News bulletins by the media are a hazard to health when they are dangerously misleading because they do not review and give the evidence-based facts. .. this morning’s radio news broadcast wrongly that “vitamins E and C supplements no use in prevention of cardiovascular disease”.
The journalist authors cannot have been bothered to read the freely available full paper of last week on the latest vitamins E and C trial , and the detailed reports on vit C on Wiki. and on the Oregon State University website; nor last week’s abstract on calcium + vitamin D supplement and risk of breast cancer.
The Media really need to have health reports vetted by specialist doctors who are not dependent on either the NIH/FDA, or funding by Drug Corporates; there is so much disinformation out there – often fostered by corporate vested interests in promoting drugs instead of what actually works – for the $trillion Disease Industry, Only Disease Pays..
Remember that most trial are funded only by corporates with an axe to grind- in this case the US Govt, which is funded to the tune of billions by the Drug Industry (in taxes, jobs, new drug registrations, and unmentionable other funds), and which lies continuously (like especially the Bush Administration team of eg Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and the Bushes have done for the past 30 years ) to protect their industry interests; including US drug companies, by suppressing proven natural supplements that make most new chronic drugs largely unnecessary.
We do not eat just one or two foodstuffs- we would soon fade and die.
so any trial that tries to supplement just one or two essentials eg vits C & E , or calcium plus vitamin D, is unlikely to show benefit –
especially when our food chain is rapidly depleting, especially as we age, and especially with mushrooming stress and pollution;
and especially when the supplements are not accompanied by all the other microsupplements that balance the diet and metabolism up to about early mid life, then run out,
and when the supplements used may be commercially donated and promoted ie they may not be the best form of the supplements. This applies especially to eg mixed tocopherols (vitamins E).
CANCER AND VITAMIN D:
The cancer study from the Womens’ Health Initiative used a trivial dose of vitamin D (400iu/d) compared to the 10 – 20 times higher effective dose (5000 to 10 000iu/d) that is now recommended against fractures, cancer, vascular disease and infections. The abstract fails to note either
* that the trial was secondary (not primary ) prevention ie the mean age of the participants at outset was 63years, (not early midlife as primary prevention would require)- these women on average were already overweight, with a high proportion already having eg hypertension and vascular disease, and many had already been (not physiological non-oral human hormones) on oral horsehormone therapy – which has been known since 1980 to promote breast cancer when taken for well over 10 years;
* the abstract fails to point out that the results apply only to the women of the age spread and ethnicity specified, and to the low dose of vitamin D used in that trial for that relatively short timespan – a mean of 7 years-which is too short to have much influence on a cancer which has a gestation of about 20years before it presents clinically.
eg the CDC paper from SEER data compared women at different ages: the number of women who will develop breast cancer in the next 20 years rises from 5.6% ie 0.28 % a year from age 50yrs to 6.55% ie 0.33% a year from age 60yrs. But by 70yrs the incidence of new cancer falls to 5.94% ie 0.0.287%pa. But at the mean age of 63yrs in the WHI, the risk of breast cancer from the CDC figures was only about 2.4% over 7years. In the WHI, the actual incidence figures were higher – 2.9% on supplements, 3.01% on placebo- ie 4% lower on supplements. So the numbers, and the timespan, were simply not big enough to show the growing benefit of supplements in more appropriate safe higher doses started earlier and for longer.
CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE AND VITAMINS E + C:
The full Physicians’ Health Study trial paper on Vitamins E and C IN PREVENTION OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE (JAMA 12 November 2008) states specifically that the trial provides no supports for THESE SUPPLEMENTS ie 500mg vitamin C and 200iu vitamin E a day for a mean 8years on vascular disease, started in overweight men at an average age of 64yrs, half of whom had smoked, half with hypertension; and 60 % exercising and 3/4 on aspirin- which would have masked a lot of the benefit of the vitamins since aspirin and exercise are each known to reduce disease and death by at least 20% . This trial was thus very late secondary prevention- NOT primary prevention ie started in the healthy young.
and even so, although there was slight increase in the rare hemorrhagic stroke on the vit E (bearing out the 2005 study , there was 26% reduction in total strokes, 9% decrease in all mortality & 12% decrease in heart attacks!
and the vitamin C was associated with 43% fewer heart attacks.
But this group (of elderly doctors) was so well in general that their total mortality was only 1.5% a year, and cardiovascular mortality only 0.5% a year.
There is good evidence that vitamin E up to 800iu/day is valuable medicine (and a sex/ fertility promoter), although the jury is out on much higher doses.
The trial report said nothing about supplements started far more sensibly by the latest in young midlife if not in youth (which is when chronic disease starts);
and nothing about other doses eg the long-recommended human need for at least 3gms vitamin C a day- on which there are scores of good studies (and up to 30-60 times that dose in times of illness)- with the only limiting effect being diarrhoea in some people who are less tolerant than others. Major analyses of vitamin C have shown that vitamin C supplement well above 700mg/day is strongly beneficial against all diseases .