Herbs / Vitamins / Drugs / Supplements

Debunking False Vitamin Information

I never cease to be amazed by the ignorance of the medical community regarding nutrition. Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld on Sunday Housecall on Fox News, June 29, 2008, stated categorically that Vitamin A is the only vitamin found in meat. Not only he is mistaken, he is dangerously wrong. The most important vitamin in meat is vitamin B12, a lack of which causes severe, irreversible neurological damage. And, the only source of vitamin B12 is red meat. Actually, organ meats and bone marrow are the best sources. Vegetarians have been told you can get B12 from Chlorella supplements (i.e., blue green algae or “pond scum”). The amount of B12 in these supplements is so miniscule as to be useless. I can make this statement after doing blood tests on dozens of vegetarians, all of whom are deficient in B12. We also get a tiny amount of B12 from our gut flora, assuming your gut is actually healthy. Today, that’s a moot question, since we are bombarded by antibiotics in our milk supply, commercial meats and pharmaceutical prescriptions.

On the other hand, vitamin A precursors (in the form of beta-carotene) can be found in orange vegetables: cantaloupe, yams, yellow squash, etc. Most of us get plenty of vitamin A by the conversion of beta-carotene to vitamin A in our digestive tracts.

He also said that vitamins are dangerous. And, he cited as his only example the studies using beta-carotene in isolation. I thoroughly debunked this “experiment” when it was first released. See the article on my web site (http://richardsfamilyhealth.com/navpages/aboutus/newsarchives3.html#Anchor-Finnish_Antioxidant). However, now that this study is in the medical “literature,” it continues to be referenced by everyone wanting to discredit vitamins. The only accurate thing he said about the study was that beta-carotene was taken in isolation. That part is true. You need a spectrum of vitamins, based upon your personal chemistry, to get optimum benefit.

The other “bad” rep for vitamins – as far as Dr. Rosenfeld was concerned – was simply that Americans spend too much money on them! He said that was the item that triggered his “suspicion” of vitamins.

Dr. Rosenfeld trotted out the old chestnut about how a balanced diet gives you everything you need. Balderdash! After years of taking blood tests, I can assure you that this is no longer true. We have a food industry that destroys nutrient value at every step of the process. From picking foods green, to hauling them in open-air semis in 100º + heat, to washing them in the supermarket every 15 minutes or so. And, that’s only the fresh foods! Let’s not even get into the processed, synthetic, non-foods that most Americans ingest. Think artificial sweeteners and snack “foods”.

So, the drumbeat continues. Since the media are in the pocket of the drug industry and the AMA – think about the amount of advertising revenue they receive from drug promotion – this isn’t likely to turn around any time soon. Unfortunately, the disinformation campaign is widely disseminated, and I know many of you are receiving pressure from well-meaning friends and family members – urging you to reconsider your ingestion of vitamins. Stay informed. And, I hope the information that I have provided will give you a factual basis to educate the people who care about you.

It is very important that we all stay alert and are ready to act when legislation arises to restrict vitamin usage in the U.S. At that point, we will need to bombard Washington, D.C. with our objections. The new law that goes into effect in August of this year is just the beginning. Legislation has imposed “safety” standards on the industry that will simply result in higher costs. Most of my suppliers already do quality control testing of the sort that has now been mandated. However, onerous – and expensive – reporting requirements have been imposed. Another level of bureaucracy blocking our freedom of access.

It’s all very worrying to those of us who want to keep ourselves and our families in optimum health.

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