By Rob Pell
August 26, 2013
Don't be misled by research controlled by Big-Pharma and mainstream medical
Good and thorough science adds clarity to any discussion. However, junk science is often very misleading. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle recently released statements claiming that Omega-3 fatty acids, the kind found in fish oil, increased prostate cancer risk. They also stated that taking Vitamin E increases prostate cancer risk. Lead researcher Alan Kristal stated: "We've shown once again that use of nutritional supplements may be harmful."
However, there are two big problems with their conclusions. First, no data was presented confirming that the men studied took fish oil supplements or even ate any fish. Second, the vitamin E administered was the, totally synthetic, D-L form. The D-L form is readily available at Walmart and Costco, but would never be sold at any reputable health food store.
If any group was biased and wanted to demonstrate negative results from dietary supplementation, the easiest way would be to study the effects of giving large doses of synthetic vitamins and then make sweeping generalizations that erroneously associate their results with natural supplements.
Unfounded, sweeping generalizations aside, looking at dietary supplements with a broad view, we find that Herbal Medicine supplementation goes back thousands of years, having been a part of virtually every civilization in history. Unfortunately, herbalism in North America was set back several hundred years when European settlers killed and marginalized the Native American populations who embodied centuries of wisdom about the plants and herbs indigenous to this continent. In the last few decades we've begun to catch up thanks, in part, to the contributions of internationally respected American herbalists like: James Duke, Dr John Christopher and Ed Smith, co-founder of Herb Pharm
Common sense tells us that our bodies were designed to receive nutrition from the foods we eat. But short-sighted, profit-driven agricultural practices dating back to the 1930s have robbed the soil and therefore our food supply of sufficient amounts of many key nutrients . This problem has been 75 years in the making. A U.S. Senate report written, amazingly, back in 1936 stated: “The alarming fact is that foods are now being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contains enough of certain needed minerals. These foods are starving us--no matter how much we eat!”
Former president Franklin D. Roosevelt concluded “A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself..”
Since most of our foods are processed and the overwhelming majority are not organic and grown in weak, exhausted soils, it may be virtually impossible today to achieve complete and balanced nutrition without some form of dietary supplementation.
It's important to note that all dietary supplements are not created equal. Cheap, multivitamins like Centrum or One-A-Day are largely synthetic. Synthetic nutrients have no direct biological link to anything that has ever lived on earth. You would likely be better off taking no vitamins rather than taking these synthetic imitations of nourishment. Eating carrots is good for you. Eating a plastic model of a carrot, is not.
Centrum and One-A-Day also contain artificial colors and coatings. The packaging and marketing probably cost more than the cheap raw materials inside the bottles. Synthetic vitamins may be good for giving uninformed people a false sense of security, but they do nearly nothing to biologically improve your health.
Clearly, it's best to get your vitamins from whole foods because they provide complete vitamins rather than fractions of them. Also, raw, whole foods typically have the complementary enzymes, trace minerals and co-factors our bodies need to assimilate the vitamins. For example, sunflower seeds are an excellent natural source of vitamin E and the mineral selenium, both of which need the other to offer their full health and antioxidant benefits.
There are a growing number of ethical companies that produce top quality nutritional supplements that your body can truly benefit from. Some are actually made exclusively from raw, whole foods. These are great choices. Others, combining whole foods with other natural ingredients, are also very good.
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Studies with conclusions that run totally opposite to the overwhelming majority of published data need to be carefully scrutinized for methodology and context. The recently released study suggesting that omega-3 supplements can cause prostate cancer, when scrutinized carefully, doesn't pass the test of basic common sense. It was a hachet job, nothing more than misleading junk science.. When the study's authors offered the sweeping generalization that taking supplements is harmful, they completely failed to acknowlege that the synthetic supplements they studied are vastly different than herbs and other natural supplements derived from organic, non-GMO herbs and foods.
This article originally appeared in The Daily Courier.
© 2013 Robert Pell - All Rights Reserve
Website: Sunshine Natural Foods
E-Mail: [email protected]