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Dietary Supplement Controversy

You may have heard about the recent study published in the Archives on Internal Medicine revealing concerns that dietary supplements increased mortality rates in women.  Well, as with most studies, you only will hear part of the story.

Remember that many earlier well controlled studies have revealed a lower risk of heart disease and certain cancers by taking supplements, this study has taken a broad brush approach by saying in essence that all supplements are of no value.  This statement is as far from the truth as possible.

The Alliance for Natural Health, in an article entitled Shame on the AMA Archives of Internal Medicine, criticizing the blatant lack of science behind the study.  "In this study, all of the relative risks were so low as to be statistically insignificant, and none was backed up by any medical investigation or biological plausibility study.  No analysis was done on what combinations of vitamins and minerals were actually consumed, and no analysis of the cause of death was done beyond grouping for 'cancer,' 'cardiovascular disease' or 'other' - there was certainly no causative analysis done.  The interactions of potential compounding risk factors is always tremendously complex - and was ingnored is this so-called study." 

In an ideal world we would be able to receive all the essential nutrients to obtain optimal health from a balanced diet.  The reality is the quality of the foods we consume has deteriorated markedly over the past 30 years.  Even a person who strives to eat "healthy" will find it difficult to achieve optimal nutrient levels without supplementation.

At the Wycoff Wellness Center we often perform sophisticated blood testing for nutrient levels and seldom find anyone who is not deficient in several key nutrients.  We often find specific deficiencies even in patients who are taking supplements.  Patients who feel healthy will often exhibit many important nutrient deficiencies.

The take home message - we recommend you continue to take quality nutriceutical supplements.  A good quality multivitamin/mineral supplement, omega 3 fish oil and vitamin D form a solid foundation for most individuals. 

Don't be swayed by articles such as the one mentioned above.  There are many strong forces working against us who believe in natural ways to improve health and optimize wellness!

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