(Health Secrets) Big Pharma is one of the primary advertisers on mainstream media, and apparently one hand washes the other, at least at NBC. This network recently came out with a supplement-bashing headline article titled Vitamins Don’t Prevent Heart Disease or Cancer, Experts Find. In it NBC News assured its viewers that ” a very extensive look at the studies that have been done show it [vitamin supplements] may be a waste of time when it comes to preventing the diseases most likely to kill you”.
The article displayed an ignorance of clinical nutrition that could not be ignored by Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D., Orthomolecular Medicine News Service Editor. In an effort to undo NBC’s hatchet job on vitamins, Dr. Saul has provided a list of 24 studies showing that vitamins and minerals are effective in preventing and even reversing many diseases. Here are the studies NBC chose to overlook, and links for viewing them in their entirety.
Multivitamin supplements lower your risk of cancer by 8%. An 8% reduction in deaths means the lives of 48,000 people in the US alone could be saved each year, just by taking an inexpensive daily vitamin pill. (Gaziano JM, Sesso HD, Christen WG, Bubes V, Smith JP, MacFadyen J, Schvartz M, Manson JE, Glynn RJ, Buring JE (2012) Multivitamins in the Prevention of Cancer in Men: the Physicians’ Health Study II Randomized Controlled Trial JAMA. 2012;():1-10. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.14641.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23162860
72% of physicians personally use dietary supplements. The multivitamin is the most popular dietary supplement taken by doctors. (Dickinson A, Boyon N, Shao A. Physicians and nurses use and recommend dietary supplements: report of a survey. Nutrition Journal 2009, 8:29 doi:10.1186/1475-2891-8-29 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19570197
High serum levels of vitamin B6, methionine and folate are associated with a 50% reduction in lung cancer risk. Those with higher levels of these nutrients had a significantly lower risk of lung cancer whether they smoked or not. (Johansson M, Relton C, Ueland PM, et al. Serum B vitamin levels and risk of lung cancer. JAMA. 2010 Jun 16;303(23):2377-85.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20551408
Vitamin D reduces cancer risk. Studies on breast and colorectal cancer found that an increase of serum 25(OH)D concentration of 10 ng/ml was associated with a 15% reduction in colorectal cancer incidence and 11% reduction in breast cancer incidence. (Gandini S, Boniol M, Haukka J, Byrnes G, Cox B, Sneyd MJ, Mullie P, Autier P. Meta-analysis of observational studies of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and colorectal, breast and prostate cancer and colorectal adenoma. Int J Cancer. 2011;128(6):1414-24.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20473927
Vitamin D increases breast cancer survival. Women diagnosed with breast cancer had increased survival for those with higher serum 25(OH)D concentrations. In those with lower vitamin D concentrations, mortality increased by 8%. (Vrieling A, Hein R, Abbas S, Schneeweiss A, Flesch-Janys D, Chang-Claude J. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and postmenopausal breast cancer survival: a prospective patient cohort study. Breast Cancer Res. 2011;13(4):R74) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21791049
Risk of heart failure decreases with increasing blood levels of vitamin C. Each 20 micromole/liter (µmol/L) increase in plasma vitamin C was associated with a 9% reduction in death from heart failure. If everyone took high enough doses of vitamin C to reach 80 µmol/L, it would mean 216,000 fewer deaths per year. To achieve that a plasma level requires a daily dosage of about 500 mg of vitamin C. (Pfister R, Sharp SJ, Luben R, Wareham NJ, Khaw KT. Plasma vitamin C predicts incident heart failure in men and women in European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Norfolk prospective study. Am Heart J, 2011. 162:246-253.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21835284
Vitamin C prevents and reverses radiation damage. (Yanagisawa A. Effect of Vitamin C and anti-oxidative nutrition on radiation-induced gene expression in Fukushima nuclear plant workers. Free download of full presentation at http://www.doctoryourself.com/Radiation_VitC.pptx.pdf See also: Korkina L, et al. Antioxidant therapy in children affected by irradiation from the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Biochem Soc Trans,1993. 21:314S. PMID: 8224459 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=8224459
The Japanese College of Intravenous Therapy has produced a video for people wishing to learn more about large doses of vitamin C.
Part 1 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rbm_MH3nSdM
Part 2 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4cyzts3lMo
Part 3 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYiRo2Oucfo
Part 4 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51Ie8FuuYJw
All four parts of the video are also available at http://firstlaw.wordpress.com/ .
NBC also stated that, “Vitamin E does no good at all in preventing cancer or heart disease”. Evidently the network also overlooked these studies:
Natural vitamin E factor yields a 75% decrease in prostate tumor formation. Gamma-tocotrienol, a cofactor found in natural vitamin E preparations, kills prostate cancer stem cells. (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 See also: 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
Vitamin E reduces mortality by 24% in persons 71 or older. (Hemila H, Kaprio J. Age Ageing, 2011. 40(2): 215-220. January 17.) http://ageing.oxfordjournals.org/content/40/2/215.short
300 IU 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
Vitamin E is an effective treatment for atherosclerosis. “Subjects with supplementary vitamin E intake of 100 IU per day or greater demonstrated less coronary artery lesion progression than did subjects with supplementary vitamin E intake less than 100 IU per day.” (Hodis HN, Mack WJ, LaBree L et al. Serial coronary angiographic evidence that antioxidant vitamin intake reduces progression of coronary artery atherosclerosis. JAMA, 1995. 273:1849-1854.) http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/273/23/1849.short
400 to 800 IU of vitamin E daily reduces risk of heart attack by 77%. (Stephens NG et al. Randomized controlled trial of vitamin E in patients with coronary artery disease: Cambridge Heart Antioxidant Study (CHAOS). Lancet, March 23, 1996; 347:781-786.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8622332
Increasing vitamin E with supplements prevents COPD [Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, chronic bronchitis]. (Agler AH et al. Randomized vitamin E supplementation and risk of chronic lung disease (CLD) in the Women’s Health Study. American Thoracic Society 2010 International Conference, May 18, 2010.) Summary at http://www.thoracic.org/newsroom/press-releases/conference/articles/2010/vitamine-e.pdf
800 IU vitamin E per day is a successful treatment for fatty liver disease. (Sanyal AJ, Chalasani N, Kowdley KV et al. Pioglitazone, vitamin E, or placebo for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. N Engl J Med. 2010 May 6;362(18):1675-85.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20427778
Alzheimer’s patients who take 2,000 IU of vitamin E per day live longer. (Pavlik VN, Doody RS, Rountree SD, Darby EJ. Vitamin E use is associated with improved survival in an Alzheimer’s disease cohort. Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2009;28(6):536-40.) Summary at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20016184 See also: Grundman M. Vitamin E and Alzheimer disease: the basis for additional clinical trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Feb;71(2):630S-636S. Free access to full text at http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/71/2/630s
400 IU of Vitamin E per day reduces epileptic seizures in children by more than 60%. (Ogunmekan AO, Hwang PA. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of D-alpha-tocopheryl acetate [vitamin E], as add-on therapy, for epilepsy in children. Epilepsia. 1989 Jan-Feb; 30(1):84-9.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2643513
Vitamin E supplements help prevent amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This important finding is the result of a 10-year-plus Harvard study of over a million persons. (Wang H, O’Reilly EJ, Weisskopf MG, et al. Vitamin E intake and risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a pooled analysis of data from 5 prospective cohort studies. Am. J. Epidemiol, 2011. 173 (6): 595-602. March 15) http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/173/6/595.short
Vitamin E is more effective than a prescription drug in treating chronic liver disease (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis). Said the authors: “The good news is that this study showed that cheap and readily available vitamin E can help many of those with this condition.” (Sanyal AJ, Chalasani N, Kowdley KV et al. Pioglitazone, vitamin E, or placebo for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. N Engl J Med. 2010 May 6;362(18):1675-85.) http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0907929
Of course, this list is only the beginning. In the words of Dr. Saul, “Now you know the rest of the story”.