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Peer Review and the Scientific Process

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The scientist was Linus Pauling, and you can read something about him here: The Vitamin Myth: Why We Think We Need Supplements
-IainB (August 01, 2013, 01:02 AM)
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I'm only half way through the Atlantic article, but it is a real eye-opener! Haven't taken vitamins myself for donkeys years now, but that's not been from any kind of belief (or disbelief). I guess I do reckon though that if you want vitamin C, you could eat more brocoli (or whatever) ;-)

But still the medical research results continue to trickle in that seem to consistently indicate a relatively strong correlation between premature death from various causes (including heart disease and cancer) and the high-level consumption of vitamins. The mounting pile of evidence pointing to the conclusion that the high-level consumption of vitamins is not only ineffective in promoting health, but also potentially harmful seems irrefutable.
-IainB (August 01, 2013, 01:02 AM)
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I was wondering was that anecdotal but it seem to have been shown in tests according to the article. Unfortunately info is given about these is incomplete. I see the article is an excerpt from a book. May be more info there. Maybe not. I'm presuming The Atlantic checked out his sources...

In 2007, researchers from the National Cancer Institute examined 11,000 men who did or didn't take multivitamins. Those who took multivitamins were twice as likely to die from advanced prostate cancer.
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this I found not so convincing. It could be another factor related to the 'type' of person who tends to take vitamins. Are they 'worriers'? More stressed? Different lifestyles?


Would be an interesting scenario if vitamins ended up getting a health warning like with cigarettes.

However, I would predict that that research is unlikely to take place at more than a glacial speed - simply because most research is funded by Big Pharma who are only likely to be interested in funding research which leads to a new, profitable patented drug or medical procedure. You can't patent vitamins that occur in nature - though I recall reading elsewhere that Big Parma had lobbied some US Senators to pass a bill that might allow them just that, making the current method of production of vitamins to the food-additive market illegal.
To a large extent, in medicine and in other areas, genuine scientific research and the scientific process seem to have been hijacked and monopolised by powerful commercial interests.
-IainB (August 01, 2013, 01:02 AM)
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I read "The Atlantic" article. I'm not convinced.

There are important distinctions between natural and synthetic compounds. Often it is impractical to create synthetic duplicates of natural compounds, or to create a synthetic mix of compounds. Scientists simply are not capable of explaining what a lot of things do, then they publish poo-poo articles dissing this or that because they screwed the pooch by limiting their range... oh bother. Iain can explain better than I can.

As silly little example of how things matter, the scent of dill and spearmint share the same chemical formula. They smell different because they are mirror images of each other though.

Would be an interesting scenario if vitamins ended up getting a health warning like with cigarettes.
-tomos (August 01, 2013, 05:57 AM)
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They will be illegal soon. The UN is working on that. Codex Alimentarius is a part of the UN's Agenda 21 and aims to make vitamins either illegal, by prescription, or limited to clinically ineffective (low) dosages. e.g. The Codex Alimentarius recommendation for vitamin D (or E - my memory is fuzzy at the moment) is 10 IU. 10,000 IU is where you make contact with reality. (Actually, that could be 1,000 IU - I forget. I heard a doctor talk about it, and remember that she takes 10,000 IU of vitamin D (E?) daily, but not 100% sure about what she said was the minimum.)

If there's a hit piece on vitamins (or just about anything else in the MSM), I figure that I should do the opposite of what it recommends.

   Please don't take what I posted as my making a recommendation for or against taking high dosage vitamins - I am not making any such recommendation.
   What I am interested in is the medical research that needs to be done - to the satisfaction and scientific standards required by the doctors - to establish if/when high dosage vitamins are beneficial, or otherwise. This does not seem to be something that can be entrusted to Big Pharma, as they would likely kill the idea anyway, only to revive it if they get the legal copyright/monopoly on vitamins and food additives. We just need to understand more about it first.
   We also need to keep our heads firmly screwed on and retain a skeptical stance at all times:

* The Atlantic is presumably an unbiased organ, but you never know - for example, they could have been funded for writing the article about the myth of vitamins, by Big Pharma.
* The article in ZIMBIO re the NZ farmer's recovery documentary is in the "Natural Alternative Health Therapies" section, apparently written by an American MD who seems to work in the area of "natural medicine" and who may be effectively promoting the book Curing the Incurable by Dr Thomas Levy. That rings all kinds of alarm bells with me, as it is a domain that is typically packed jam full of sundry quacks, frauds and crackbrained theorists, one of its longest-running scams being homeopathy. (My favourite is still phrenology.)
I retain an open mind on high dosage vitamins, and await some scientific proof either way - proof that the medical fraternity can/will accept.
Similarly, I retain an open mind on the farmer's spectacular recovery, but I regard the statement that:
...the doctors attributed the dramatic improvement to "turning patient into a prone position", and not to the IV vitamin C.

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- as laughable. (I was gobsmacked by this when I heard it, watching the documentary in 2010.)
I mean, fair enough, all you have is only 1 case of empiric evidence, and it would be irrational to take it as proof and to attribute the recovery to the IV vitamin C, but to attribute the dramatic improvement to "turning patient into a prone position" seems egregiously irrational. For example, if that was all it took to remove the patient from death's door, then why didn't they do that (as a recognised medical procedure) before he went into coma and after, instead of saying it was time to take the now comatose patient off life support and let him die? It's moronic. I suspect they were probably desperately clutching at straws to avoid conceding that it might have been the IV vitamin C and wanted to avoid accusations of malpractice. However, what they did/said actually could potentially raise genuine questions about malpractice.

I think there are some valid questions that the doctors need to answer. As it says at - Vitamin C Saves Man Dying of Viral Pneumonia (my emphasis)
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
...Interviewed in part two was the Principle Advisor to the Health Ministry and Senior Intensive Care Specialist, David Galler who denied that the intravenous Vitamin C was a contributing factor in the Allan Smith's recovery. He proclaimed that the recovery could have been just as likely from a "bus driving by" as the high dose Vitamin C . When asked what he would need as proof to that Vitamin C is effective, he replied he would need a randomized controlled trial, such as those for new drug approval funded by a pharmaceutical company.

Three Randomized Placebo Controlled Studies
Apparently Dr Galler is unaware of three double blind placebo controlled studies of IV Vitamin C in critically ill patients in the ICU. These studies were published in Dr. Galler's own peer reviewed specialty medical literature. (1-5)

These three studies showed reduced mortality and reduced time on ventilators for septic and critically ill patients in the ICU setting. In addition, numerous other studies have measured blood vitamin C levels in critically ill patients in the hospital showing Vitamin C is typically depleted with levels below 25 % of healthy individuals.( Nathens et al)

(6-11) As Dr Levy points out in Part Four of the Series (see below), there are thousands of studies over 70 years in the medical literature showing effectiveness, and safety of Vitamin C for viral illness. Dr Levy's book cites 1200 such articles supporting the use of Vitamin C.

Denying the Blatantly Obvious
Dr Galler appeared on New Zealand television claiming to be an authority and medical expert in the care of the ICU critically ill patient. To then make statements amounting to a public admission of ignorance of his own specialty literature is a profound embarrassment to him and to the Ministry of Health that appointed him Advisor. For Allan Smith's ICU doctors to witness a patient's dramatic recovery from sure death, and then deny the effectiveness of the treatment is astounding display of denying the obvious, and an embarrassment to the medical system in New Zealand. This is tantamount to holding up a hand in front of a person's face who then steadfastly denies a hand is in front of his face. It can also be compared to the ridiculous scenario of "denying" that parachutes are lifesaving, and insisting on "proof" by requiring a placebo controlled study. Two men jump out of a plane, one with a parachute and one without a parachute, to "prove" parachutes are effective.

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I would like to know more of Dr David Galler's views on this case. He will presumably have some rational reasons for saying what he did, and for refuting the three studies referred to (and any others) - assuming that he knew of them. If he did not know of them, then I think the taxpayers should be told why - especially in this age of enlightened government accountability and transparency.

The phrase "presstitute" was coined because the MSM are mostly corporate whores. I have zero faith in the media anymore.

And I seriously doubt that we will get any reliable information from the medical establishment on vitamins. Ever. Manipulating studies is very easy to do when you sub out things that work and sub in things that don't work and use a bastardized generic description to cover both and mislead people.

These kinds of tactics are par for the course in more than just medicine. We see them all the time in other completely unrelated issues. It's just meant to confuse an issue.

The "turning patient into a prone position" nonsense nearly made me vomit.

However, I don't think I would be so kind in my assessment of what's going on there. I'll skip that for the sake of civility here.

As we will not get decent answers from a deeply conflicted industry, I can only come to the conclusion that the best course of action is to do the opposite of their recommendations in every case where it makes sense, e.g. wrt vitamins, etc. It's a pragmatic approach. I simply do not have the time and resources to get 50 billion PhDs in medical douchewaddery.

I can also go on past experience where I've found traditional western allopathic medicine to be at best useless. Again, I'll skip that for the sake of being civil.

I WISH we had actual science in medicine. We don't. It's a joke.

Stoic Joker:
Would be an interesting scenario if vitamins ended up getting a health warning like with cigarettes.
-tomos (August 01, 2013, 05:57 AM)
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Okay...Then I'd be pissing myself laughing.


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