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Synthetic Vitamins May Increase Death Risk

This study on the risks of synthetic vitamins was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 297 #8.  The researchers pointed out that the test subjects they examined only used synthetic supplements.  The study did not compare natural products like those we use in the Nutri-West and Standard Process lines. They also did the study with single nutrients only.  Sometimes too much of one nutrient will increase the demand for others and cause a selective deficiency.  That is why almost all of the products I have formulated are TOTAL PRODUCTS.  They contain the synergistic blend of nutrients, energetics, and cofactors just like nature.  Many of the vitamins and supplements that people buy at drug stores (Walmart, Walgreens, etc.) may be costing them health and not adding years to life and life to years.  If you ask your patients you will find nearly 100% are taking supplements of some kind from somewhere. 

It is our obligation as physicians to know and understand nutrition and supplementation for ourselves, our families, and our patients.  Knowledge is power and education for us and our patients is an absolute necessity.  This is one of the reasons I travel for seminars and have CDs DVDs etc. available to check out at the office. 

I would like to go back to the studies alluded to at the beginning of this article.  When the testing was accomplished on the synthetic nutrients they found that synthetic vitamin A increased death risk by 16%, isolated and synthesized, non-whole-food source beta carotene by 7%, and mega-doses of synthetic vitamin E by 4%. The results for ascorbic acid, synthetic mega-dose vitamin C, were not so clear; however, by looking at the best quality trials there was a suggestion that it increased death risk by 6%, either on its own or in combination with other supplements.

The overall conclusion of the study was that synthetic source beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E may increase mortality risk, but vitamin C needs further study.  I have seen dozens of studies that show vitamin C, both natural and synthetic, to be healthy in all ways tested.

A spokesperson for the synthetic and mega-dose multi-vitamin provider industry said the research was "flawed" because it included studies conducted on people who were already sick.  There were several parts of the study that may have given a slant to the outcome.  It is important to look at the studies and how they are conducted if one is going to hang their opinion on the research.
In my view, a significant finding from the study is that increased free radical damage may be a result of using single antioxidants, where using them in tandem gives a protective effect. 

Because of the drastic difference between whole food and synthetic supplements, I always encourage people to take whole food synergistic compounds. For that same reason is why some researchers claim that vitamins can actually be harmful.