Hot Air in the Health News Media
The media is in constant search of the next breaking Health news story. They like to latch onto a shocking health headline just to make a quick buck by jerking people around.
Over a decade ago, the Natural Health Perspective developed a comprehensive natural health and wellness program. Referring to the seven Essentials of Our Wellness Program, you should pay particular attention to our first health essential:
Good personal health information does NOT go on forever; Nor, does it change with each health news story.
Unless you want to quickly become neurotic, our advice is to stop paying attention to the media's coverage of health news. This concept is especially true for nutritional supplement research. The news media does what they do best, in order to make money. The media specializes in jerking people around over absolutely nothing. Once the news media has reported on a story, that you are personally involved in, you soon realize just how clueless that they are about what they are reporting on.
Health Research Bias
Getting all worked up over the latest health news story, is largely a waste of time.
Dr. Andrew Wakefield who is discussed in in the above video while a hero to the anti-vaccination community is considered to have committed research fraud in academic research circles. Who is right or wrong is largely a matter of opinion, that is strongly based upon your own individual point of view.
There are so many different ways that the news media coverage of nutritional research can be wrong, that it would be a stupid waste of your time to worry over the latest vitamin supplement headlines. Of course, the published nutritional research studies, themselves, can be wrong on so many different levels that it would be a colossal waste of our time to respond to each one of them, individually. Indeed, there are many ways to bias, or otherwise fake, a vitamin research study. Cherry picking is the only rational way to deal with publish research on nutritional supplements. It takes a college educated, analytical oriented commentator with a history of analyzing published research to correctly separate the junk studies from the those worthy of a closer look.
There are in fact a growing list of vitamin supplements that are just plain bad for you -- Vitamin A, synthetic beta-carotene, vitamin B6, folic acid, iron, zinc and copper -- WHEN taken to excess or in the extreme. Why is that news alarming? It shouldn't be. Even plain water when drunk to excess can be unhealthy. Name one thing when taken to an EXTREME, that is NOT bad for your health.
Multivitamins are a junk supplement in our humble opinion. The closest thing that you can buy to a good multivitamin is a cellophane packet of about a half-dozen different pills. You will still have to read the fine print in order to make sure that they do not include something that you should not be taking at all, such as synthetic beta-carotene, or iron for men. A while back, we attempted to find one cellophane multi-pill packet worth taking, but soon gave up searching. Beyond being overpriced, every one of them had something wrong with them.
Vitamin E Supplements in the News
Excessive amounts of Vitamin A, taken chronically, can destroy your liver. Synthetic beta-carotene has been for over a decade linked to a serious increased risk of lung cancer. Everyone should be getting beta-carotene from their diet. Men should NEVER supplement with iron. Copper is basically an anti-antioxidant, or something that actually promotes oxidation. Excess B-6 can cause nerve damage. While excess Zinc depletes your stores of copper, which means that you should supplement with copper, which would be counter productive since copper promotes oxidation. Excess folic acid shuts down the part of the immune system that kills rogue cancer cells.
We can cite exactly what is wrong with ALL of these vitamins off the top of our heads, because all of these findings is very old information that has been reported upon in dozens of different research studies a long time ago. In addition, the existence of biased vitamin research and biased research journals is a very old news story. It is all part of life on the health news reporting circuit.
Women seeking an energy boost should be supplementing with vitamin D, rather than with iron.
As far as the use of voodoo statistics, all epidemiological health research studies, including those on vitamin D, use multivariate analysis or statistical filters, to mathematically account for possible confounding factors. Thus, multivariate analysis uses math or statistical analysis to whittle a very high correlation down to just a small amount once you have accounted for other possible factors such as exercise, diet, BMI, or what have you. Just because most of the public are NOT mathematicians does NOT make multivariate analysis voodoo.
Please read our Medical Advice Disclaimer.
Please read our Nutritional Supplements Disclaimer.