06 October 2004
Of course we are not going to see any headlines on
the death rate from toxic drugs which unlike nutrients, which are
curative, drugs in the main, are only palliative
at the best.
Naturally the study did not bother to track all the deaths that
should be attributed, to the disease masking and toxic drugs among
the supplement takers!
This is simply to further the pharma agenda that started with the
Australian Pan Pharmaceutical debacle which like this study
has more to do with fear mongering and nothing to do with watching
out for our health...
One only has to look at: Comprehensive
Nutrient Review to alley any doubt in what these nutrients can
do>. I defy you to find such a breath taking array of benefits
from drugs! Is it any wonder then why the vested interested keep
attacking nutrients, even at the risk of losing their already low
See also: Health
An IAHF subscriber in Germany who has chemical sensitivities and
who will die if she loses her access to healing nutrients called
this UK INDEPENDENT newspaper article called "Vitamin Use May
Increase Death Rate of Users" to my attention today. [see it
below my comments along with my letter to the editor complaining
Today I have seen very similar muck raking yellow journalism articles
about the outrageously biased LANCET study (see below) in newspapers
all over the world.
In my complaint to the Editor I reference Patrick Holford's excellent
scientific rebuttal to the LANCET article (see Holford's hard hitting
I urge you to send your OWN letter to the editor of the INDEPENDENT
to join me in complaining about this irresponsible, unbalanced "journalism."
Subject: To the Editor- re "Vitamin Use May Increase Death
Rates of Users"
To the Editor:
The Lancet article referenced by health editor Jeremy Laurance
in his piece "Vitamin
Use May Increase Death Rate of Users" is one of the most
biased supposedly "scientific" articles I've ever seen.
Enclosed is Patrick Holford's interpretation which I'm strongly
inclined to agree with especially because my LIFE was saved via
orthomolecular medicine, a suppressed alternative treatment mode
involving the use of dietary supplements after mainstream medicine
almost killed me over 20 years ago. The well meaning physicians
who nearly killed me had a near total ignorance of clinical nutrition
because of the influence pharmaceutical companies wield over medical
Increasingly we're seeing outrageously biased, supposedly "scientific"
articles against dietary supplements in mainstream medical journals
because their publishing costs are underwritten by full page glossy
advertisements for patented pharmaceutical drugs which cost millions
to put through the FDA's approval process, and the last thing
these drug companies want is COMPETITION from non patentable natural
substances which help people stay healthy, and AWAY from hospitals
and doctors who have a "business
In addition to Holford's analysis of the Lancet article in question
I'd like to refer Mr.Laurance and your readers to Gary Null, PhDs
well researched article DEATH
BY MEDICINE which puts things a lot more in perspective
Null documents from data gathered in peer review medical journals
that 783,936 iatrogenic drug deaths occurred in America last year
making the use of prescription drugs the leading cause of death
in America today with the equivalent of a 747 full of people crashing
and burning from toxic drug reactions every day of the year.
For some perspective on the relative dangers posed by prescription
drugs compared with dietary supplements see this
Vitamin consumers all over Britain should support the Alliance
for Natural Health's efforts to overturn the illegal EU Food
Supplement Directive. ANH won a referral from the High Court in
London to challenge the Directive, and have filed to appear before
the ECJ which will hear their case as soon as possible See my article
Threatening to Ban Dietary Supplements"
John C. Hammell, President
International Advocates for Health Freedom
556 Boundary Bay Rd.
Point Roberts, WA 98281 USA
Antioxidant Cancer Trial Shows BENEFIT Not Harm
A study, published in the Lancet currently, on antioxidants and
gastrointestinal cancer, is being claimed to indicate that antioxidants
don’t reduce risk, and may even increase cancer risk. However,
experts in nutrition and cancer say the study shows nothing of the
In my opinion this is one of the most biased and unsubstantiated
reports on antioxidants I’ve ever read. If you look at the
actual results of this supposed comprehensive analysis of research
you will see that the only really significant finding in a considerable
reduction in gastrointestinal cancer risk with selenium supplementation.
Overall, it shows that antioxidant supplements reduce the risk of
oesophageal cancer, have little effect on pancreatic or oesophageal
cancer, and slightly increase the risk of gastric cancer. Overall,
the clear trend is towards protection, not harm. I believe this
is an underestimation of the prevention power of antioxidants because
this claimed comprehensive analysis of research excludes some very
well designed positive studies, such as a trial of 864 people with
a history of colorectal adenomas, by the National Cancer Institute
(1). The participants were given either 25mg of betacarotene and/or
both 100mg of vitamin C and 400mg of vitamin E, versus placebo.
While there was approximately a halving of recurrence of colorectal
adenomas in those who took either the betacarotene or vitamin C
and E or both, there was a modest increase in cancer recurrence
among those who only took betacarotene supplements and both smoked
and drank alcohol every day. Why was this trial excluded? Perhaps
it didn’t give the results the researchers wanted.
The final table in the Lancet study, which is the only one showing
a small negative overall effect on mortality (the difference between
1 in 14 cancer patients on antioxidants, versus 1 in 15 cancer patients),
was arrived at by removing any positive studies on the grounds of
‘low methodological quality’, leaving only 7 studies
out of the original 167 studies! Of these studies, one is quoted
as showing a massive increased risk. Without this study there is
no such effect. However, this study actual showed the exact opposite.
The study in question, Correa et al (2), published in the Journal
of the National Cancer Institute, gave people with gastric cancer
either beta-carotene, vitamin C or anti-Helicobacter Pylori treatment
(gastric cancer is increasingly being thought to be initiated by
H.Pylori infection, not antioxidant deficiency). All three interventions
produced highly significantly improvements, causing substantial
regression of gastric cancer. The authors conclude “dietary
supplementation with antioxidant micronutrients may interfere with
the precancerous process, mostly by increasing the rate of regression
of cancer precursor lesions, and may be an effective strategy to
prevent gastric carcinoma.” (see abstract below).
So, how could this study bias the results towards increased mortality?
For the simple reason that six people out of 368 treated with antioxidants
died, many of whom were smokers, compared to none out of 117 people
treated with anti- H.Pylori treatment died! The most logical explanation
for this finding is that, by virtue of participating in this trial,
these patients were excluded from taking anti- H.Pylori treatment,
which is highly recommended for gastric cancer. It is highly unlikely
that the antioxidants had anything to do with it. The authors of
this study make no reference to the possibility of antioxidants
increasing mortality risk, instead concluding that both beta-carotene
and vitamin C reduce risk.
A review of the Lancet study (also published in the Lancet) by
David Forman and Douglas Altman of the Centre for Epidemiology and
Biostatistics says “The mortality analysis in this review
does not offer convincing proof of hazard.” In my opinion
this is the most atrocious piece of biased number crunching, and
I’m surprised that the Lancet published it. The funding source
for this trial should be seriously investigated, just to check it
is not as biased as the rhetoric. Drug companies have a lot to gain
by discrediting nutritional treatments and I have no doubt that
there is an orchestrated campaign under way to do just this.
I certainly won’t be stopping my daily antioxidant supplement,
although I wouldn’t advise heavy smokers to supplement beta-carotene
on its own. I would advise people wanting to reduce their cancer
risk to supplement 50 to 150mcg of selenium, together with other
1 Baron, J et al., ‘Neoplastic and antineoplastic effects
of beta-carotene on volorectal adenoma’, J Natl Cancer Inst.
95, 10, pp. 717–22 (2003).
2 Correa P et al., ‘Chemoprevention of gastric dysplasia:randomised
trial of antioxidant supplements and anti-helicobacter pylori therapapy’,
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2000 Dec 6;92(23):1881-8.
If you would like to receive the full story on news items like
these then register
ABSTRACT OF THE CRITICAL STUDY
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2000 Dec 6;92(23):1881-8. Chemoprevention of
gastric dysplasia: randomized trial of antioxidant supplements and
anti-helicobacter pylori therapy.
Correa P, Fontham ET, Bravo JC, Bravo LE, Ruiz B, Zarama G, Realpe
JL, Malcom GT, Li D, Johnson WD, Mera R.Department of Pathology,
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans,
LA 70112-1393, USA.
BACKGROUND: Previous research has identified a high risk of gastric
carcinoma as well as a high prevalence of cancer precursor lesions
in rural populations living in the province of Narino, Colombia,
in the Andes Mountains. METHODS: A randomized, controlled chemoprevention
trial was conducted in subjects with confirmed histologic diagnoses
of multifocal nonmetaplastic atrophy and/or intestinal metaplasia,
two precancerous lesions. Individuals were assigned to receive anti-Helicobacter
pylori triple therapy and/or dietary supplementation with ascorbic
acid, beta-carotene, or their corresponding placebos. Gastric biopsy
specimens taken at baseline were compared with those taken at 72
months. Relative risks of progression, no change, and regression
from multifocal nonmetaplastic atrophy and intestinal metaplasia
were analyzed with multivariate polytomous logistic regression models
to estimate treatment effects. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: All three basic interventions resulted in statistically
significant increases in the rates of regression: Relative risks
were 4.8 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.6-14.2) for anti-H. pylori
treatment, 5. 1 (95% CI = 1.7-15.0) for beta-carotene treatment,
and 5.0 (95% CI = 1.7-14.4) for ascorbic acid treatment in subjects
with atrophy. Corresponding relative risks of regression in subjects
with intestinal metaplasia were 3.1 (95% CI = 1.0-9.3), 3.4 (95%
CI = 1.1-9.8), and 3.3 (95% CI = 1.1-9.5). Combinations of treatments
did not statistically significantly increase the regression rates.
Curing the H. pylori infection (which occurred in 74% of the treated
subjects) produced a marked and statistically significant increase
in the rate of regression of the precursor lesions (relative risks
= 8.7 [95% CI = 2.7-28.2] for subjects with atrophy and 5.4 [95%
CI = 1.7-17.6] for subjects with intestinal metaplasia). CONCLUSIONS:
In the very high-risk population studied, effective anti-H. pylori
treatment and dietary supplementation with antioxidant micronutrients
may interfere with the precancerous process, mostly by increasing
the rate of regression of cancer precursor lesions, and may be an
effective strategy to prevent gastric carcinoma
Baron, J et al., ‘Neoplastic and antineoplastic effects of
beta-carotene on volorectal adenoma’, Journal of the National
Cancer Institute 95, 10, pp. 717–22 (2003).
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