Friday, December 06, 2013

Put Down the (Pill) Bottle

It's a well-hewn chestnut that people with a regular intake of supplement pills earn themselves little more than rather expensive urine. While there often exits a vague hum of Science behind the homeopaths and other sundry pill-pushers, their quoted studies employ methods like squirting a solution of ascorbic acid into a dish with a few cancer cells in it, and seeing how quickly and violently the disembodied cells shrivel to their deaths. 

It's true that free radicals damage tissue. And yes, antioxidant scavengers can, in a sense, scoop up the offensive compounds and allay such damage. However, where is the evidence—the PEER REVIEWED science—  to support the notion that eating organic material which contains such scavengers does any more good than a hill of beans?

To the great misfortune of Big Pharma (of which Alterno-Pharma is merely a branch), it's been accidentally discovered that such supplements can do more than nothing, but can actually harm their placebo-toting hosts. 

For certain demographics, common dietary supplements can have serious, deleterious affects. Last week, a study out of Oxford reported a strong correlation between high levels of Vitamin C and E, and arthritis in the knees. The test was done to conflate antioxidant intake with prevention against OA. Results proved otherwise.

And there's CARET, of course. A β-Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial meant to ascertain a link between lung cancer prevention and dietary supplementation. Before the study could finish, it had to be halted for moral reasons. An unseemly sum of patients from the supplemented group were developing and dying from cancer, while the placebo arm remained relatively unscathed.

Be cautious. Look for peer-reviewed studies which conduct randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trials. Eat your fruit and veg, exercise, manage stress. Do all the boring things that aren't written up in glossy magazine articles, and be the master of your own wellbeing. Wellness does not come in a bottle, at three easy payments of $29.95.


Post a Comment

<< Home