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Saturday, June 16, 2012

[AlternativeAnswers] Dr Bate's newsletter 6-16 Vitamin Bashing


*Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, June 11, 2012*
Vitamin Bashing or Bad Science?

*by Steve Hickey, PhD, Andrew W. Saul, PhD, and Robert G. Smith, PhD*

(OMNS June 11, 2012) There is a global tendency to popularize
pharmaceutical industry pseudoscience that harms patients and prevents
health. Far from being critical, the media are easily taken in by corporate
medicine. Two recent examples give food for thought. Like so many others in
the media, Alex Hutchinson was misinformed about the underlying science
when he wrote "Three Reasons to Reconsider Vitamin Pills." [1] Sometimes
the lack of scholarship in medical research is astounding. A recent paper
by María Martínez and colleagues illustrates this well. It is bizarrely
titled "Dietary Supplements and Cancer Prevention: Balancing Potential
Benefits Against Proven Harms." [2]

The media uncritically accept claims by the Cochrane Collaboration because
it is a "gold-standard." However, Cochrane supports bad science because it
accepts the methods and bias of corporate medicine. In this case, a review
combined the results of 78 randomized trials, but in the selection of these
trials ignored a larger set of data to give a required but biased answer.
[1] One of the first lessons for a science student is not to select your
data. When information is selected it is prone to bias because it doesn't
represent the full data set. In this case, thousands of studies have
provided a prior probability that vitamin supplements are safe and can
prevent chronic disease. Further, the claim that large randomized
interventional trials give the "strongest form" of medical data is simply
wrong. There is little if any scientific support for this oft-repeated myth.

A "cargo cult" (i.e. obtaining value through magical rituals) has taken
hold of medical science. [3] So-called evidence-based medicine looks like
science, but fails to deliver rational results. Hutchinson reports that the
size of the vitamin review included 297,000 people, which is supposed to
give a sense of solidity and reliability from the law of large numbers.
However, what we are not told is that large numbers are not appropriate, as
these studies emphasize weaknesses (background noise) in the data. If you
need a quarter of a million people to show an effect, that's a mighty small

Emphasis is been placed on "placebo controlled" trials. However, it is not
explained that such trials are generally unethical. The Helsinki
Declaration states that treatments should be tested directly against the
best available current methods to help prevent abuse of medical research
and crimes against humanity. This requirement for ethical research is
disputed by the drug companies and the US Food and Drug Administration. An
important consideration is that placebo controlled trials can help to
develop and test new but ineffective drugs. A new drug only needs to be
slightly better than nothing (the placebo). But this paradigm emphasizes
the marginal utility of a drug over nothing at all, when safer and more
effective treatments are available. Importantly, vitamin supplements can
provide an alternative, but they are less expensive and less profitable
than drugs.

The clear irrationality of the claims of so-called evidence-based medicine
is ignored. In this case, Hutchinson suggests that the utility of vitamin C
is limited to preventing an acute form of scurvy in tiny doses. If you
don't get at least a little of the vitamin, you will get sick and may die a
rather nasty death, as so many British sailors (limeys) did in the past.
But they ignore data suggesting that heart disease, the current major
killer, is a form of chronic scurvy. [3] Millions of people may be dying
because they do not get enough vitamin C in their diet and do not
supplement with adequate vitamin C and other essential nutrients. Despite
this potential saving of life, corporate medicine would rather have you
take statin drugs and remain conveniently and profitably sick.

Cochrane supports this ignorance. They know that politically-required
answers involve selecting their data and ignoring reality. It is time the
media did its job properly and became more critical of medical mumbo-jumbo.
Please Explain the "Proof"

The recent Martinez et al report illustrates a similar type of ignorance.
[2] First, one wants to know the where the authors derived the term "proven
harms". In science, there is no such thing as proof. Science is induction.
Thus we consider the increasing use of the term proof to be either
ignorance or an attempt at authoritarian suppression of ideas. It seems
beyond comprehension that the *Journal of the National Cancer
Institute*can publish such nonsense as a paper claiming proof in the
title. Then
there is the odd use of the term "harms". Recently the use of "harms" has
crept into the medical literature because of the misuse of statistics.
Apparently, in this case we are supposed to believe that dietary
supplements of essential nutrients are "proven" to be so bad that they are
dangerous and cause multiple harms.

Consider the statements in the paper's abstract:

"Nutritional supplementation is now a multibillion-dollar industry, and
about half of all US adults take supplements."

Yes, but they are lower in cost than drugs sold by corporate medicine. In
many cases people in the US are taking this preventative approach to avoid
being bankrupted by mainstream medicine.

"Supplement use is fueled in part by the belief that nutritional
supplements can ward off chronic disease, including cancer, although
several expert committees and organizations have concluded that there is
little to no scientific evidence that supplements reduce cancer risk."

No scientific evidence - really? We can find lots - perhaps they should
read the literature. Oh, yes: they mean that no studies based on so-called
"evidence-based" medicine have shown benefits of vitamin supplements. The
problem with this is that their source of data selectively excludes many
positive studies of primary importance. Since when have expert committees
and organizations been arbiters of scientific truth? The idea is so silly
it hardly allows comment.

The Martínez report continues:

"To the contrary, there is now evidence that high doses of some supplements
increase cancer risk. Despite this evidence, marketing claims by the
supplement industry continue to imply anticancer benefits."

As far as we are aware, there is no credible data that would convince a
rational individual to avoid supplements because they would somehow be at
higher risk of cancer. We have seen some absurd "evidence-based" claims but
they do not provide the data required for an individual to make a rational

The Martínez abstract then says:

"Insufficient government regulation of the marketing of dietary supplement
products may continue to result in unsound advice to consumers."

Apparently, corporate medicine will attempt to give unsound advice on the
"proven harms" of supplements until they are unnecessarily banned.

"Both the scientific community and government regulators need to provide
clear guidance to the public about the use of dietary supplements to lower
cancer risk."

This one we agree with. The public deserves to know that supplements of
antioxidants and other essential nutrients may prevent cancer and many
other types of chronic disease.

*Alternate Health Article Digest*

*From NaturalNews:*
bracelet that tracks your emotional and mental responses to speeches or
lectures. It's the ultimate Big Brother mind control compliance technology:

In a massive federal power grab, the EPA is now attempting to claim
dominion over all ditches and gullies on private land! This is part of the
agency's new ambition to rule the nation, much like the TSA is pursuing:

The United Nations is warning about a "global collapse" of the ecosystem
due to pesticides and global warming. But their devious solution -- Agenda
21 -- may be worse than the problem:

A substantial victory has just been achieved in the effort to label GMOs.
The GMO labeling ballot measure has been officially accepted onto the
ballot in California!

There are five dominant personalities operating in our world today:
Zombies, Deniers, Sociopaths, Schemers and Protectors. Here's how to
recognize these five archetypes. And hey, you may even recognize someone
you know!

Here's how to create a natural first-aid kit to be safe when you travel:

*From Dr Mercola:*
NEW Urgent Warning to All Cell Phone Users

Frightening Facts You Must Know Before Buying the Next Block-Buster Product

This Hidden Food Poisons Your Family - Ignore These Cooked Up Lies

Dangerous Diabetes Drug Still on Market Despite Whistleblower Efforts

This Popular Procedure Tripled the Cancer Risk of 1.65 Million People Last

The Spice that Is Better than Drugs for Rheumatoid Arthritis The Spice
that Is Better than Drugs for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Used in Gardens Everywhere, This "Biodegradable" Product is Likely

The Hard to Swallow Truth Documentary

May Alleviate Cancer Without Chemo, But it's Forbidden

*From Easy Health Options:*
Thyroid Problems: The Hidden Epidemic That Destroys Your Health

Why Krill Oil?

Taking The Pain Out Of Arthritis


Testing For Hormones

*From Alliance for Natural Health:*
Two New Critical Senate Bill Amendments--Action Alerts!

Doctor Fighting Gag Rule in Pennsylvania

The AND/ADA Responds to Our Article

*From Integrative Psy:*
FDA Declares Authority Over Your Body

*From Dr Bate*
Free Article on 4 Integrated "At Home" Therapies for Autism and Other
Mental Problems

That's this week's newsletter. I hope it helps you and yours to better

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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