Monday, September 28, 2015

Vitamins-Killers or Healers

A patient of mine sent me a concerned email.

"I was just reading this and thought, ugh. What are your thoughts on this idea that vitamins can actually increase the risk of cancer and heart disease? I'd be curious to hear your personal opinion, given I'm just a layperson!"
Vitamins
CC use from Bradley Stemke

Whenever I read one of these scaremongering articles, I do three things.
1. Take a big deep breath
2. Figure out who wrote the article and any connections to a particular outcome of a scientific study
3. Who would benefit from creating this conflict.
So here we go.

Deep breath is taken, and released.


Who is Paul Offit, MD?
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (1984 – 1985)
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (1987 – 1992)
Associate Professor of Pediatrics at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (1992 – 2001)
Professor of Pediatrics at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (2001– present)

Well, he is a pediatrician who firmly believes that alternative medicine is magic (old black magic)
He is pro vaccines and accepts funding from the drug manufacturers for his research including funding his chair at University of Pennsylvania.
So to say he has a confirmed point of view is kind.

Now about that article, he makes quite a few claims, and also makes references to many research results, but none are cited.

How in the world could anyone follow the trail of his claims back to source material for verification? Especially since most of the article was a diatribe against Linus Pauling.

The choice of words are really interesting when they talk about Vitamin C.

Vitamin C doesn't prevent colds.

Not a single ND I know would make that assertion either.
Vitamin C works as a catalyst to stimulate the immune system to do its job. Side benefit, fewer colds caught.
But if someone blasted a mist full of cold virus into anyone's nose, they will get the cold.

Also the claims he is rebutting are from the early 90's?
 What, he couldn't find anything more recent?
I can especially when I search Google Scholar post 2014 but they don't support his theory

B-Vitamins and Celiac Disease
B Vitamins and Bone Health
B Vitamins and Folate in Brain Health

Intake of vitamins D and K, and their impact on health in female population
Metformin Link to Vitamin B12 Deficiency, Neuropathy in Diabetes


I have seen one study that showed using artificially created vitamin A in Male smokers increase the rate of lung cancer. Not naturally occurring A, only manmade. I'm guessing that is the study he is citing but who knows?

Want to know more about how to choose a high quality vitamin or supplement?  Click through.

My third question, Who would benefit from creating this conflict?
I think the only people who would benefit are the drug manufacturers as people steer away from their vitamins due to fear.
Some of which has been spread by the Atlantic.

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/07/the-vitamin-myth-why-we-think-we-need-supplements/277947/
http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/02/vitamin-bs/386126/

Now, why the Atlantic has made a decision to demonize vitamins, I don't know. But it would be interesting to find out.  Perhaps another post.

You asked how to figure out great quality.  This post is my process

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