CNN seems to feel that anytime someone comes up with a study that bashes vitamin supplementation, it is their duty to print it regardless of its validity or how biased the report is. The website posted a report about how vitamins C, D, and E are not beneficial in extending life. In the article, they cite a paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association which proports to show that not only are these supplements worthless, they actually increase the risk of dying.
Let us look at the facts behind this study. First off, it is not based on any original research. It is a review of other studies, 68 to be exact. They picked which studies they were to look at and then made judgements based on whta they deemed good research. Then they removed 19 studies they said were of poor quality and saw that the nutrients were detrimental to health. Too bad they didn’t seek to remove studies funded by groups (big harmaceutical – my spelling) that had something to gain through the publishing of negative studies. Don’t think that happens? It does and it does happen a lot. They also avoided using some Chinese studies that show definitive improvements from these essential nutrients.
But the one big error is one that I bring up all of the time and that is the lack of understanding of the concept of biochemical individuality. All this study says, if it is correct, is that vitamin C, E, and A aren’t effective for the greater population. They then extrapolate it to mean no one would benefit. How do they know? Did they check my blood and determine that? Did they look at my needs? Hell no!!! They made a platitudinal statement that has no bearing on my life. I may need 5 grams of vitamin C a day and you may need 250 milligrams. Until you test, you do not know the answer.
Bad science being chased by irresponsible media equals health damaging information.
I want to add one additional comment that CNN did put into the article and that was a quote from Dr. Meir Stampfer of professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Stampfer said the studies were too diverse to pool together because they looked at various combinations and doses of antioxidants tested in different groups of people. The trials ranged from a three-month study of 109 elderly nursing home residents to a 12-year study of 22,071 male doctors.
“This study does not advance our understanding, and could easily lead to misinterpretation of the data,” said Stampfer, who was not connected to the new report.
Couldn’t have said it any better myself.