Sunday, December 11, 2005

Can I get a refill on that Vitamin A prescription?

Life Extension Magazine has an article from March 2001 titled "Vegetables Without Vitamins."

The article reports the disturbing news that our vegetables have far less nutrients now then they did 20 and 30 years ago. The first 75% of the article seems straightfoward, but then you comes to the real reason it was put out there:
Vitamin supplements work
The first 3/4 of the article guided us to the conclusion that we can't possibly eat enough vegetables, fruits, and nuts to get our daily requirements. But not to fear! Vitamin pills to the rescue! They even make the argument that absorption from the pills is 100%, while food is suspect. You just never know what you'll get in that carrot.

Who could gain from such an article? Not Big Pharma, who is in the supplement business. And it certainly does not have anything to do with the fact that the Pharma Trust wants to license vitamins and require you to have a prescription to get the said vitamins.

Alliance of Natural Health points out 3 flaws in "vitamin studies:"
1) They fail to consider micronutrient deficiency and the benefits of nutritional supplementation (i.e. get the nutrients through the foods you eat).
2) Design flaws such as using synthetic forms of vitamins (see #3), inadequate follow-through periods, excessive dosages, or combinations thereof.
2) Use the synthetic forms of vitamins, which often do not have the same chemical makeup as the natural forms the human body actually requires. For example, synthetic vitamin E uses alpha-tocopherol. The natural form that the body actually metabolizes is gamma-tocopherol.

The DoctorYourself web site has some helpful tips for scouting news reports on vitamin studies and finding the anti-vitamin biases. For example, who did the study? Check the dosages used. Were the vitamins natural or synthetic?

Those are good tips for any study.

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