Vitamin and Mineral Safety
Periodically a medical journal will announce a new study proving that vitamins and minerals are dangerous at most, and useless at best. The popular media, supported by Big Pharma advertising dollars, is more than eager to jump right on this bandwagon.
Since over half the US population continues to take supplements, and essentially the whole population continues to eat cereals and feeds pet foods that are fortified, the public is not buying it. People know intuitively that the modern processed diet consisting of chemicalized, genetically modified, and industrially mined crops (land replenished with only NPK fertilizer) is inadequate for best health.
Facts revealed in tens of thousands of scientific journals bear this out as well. For example:
This paltry list does no justice to the overwhelming evidence. Regular readers of my newsletters know this. You can also subscribe to the peer reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service for more documented evidence.
Journal of the American Medical Association: Multivitamin supplements reduce cancer risk by eight percent.
International Journal of Cancer: Just 10 ng/ml increase in serum vitamin D levels was associated with a 15 percent reduction in colorectal cancer incidence and a 11 percent reduction in breast cancer incidence.
American Heart Journal: Each 20 micromole/liter (µmol/L) increase in plasma vitamin C was associated with a nine percent reduction in heart failure mortality.
International Journal of Cancer: Gamma-tocotrienol, found in natural vitamin E preparations, decreases prostate tumor formation by 75 percent.
International Journal of Cancer: 300 IUs of vitamin E per day reduces lung cancer risk by 61 percent...
American Journal of Preventive Medicine: a serum 25(OH)D level of more than 33 ng/mL was associated with a 50 percent lower risk of colorectal cancer.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: after four years of follow up, cancer-free survival was 77 percent higher in women who received 1,100 IU vitamin D and 1,450 mg calcium per day, compared to those who received either a placebo or calcium by itself. The link between vitamin D deficiency and cancer has been tested and confirmed in more than 200 epidemiological studies, and more than 2,500 laboratory studies.
Due to the undeniable facts, even the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2002 reversed its long-standing anti-vitamin stance based on a review of 30 years' worth of scientific papers and recommended daily multivitamin supplementation for all adults. Unfortunately, the public is not made aware of this because most MDs don't have time to read such things, and the media tends to ignore any information that diminishes the profitability of their Big Pharma advertisers.
The safety of supplements enjoys more proof than any medical intervention that has ever been devised. Since 2008, the supplement industry has been required to report adverse events to the FDA's adverse effects reporting (AER) system. For the year 2008, 1,080 dietary supplement AERs were reported
Now that might sound like a lot, but consider that these reports could be due to anything, including overdosing, poor quality, allergic and sensitivity reactions, or to something else the person was doing or consuming. This is not controlled, meaning the reports are not screened to eliminate all the variables but the supplement. In data from the US National Poison Data System's annual report in 2010, which tracked 57 U.S. poison centers, there were zero deaths attributable to supplements.
There are about 160 million dog, cat, bird, and horse pets in the US eating vitamin and mineral fortified foods. At an average of two meals each day, and not including supplements, that would equal about 112 billion doses per year—without one fatality.
Now the same media and medical community that wants to scare the public to death about supplements, is essentially silent about the number one killer, modern medicine and its drug juggernaut.
During the same time period that the above supplement AERs were accumulated, there were 526,527 prescription drug AERs and 26,517 vaccine AERs. That is about 500 times more than for supplements. And since about the same number of people take supplements as prescription drugs, the contrast is real.
For comparison, pharmaceuticals cause more than 150,000 deaths per year. (Compare this to the 10,000 deaths per year from illegal street drugs.) That's the equivalent of four 737 jet airliners crashing every day killing everyone on board. If one airliner crashes in a year, the media will beat the story to death for weeks. But not a word about the hundreds of thousands dying at the hands of drugs. This is not to mention the two million people per year who suffer from adverse effects of these drugs.
FDA-approved drugs cause 80 percent of poison fatalities each year. Poison control centers report 100,000 calls, 56,000 emergency room visits, and 2,600 hospitalizations due to prescription drugs. And don't think over the counter drugs are safe either. Nearly 500 deaths occur each year just from acetaminophen (Tylenol).
The European Union reports that pharmaceutical drugs are 62,000 times as likely to kill you as dietary supplements. But even that is not fair since no deaths occur from taking quality supplements at recommended levels.
Not only is nothing being said about this, the public and its pandering politicians are willing to spend the economy into oblivion to make access to these drugs as widespread and free as possible.
At the same time, essentially no harm—but considerable benefit— comes to anyone taking quality vitamins and minerals at recommended levels.
Clearly, those who wish to alarm the public about vitamins and minerals are either misinformed, or purposely misleading to create a market of the gullible or to protect an economic interest.
Until such time as all of us return to nature, naked outside in a pristine environment eating foods right from the vine or on the hoof grown there, supplements are a wise insurance policy.