[This is Part Two of a 2-part series of articles about the War on Vitamins being waged by the world's top pharmaceutical companies that seek to protect their enormous profits from products that cure at the source rather than merely mask symptoms.]
Are supplemental vitamins and minerals useful in maintaining good health and disease prevention or therapy? Many western medical experts deny the utility of taking supplements and describe the futility of paying for nourishment above and beyond normal food and beverage consumption.
But Chinese health scientists are testing vitamin C infusions to see if they are effective against the novel coronavirus that appeared in central Wuhan in Hubei Province late last year. Their thinking is that Vitamin C is key to human health and plays a part in reducing the inflammatory response and preventing the common cold.
The research team, led by Zhiyong Peng, MD, of the Department of Critical Care Medicine at Zhongnan Hospital at Wuhan University, is working on the theory that antioxidant vitamin C may help prevent cytokine-induced damage to the lungs. (Cytokines are a large group of proteins secreted by specific immune system cells that trigger inflammation and respond to infections.)
In Part One, the case was made that the top 30 international pharmaceutical companies, with annual earnings nearing a trillion dollars, are funding biased research and slanted media reporting to stifle the many reports that using dietary supplements can be useful medically.
Consider these high-profile debunkers:
Harvard Health: "It does not appear that a multivitamin can replace a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables."
Mayo Clinic: "There's still no evidence that vitamin C alone can cure cancer, but researchers are studying whether it might boost the effectiveness of other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, or reduce treatment side effects."
Vox: "But studies have shown that Vitamin C can’t actually cure your cold. At most, taking 1,000 mg of Vitamin C regularly could reduce your cold by a meager 8 percent."
Every other person in the United States takes one or more dietary supplements daily or occasionally. Vitamins, minerals, and botanicals (herbal products) come in pill, powder or liquid form.
At least one nutrition expert, registered dietitian and consultant to the National Institute of Health (NIH) Carol Haggans, acknowledged that undernourished people could gain value from downing a supplement:
"It's possible to get all of the nutrients you need by eating a variety of healthy foods so you don’t have to take one. But supplements can be useful for filling in gaps in your diet."
Completely absent in the mainstream publishing world are whole-hearted endorsements of nutritional supplements, based on positive scientific evidence - including, of course, the many Big Pharma ads that pay for it.
To the rescue is nutritionist Andrew W. Saul who writes extensively about the voluminous scientific evidence that does prove that vitamins and minerals do combat against a wide variety of medical conditions and ailments.
Saul: called out the Big Pharma truth suppressors and defended dietary supplements as useful tools for health maintenance and therapeutic improvement:
"The fact is, vitamins are known to be effective and safe. They are essential nutrients, and when taken at the proper doses over a lifetime, are capable of preventing a wide variety of diseases. Because drug companies can't make big profits developing essential nutrients, they have a vested interest in agitating for the use of drugs and disparaging the use of nutritional supplements."
Mass media coverage consistently ignores studies that report positive findings about dietary supplements. Among the exciting discoveries that aren't getting the press reserved for the debunkers, consider the following examples:
- In 27 years of research on vitamins, no deaths have been reported.
- A Harvard study showed that giving patients vitamin supplements reduced AIDS deaths by 27 percent - slightly more than 1 in 4 people.
- Vitamin C arrests and reverses cancer. Oncologist Victor Marcial, M.D., said that cancer patients tend to be depleted of vitamin C so supplements to replenish vitamin C stores might serve as adjunctive therapy for these patients.
- Vitamin C prevents and reverses radiation damage. Russian scientists at the national Institute for Hematology working with children irradiated from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion said that natural non-toxic antioxidant vitamins "offer excellent possibilities for treatment of diseases that involve free radicals" that "interact with biological molecules, causing widespread damage to intracellular functioning."
- Natural antioxidant vitamin E factor decreases prostate tumor formation by 75 percent and can fight other types of cancer, including breast, liver, lung, gastric, colon, and skin cancers.
- Vitamin E lowers mortality in people age 71 or older by 24 percent.
- Taking 300 IU of supplemental vitamin E daily reduces lung cancer by 61 percent.
The list of studies affirming the positive health value of supplemental vitamins and minerals goes on and on. Meanwhile, the mainstream media pay subject matter experts to waffle and distract public attention away from a truth that could undercut Big Pharma profits.
By Jean Broida