NBC’s Vitamin Ignorance

An Apology by Andrew W. Saul, Orthomolecular Medicine News Service Editor

Reprinted with permission from the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service

(OMNS Nov 12, 2013) I would like to apologize for NBC News. It seems that the organization that brought us Lowell Thomas, John Cameron Swayze, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley has lowered its standard of reporting. NBC’s supplement-bashing headline article, “Vitamins don’t prevent heart disease or cancer, experts find” displays an ignorance of clinical nutrition that is difficult to ignore, and, thanks to its media prominence, can’t be. http://www.nbcnews.com/health/vitamins-dont-prevent-heart-disease-or-cancer-experts-find-2D11577445

Of vitamin supplementation, NBC specifically said that a “very extensive look at the studies that have been done show it may be a waste of time when it comes to preventing the diseases most likely to kill you.”

The “very extensive look” encompassed 24 preselected studies. It looks like they just possibly may have missed a few, such as these:
Multivitamin supplements lower your risk of cancer by 8%. An 8% reduction in deaths means the lives of 48,000 people in the US alone could be saved each year, just by taking an inexpensive daily vitamin pill. (Gaziano JM, Sesso HD, Christen WG, Bubes V, Smith JP, MacFadyen J, Schvartz M, Manson JE, Glynn RJ, Buring JE (2012) Multivitamins in the Prevention of Cancer in Men: the Physicians’ Health Study II Randomized Controlled Trial JAMA. 2012;():1-10. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.14641.)

72% of physicians personally use dietary supplements. The multivitamin is the most popular dietary supplement taken by doctors. (Dickinson A, Boyon N, Shao A. Physicians and nurses use and recommend dietary supplements: report of a survey. Nutrition Journal 2009, 8:29 doi:10.1186/1475-2891-8-29)

High serum levels of vitamin B6, methionine and folate are associated with a 50% reduction in lung cancer risk. Those with higher levels of these nutrients had a significantly lower risk of lung cancer whether they smoked or not. (Johansson M, Relton C, Ueland PM, et al. Serum B vitamin levels and risk of lung cancer. JAMA. 2010 Jun 16;303(23):2377-85.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20551408

Vitamin D reduces cancer risk. Studies on breast and colorectal cancer found that an increase of serum 25(OH)D concentration of 10 ng/ml was associated with a 15% reduction in colorectal cancer incidence and 11% reduction in breast cancer incidence. (Gandini S, Boniol M, Haukka J, Byrnes G, Cox B, Sneyd MJ, Mullie P, Autier P. Meta-analysis of observational studies of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and colorectal, breast and prostate cancer and colorectal adenoma. Int J Cancer. 2011;128(6):1414-24.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20473927

Vitamin D increases breast cancer survival. Women diagnosed with breast cancer had increased survival for those with higher serum 25(OH)D concentrations. In those with lower vitamin D concentrations, mortality increased by 8%. (Vrieling A, Hein R, Abbas S, Schneeweiss A, Flesch-Janys D, Chang-Claude J. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and postmenopausal breast cancer survival: a prospective patient cohort study. Breast Cancer Res. 2011;13(4):R74) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21791049

Risk of heart failure decreases with increasing blood levels of vitamin C. Each 20 micromole/liter (µmol/L) increase in plasma vitamin C was associated with a 9% reduction in death from heart failure. If everyone took high enough doses of vitamin C to reach 80 µmol/L, it would mean 216,000 fewer deaths per year. To achieve that a plasma level requires a daily dosage of about 500 mg of vitamin C. (Pfister R, Sharp SJ, Luben R, Wareham NJ, Khaw KT. Plasma vitamin C predicts incident heart failure in men and women in European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Norfolk prospective study. Am Heart J, 2011. 162:246-253.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21835284

Vitamin C prevents and reverses radiation damage. (Yanagisawa A. Effect of Vitamin C and anti-oxidative nutrition on radiation-induced gene expression in Fukushima nuclear plant workers. Free download of full presentation at http://www.doctoryourself.com/Radiation_VitC.pptx.pdf See also: Korkina L, et al. Antioxidant therapy in children affected by irradiation from the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Biochem Soc Trans,1993. 21:314S. PMID: 8224459 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=8224459 The Japanese College of Intravenous Therapy has produced a video for people wishing to learn more about large doses of vitamin C.
Part 1 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rbm_MH3nSdM
Part 2 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4cyzts3lMo
Part 3 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYiRo2Oucfo
Part 4 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51Ie8FuuYJw
All four parts of the video are also available at http://firstlaw.wordpress.com/ .
Vitamin C arrests and reverses cancer. Oncologist Victor Marcial, M.D., says: “We studied patients with advanced cancer (stage 4). 40 patients received 40,000-75,000 mg intravenously several times a week. . . In addition, they received a diet and other supplements. The initial tumor response rate was achieved in 75% of patients, defined as a 50% reduction or more in tumor size.” (Presentation at the Medical Sciences Campus, University of Puerto Rico, April 12, 2010.) You can download the intravenous vitamin C protocol that he used free of charge at http://www.doctoryourself.com/RiordanIVC.pdf or http://www.riordanclinic.org/research/vitaminc/protocol.shtml
Intravenous vitamin C cancer therapy for cancer is presented in detail on video, available for free access at http://www.riordanclinic.org/education/symposium/s2009 (twelve lectures) and http://www.riordanclinic.org/education/symposium/s2010 (nine lectures)
NBC News said, “Vitamin E does no good at all in preventing cancer or heart disease.”

Here’s more of what NBC failed to report:

Natural vitamin E factor yields a 75% decrease in prostate tumor formation. Gamma-tocotrienol, a cofactor found in natural vitamin E preparations, kills prostate cancer stem cells. (Sze Ue Luk1, Wei Ney Yap, Yung-Tuen Chiu et al. Gamma-tocotrienol as an effective agent in targeting prostate cancer stem cell-like population. International Journal of Cancer, 2011. Vol 128, No 9, p 2182-2191.) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ijc.25546/abstract

Gamma-tocotrienol also is effective against existing prostate tumors. (Nesaretnam K, Teoh HK, Selvaduray KR, Bruno RS, Ho E. Modulation of cell growth and apoptosis response in human prostate cancer cells supplemented with tocotrienols. Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol. 2008, 110, 23-31.) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejlt.200700068/abstract See also: Conte C, Floridi A, Aisa C et al. Gamma-tocotrienol metabolism and antiproliferative effect in prostate cancer cells. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2004. 1031: 391-4. http://ageing.oxfordjournals.org/content/40/2/215.short

Vitamin E reduces mortality by 24% in persons 71 or older. (Hemila H, Kaprio J. Age Ageing, 2011. 40(2): 215-220. January 17.) http://ageing.oxfordjournals.org/content/40/2/215.short

300 IU vitamin E per day reduces lung cancer by 61%. (Mahabir S, Schendel K, Dong YQ et al. Dietary alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-tocopherols in lung cancer risk. Int J Cancer. 2008 Sep 1;123(5):1173-80.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18546288

Vitamin E is an effective treatment for atherosclerosis. “Subjects with supplementary vitamin E intake of 100 IU per day or greater demonstrated less coronary artery lesion progression than did subjects with supplementary vitamin E intake less than 100 IU per day.” (Hodis HN, Mack WJ, LaBree L et al. Serial coronary angiographic evidence that antioxidant vitamin intake reduces progression of coronary artery atherosclerosis. JAMA, 1995. 273:1849-1854.) http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/273/23/1849.short

400 to 800 IU of vitamin E daily reduces risk of heart attack by 77%. (Stephens NG et al. Randomized controlled trial of vitamin E in patients with coronary artery disease: Cambridge Heart Antioxidant Study (CHAOS). Lancet, March 23, 1996; 347:781-786.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8622332

Increasing vitamin E with supplements prevents COPD [Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, chronic bronchitis]. (Agler AH et al. Randomized vitamin E supplementation and risk of chronic lung disease (CLD) in the Women’s Health Study. American Thoracic Society 2010 International Conference, May 18, 2010.) Summary at http://www.thoracic.org/newsroom/press-releases/conference/articles/2010/vitamine-e.pdf

800 IU vitamin E per day is a successful treatment for fatty liver disease. (Sanyal AJ, Chalasani N, Kowdley KV et al. Pioglitazone, vitamin E, or placebo for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. N Engl J Med. 2010 May 6;362(18):1675-85.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20427778

Alzheimer’s patients who take 2,000 IU of vitamin E per day live longer. (Pavlik VN, Doody RS, Rountree SD, Darby EJ. Vitamin E use is associated with improved survival in an Alzheimer’s disease cohort. Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2009;28(6):536-40.) Summary at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20016184 See also: Grundman M. Vitamin E and Alzheimer disease: the basis for additional clinical trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Feb;71(2):630S-636S. Free access to full text at http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/71/2/630s )

400 IU of Vitamin E per day reduces epileptic seizures in children by more than 60%. (Ogunmekan AO, Hwang PA. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of D-alpha-tocopheryl acetate [vitamin E], as add-on therapy, for epilepsy in children. Epilepsia. 1989 Jan-Feb; 30(1):84-9.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2643513

Vitamin E supplements help prevent amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This important finding is the result of a 10-year-plus Harvard study of over a million persons. (Wang H, O’Reilly EJ, Weisskopf MG, et al. Vitamin E intake and risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a pooled analysis of data from 5 prospective cohort studies. Am. J. Epidemiol, 2011. 173 (6): 595-602. March 15) http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/173/6/595.short

Vitamin E is more effective than a prescription drug in treating chronic liver disease (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis). Said the authors: “The good news is that this study showed that cheap and readily available vitamin E can help many of those with this condition.” (Sanyal AJ, Chalasani N, Kowdley KV et al. Pioglitazone, vitamin E, or placebo for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. N Engl J Med. 2010 May 6;362(18):1675-85.) http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0907929

So I would hereby like to make amends for NBC’s hatchet-job on vitamins. In the interest of fair and balanced reporting, which I am sure NBC wholeheartedly stands for at least in principle, now you know the rest of the story.

(Andrew W. Saul, an orthomolecular medical lecturer for 38 years, is author or coauthor of a dozen books and is featured in the movie FoodMatters. He is a member of the Japanese College of Intravenous Therapy and the Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame.)

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“The Megavitamin Man”, has 40 years of experience in natural health education. His world famous, free-access educational website, www.DoctorYourself.com, is peer reviewed and the largest non-commercial natural health resource on the internet.

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