How to Sabotage Vitamin Research
There are many reasons why nutritional supplements often show poorly in medical research. Here are a few examples:
1.Inadequate dosing: Many studies on vitamin D use doses in the range of 400- 800 IU daily when it is well known that adult requirements are in the range of 3,000 to 5,000 IU per day. 2.Inadequate dosing duration: Studies evaluating the benefits of essential fatty acid supplementation for healthy brain function that run only 2-3 months miss out on the fact that many months to several years may be necessary to realize the full benefit. 3.Failure to use proper forms of nutrients: Recent negative findings for vitamin E supplementation resulted due to the use of synthetic vitamin E, a form not only unusable to the body, but capable of causing harm. 4.Failure to assure the presence of co-nutrients: Studies using high dose single nutrients such as selenium or B6 may create imbalances due to the lack of co-nutrients required for proper metabolism of that nutrient. For example, co-nutrients necessary for vitamin B6 to work effectively include: zinc, magnesium and riboflavin. Magnesium deficiency in industrialized countries is epidemic and failure to correct for this will distort study results. 5.Dietary obstacles: If you are looking to evaluate the effectiveness of essential fatty acids and don’t address the highly acidic western diet (high sugar, alcohol, commercial red meat, rancid fat) then results will be unimpressive.
Exercise: Just Placebo?
I often say that placebo plays an important role in healing, yet we can’t talk about it or it won’t work. We all know that exercise promotes health and well-being, strengthening bones, enhancing immune function and improving our overall sense of well being by increasing neurotransmitters in the brain and eliminating toxins from the body.
In a recent study one group of working females were told their work was good exercise and satisfied the Surgeon General’s recommendations for an active lifestyle and examples of how this was so were given. The control group was not given this information. The informed group perceived that they were getting more exercise then previously thought and results were impressive with a decrease in weight, blood pressure, body fat, waist to hip ratio and body mass index compared to the control group.
Dissolution of American Society?
The average American spends about 11 of each 16 hours of wake time involved with work, the daily commute to work being a significant part of this day. That leaves 5 hours each day to exercise, stay informed of current events, connect with friends and family, pursue hobbies, resolve personal issues, maintain the car(s) and house, seek spiritual growth, eat healthy food in a relaxed atmosphere and stay connected with nature. No wonder research over the last 20 years shows that the number of people saying there is no one they can discuss important matters with has tripled. The average American now claims to have only two friends.
The male risk for developing osteoporosis is between 13 and 22%: almost 1 out of every 5 men. Common risk factors for both men and women suggestive of having a bone density test include: overweight/obese, minimal physical activity, smoking, excessive alcohol and protein intake, high soda/cola intake, chronic inflammatory conditions, history of eating disorder, family history of osteoporosis, more then 1 cup coffee daily, low fruit and vegetable intake.
Medicine of the Future?
Pharmaceutical companies have long known the art of making money from synthetic compounds. They start with a natural substance which can’t be patented, concoct a synthetic derivative with many side effects at high cost, then foist it on well intentioned medical doctors and the general public in the guise of health care.
When under the ‘Eye of Mordor’ research on natural treatments challenging its efficacy begins to surface, legislation to deny public access to natural medicine is initiated (see May 07 and April 07 newsletters) and co-opting the natural medicine market is attempted. For example:
Omacor is a FDA prescription drug approved for lowering triglyceride levels. The monthly cost of this natural omega 3 fish oil: $175, paid for by insurance companies. This is quite the marketing phenomena given that you can buy this same oil at health food stores for less then the cost of the prescription drug co-pay.
Milk = Parkinson’s
A recent study reviewing milk intake in those with Parkinson’s disease showed a higher incidence of Parkinson’s in those individuals with highest milk intake. If there is indeed a correlation between milk intake and the risk for Parkinson’s disease, my suspicion is that it is not the milk, but all the synthetic additives and processing that occurs with commercial milk production that is at fault.
ADHD and Weight
A recent study in China concluded that there is an increased tendency to ADHD in overweight/obese adolescents. While I can’t speak for China, here in the U.S. weight concerns are at epidemic levels and as with the milk study above, poor diet with abundant synthetic compounds may be the culprit behind the ADHD issue.
I hope you enjoyed this month’s newsletter. Feel free to share it with others. As always, comments are welcome.
Jon Dunn, ND