now that might sound like a lot. But consider that these reports could be due to anything, including overdosing, poor supplement quality, allergic and sensitivity reactions, or to something else the person was doing or consuming. These reports are not controlled, meaning they are not screened to eliminate all the variables but the supplement. In data from the US National Poison Data System's annual report in 2010, which tracked 57 US poison centers, there were zero deaths attributable to supplements. The same holds true year after year for properly dosed supplements.

There are about 160 million dog, cat, bird, and horse pets in the US eating vitamin and mineral fortified foods. At an average of two meals each day, and not including supplements, that would equal about 112 billion doses per year—without one fatality attributable to vitamin or mineral fortification properly dosed.

Now the same media and medical community that wants to scare the public to death about supplements, is essentially silent about the number one killer, modern medicine and its drug juggernaut.

During the same time period that the above supplement AERs were accumulated, there were 526,527 prescription drug AERs and 26,517 vaccine AERs. That is about 500 times more than for supplements. And since about the same number of people takes supplements as prescription drugs, the contrast is real.

Pharmaceuticals cause more than 150,000 deaths per year. (Compared to 10,000 deaths per year from illegal street drugs.) That's the equivalent of four 737 jet airliners crashing every day killing everyone on board. If one airliner crashes in a decade, the media will beat the story to death for weeks. But not a word about the hundreds of thousands of filled jet liners killed with prescribed drugs. This is not to mention the two million people per year who live, but suffer from the adverse effects of these drugs.

FDA-approved drugs cause 80 percent of poison fatalities each year. Poison control centers report 100,000 calls, 56,000 emergency room visits, and 2,600 hospitalizations due to prescription drugs. And don't think over the counter drugs are safe either. The FDA reports that almost a thousand deaths occur each year associated with acetaminophen (Tylenol) and acetaminophen containing drugs.

The European Union reports that pharmaceutical drugs are 62,000 times as likely to kill you as dietary supplements. But even that is not fair since no deaths occur from taking quality supplements at recommended levels.

Not only is nothing being said about this in the main stream media, the public and its pandering politicians are willing to spend the economy into oblivion to make access to these drugs as widespread and "free" as possible.

At the same time, essentially no harm—but considerable benefit— comes to anyone taking quality vitamins and minerals.

(This is not to mention the fact that supplements are the best health bargain on the planet. A bottle of 500, 500mg vitamin C tablets can be purchased at a big box store for about $7. To get one tablet's worth of vitamin C from oranges, often at a dollar each, would cost about $8 [containing about 62 mg of vitamin C each]. The tablets are about 600 times cheaper than the oranges on a vitamin C basis. Granted there is additional nutritional value in an orange. But for the poor, supplements give affordable access to critical nutritional elements. Anyone can spend a little over a penny a day for vitamin C, an absolutely critical vitamin for humans.)

Clearly, those who wish to alarm the public about vitamins and minerals are either misinformed, or purposely misleading to protect an economic interest.

Until such time as all of us return to nature, naked outside in a pristine environment drinking pure water and eating uncooked foods right from the vine or on the hoof grown there, supplements are a cheap, wise, and safe insurance policy.

Addendum:

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service--

Natural Vitamin E Prevents, Reverses Lung Cancer

Your "Pharmaphilic" Media Botches Another Story


by Andrew W. Saul, Editor

(OMNS Jan 31, 2014) Yet another media hatchet job on vitamin E is, predictably, getting lots of attention. This particular attack is just one more in an embarrassingly long series. It is based on a recent study proclaiming that vitamin E promotes cancer. (Sayin et al. Antioxidants accelerate lung cancer progression in mice. Sci Transl Med 29 January 2014: 6: 221 http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/6/221/221ra15)

Well, with a highfalutin' study like that, they might at least have used real vitamin E.

They didn't.

I have searched the original paper. They mention "vitamin E" over and over and over again. However, the words "d-alpha tocopherol," or "mixed natural tocopherols," do not appear in the paper, at all, except in one reference citation. Why? Because that is what natural vitamin E is called. If the researchers had taken the trouble to use natural vitamin E, it would likely have reduced cancer. For example:

  • Taking 300 IU of natural vitamin E per day reduces lung cancer by 61%. (Mahabir S, Schendel K, Dong YQ et al. Dietary alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-tocopherols in lung cancer risk. Int J Cancer. 2008 Sep 1;123(5):1173-80.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18546288
Of Course Synthetic Vitamin E is Less Effective

With a careful search through a lot of jargon, you will discover that the negative study used DL-a-tocopheryl acetate, a synthetic pseudo-vitamin E. However, real "vitamin E" is actually eight different biochemical forms, alpha-, beta-, delta- and gamma tocopherols, and alpha-, beta-, delta-, and gamma-tocotrienols. The much-touted "vitamin-E-causes-lung-cancer" study ignores this. I believe that the authors were so embarrassed that they selected synthetic vitamin E, which almost anyone knows to be inferior, that they quietly stated only once, in their entire paper, what kind of "E" they used. If I am wrong, let them prove otherwise. OMNS invites and will publish their rebuttal to this editorial.

And, the authors utterly ignored tocotrienols. Look for that word in their study condemning vitamin E. Look really hard. It is not there. The word tocotrienol does not appear in the paper. Not once.

Why? Because gamma tocotrienol is known to destroy cancer stem cells.
  • Research published in the International Journal of Cancer has shown that gamma-tocotrienol, a cofactor found in natural vitamin E preparations, actually kills prostate cancer stem cells. These are the very cells from which prostate cancer develops. They are or quickly become chemotherapy-resistant. And yet natural vitamin E complex contains the very thing to kill them. Mice given gamma-tocotrienol orally had an astonishing 75% decrease in tumor formation. (Sze Ue Luk1, Wei Ney Yap, Yung-Tuen Chiu et al. Gamma-tocotrienol as an effective agent in targeting prostate cancer stem cell-like population. International Journal of Cancer, 2011. Vol 128, No 9, p 2182-2191. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ijc.25546/abstract)
  • Gamma-tocotrienol also is effective against existing prostate tumors. (Nesaretnam K, Teoh HK, Selvaduray KR, Bruno RS, Ho E. Modulation of cell growth and apoptosis response in human prostate cancer cells supplemented with tocotrienols. Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol. 2008, 110, 23-31. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejlt.200700068/abstract. And: Conte C, Floridi A, Aisa C et al. Gamma-tocotrienol metabolism and antiproliferative effect in prostate cancer cells. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2004. 1031: 391-4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15753178?dopt=AbstractPlus

Set Up to Fail

Synthetic vitamin E was selected. It did not work. Natural vitamin E was not used. Tocotrienols were not used. I challenge any scientist or journalist to try to explain these omissions away.

Based on USDA data (http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/vitaminE/; scroll down to "Deficiency"), an astonishing 90% of Americans do not get the RDA of vitamin E.

Tell people not to take vitamin E, and they will be dropping like flies. The medical media should be ashamed of themselves.

To learn more about how vitamin E and other antioxidants fight cancer:

Vitamin E Attacked Again. Of Course. Because It Works. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v07n11.shtml

Vitamin C Slows Cancer Down: And, Doctors Say, Can Reverse It as Well. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v04n19.shtml

Antioxidants Prevent Cancer and Some May Even Cure It. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v09n02.shtml

Vitamins Decrease Lung Cancer Risk by 50% http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v07n13.shtml

Vitamin E Prevents Lung Cancer: News Media Virtually Silent on Positive Vitamin Research http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v04n18.shtml

A BRIEF HISTORY OF SUPPLEMENT SAFETY For specific references, just copy and paste any of the brief descriptions below into a search engine and press "enter." Doctors and reporters that say "they have not seen any good evidence that vitamins cure disease" are telling you the truth: yes, they have never seen it. That's not because it isn't available; it's because they have never looked.

Year Research
1935 Claus Washington Jungeblut, MD, professor of bacteriology at Columbia University, first publishes on vitamin C as prevention and treatment for polio; in the same year, Jungeblut also shows that vitamin C inactivates diphtheria toxin.
1936 Evan Shute, MD, and Wilfrid Shute, MD, demonstrate that vitamin E-rich wheat germ oil cures angina.
1937 Dr. Jungeblut demonstrates that ascorbate (vitamin C) inactivated tetanus toxin.
1939 William Kaufman, MD, PhD, successfully treats arthritis with niacinamide (vitamin B3).
1940 The Shute brothers publish that vitamin E prevents fibroids and endometriosis, and is curative for atherosclerosis.
1942 Ruth Flinn Harrell, PhD, measures the positive effect of added thiamine (B1) on learning.
1945 Vitamin E is shown to cure hemorrhages in the skin and mucous membranes, and to decrease the diabetic's need for insulin.
1946 Vitamin E is shown to greatly improve wound healing, including skin ulcers. It is also demonstrated that vitamin E strengthens and regulates heartbeat, and is effective in cases of claudication, acute nephritis, thrombosis, cirrhosis, and phlebitis; also, William J. McCormick, MD, shows how vitamin C prevents and also cures kidney stones.
1947 Vitamin E is successfully used as therapy for gangrene, inflammation of blood vessels (Buerger's disease), retinitis, and choroiditis; Roger J. Williams, PhD, publishes on how vitamins can be used to treat alcoholism.
1948 Frederick R. Klenner, MD, a board-certified specialist in diseases of the chest, publishes cures of 41 cases of viral pneumonia using very high doses of vitamin C.
1949 Dr. Kaufman publishes The Common Form of Joint Dysfunction.
1950 Vitamin E is shown to be an effective treatment for lupus erythematosus, varicose veins, and severe body burns.
1951 Vitamin D treatment is found to be effective against Hodgkin's disease (a cancer of the lymphatic system) and epithelioma.
1954 Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD, and colleagues demonstrate that niacin (vitamin B3) can cure schizophrenia; the Shutes' medical textbook Alpha Tocopherol in Cardiovascular Disease is published; and Dr. McCormick reports that cancer patients tested for vitamin C were seriously deficient, often by as much as 4,500 milligrams.
1955 Niacin is first shown to lower serum cholesterol.
1956 Mayo Clinic researcher William Parsons, MD, and colleagues confirm Hoffer's use of niacin to lower cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular disease; Dr. Harrell demonstrates that supplementation of the pregnant and lactating mothers' diet with vitamins increases the intelligence quotients of their offspring at three and four years of age.
1957 Dr. McCormick publishes on how vitamin C fights cardiovascular disease.
1960 Dr. Hoffer meets Bill W., cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous, and uses niacin to eliminate Bill's longstanding severe depression.
1963 Vitamin D is shown to prevent breast cancer.
1964 Vitamin D is found to be effective against lymph nodal reticulosarcoma (a non-Hodgkin's lymphatic cancer).
1968 Linus Pauling, PhD, publishes the theoretical basis of high-dose nutrient therapy (orthomolecular medicine) in psychiatry in Science, and soon after defines orthomolecular medicine as "the treatment of disease by the provision of the optimum molecular environment, especially the optimum concentrations of substances normally present in the human body."
1969 Robert F. Cathcart, MD, uses large doses of vitamin C to treat pneumonia, hepatitis, and, years later, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
1970 Dr. Pauling publishes Vitamin C and the Common Cold and Dr. Williams publishes Nutrition Against Disease.
1972 Publication of The Healing Factor: "Vitamin C" Against Disease by Irwin Stone, PhD.
1973 Dr. Klenner publishes his vitamin supplement protocol to arrest and reverse multiple sclerosis. So does Dr. HT Mount, reporting on 27 years of success using thiamine.
1975 Hugh D. Riordan, MD, and colleagues successfully use large doses of intravenous vitamin C against cancer.
1976 Ewan Cameron, MD, and other physicians in Scotland show that intravenous vitamin C improved quality and length of life in terminal cancer patients.
1982 In Japan, Murata, Morishige, and Yamaguchi show that vitamin C greatly prolonged the lives of terminal cancer patients.
1984 Robert F. Cathcart, MD, publishes on the vitamin C treatment of AIDS.
1986 Publication of How to Live Longer and Feel Better by Linus Pauling.
1988 Dr. Lendon H. Smith publishes Vitamin C as a Fundamental Medicine: Abstracts of Dr. Frederick R. Klenner, M.D.'s Published and Unpublished Work, now known as Clinical Guide to the Use of Vitamin C.
1990 American doctors successfully use vitamin C to treat kidney cancer, and in 1995 and 1996, other cancers.
1993 Large-scale studies show that vitamin E supplementation reduces the risk of coronary heart disease in men and women.
1995 Dr. Riordan and colleagues publish their protocol for intravenous vitamin C treatment of cancer.
2002 Vitamin E shown to improve immune functions in patients with advanced colorectal cancer, by immediately increasing T helper 1 cytokine production.
2004 Doctors in America and Puerto Rico publish more clinical cases of vitamin C successes against cancer.
2005 Research sponsored by the U.S. National Institutes of Health shows that high levels of vitamin C kill cancer cells without harming normal cells.
2006 Canadian doctors report intravenous vitamin C is successful in treating cancer.
2007 Harold D. Foster and colleagues publish a double-blind, randomized clinical trial showing that HIV-positive patients given supplemental nutrients can delay or stop their decline into AIDS.
2008 Korean doctors report that intravenous vitamin C "plays a crucial role in the suppression of proliferation of several types of cancer," notably melanoma. And, natural vitamin E is demonstrated to substantially reduce risk of lung cancer by 61%.
2009, 2010, 2012 Intravenous Vitamin C and Cancer Symposiums filmed and made available for free-access online. http://www.riordanclinic.org/education/symposium/s2009 (twelve lectures), http://www.riordanclinic.org/education/symposium/s2010 (nine lectures) and http://www.riordanclinic.org/education/symposium/s2012 (eleven lectures)
2011 Each 20 micromole/liter (µmol/L) increase in plasma vitamin C is associated with a 9% reduction in death from heart failure. Also, B complex vitamins are associated with a 7 percent decrease in mortality, vitamin D with an 8 percent decrease in mortality.
2012 Vitamin C shown to prevent and treat radiation-damaged DNA.
2013 B-vitamin supplementation seen to slow the atrophy of specific brain regions that are a key component of the Alzheimer's disease process and are associated with cognitive decline.
2014 In patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, 2,000 IU of natural vitamin E slows the decline compared to placebo. Data from 561 patients showed that those taking vitamin E functioned significantly better in daily life, and required the least care. Vitamin C greatly reduces chemotherapy side effects and improves cancer patient survival.


Thought: "Preservation of health is a duty. Few people seem to be conscious of such a thing as physical morality." —Hippocrates


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