Natural Health Studies Flawed
Author: Tony Isaacs
Study points out failures of how vitamins and other natural therapeutics have been tested.
Main DigestIn a new study and commentary in Free Radical Biology and Medicine, researchers concluded that the levels of vitamin E necessary to reduce oxidative stress are four to eight times higher than those used in almost all past clinical trials.
Headlines from an Oregon State University study asserted "Vitamin E trials 'fatally flawed" and the following story detailed how most studies on Vitamin E have been flawed to the point of being essentially worthless. Here are some excerpts:
Generations of studies on vitamin E may be largely meaningless, scientists say, because new research has demonstrated that the levels of this micronutrient necessary to reduce oxidative stress are far higher than those that have been commonly used in clinical trials.
In a new study and commentary in Free Radical Biology and Medicine, researchers concluded that the levels of vitamin E necessary to reduce oxidative stress are four to eight times higher than those used in almost all past clinical trials.
This could help explain the inconsistent results of many vitamin E trials for its value in preventing or treating cardiovascular disease, said Balz Frei, professor and director of the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, and co-author of the new commentary along with Jeffrey Blumberg, at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.
'The methodology used in almost all past clinical trials of vitamin E has been fatally flawed,' said Frei, one of the world's leading experts on antioxidants and disease."
Such news comes as no surprise to natural health advocates, but the public announcement of the results is surprising because it spotlights a common failure of testing natural alternatives that has gone on for decades: namely, testing dosage amounts well below the therapeutic level,
Many believe that testing such low dosage amounts, along with other flaws such as testing inferior or incorrect forms of the item being studied, studying only an isolated vitamin, mineral or compound without the supporting compounds found in nature are the result of looking at the minimum RDA amounts recommended to maintain good health instead of the therapeutic amounts needed to address illness and disease - as well as the fact that only synthetic creations, altered natural compounds and uniquely isolated compounds are patentable.
There is no economic incentive for industry to fund expensive studies and trials of something they cannot patent, have a good chance of recovering their study and trial costs, and then going on to reap large profits that can run into the billions of dollars. On a darker side, there are many who suggest that such profits are behind a great number of flawed industry funded studies on vitamins, minerals, & botanicals - in other words, the studies are purposely designed to show poor results in order to ward off natural competition that might be safer, more effective and/or much less expensive.
The public and our doctors have been told over and over again that natural alternative such as vitamins, minerals and botanical compounds provided by nature are inferior to what man creates in our labs and such flawed studies are what are often pointed to for justification. If the studies are flawed, by design or not, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Such suspicions of the motives behind flawed studies are magnified when one looks at the apparent agenda of the FDA and those behind the push for adoption of a North American Union kind of agreement modeled after the European Union model, which limits access to only a select group of natural vitamins, minerals and supplements at dosage levels far below what is effective.
It is this author's opinion that we should never fail to keep in mind that the people behind these studies have a vested stake in a trillion dollar plus annual industry and a track record of taking no prisoners when it comes to competition. These are, after all, the same people who trotted doctors and scientists before congress for four decades to testify that vitamins had no benefit and were even harmful, before finally giving in to a mountain of evidence they could not hide. These are also the same people who assured us of the safety of Vioxx, Bextra, Allieve, Avandia, Gardasil, Fosamax, mercury vaccines, mercury amalgam fillings, and a long, long line of past and present drugs associated with dangerous side effects, including large numbers of deaths.
The same group of vested interest, despite over half a century of abject failure in the war on cancer, still maintain that cutting out, burning out and poisoning out symptoms is superior to addressing the underlying causes and natural prevention. And, when you get down to it, it was pretty much the same group that assured us for generations that cigarettes were harmless.
It was a welcome surprise to many to see a mainstream study point out the failures of how vitamins and other natural therapeutics have been tested. Too bad we don't see such information constantly paraded before the masses on television and in journals, popular magazines and newspapers instead of the barrage of "Ask Your Doctor" ads clearly designed to condition the viewers into entering the wonderful world of managed illness.
Tony Isaacs, is a natural health researcher and author of books and articles about natural health, as well as song lyrics and humorous anecdotal stories. Mr. Isaacs also has The Best Years in Life - tbyil.com website for baby boomer's and others wishing to live longer, healthier, and happier.
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