Friday, July 12, 2013
Big Pharma Propaganda
I'm annoyed to see the pharmaceutical industry trotting its anti-vitamin propaganda around various popular news websites again, especially after seeing what a help vitamins, minerals and other nutrition supplements have been to me and my friends. I suspect it's because growing numbers of regular, respectable, AMA-anointed doctors are recognizing the usefulness of supplements and are prescribing them -- widely, sometimes instead of pharma-company-made (expensive) prescription drugs. Macy's, as they say, has no reason to love Gimbel's. Still, denouncing one's rivals by clever half-lies and outright lies is dirty pool.
The main lie being pushed by Big Pharma is that, except for cases of provable deficiency, vitamins and mineral supplements are useless, a scam, and a waste of money -- which could better be spent on proper prescription medicines. Right. Tell that to the numerous cardiologists, neurologists and oncologists who've found that Niacin is very good for their patients' post-operative care.
Lies are fairly easy to disprove, which is probably why Big Pharma relies more on half-lies, which only require omitting certain information rather than falsifying it completely.
The most common half-lie is that Linus Pauling (probably the greatest chemist of the 20th century), who believed in the benefits of Vitamin C, took mega-doses of Vitamin C but died of prostate cancer anyway -- therefore Vitamin C is useless. The whole truth is that, yes, Pauling was infatuated with Vitamin C and would hear no criticism of it, and did indeed die of prostate cancer -- but that was at the age of 93.
Half-lie number two is that "studies have shown" that cancer patients who took large doses of vitamins -- especially Vitamin C -- actually died sooner than patients who didn't, and therefore vitamins are actually bad for you. The whole truth is that it was, ironically, researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute who discovered that cancer patients who ate carefully-balanced diets with lots of vitamins did indeed die faster than those who didn't -- because the cancer cells ate the nutrients first and left the patients to starve. The best chemical means to kill cancer cells is to change the Ph of the blood from acid to alkaline, ingest mineral supplements which strip the protective/disguising biofilm off cancer cells so that white blood cells can attack them, and to hyperoxygenate the blood -- cancer cells being anaerobic. Indeed, the last thing one should ingest is anti-oxidants, such as Vitamin C. Mega-doses of Niacin, on the other hand, assist in hyperoxygenation.
Half-lie number three is that vitamins, minerals and other dietary supplements aren't controlled by the FDA, and therefore have no standards of purity or quality whatever. The whole truth is that despite lack of FDA oversight, supplements are constantly subject to analysis and criticism by nutritionist and naturopathic medical organizations -- not to mention the Consumers' Union -- and with a little study the prudent buyer can learn which producers and products are reliable.
Half-lie number four is that supplements are "a billion-dollar a year business", and therefore a scam. The whole truth is that Big Pharma is a 646-billion-dollar a year business, proven to overcharge outrageously and lie shamelessly, and the cheats -- and prices -- of vitamin and mineral manufacturers are nothing by comparison.
Half-lie number five: supplements, even when proven "pure", have little if any effect. The whole truth is that minerals and vitamins are synergistic -- which is how they're found in Nature -- and therefore work best in concert with each other. Calcium, for example, doesn't get absorbed very well without the assistance of Vitamin D, and works even better when its absorption is regulated by Vitamin K-2. K-2, in particular, has shown itself very useful for pulling the calcium out of arterial plaque and depositing it in the bones and teeth where it belongs.
Half-lie number six: plenty of supplements, when tested, didn't work on most people -- so the few subjects who did show health improvements must have gotten them from other sources. The whole truth is that supplements are idiosyncratic -- they vary in effect with the biochemistry of the individual. Example: Hyaluronic Acid, which replaces cartilage and repairs arthritic joint damage for 20% of the population, and does little for the other 80%. This is why researchers are always looking for new vitamin and mineral combinations from Nature, and studying their chemical effects. The best way to take supplements is to get one's own biochemistry mapped and then get the advice of an expert, such as a naturopath or nutritionist. There's a lot more to the healing effects of supplements than just popping commercial megavitamins from the grocery store
In any case, minerals and vitamins are cheaper, safer, and sometimes a lot more effective than the Latest New Thing from the big pharmaceutical corporations.
--Leslie <;)))>< )O(