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Fact about The Wachters Blend of Sea Vegetation:


Multivitamins and mortality: ?Seeing-what-you-want? science

By Stephen Daniells


During a week when the industry gathered under clear blue skies in Las Vegas to celebrate 15 years of SupplySide West, black clouds rolled in and unleashed a short sharp downpour: I am of course referring to the articles published on multivitamins and vitamin E.

First of all, research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (a journal from the American Medical Association) concluded that older women who take multivitamins and copper supplements are at greater risk of dying from heart disease, cancer and other causes than women who don?t take them.

And then the headlines followed: Your Multi-Vitamin May Be Killing You (Shape Magazine) and Study: Vitamins may increase death risk in older women (USA Today).

We?ve seen similar studies before (more often than not published in journals from the American Medical Association) but what was different this time was the industry was ready, it had advanced warning and reacted immediately to their publications ? this is progress.

Comments came in from the Natural Products Association (NPA), the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), and the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) to put the studies in context, to highlight their limitations (which just isn?t done in the main stream media), and for this I would commend the associations.

I would also suggest that the industry gather a team of academic champions to support their comments, much like it has champions in the Senate and elsewhere: A reaction from a trade association, no matter how measured and insightful, will always be seen by some as ?damage control? (as someone remarked on Twitter in relation to my coverage of the studies ).


Which leads me on to the studies themselves. The multivitamin study was observational, and relied on questionnaires ? so it was always going to show correlation and not causation.

The researchers did tweak their results to account for a number of potential confounding factors, such as BMI, use of hormone replacement therapy, smoking status, alcohol intake, exercise levels, intakes of saturated fatty acids, and so on, but you can never fully remove the suspicion of confounding.

My one big question is over compliance ? just because the women said they were supplement users, does not necessarily mean they were actually taking supplements. Compliance is notoriously low even in clinical trials where participants have signed up and agreed to swallow a capsule every day.

Just because these ladies ticked the box on a questionnaire that came in every 10 years does not mean that they were taking supplements ? and the same supplements ? everyday for all that time.

In addition, the researchers provide no information whatsoever about actual nutrient levels. No blood samples were taken and so we have no idea ? none whatsoever ? if the women had high levels of vitamin B6, for example, flowing through their veins. For all their posturing on the questionnaires, they may have been vitamin B6 deficient for all we know.

What did Twain say about statistics?

Also, if you look at the statistics, only copper and the multivitamins actually had a statistically significant association, and even then the one for multivitamins was relatively small.

The copper one was large, and you?d be hard pressed to find people to argue against excessive intakes of copper. Or iron, for that matter. There is too much of a good thing, as I shall come on to in a moment.

On the other hand, the apparent benefits for calcium supplements remained statistically significant, a result that may raise eyebrows for some in the medical fraternity following a high-profile meta-analysis in the British Medical Journal that concluded that calcium supplements may be dangerous.

Observational studies show correlation and not causation and headline writers running with Your Multi-Vitamin May Be Killing You (Shape Magazine) is irresponsible and na?ve.

But the study should not be dismissed. It adds to the debate and perhaps does raise questions over when supplements should be used: And so on to the vitamin E-prostate SELECT study: A well-designed study, by all accounts, that shows the benefits of longer term analysis of study cohorts. However, an interesting comment by Bill Sardi, a well known personality in the industry, posted on NutraIngredients-USA today adds some nice context:

?The problem with these studies is that they don't show cause-and-effect. The researchers could not surmise any mechanism for the increased deaths related to vitamin E use. The problem is that men with prostate cancer take more supplements and in higher doses. They may have also been wearing tennis shoes. But obviously these are only associated factors, not causal factors.?

Take home

So what to make of all this? It?s a high profile journal with a reputation of only publishing damning studies about supplements ? look to the likes of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition or the Journal of Nutrition and you will see tens, even hundreds of studies reporting benefits of good nutrition, of which supplements play a role. JAMA has a better PR department, it would seem, and the medical community looks to it with reverence ? don?t get me wrong, it is a great journal? for medical research.

The comments from the supplement trade associations have a lot of wisdom about them. Their comments cannot be simply dismissed as spin or damage control (as someone on Twitter suggested), but they provide some balance to the JAMA articles. Supplements, as the name suggests, supplement the diet, and people with poor diets may benefit greatly.

A wider problem may be that the public view supplements as a fix-it for poor lifestyle. Perhaps industry and academia should work even harder on explaining that supplements should not be expected to undo a lifetime of poor habits or diet: Black clouds will always appear in the sky, but it doesn?t hurt to have an umbrella ready.

Other items related to 'Research'
The long lasting benefits of supplements & the fascinating study that nobody is talking about
Multivitamins linked to younger ?biological age?
Review: B vitamins, the brain (& deficiencies)
Multivitamins can safely improve nutrient supply and overcome problems of inadequacy
Lutein and Zeaxanthin Benefit Young and Old Alike
8 Nutrients You May Be Lacking
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Psyllium Dietary Fiber Leads to Healthcare Cost Savings
Taking Prenatal Iron May Lower Your Child's Risk of Autism
Seaweed an effective alternative for iodine supplementation
Radiation report on the Wachters' Sea Vegetation Blend
Harvard?s large-scale randomized trial in men supports safety of vitamin C and E supplements
Chlorella supplements show cardiovascular benefits:
Meta-analysis: Vitamin C supplements may boost endothelial function
Abbott Nutrition study: Maternal lutein supplementation passes to child
4 Nutritional Supplements Every Man Needs
Nutrition researchers shoot holes in assertion that multivitamins are unnecessary
Zinc supplements may boost immune system in children
Iron supplements may boost female physical performance: Meta-analysis
Is dietary suplement use more prevalent than previously thought?
Resveratrol?s blood sugar management potential supported by meta-analysis, but are benefits limited
Vitamin D deficiency linked to compromised immune function
Daily multivitamin supplement may decrease cataract risk in men
Meta-analysis supports calcium?s weight management potential
CRN says 2015 dietary guidelines should include supplements
Vitamin D May Slow Multiple Sclerosis
Report: Who uses supplements?
Radiation Report - Wachters' Sea Blend
?Significant?: Vitamin E may slow functional decline in moderate Alzheimer patients
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Resveratrol shows fat cell shrinking potential: Human data
Calcium, vitamin D opportunity grows as osteoporosis prevalence rises
Vitamin B shows stroke protection promise
?Game changing? economic report: Supplements could save billions of dollars in health care costs
8 Amazing Health Benefits of B Vitamins
7 Best Supplements for Weight Loss
Increased iron intake can reduce Parkinson?s risk
Vitamin D slashes blood pressure and CVD risk
More Vitamin D May Lower High Blood Pressure
CoQ10 can reduce heart failure by half
Mothers to be who do not take in enough iodine may put their children at risk of lower IQ
Top 10 benefits of Zinc
Spirulina can better manage blood sugar in diabetes patients
More vitamin D may mean faster recovery from muscle injury
Curcumin (in Wachters' products) may match exercise for heart health benefits
Echinacea extract may help prevent common cold: Study
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Silbinol is now in WPB
CoQ10 and vitamin B6 levels linked to lower artery disease risk
Congress recognizes 100th anniversary of the vitamin
Vitamin C may prevent bone loss
Multivitamins may boost memory for older men
Multivitamin shows brain boosting activity for elderly women
Study links vitamin D to heart disease and early death
Vitamin D Speeds Tuberculosis Recovery
Green tea may influence brain function & boost working memory
Turmeric compounds show blood sugar management activity
Vitamin D shows eye health benefits
Dietary magnesium may reduce the risk of colon cancer: Meta-analysis
Chlorella shows immune boosting potential
NPA: Consumer Reports supplements probe is insulting to consumers
Dietary antioxidants may help slash pancreatic cancer risk: EPIC data
CRN hails 100th anniversary of the vitamin, reminds consumers of benefits of supplements
Can You Take Too Much Vitamin D?
CoQ10 shows promise for Huntington's disease
Vitamin B6 Deficit Tied to Heart Disease Risk
WDNA contains Resveratrol
Multivitamin supplements boost brain function, say UK researchers
Multivitamins may boost memory
Supplements ? understanding the possibilities, accepting the limitations
Seaweed may reduce blood pressure in healthy kids
Tufts-Harvard study builds vitamin D's anti-diabetes potential
Vitamin E supplements may reduce lung disease risk
Vegans at Risk for Low Iodine
Vitamin D linked to lower eye risk in young women
Seaweed May Fight Radiation
Vegan diet requires omega-3 and B12 boost
Study unlocks lycopene?s heart health benefits
Magnesium supplements may reduce diabetes risk
Multivitamin use linked to fewer heart attacks for women
Vitamin B may help prevent Alzheimer?s
Resveratrol supplements could improve heart health
Selenium shows protective effect for bladder cancer
Calcium?s weight loss potential gets RCT support
Resveratrol may boost eye health
Psyllium Fiber and Postprandial Peptide Release
Science: The emerging ingredients for joint health
Multivitamins may help weight loss in obese women
Apple fibres may boost immune health
Vitamin insufficiency boosting age-related diseases
Soy may reduce diabetes risk in overweight women
Vitamin, minerals may reduce eczema risk in children
CoQ10 may protect against obesity problems: Study
Soy protein may reduce cholesterol levels for diabetics, too
Study identifies vitamin D?s benefits for diabetic heart health
Low vitamin D linked to female infections
Multivitamins & minerals help children's brain function: study
Seaweed works!

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channel: main Monday, October 24, 2011 - 10:34am

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