Another example of poor quality research. I found an article I will post here. I am going to highlight and number certain parts of this article I would find laughable if it weren’t such a serious dig at our intelligence and a sneaky way to keep people in the pockets of doctors and drug companies.
I will have rebuttals at the bottom. What is nice in this article; there are a few honest researchers out there who question the methods and findings of this French study. I will italicize their thoughts.
This study and article is such a good example of how we are conditioned to believe the false “truths” drug companies put out and doctors and researchers willingly regurgitate to any audience they can get.
Here is where the media steps in to make a few more bucks. They put out the advertisement and campaign against whatever they are told and get paid premiums for the full page drug ads that can “treat” these ailments. I have written and shared articles about this before; if you are interested there will be links at the bottom.
No Cancer Benefit From Vitamin B, Omega-3 Supplements in Heart Patients
MONDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) — Patients with a history of heart disease1 will most likely not reduce their risk for developing cancer by taking vitamin B and/or omega-3 fatty acid supplements, a new French analysis suggests.
“In the population we studied, we found no beneficial effects of either B vitamins or omega-3 fatty acids taken over five years on cancer occurrence or cancer-related death,” noted study author Valentina Andreeva, who is with the nutritional epidemiology research unit at the University of Paris XIII in Bobigny, France.
Andreeva and her colleagues report their findings in the Feb. 13 online edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
To explore the protective potential of B vitamins and fatty acid supplements, the authors did a secondary analysis of data that had been collected in a previous study involving almost 2,000 French men and 500 women.
All were between 45 and 80 years of age, and all had experienced cardiac trouble (heart attack, unstable angina or ischemic stroke) in the year leading up to the start of the study.
In turn, the participants were divided into one of four different groups that consumed a daily supplement regimen involving various types of vitamin B and omega-3 fatty acids2 at “relatively low supplementation doses3.”
By the end of the original five-year study, 7 percent of the participants had gone on to develop some form of cancer, and just over 2 percent ultimately died of cancer. The vast majority of cancer cases (including prostate, lung, bladder and colorectal cancer) and deaths occurred among men (81 percent and 83 percent, respectively).
The team unearthed no evidence that any form of vitamin B or omega-3 fatty acid supplement improved cancer outcomes in any way.4
The investigators noted that there were some indications that cancer risk might have actually gone up, specifically among women taking vitamin B and/or omega-3 fatty acid supplementation.5 However, the authors stressed that this observation was based on too few cases to substantiate a firm conclusion, and called for further research involving a larger pool of participants.
“The results of our study suggest that individuals should exercise caution when deciding to take dietary supplements6, especially over a long period of time and without a physician’s advice,“7 advised Andreeva. “Such supplements constitute active substances and might have adverse effects in some populations. To be on the safe side, individuals should strive to achieve dietary recommendations via healthy, balanced diets.8”
Joseph Su, the Washington, D.C.-based program director of the division of cancer control and population science within the U.S. National Cancer Institute’s epidemiology and genomics research program, said that nothing about the findings struck him as surprising.9
“So far, study findings have been very inconsistent,” he noted. “But most supplement studies, if anything, have shown no beneficial effect whatsoever. Just like this one.10 So, I don’t think there’s anything that can really back up the idea that these supplements can prevent cancer.”
However, Vicky Stevens, strategic director of laboratory services at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, expressed some reservations about the French analysis.
“Compared with other trials, they used much lower levels of supplements,” she noted. “From the B-vitamin point of view, dramatically lower. So, it could be argued that they just weren’t using high enough levels of supplements to see any effects,” Stevens suggested.
“And they used a natural form of folate [vitamin B supplement], whereas other trials use a synthetic form,” Stevens added. “But the real problem in being able to evaluate the effects they do see is that they don’t have enough people. And it’s not really a long enough follow-up period to really see an effect of these supplements on cancer onset. Five years isn’t really enough. It can take 10 or 20 years in most cases. So, what they may be seeing is an effect on preexisting abnormalities, but not the impact on cancer onset itself.”
Duffy MacKay, a naturopathic doctor and vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition in Washington, D.C., agreed.
“When you look at an intervention like this, you’re definitely not looking at the role of the supplements at preventing tumors, because the tumors likely started well before the trial,” he noted. “So really what the trial is about is giving vitamin B and omega 3 and seeing if they altered the outcome, the progression, of these cancers,” MacKay explained.
“And with that you have to realize that cancer is a very complex multi-factorial disease,” MacKay stressed. “And two supplements would never be expected to be a successful treatment on their own. I would say, however, that proper nutrition is one of your best allies in terms of wellness, period. And while no one ever claimed these were cancer drugs, if you will, supplements make sense, cancer or no cancer.”
For more on vitamins and cancer, visit the
American Cancer Society11 .
What is Wrong With This Picture?
1. a history of heart disease – if they had a history of heart disease I am interested in what drugs they have taken or take for their conditions. Drugs like statins for example.
2. various types of vitamin B and omega-3 fatty acids – what types? Were they synthetic or natural and organic?
3. relatively low supplementation doses – HELLO!! This is enough for me to want to pull my hair out. Here is a study being touted as news while the study only obviously confirmed what the “researcher” wanted the outcome to be! If you had a headache and were told to take 2 aspirin (or whatever), would you only take a half of one or would you take 2? If the headache is bad enough, you take a little more.
When a certain drug is not working for someone the doctor usually UPs the dose to make it more effective. Yet these researchers used “relatively low supplementation doses” in a study to find the effects of vitamin B and omega-3 supplementation?! Why on earth wouldn’t you up the dose to see when the supplements did have an effect, just like they do with prescription drugs? Oh, that’s right, if these were found to be beneficial at saving lives, they would lose their business.
4. The team unearthed no evidence that any form of vitamin B or omega-3 fatty acid supplement improved cancer outcomes in any way. – Based on the fact that they used very small doses of these important and beneficial nutrients, it seems they did not want to pursue this in a proper way to obtain nothing but the truth.
5. cancer risk might have actually gone up, specifically among women taking vitamin B and/or omega-3 fatty acid supplementation. – Here they go again with scare tactics. I have written about the “dangers” of women taking supplements. Again I also have to ask, what kind of prescription drugs were they people on or taking or had taken and what kind of supplements did the researchers use? Were there clinical tests that showed those supplements worked or were safe? What if the tumors or cancer already existed? How can they be sure it was the supplements that increased cancer risk? They can’t, but it gets a few brownie points in there with the drug companies.
6. exercise caution when deciding to take dietary supplements – Out of context of this article I would agree with this statement. You want to make sure that you are taking a high quality supplement with a track record of effectiveness, in-house and third party research and quality control tests. NEVER take synthetic or GMO-laced vitamins or supplements, and don’t take every new miracle supplement that comes out. Do your research first.
That being said, in the context of this article this guy is saying that you should err on the side of NOT taking any supplements. This concept is just wrong. The nutritional value of our food has decreased dramatically in the last few decades. GMO crops and the pesticides used to treat them have leached the nutrients out of the soil. Plants get their nutrients from the soil. We need all the help we can get.
7. especially over a long period of time and without a physician’s advice – If you have major underlying medical issues that would be effected by certain nutrients, like vitamin K if you are taking anti-clotting medication. This is when you want to bring your supplements to your doctor and talk about it. Make sure you have a doctor you can trust who understands how the,body works without needing to prescribe drugs to “fix” problems.
As for long term use. People benefit from long term use. Shaklee did a landmark study on people to took multiple Shaklee supplements for a long period of time compared to those who took another brand or none at all. The Shaklee users had markedly better health.
8. To be on the safe side, individuals should strive to achieve dietary recommendations via healthy, balanced diets. – This is the ideal way to get your nutrition. The problem is with the quality of food. Most food is not as nutritious as it used to be when our grandparents were growing up. The introduction of GM (genetically modified) foods has depleted the nutrients in the soil. When food is genetically modified things are done to the plant which blocks our bodies from using certain nutrients in the food.
This is why taking supplements as close to organic food as possible is very important.
9. nothing about the findings struck him as surprising – Why would they? They expect to find one thing and make sure they do.
10. “But most supplement studies, if anything, have shown no beneficial effect whatsoever. Just like this one…” – ??? What a bunch of nonsense! What about the Shaklee Landmark Study? It proved a person taking multiple Shaklee supplements had markedly BETTER health than those who took another brand or nothing at all. If they do not propagate these lies, the truth may get out that wise, high quality supplementation benefits your health.
11. American Cancer Society – Might as well call them a going concern. They operate as though they will never cure anything. The constantly need more money. Their assets are large and their administrative costs are something to be scrutinized. Read Is The American Cancer Society A Fraud – Cancer Research A Scam? to learn more.
Tell Me What You Think
Please, let me know what you think, you can email me with your thoughts at my email in the Contact Us section. I have some questions to help get you started.
What do you think of all the drug ads plastered around us? Does it make you feel safer if the FDA approves a drug? How do you feel about the news you hear concerning supplements? Are you more likely to believe the news or do your own research?
How many people do you know who experience bad side effects from their prescriptions? How many people do you know with more than one daily or weekly prescription?
What do you think about all this?
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