Dr Byers, supplements and increased cancer risk – Same turgid old stuff.

It seems every five years or so, someone is appointed to jump up and warn us all about Vitamin Supplements and their dangers.

This time Dr Byers got the short straw.

The problem is that we’ve heard it all before, the same research, the same generalisations – and we know the answer.

Out comes the same one-off research study (following an indicative study) on beta-carotene and smoking. Then there is research on vitamin E which has little benefit and may even do harm.

Neither supplement would I touch anyway. Both mass market supplements in the main are deficient, synthetic copies of the real thing. In nature beta-carotene is available in cis- and trans- forms, but only one is used in the common supplement. Vitamin E is worse. Most studies involve synthetic alpha-tocopherol, just one of the eight variants found in nature. In my book it should not even be called vitamin E (it’s fraud).

Synthetic vitamins, for me, carry the same basic risks as synthetic drugs. Natural vitamin E is easy to come by. Put out a bowl of nuts and seeds – a handful of sunflower and pumpkin seeds will give you the four tocotrienol vitamin Es – shown to be much better than tocopherol in fighting cancer anyway.

Folate supplementation is, quite possibly, a threat to all these highly profitable cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, which are under soooo much pressure at the moment from leading heart specialists. They have been linked to a range of secondary illnesses from diabetes to eye sight problems; and research is now questioning whether they do lower death rates from heart attacks and strokes.

Folate, again, is a vitamin you should get from your diet – eat your greens!!!! If you are short you are in trouble. If you have a healthy microbiome (gut bacteria) and eat properly you will be fine; too much you might be in trouble. It has an RDA in ‘micrograms’ for that reason.

But what I love is the way the ‘research’ extrapolates a study on synthetic beta-carotene and smoking to warn the listeners on supplements in general. It would be like me saying that since one drug, Vioxx, killed 48,000 Americans and is now banned, people should be careful when using any drugs because their benefits are questionable and there is clear evidence of significant risks.

Mass market vitamin supplements have limited benefits, although Centrum produced a study a couple of years back showing their multivitamin reduced cancer risk by 7 per cent – this would extrapolate to 22,000 less people with cancer in the UK alone next year. In 2003, the French produced the Su Vi Max study which had followed 17,000 people on selenium and zinc, vitamins E and C and beta-carotene – that showed 31% fewer male cancers (but little change for women); and 37% less deaths overall from cancer over the study period.

I am much more interested in bioactive natural compounds such as vitamin D, curcumin, fish oils, sulforaphanes, CLA, MCP and another 60 with Epigenetic benefits. Now they are interesting. Even Dr Young S. Kim of the NCI in her research on foods that could stop cancer stem cells re-growing, said these could be taken as quality supplements.

Ok. It’s diary time. Which doctor, or preferably professor wants to author this same study on the risks of supplements in 2020?

I’ll have this Junk Science article ready to re-run then too.

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What’s in your Vitamin Supplement??

People simply do not realize the rubbish that can be in cheaper vitamin supplements. And by ‘people’, I mean not just the sick, but doctors, researchers and even the scientists who prepare reports praising or condemning them.

Synthetic, deficient and dangerous?

The cheaper versions are often simply synthetic, and deficient versions of the real thing, like Thai copies of Gucci handbags. Should you be surprised when the handle drops off?

But this is your health you are messing with. And matters can get worse when you realise what ‘fillers’ and even toxic ingredients can be incorporated in the tablet.

Unfortunately, most research studies simply talk about ‘vitamin E improving your immune system’ (positive) or ‘vitamin E doing more harm than good’ (negative) without any sensible or responsible comment on the vitamin quality used.

Vitamin E is a classic example of confusion – even the mighty Memorial Sloan-Kettering Medical School gets its commentary wrong on its website!

Vitamin E is available in nature in 8 related forms – 4 tocopherols and 4 tocotrienols. These cousins appear in foods from grains to greens. Memorial Sloan-Kettering refers to all the foods in nature you can find vitamin E within. However, Memorial Sloan-Kettering then refers to vitamin E as alpha-tocopherol, which it is not. Alpha-tocopherol is but one constituent. It certainly is NOT present in all those foods mentioned.

The same applies to UK high street vitamin E, which, thanks largely to EU ‘health’ restrictions is this same constituent form – alpha tocopherol – and, worse, invariably synthetic and made by the petrochemical industry. In a review of a number of research studies by the Nordic Cochrane Institute it was concluded that the ‘vitamin E’ was of little benefit and arguably did more harm than good. A similar issue is found with beta-carotene, which in nature is available in cis- and trans- forms, but in cheap varieties is just one synthetic copy.

To put this in context, experts are agreed that natural vitamin E is effective against ageing, cancer, oxidative damage, diabetes, eye problems and more. Conversely, synthetic petrol-derived vitamin E is an endocrine disrupter!

Unwanted additives

Next there are the ‘innocent additives’. Typically these may include cows’ dairy products, sugar (like maltodextrin), gluten, corn starch, soy products, hydrogenated vegetable oil and yeast.

Then there are warnings on bottles about contra-indications, some of which are relevant while others are little more than scaremongering clap-trap. Inconsistency rules. Sadly, the same doctors who advise patients not to take vitamin supplements whilst taking drugs routinely forget to mention that many drugs have contra-indications with grapefruit and its juice, or with dried meats and eggs.

Fillers and ‘excipients’

The American International Pharmaceutical Council has stated that, ‘Excipients are substances other than the pharmacologically active ingredients, which are included in the manufacturing process or are contained in a finished product. In many products, excipients make up the bulk of the total dosage form’ (Czap, AL, The Townsend Letter For Doctors and Patients, July 1999, Vol.192; pg.117-119).

And it should be noted that such fillers and additives in supplements can ‘cause allergic reactions, impede absorption, and have undesirable physiological effects’. Often manufacturers call such ‘fillers’ by words like ‘glaze’ or ‘natural vegetable coatings’.

Typical compounds include:

1. Magnesium stearate – used as a flow agent to keep manufacturing equipment working smoothly. Made from cottonseed oil. (Concerns have been raised about GMOs, pesticides, T-cell damage and inhibition of drug absorption, but all seem overclaims)

2. BHT (butyl hydroxyl-toluene) – laboratory made chemical, added to various foods and supplements, to prevent rancidity and oxidation. Supplements of it go with claims that it can treat lipid-coated viral disease. But Berkeley Wellness newsletter expresses concerns over safety – the Center for Science in the Public Interest lists BHT in its “caution” column. It may be harmful in high doses.

3. Boric acid – known to have anti-fungal and anti-yeast activities, it has been used as an antiseptic, insecticide and even a flame retardant. It is also connected to DNA damage.

4. Cupric sulphate – Green Med Info is concerned it can contribute to heavy metal toxicity. Can be used as a herbicide, fungicide and pesticide.

5. Sawdust – although you won’t find it on the label some tablets have been shown to contain sawdust.

6. Talcum powder – the same is true for talcum powder, which may have even been dyed.

7. Sodium benzoate – Used as a preservative to stop the presence of moulds and bacteria. Has a known effect against mitochondria.

You get what you pay for

While, there is ample evidence that the levels of the above are small and that they have no negative effects at those concentrations, the question is, ‘Why take cheap supplements containing them?’

In 2012 at The National Cancer Institute, Dr Young Kim produced a study on controlling stem-cell cancer tumours and their re-growth. In that study, Kim identified certain food compounds that could prevent a cancer re-growing, and went on to say, ‘All of the bioactive compounds could be found in quality supplements’.

So what is a quality supplement? The point is that many supplements simply do not fit the bill. Take common vitamin C. Research covered in Cancer Watch at the charity CANCERactive showed that supplementation with standard vitamin C did not increase plasma concentrations of anti-oxidant at all, whereas antioxidant activity from vitamin C from a squeezed orange lasted about 24 hours. According to research, only about 7% of vitamin C from a cheap supplement even makes it into the blood stream. Liposomal vitamin C (which can cost over 40 pounds a bottle) is a different matter. Natural vitamin E with all 8 tocopherols and tocotrienols can cost over 65 pounds.

The crucial questions then become, ‘How much are you prepared to pay for quality nutritional supplements?’, and, ‘Even at these high prices, are you clear you are not introducing chemicals of concern into your body?’

At least now you know what to look out for!

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Dr Dena Bravata and colleagues at Stamford University Medical Centre in California have have just published their research findings on organic food in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Their research? They ‘sifted through thousands of papers’ while comparing people who have lived on organic food with those who eat the mainstream stuff. They came up with two conclusions in this ‘largest ever study’.

1 That organic food was no ‘healthier or nutritious’ than mass market stuff, and

2 That even organic food contains pesticides (although admittedly at a lower level).

Notwithstanding that the EU started a 12 million Euro study a few years back actually planting organic field and non-organic ones to measure the relative nutritional content, or that the French conducted a similar side-by-side study with controls and both found higher levels of beneficial natural compounds in the organic version, there is this seemingly thrown away bit in the report about pesticides, which we will come to in a minute.

At CANCERactive we covered both of the above research studies in Cancer Watch, our cancer research centre. Professor Carlo Liefert, one of the leaders of the first study is also a patron of our charity. But we have also covered a report a few years ago on how the American regulators were going to allow certain pescticides to be used with organic food and raise the bar on testing the products. Various US consumer groups expressed concern at the time complaining that this would be the end of organic produce in America. So we are not in the slightest surprised by research showing that ‘American organic food had pesticide in it. The Soil Association agrees with us and also says that these findings have little to do with food in Britain.

But, there’s a second point. As we have concluded before, if your soil is depleted it doesn’t matter what you grow on it, the results will be roughly the same if you analyse for vitamins and minerals. Remember the American Senate has already warned of soil depletion in America and advised the population to take supplements (and that was in 1934).

However, the conclusions of several studies in Europe have shown that while minerals are no higher, and vitamins only slightly higher, the real benefits come in ‘natural compounds’ like the pigments – and indole3 carbinol, carotenes, resveratrol, quercitin, anthocyanins. Did the researchers look in depth in this area? A sprayed grape produces very little resveratrol; an organic grape produces rather a lot as it is more likely to come under fungal attack, and resveratrol is produced in response. Fact.

Which brings us to the thrown away point about pesticides. American ‘Organic’ produce is 30 per cent less likely to be contaminated with pesticides. The Soil Association would expect this figure to be nearer 100 per cent in the UK where our controls on our own produce (not necessarily imported produce) are much stricter.

So, pray tell us oh wise scientists, do you think that something having pesticides on it and in it, might be the very reason many of us grow our own or are prepared to pay more for the UK organic variety? By the way, we also covered research that prostate cancer (to name just one cancer) was linked to the presence of any of thirteen different chemicals often found in pesticides.

Still think ‘organic food won’t make you healthier’?

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Niacin outperforms heart drug

Cholesterol beating drugs are all the rage. Statins are routinely dished out to reduce heart attack risk blah, blah. There have even been claims that statins reduce lung cancer risk – subsequently shown to be false. Now, with more than a hint of embarrassment, Clinical Trials have been halted in the USA because an anti-cholesterol drug, was outperformed by a B vitamin, niacin.

The study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that niacin out-performed Merck´s drug Zetia for preventing the build-up of arterial plaque, a symptom of cardiovascular disease. Patients taking niacin showed a “significant shrinkage” in artery wall thickness, while those on Zetia showed no such improvement. The rate of ‘cardiovascular events’ (that’s heart attacks to you and me) in the niacin group was only one-fifth that in the Zetia group.

Leave the drugs behind; eat whole grains. Natural Compounds are best!



http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=3206&Title=The Safety of Viamins Versus drugs



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Prevent Alzheimer’s for 10 pence a day. It’s just 6 sents.

In a recent survey in Britain, the fear of developing Alzheimer’s overtook the fear of developing cancer for the first time. This increased fear is a direct consequence of many more stories in the media, and even movies about Alzheimer’s. Most people also know someone who has, or has died from, Alzheimer’s and know it’s not a pretty sight. It’s extremely worrying, in fact. We are living longer and the odds of developing dementia in your 80s, most of which is Alzheimer’s anyway, are one in five. (Dementia is diagnosed on the basis of symptoms – losing your memory etc; Alzheimer’s is diagnosed with a brain scan showing brain shrinkage in certain key areas.)

With an ever-ageing population, at least in the Western world, one in five is a lot of people. Already the cost of looking after people with Alzheimer’s, estimated at £23 billion and growing, is more than the cost of all cancer and heart disease combined. These levels of ever increasing healthcare costs are giving health regulators and economists sleepless nights.

The 10p-a-day vitamin supplement that tackles dementia

With these kind of costs and massive public concern there’s potentially big bucks to be made if you could come up with a drug that prevents Alzheimer’s. It already exists – except it’s not a drug. It’s a combination of inexpensive B vitamins that might cost you 10p a day.

The discovery, made by Professor David Smith and his team at Oxford University is that raised blood levels of homocysteine can predict Alzheimer’s risk, can cause the damage in the brain and, most importantly, can be lowered with high doses of B vitamins, well beyond the RDA, simultaneously stopping further memory loss or accelerated brain shrinkage, precisely in that area of the brain that is the hallmark of Alzheimer’s. It’s a major discovery but there’s no money in this for the big guys.

Innocently, you might think that health officials would be swinging from the rooftops to get any genuine prevention plan into action. The cost savings would be immense. I asked Professor David Smith what needs to be done. He replied, “Although we proved that those people with raised homocysteine levels above 10 (which is about three quarters of all people over age 70) suffering from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) can have substantially reduced brain shrinkage and memory loss by taking B vitamins, the next step needed is a trial of 1,000 people with MCI to see if B vitamins prevent the conversion to dementia over a two-year period. Can AD be beaten? I am optimistic.”

Why are we wasting billions?

But he can’t get the money.

Despite David Cameron, the UK prime minister, doubling spend on Alzheimer’s research, neither the UK Medical Research Council nor the US National Institutes for health will put up the money to prove, once and for all, this incredibly important discovery. Instead, it’s more money for drugs.

The whole political and healthcare system is so tied up with the pharmaceutical industry that any talk about an approach that threatens the massive potential drug market is going to be actively suppressed. It’s the same old story. They want a patentable, profitable drug.

There’s just one problem. And it is a major problem: None of the drug trials has worked. Vast sums of money have been wasted.

In 2010 there was an article in the Lancet headed ‘Why are drug trials in Alzheimer’s disease failing?’ David Smith wrote in saying “You suggest several reasons why trials in Alzheimer’s disease are failing but you do not consider an obvious one: That the hypothesis on which most Alzheimer’s trials are based might not be valid. If a scientist does several experiments on the basis of a hypothesis and they all fail, he will abandon the hypothesis. Why are we so reluctant to do this in medicine?’

So, how much is enough, when it comes to B vitamins

Despite over 70 studies all confirming the homocysteine memory loss connection, it is extraordinary (or to be expected depending how you look at it) how much this breakthrough is being ignored. See the evidence [link to www.foodforthebrain.org/hcyevidence] The solution is as simple as increasing your intake of B vitamins.

But be clear: We are not talking about a ‘well balanced diet’ level of B vitamins. The levels of B vitamins that have been proven to both lower homocysteine and stop this accelerated brain shrinkage and memory loss are up to a hundred times higher that the basic RDAs. You need 20mg of B6 (the RDA is 2mg), 800mcg of folic acid (the RDA is 200mcg) and 500mcg of B12 (the RDA is 1mcg/2.4mcg in the US). The reason for the need for these high amounts, especially for B12 is that the older you get the less well you absorb it from your foods.

Here are a few of the factors known to increase your need for B vitamins and/or to raise dangerous homocysteine levels:

• Coffee

• Lack of exercise

• Lack of vegetables

• Lack of fish and eggs

• Diabetes drugs (metformin)

• Antacid drugs (PPIs)

• Stress

• Smoking

Of course, the majority of people over 50 will tick at least half these boxes. This is why it is essential to supplement more B vitamins as you get older, as well as improving your diet and lifestyle.

Early screening is essential

In an enlightened health care system we would be testing everyone over 50 for early signs of cognitive decline, and if positive, checking for raised homocysteine. If that was above 10mcmol/l, which is the level above which there is clear evidence of accelerated brain shrinkage, we would be prescribing high dose B vitamins.

How long, in reality, will it take for this to happen?

If it takes 10 years, with 18,000 people in the UK being diagnosed with dementia every year, that’s another 180,000 people who could have been helped, but weren’t.

So our charity, the Food for the Brain Foundation, decided to build a free on-line Cognitive Function Test, with the guidance and tests developed by two of the world’s leading experts in cognitive function testing. To validate it we had a group of people perform the accepted paper and pencil tests used to diagnose cognitive impairment, as well as our own on-line Cognitive Function Test. The results were identical.

The Cognitive Function Test went live in the spring of 2011 and, largely thanks to a front page in the Daily Mail, over 150,000 people have now taken this simple test. It is available at www.foodforthebrain.org. If you don’t score so well you get a letter to take to your GP recommending that they investigate further and test your homocysteine level.

I should point out that all this work – running a free Cognitive Function Test, promoting valid steps to take to help prevent Alzheimer’s, running a website that close to a million people visit every year – costs money and we get absolutely no help from government agencies who continually talk about the urgent need for ‘prevention’.

We also need to further research and improve the Cognitive Function Test.  David Smith and other homocysteine researchers struggle to get money to do their vital, independent research,.

If you would like to know more about what you can do right now to prevent Alzheimer’s, you could also read my book The Alzheimer’s Prevention Plan [link to http://www.patrickholford.com/index.php/shop/bookdetail/289/. In a nutshell there are four main drivers of brain damage – a lack of homocysteine lowering B vitamins, not enough omega 3 fats, too much sugar and carbs, a lack of antioxidants. Correcting these is what’s going to make a real difference. Not failed drugs.

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Junk science Number 14. Not one death from vitamins, but plenty from prescription ‘medicines’!

The American Association of Poison Control Centres produces the NPDS annual report. What’s that? It is over 220 pages and gives statistics and information on all poisonings in America in a Calendar Year. It involves the largest database in health. The 2010 report came out at the end of 2011. It covers everything from calls and visits to centres, to reason for visit, to medical outcome.

The interesting fact is that during the whole of 2010 there was not one death caused by a herb or a vitamin, or a combination of either. Which is a lot more than can be said for prescription drugs, in combination or, even, on their own.

And remember, this is not some theoretical extrapolation of research results by scientists. This is real life and what actually took place.

As an example, let us look at information on ‘Substance Categories most frequently involved in human exposure’:


Analgesics 9.70%

Cosmetic/Personal Care Products 9.70%

Cleaning Products (Household) 8.41%

Sedatives/Hypnotics/Antipsychotics 3.12%

Pesticides 4.02%

Antihistamines 3.23%

Cold and Cough Preparations 2.69%

Antimicrobials 2.57%

Cardivascular Drugs 2.26%

Antidepressants 2.03%

Gastrointestinal Preparations 1.99%


Vitamins were in the list at 2.92%.

But when the list of ‘Categories associated with the largest numbers of fatalities’ was presented……….

Acetaminophen Combinations 8.51%

Acetaminophen alone 7.85%

Opiods 7.72%

Miscellaneous Cardiovascular Drugs 6.94%

Miscellaneous Alcohols 4.97%

Misc Sedative/Hypnotics/Antipsychotics 3.80%

Miscellaneous Chemicals 3.80%

Cyclic Antidepressants 2.75%

Acetylsalicylic Acid Alone 2.75%

Miscellaneous Antidepressants 2.09%

Antihistamines 1.75%

Miscellaneous Hormones/Hormone Antagonists 1.05%


…….. vitamins was no longer an issue at all. Not one death from a herb or a vitamin.

Beware people claiming prescription drugs are safe and vitamins are dangerous. Their claims are simply not endorsed by reality.


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Junk Science 8

Here’s today’s quiz question:

In Florida, what is the number 1 cause of death?

You may guess that, in this American state with such a high senior citizen level, the answer would be heart disease or heart attacks or something like that?

You’d be wrong.

How about cancer –  shortly to be the number 1 cause of death in the Western World? After all, various official cancer bodies tell us that cancer rates are growing because it is an ‘old person’s disease’.

Wrong again. (And it is getting younger all the time.)

How about road accidents?

Wrong again.

Something to do with diabetes?

Wrong again

OK. It’s something weird – alligator bites?

Er. No.

The number 1 cause of death in Florida, which will shortly be the number 1 cause of death in America, is PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. You may know these by another name: You may call them ……. medicines.

Prescription drugs are the things pharmacologists rant on about as having ‘Research evidence’ to support their benefits; while of course telling all of us that natural compounds, herbs and vitamins ‘may be dangerous’. After all, the Nordic Cochrane Institute reviewed lots of research concerning people who bought vitamins and concluded they may not do any good at all, and may even cause harm. That made front page news all over the UK. There are even self-styled ‘quackbusters’ the barmy pharmy brigade, who poke fun like deranged schoolchildren behind the bike sheds at anything ‘complementary’ calling it all ‘non-evidenced based’.

Forgive me. But isn’t there a world of difference between ‘may cause you harm’, and being the actual number 1 cause of death’? Or have I missed something?

Anyway, regular readers will know that, I am hardly surprised that synthetic, deficient high street vitamins (which is, sadly, what most people take) are not as good as the real thing in natural foods or natural supplements. If you are going to buy a Thai copy of an authentic Gucci handbag, should you really be surprised when the handle drops off? High street ‘vitamins’ are most usually synthetic and thus on their way to being drugs anyway. Many do not actually contain the whole natural compound as in vitamin E, or beta-carotene for example. May not do any good? May even cause harm? It’s possible.

The braying  ‘quackbusters’ also fervently believe that a supplement cannot be medicine any more than food can. When did a vitamin ever cure anything?

Er. Scurvy with vitamin C; Rickets with vitamin D, burns with aloe vera, and a few hundred more.

Here’s your next quiz question: What do Heath Ledger, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Anna Nicole Smith and now Whitney Houston have in common?

Ah, you guessed it – they all died having taken a cocktail of prescription drugs. Sorry, medicines. Some were aided and abetted by a game of squash, some alcohol, a non-prescription drug or nothing at all.

So what is going wrong?

Well firstly there are doctor prescribed medicines and there are over-the-counter medicines, which you are clever enough to ‘self-medicate’. Whether you have any of the former or not, you are free to take the latter as you wish. Cough mixture, pain-killers, anti-histamines, antacids and the rest.

In Whitney’s case the hotel suite she died in contained virtually empty bottles of an anti-depressant Xanax, the painkiller Ibuprofen, Midol for menstrual cramps and Amoxicillin, an antibiotic. There is also a rumour being investigated that she may have taken a vitamin supplement last year.

A couple of years ago at CANCERactive, we covered the story of a seventy-something lady found unconscious and bleeding from the mouth on her apartment floor in New York. She was rushed to hospital – it was discovered she had a burst stomach ulcer and she survived. She was taking various heart medications, other medicines to stop the side effects, then she developed a cough so added more pain-killers, cough mixtures, and an antacid because her stomach was playing up. No wonder. She was taking a total of 13 drugs. (Sorry, medicines.)

We also covered the story that Dr Stern of the New York Presbyterian Hospital had noted that a lot of older people were coming into A&E at the hospital suffering from a ‘drug overdose’; sorry medicine overdose. So he totted up the numbers and found that 28 PER CENT OF ALL ADMISSIONS AT THE HOSPITAL WERE DUE TO TAKING A COCKTAIL OF DRUGS (Sorry, medicines).

Since there was no ‘official’ disease he decided to give it a name – POLYPHARMACY – in the hope that authorities would take notice.

We now know that both admissions and deaths from polypharmacy have grown seven fold in the last 5 years in America. And, make no mistake, this problem is coming to a town near you in England right now.

How many of these medicines actually cure? How many tackle the root cause of the illness? I would think about two thirds of all newly diagnosed cancer patients who write to us at CANCERactive first fell ill about 6 years ago and were given a variety of medicines including antibiotics. Most are still taking the lot. So now they have a double problem – they still have the original illness PLUS a daily drug habit. Is it any surprise these people develop cancer?

At CANCERactive we were approached by a lady with oesophageal cancer who had had a stomach problem which started ten years previously. She was given a drug (sorry, medicine), which she took consistently for ten years. The original illness never went away. We looked up the drug on the internet – NOT TO BE TAKEN FOR MORE THAN 6 MONTHS. Can cause acid reflux.

She died. The doctor described the cause of her cancer as ‘Just bad luck’.

Maybe she was also taking those dangerous vitamins. She certainly didn’t visit a naturopath who might have been able to cure her IBS properly.

The fact is that Joe Public doesn’t have the first clue about ‘medicines’. Anything synthetic can have side-effects. But if you have to take more drugs to quell the side-effects, shouldn’t you be asking the question: Is the drug really safe in the first place? No one ever seems to ask this.

A few years ago in my advertising days I developed a stabbing pain in the stomach, lasting 3 days and every six or so weeks. Harley Street’s finest did even medical test known. Their solution was to suggest giving me a drug which would cut the acid production. I said no to this because I could not see how I would ever be able to come off the drug.

It was a good job I didn’t take it. Six months later it was banned. A friend who worked with natural supplements a couple of years later suggested I had a parasite. Sure enough I did. I took some herbs – end.

But of course, drugs are ‘evidenced-based’ unlike those dodgy vitamins. But why do clinical trials quantify the benefit, but not the side-effects? Surely measuring safety is a crucial pert of a drug trial. Why don’t Governments publish tables – we get them for schools in the hope that tables will embarrass the failures and improve standards of education. Why can’t we do the same for drugs in the hope that those with side-effects are ‘outed’ in the same way? Why can’t the scientists who develop the drug and the pharmacologists who study its action be more precise and even accountable?

Breast cancer rates fell seven per cent in America a couple of years ago. Why? Better diagnosis and better drugs (the usual industry claimed rubbish)?  No. Women read about the dangers of the drug HRT and vast numbers stopped taking it. But it took an independent study to tell them about the level of the side-effects; side-effects that had been reported and ignored in the Boston Nurses Study some 12-15 years before. 

It is now NOT COOL to take drugs, of any form. The fans of Michael, Elvis and the rest know this. The only people who argue for their widespread use are people who make a living working in and around the pharmaceutical industry. And doctors, who know about little else. Worryingly, in America some doctors make large sums of money out of group practices having their own pharmacy. If a new cancer drug costs $100,000 a year ,imagine the profit to the group practice. Are they going to stop prescribing the drug? There have already been court cases in America involving financial ‘incentives’ to prescribe one drug over another!

In the coming weeks I will be looking at the truth about clinical trials on drugs. There is no doubt that some drugs do a decent job. But. Suffice it to say here that 85 per cent of drugs have not gone through clinical trials, the placebo effect (often used against complementary therapies) is just as prevalent in Pharmaceutical Research, and maybe we should all worry more about just how many drugs are actually imported from China and third world countries with even the FDA admitting that less than 3 per cent are checked for purity and efficacy at source or on importation.

Should doctors be allowed by law to prescribe more than two drugs at a time, given there is rarely any  clinical research on these cocktails of drugs? Should you even be allowed to take more than two drugs at a time given there is no research on mixing, for example, a statin with an anti-histamine with an antibiotic? Should every pharmacy have warning signs? We could use the line,  ‘These drugs may not be effective and may even cause harm’.

It just seems ever so slightly loopy that you can pop into the tobacconist and buy your cigarettes, then go to the high street pharmacy to buy pain-killers, anti-histamines, antacids and cough mixtures which you are legally allowed to self-medicate, and you can then sit in the coffee shop and be bombarded by WiFi and EMF’s even though EuroMPs have passed a damning resolution against them. Meanwhile natural supplements and herbs are treated as health terrorists and all but banned; you cannot self-medicate these – they are far too dangerous and you are clearly too stupid to avoid that well known disease ‘Vitamin abuse’.

So, there we have it. Did the dodgy vitamin that Whitney took last year play a role in her death? Or was it the equally dangerous yoga class three months before?  

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Junk Science Number 6: Statins save the world

A friend went to his UK doctor. The conversation went like this:
Doctor: ‘I recommend you start taking statins.’
Patient: ‘But what about the side-effects?’
Doctor: ‘There are none.’
Patient: ‘Well I heard they can affect your muscles and heart.’
Doctor: ‘No problem, we monitor those for you.’

The research evidence suggests that statins depress coenzyme Q10 levels. A Merck study (1990) showed statins reduce CoQ10 production. Co Q10 is found in the mitochondria – the power stations in every cell in your body. The more active the tissue – muscles, heart, brain etc – the more mitochondria and the more Q10. Co Q10 is also believed to play an important role in the ‘health’ of the mitochondria, not just in its power generating activities. Mitochondria possess the power to cause cell death if something negative arises – for example, in genetic malfunction. In cancer, the mitochondria shut down and lose the ability to cause cell death, making cancer cells virtually immortal.

Co Q10 levels decline anyway as you age.

Statins are a 25 billion dollar world wide business. They are designed to reduce cholesterol levels and reduce cardiovascular disease.

New research links statins to increases in diabetes – Jan 10th 2012
A new study from the Massachusetts Medical School confirms a new and potentially dangerous side effect of statin drugs – diabetes. (Archives of Internal Medicine)

The research report analysed more than 153,000 postmenopausal women who enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative study in the 1990s. None of the women had diabetes at the outset, but 7 per cent were taking statins.

15 years later the women were followed up and nearly 10 percent of women taking statins had developed diabetes, compared to only 6.4 percent in women who took no statin drugs.

Further analysis by Harvard shows that women over the age of 45 are 50 per cent more likely to develop diabetes if they’re taking a statin drug.

Given the already widespread use of statins, and the push to encourage all people over 50 to consider taking them for heart issues and cholesterol problems, this finding is deeply concerning. The impact on Western populations could be huge.

Several reports have made the diabetes connection before – for example, the first in 2008 was a study of the drug Crestor; and in June 2010 a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association analysed five additional randomised trials and concluded the increased risk was small but real for people taking higher doses of any statin.

In 2009 a Diabetes Care a meta-study warned: ‘Although statin therapy greatly lowers vascular risk, including among those with and at risk for diabetes, the relationship of statin therapy to incident diabetes remains uncertain. Future statin trials should be designed to formally address this issue’, such were the mixed results.

But with the new and worrying research findings there seems already to be an attempt to down play the significance.
Dr. Steven Nissen, cardiology chairman at the Cleveland Clinic, who wasn’t involved with the Harvard research opined, “We don’t want these drugs in the water supply, but we want the right people treated. When they are, this effect is not a significant limitation.” ( http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/01/10/study-statins-linked-with-diabetes-risk/)

In the Lancet, volume 375, under the heading of ‘The new risk – diabetes’, Christopher P Cannon states: All drugs have side-effects. Indeed, all interventions (including even exercise programmes) have side-effects. The balance in medicine is to evaluate the benefits and weigh them against the risks. For statins, the benefits in reducing clinical events have been shown in a multitude of trials with more than 500 000 patient-years of treatment. This benefit has led to their inclusion in national guidelines as a key component of both primary and secondary prevention.

So that’s aright then.

At the US National Institutes of Health, diabetes specialist Dr. Judith Fradkin says statins’ benefits outweigh the potential side effect, and that newly developed diabetes won’t harm right away.

So that’s definitely alright then!

Deaths from heart disease are not in decline, and nor is type 2 diabetes. Worse the official website for the American Heart Association says, “Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke than adults without diabetes.”

According to the American Diabetes Association, there are numerous trials showing a benefit from statin therapy in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease and mortality. However, their report goes on to say that there is no evidence that statins reduce all-case mortality.

If statins are confirmed as causing a 50 per cent increase in diabetes, it could prove a huge cost to the world, both to patients and government purses.  

The American Medical Association 2009 report on statins and diabetes calculated that one fewer patient would experience a heart attack or other cardiovascular problem for every 155 patients treated for a year – and there would be one additional case of diabetes for every 498 patients treated. So three saved from heart attack for each new type-2 diabetes sufferer.

The final word belongs to Dr. Yunsheng Ma of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, who led the study of postmenopausal women: “The statin should not be seen as the magic pill.”  

It could be a bit late for that.


Read also

Links to  liver damage, kidney failure and cataracts ( http://www.naturalnews.com/030317_statin_drugs_liver_damage.html ).
Links to memory loss and depression
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Junk Science Number 2: EU ‘Scientists’ defy common sense.
The EU has ruled that drinking water doesn’t stop dehydration, and eating prunes and drinking prune juice do not stop constipation. No it is not April 1st.
As you may know, in Europe voters in member states elect EuroMP’s to a European Parliament. At this point democracy ends. Un-elected commissioners actually decide who will be the next President of Europe, the next ‘Foreign Minister and whether decisions made in the European parliament by elected representatives can or cannot become law.
For example, when EuroMP’s voted overwhelmingly to list 1000 or so ingredients in everyday products that did not appear safe and to encourage their replacement, they were asked to reconsider by a solitary unelected EU Commissioner.
Often these commissioners hand out work to what you or I would call a quango. So more un-elected but highly paid people decide that common medicinal herbs should be treated like drugs and banned from the high street because they might not be safe even after 2,000 years of use, while it is totally permitted to buy cigarettes, cocktails of medicines from the pharmacy (anti-histamines, ibuprofen, laxatives and cough mixtures can all be consumed simultaneously without any comment made and on top of your prescribed statin and heart medication), and formaldehyde (a class A carcinogen) in a variety of products in your supermarket. Laughably, officials make claims that this is ‘safe’.
But in the future you will not be able to claim that water prevents dehydration, or that prunes and prune juice prevent constipation, because EU scientists say there is not enough evidence.
What a load of highly paid wasters. We have gone back to the Middle Ages. Democracy and common sense have been replaced by vested interests, committees and nonsense at a completely new level.
No wonder the Euro is in trouble – these blithering idiots do not even know enough to drink water when their body says it needs it. You couldn’t make this sort of rubbish up. Worse, anyone advertising such claims in future could get 2-3 years in jail.
As usual the 21 or so scientists who made these important decisions, couldn’t have a conference call on Skype, but met in an expensive location to come up with this drivel. Oh that common sense could shine through. 
Every day some piece of idiocy seems to come from the EU on a health matter. As always they want us to believe that the sun spins round the earth. Well, it doesn’t. They are in the wrong. It’s just junk science.

For accurate information on vitamins and natural compounds click here http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=181

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A paper (J Nucleic Acids 2010 Sep 22; pii 725071 and also in the prestigious peer reviewed Pubmed) from the Nutrition and Metabolism Center at the Children’s Hospital, Oakland, California (Ames B N ) has summarised three of their recent research studies and concluded that optimising micronutrient intake will in turn optimise metabolism, decrease DNA damage and result in less cancer as well as other degenerative diseases associated with ageing.

The three studies looked at

The delay of mitochondrial decay through ageing and free-radical damage could be minimised by supplementation with lipoic acid and acetyl carnitine.
How even modest micronutrient deficiencies (common in much of the population) accelerate molecular aging, including DNA damage and mitochondrial decay. This work included an in-depth analysis of vitamin K that suggests the importance of achieving optimal micronutrient intake for longevity.
The finding that a loss of enzyme function can result from protein deformation and loss of function due to an age-related decline in membrane fluidity or mutation. The loss of enzyme function can be compensated by a high dietary intake of any of the B vitamins.

Researchers concluded that ‘optimising micronutrient intake could have a major effect on the prevention of cancer and other degenerative diseases of ageing’.

Ed: Short, but sweet. So, with this in mind I urge readers to be more aware of the weakened levels of vitamins allowed in your High Street, EU-approved supplements – like B complex; then there´s the increasiing usage of synthetic copies of the natural, real compound; the common Western population deficiency in vitamin K levels (due to low consumption of ‘greens’ and low levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut); and the EU-mandated restriction of key trace minerals in mass market supplements.

This constant ´dumbing down´ of supplements on the High Street by the EU flies in the face of the latest research, as you can see for yourselves in the above example.

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