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How To Destroy Confidence In Vitamins When You Do Not Have The Facts
By Orthomolecular Medicine News
January 11, 2010
"Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to this year's annual meeting of the World Headquarters Of Pharmaceutical Politicians, Educators, and Reporters (WHOPPER).
"Let us get right to the point. Many of our members and affiliates have complained about what is, for us, an alarming and dangerous segment of health care: so-called 'orthomolecular medicine.' We wish to assure you, although this therapeutic approach is, unfortunately, very effective in preventing and treating disease, that we will make sure the public will never learn of it. We can say this with considerable confidence, since for over 50 years we have managed to keep virtually all psychiatrists from using niacin to treat schizophrenia; we have kept cardiologists from prescribing vitamin E and co enzyme Q10 for heart disease; and we have kept general practitioners from prescribing vitamin C for viral illnesses.
"Yes, it has really been a triumphant half-century. How did we do it? It is really quite easy. Here is a summary for those of you that may have missed the last WHOPPER meeting.
"Our guiding principle is, keep the public afraid. Any fear will do, but we have been especially pleased with, and therefore recommend instilling, the fear of new strains of flu viruses, fear of vaccine shortages, and most especially, the fear of vitamin toxicity. Our success with this last one has been nothing short of spectacular.
"Of course, you know that decades of poison control center statistics show that there have been no deaths from vitamins. (1) You also know that drugs, properly prescribed and taken as directed, kill at least 100,000 Americans annually. Clearly, the last thing we want is for the public to actually figure out that vitamin therapy is tens of thousands of times safer than drug therapy.
"Therefore, we endorse the following tactics:
"1) Always demand 100% safety and 100% efficacy from nutritional therapy. This is particularly effective when you, at the very same time, continually remind the public that they have to expect and accept a reasonable amount of dangerous, even fatal, side effects with drug therapy. And, if one drug does not work, there is always another, still more expensive drug that might.
"2) Always give priority to publishing research that portrays vitamins as ineffective, or as outright harmful. Select the low-dose vitamin study; ignore the high-dose study. Our master stroke is when we criticize low-dose nutrient studies for ineffectiveness, while discrediting effective high-dose studies because they might be dangerous. Remember: pick the one negative vitamin study; ignore the hundreds of positive vitamin studies.
"3) If a positive megavitamin study is actually submitted to your department, medical society or journal, reject it on a technicality, and take a year or two to do so. Better still, make the authors publish in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. After all, whatever is published there will not be indexed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine.(3) Therefore, the public's annual 700 million MEDLINE searches will utterly fail to find it. People cannot read what cannot be located.
"4) Obfuscation works. Cloud and confuse the issue. Never let the truth stand in the way of a good press release. This we learned from the tobacco industry: If you cannot wow 'em with wisdom, baffle them with baloney. Remember, with vitamins, always highlight the negative; ignore the positive. Never let the facts get in the way of as good argument. A good argument is one that you win. This is about power, not health.
"5) While half the population takes vitamins, fewer than 1% of physicians practice orthomolecular medicine. That is a very small minority. How hard can it be to shut them up? After all, look what we did to Linus Pauling. When he spoke out for vitamin C, we got the entire medical world to openly snicker at the only person in history to win two unshared Nobel prizes. Talk about a WHOPPER!
"6) Take heed of what behaviorist B.F. Skinner said: Education is a very large number of very small steps. The secret is to keep plugging away, every chance we get. Every time we tell a WHOPPER in the news media or in the medical press, it is one additional, cumulative step towards washing the public's mind clean as a whistle, and stamping out nutritional medicine for good.
"Now go back to your word-processors and get to work. Wade through those nutrition studies and latch onto the negative ones. The news media are waiting to hear from you."
(1) The most recent annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers published in the journal Clinical Toxicology shows zero deaths from multiple vitamins; zero deaths from any of the B vitamins; zero deaths from vitamins A, C, D, or E; and zero deaths from any other vitamin. Furthermore, there were zero deaths from any dietary mineral supplement.
Bronstein AC, Spyker DA, Cantilena LR Jr, Green JL, Rumack BH, Heard SE; American Association of Poison Control Centers. 2007 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers' National Poison Data System (NPDS): 25th Annual Report. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2008 Dec;46(10):927-1057. Full text article available for free download at http://www.aapcc.org/DNN/Portals/0/NPDS%20reports/2008%20AAPCC%20Annual%20Report.pdf Vitamins statistics are found in Table 22B, journal pages 1027-1028. Minerals are in the same table, page 1024.
(2) Lazarou J, Pomeranz B, Corey P. Incidence of adverse drug reactions in hospitalized patients. JAMA. 1998;279:1200-1205. See also: Leape LL. Error in medicine. JAMA. 1994 Dec 21;272(23):1851-7.
(3) Saul AW. Medline bias: update. [Editorial] J Orthomolecular Med, 2006. Vol 21, No 2, p 67. http://www.doctoryourself.com/medlineup.html
For Further Reading:
Pharmaceutical Advertising Biases Journals Against Vitamin Supplements. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, February 5, 2009. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v05n02.shtml
FDA Claims "Food Supplement" Deaths; Hides Details from the Public. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, October 9, 2008. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v04n13.shtml
Nutritional Medicine is Orthomolecular Medicine
Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information: http://www.orthomolecular.org
The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource.
Editorial Review Board:
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D.
Damien Downing, M.D.
Michael Gonzalez, D.Sc., Ph.D.
Steve Hickey, Ph.D.
James A. Jackson, PhD
Bo H. Jonsson, MD, Ph.D
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D.
Jorge R. Miranda-Massari, Pharm.D.
Erik Paterson, M.D.
Gert E. Shuitemaker, Ph.D.
Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D., Editor and contact person. Email: email@example.com