In the past few months a number of insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and mass media outlets have started to campaign against the use of vitamins and other health supplements, and in a few cases some have mislead the public by stating that supplementation is dangerous. It’s hard to blame media outlets for reporting stories put out by these companies, but the insurance and pharmaceutical world can financially benefit from this misinformation.
It seems as if studies that negatively portray supplementation come out on a regular basis these days, and one that appears to be getting a lot of backlash was put out by Kaiser Permanente Center for Health and Research. Researchers for Kaiser Permanente came to the conclusion that the use of vitamin supplements did not help to reduce the occurrence of heart disease and cancer. This research was picked up by the mass media and presented to the public, but anybody with even a superficial knowledge of how vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients work within the body knows that this simply isn’t true. In fact, to limit the importance of vitamin supplementation also limits the importance of nutrition, which is a dangerous message to send a country that is already riddled with poor health and nutrition. People all over the country depend on supplements to fill in dietary gaps, and for these people a deficiency in particular nutrients could absolutely increase their risk of heart disease or cancer.
The research conducted by Kaiser Permanente is certainly swayed in their favor. The studies these researchers took a look at were picked by two researchers, and it used 26 studies out of the over 12,700 that were available. The studies that they reviewed also utilized incredibly low doses of these vitamins, so in many cases they wouldn’t be helpful at all. This has lead healthcare professionals in many fields to speak out, and there have been countless studies that have shown the importance of supplementation, especially in terms of cardiovascular health and the body’s ability to fight cancer. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, American Heart Journal, JAMA, and the International Journal of Cancer all have numerous studies that show how supplementation can be incredibly beneficial.
So Why Do Reports Like This Come Out?
The answer is simple: money. Promoting an anti-supplementation and anti-nutrition lifestyle increases the public’s dependence on pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines. Some of the biggest supporters of the research conducted by Kaiser Permanente are healthcare professionals that support the extensive use of vaccination. There has been quite a bit of research that has shown how detrimental healthy lifestyle choices and supplementation can be to the money making ability of these companies. The Council for Responsible Nutrition Foundation released research that claims that using supplements for preventative measures could save the healthcare system up to $11 billion each year, and this is certainly information that pharmaceutical and insurance companies want to keep from public knowledge. It is also possible to reduce the amount of money spent on treating heart disease by about $4 billion each year. Using supplements, like omega 3 fatty acids or vitamin D, can help to promote healthy cardiovascular function and overall health.
Proper nutrition is the first step in creating a healthy body and mind. For many the use of supplements is essential to getting any vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients that their diet lacks. Using supplements to promote complete nutrition or for preventative reasons is a great way to support your health, and it is unfortunate that today we have to deal with many of the country’s largest companies spreading misinformation. All it takes to disprove these claims is some very quick internet searches, and you will find plenty of credible sources that provide information that is contrary to that released by Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research.