Sunday, July 14, 2013
The latest propaganda trick from Big Pharma shows the industry's disturbing influence on the mainstream media.
To quote Life Extension, the newsletter of the Life Extension Institute -- one of the longest-lived (founded in the 1960s, and several of its founders are still alive and kicking) and respectable of the naturopathic organizations:
"On April 13, 2013, a meta-analysis performed by the Mayo Clinic was released that looked at 3600 patients and found huge cardiac benefits in those who supplemented with L-carnitine... The Mayo Clinic study found carnitine supplementation was associated with a 27% reduction in all-cause mortality, a 65% reduction in ventricular arrhythmias, and a 40% reduction in angina symptoms in patients who had experienced a heart attack. The media largely overlooked this favorable report, however.
"Instead, headline news stories were created based on a report released a week earlier that had asserted that carnitine (found in red meat) may react with certain gut bacteria in certain individuals to promote a compound (TMAO) that could then cause heart disease.
"These carnitine findings were based on a sub-study of 10 people. They were obscure, theoretical, and preliminary. Yet the media ignored hundreds of studies showing significant cardiovascular benefits to carnitine, choosing instead to use this study in isolation to bash anything that contained carnitine."
The researchers who came up with that 10-man study published their findings in the journal Nature Medicine, which has a strong bias toward vegetarianism and would welcome any "study" that made red meat look bad. The clinic where the study was done was not named.
This story shows that: 1) mainstream reporters and editors don't do their homework; 2) the big pharmaceutical companies have a pipeline to the mainstream media, whereby they can push reports from a small, "obscure, theoretical and preliminary" study in order to discredit following studies by a much more reputable researcher; 3) Big Pharma is scared to death that "supplements" might get approval from an institution as prestigious as the Mayo Clinic.
The reason for Big Pharma's hostility toward mineral and vitamin supplements is obvious once you look closely. Supplements aren't just rival medicines; they're all derived from natural sources -- they're discovered, not invented: derived, not synthesized. This means that they can't be patented. Given the downright obscene profits that Big Pharma makes from its synthetics (as much as 20,000% of manufacturing costs, according to Consumer Reports), the industry really-really doesn't want the public trusting medicines that anyone can make from food sources -- and sells for a thousandth of Big Pharma's price.
Our Latin lesson for today is: cui bono and caveat emptor!