Vitamins under attack by distorted research:
attempts to discredit nutritional supplements continue
The mainstream press is awash in headlines claiming that vitamins
are now suddenly bad for your heart. It's hogwash, of course.
Their evidence? Certain vitamins were found to inhibit the liver's
ability to break down so-called "bad cholesterol." Now
here's the real story on this study. First, look at the motivation
and funding: it's part of the ongoing effort to discredit vitamins
and push people towards using prescription drugs to manage their
health -- a strategy that pays off handsomely for pharmaceutical
Secondly, this study used artificial, chemical forms of the vitamins,
not the compounds found in nature. It's an old trick from the
research community: any time you want to show that Vitamin E is
bad, just use dl-tocopherol instead of d-tocopheral, and the results
will almost universally be negative. That's because the dl-tocopherol
is synthetic and derived from chemical factories, not natural
sources like nuts and seeds.
The next sleight of hand in this study comes from the idea that
all cholesterol is bad for you in the first place. Cholesterol
is essential for life. If you had no cholesterol in your body,
you'd die within a matter of hours. Everyone needs cholesterol,
and the proper balance of good to bad cholesterol comes from eating
a healthy diet (rich in plant-based vitamins and phytochemicals)
in the first place. So it is, in fact, natural sources of these
vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that promote healthy cholesterol.
Yet this study manages to convey precisely the opposite image:
that vitamins are bad for you!
there are thousands of studies linking the consumption of natural
vitamins with positive, well established health effects like improved
mental function, enhanced immune system function, reduced risk
of heart disease, a reduction in cancer, and so on. This one study
simply doesn't compare with the thousands of other studies that
reached a different conclusion.
no mistake: this study is just the pharmaceutical industry groups
hard at work attempting to discredit all nutritional supplements.
The FDA is smiling, no doubt, and will probably use this study
as "proof" that vitamins should be outlawed.
could actually increase levels of "bad cholesterol",
researchers have suggested.
It had been thought that vitamins could protect the heart.
Normally, liver cells break down a key protein in harmful lipoproteins
such as VLDL (very low density lipoprotein) which means they cannot
be converted into a form of LDL that can enter the bloodstream.
Dr Edward Fisher, director of the Lipid Treatment & Research
Center at the NYU Medical Center, said: "Our study is the
first to document this association between antioxidant vitamins
and VLDL cholesterol.
Until more data becomes available, we can't make any recommendations
about whether people should not use these vitamins."