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Nutritional Trials that are Designed to Fail

What’s wrong with the Research?

December 12, 2008

So I opened up my Internet Browser the other day and was hit between the eyes with the following headline on Google News: "Supplements Do Not Reduce Cancer, Heart Disease Risk".

Now when I see misinformation like this blasted across major news pathways I get a bit riled up and that little voice inside my head starts yelling something to the effect of "that's a bunch of garbage"!

So you may ask whats wrong with these articles on Vitamins and why are they considered to be garbage?

Lets break it down by the numbers:

First the authors of the study wow you with large trial numbers of 10,000 to 35,000 participants over an equally impressive length of 8 to 10 years of research (depending on the trial).

This would be impressive if they had actually tested something but when you get to the nuts and bolts of the trial you find that they designed these studies to fail. They did so by using synthetic dl-alpha-tocopherol at a non-therapeutic dose of 400IU per day and then for Vitamin C they used pure ascorbic acid and again like the Vitamin D study they used a non-therapeutic dose of only 500mg of C per day (therapeutic dosing starts at 2000mg/day).

OK, so whats wrong with this picture? Well, to begin with synthetic Vitamin E has none of the benefits of the members of the E family (the tocotrienols and tocopherols). In fact it has been shown more than once to be an agent in thinning of the blood as well as free radical damage. So if you are to use Vitamin E you want to use a source of mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols at a much higher and clinically beneficial dosage. Ideally this would be in a food form to optimize absorption and bioavailability such as from Standard Process.

This particular manufacturer has a philosphy that when nutrients remain intact and are not split from their natural state of biologically associated synergists both known and unknown their bioactivity is greatly enhanced over what could be achieved with synthetic nutrients. I have seen this to be true in the clinical setting and am therefore a strong advocate of food form nutrients to the extent possible that we can utilize them.

As for the Vitamin C, taking pure ascorbic acid and calling it Vitamin C is akin to eating a TV dinner with beef in it and then saying you know what Fillet Mignon tastes like. True Vitamin C is a blending of ascorbates because that is what you find in nature. Ascorbic Acid is simply the protective outer shell of the Ascorbate complex. It is a very important component but by no means should it be considered a complete Vitamin C.
I came across a great ad for this concept from Standard Process that conveys the point quite well and you can see it here.

When our body utilizes nutrients it does so by seeking out entire nutrient families. In the absence of a complete nutrient family the body often has to "borrow" from any available nutrient stores it may have accumulated along the way. This borrowing becomes a problem when we are eating calorie dense but nutrient deficient food and we have no complimentary nutrients to "loan". This is when you can experience adverse side effects of high dose "single element vitamins" such as diarrhea from high dose ascorbic acid.

The fact is you can take 10-20 times the RDA of Vitamin C as mineral ascorbates with no GI upset because the body recognizes it as food. It is also at these dramatically elevated dosages that you will begin to see clinically relevant therapeutic benefits derived from nutrition. The RDA should be and I'm certain eventually will be completely revised into the ODI (the optimal daily intake) but until that time you really need to beware of wolf researchers in sheep clothing.

The 500mgs of ascorbic acid that they gave the study participants was truly window dressing just so they could say "we tried vitamins". Well, all I can say to that is shame on the researchers and their so called "study". And that goes double for the media who carried the misinformation to the public. That is a disservice to all of us and should be considered a non-news item or better yet the media should actually do some journalism and expose the research for the garbage it truly is.

Anytime we isolate one part of a nutrient family and then call it the actual nutrient you can bet you are going to have less than optimal outcomes. The concept of finding and using the "active ingredient" in a nutrient family is generally a fallacious concept. Of course there are exceptions to this statement such as the megadosing on the bio-available form of Vitamin D3 for cancer, upper respiratory infections, bone density, and connective tissue healing that I have discussed in the past and this is where some solid education in nutrition comes in handy.

The media and types of groups that propagate garbage research such as what was discussed here have no real interest in our health. Please know that nutrition is not only useful against Cancer, Heart Disease (and every other disease you can think of) it is also absolutely vital to use if you desire restored optimal health.

Don't let the deception in the world of research dissuade you from taking control of your health. Join the numbers of patients that are seeing their life improve through knowledge of their own blood work and properly applied whole food nutrition. Put simply, Nutrition Works!

For a video on the topic of whole food nutrition check out this clip from Standard Process. It's pretty amazing to see the detail involved in bringing us real nutrition. Click here for the video.

Best of health,

Dr. Dave

Oak Park Wellness Clinic
860 Oak Park Blvd. #202
Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

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