“Look around the room and make a note of everything brown. Then close your eyes. Do you see those things? OK now, what do you remember – that was green?”
In yesterday’s post I reported on the release of a major study that got headlines around the world, Vitamins A, C and E are ‘a waste of time and may even shorten your life’
The reaction was swift and strong, with everyone posting denouncing the results of the study. Natural foods and supplements websites also screamed about the results and the publicity the report got.
And, one reader pointed out that I forgot my usual warning that I’m part owner of a little start-up that 1)publishes the short “Are Your Vitamins Safe?” report showing people how to test their vitamins and 2) markets a whole food multi mentioned there (versus a synthetic one) – an oversight I corrected instantly and apologize for.
My question: Why is everyone involved in natural health and supplements so quick to denounce the study and/or its results?
Every study is motivated by someone with a point of view, else it’s not undertaken. Who else would do (or pay for) all the work?
Naturally, we want to know who paid for a controversial study/report or what the point of view was. Then the reader can add the appropriate grain or pound of salt.
From the results online, we in the alternative health business seem to believe that this is a case of big pharma being after us as an industry, supporting another big report that shows vitamins and supplements are useless or worse. So that they can drive people away from buying supplements and towards their drugs.
Granted. But, did we jump the gun too fast here?
The vitamins likely used in all these studies were probably synthetic (e.g. they refer to betacarotene, an isolated nutrient). Nearly all vitamins on the market ARE synthetic, so no surprise there.
But, do we really all love synthetic vitamins so much that we’d come to their defense?
I may be wrong, but don’t most of us focus on trying to 1) eat whole foods and 2) consume and market at least partially whole food/natural vitamins or supplements?
Seems to me that this study can be used, regardless of its flaws (ALL studies have flaws) to support a move AWAY from synthetic vitamins TOWARDS whole food/natural ones, like those most of you market, yes?
YEP, the little start up I am part of markets one of those. So do others, e.g. Juice Plus. Don’t most of you market whole food/natural type supplements?
So why get excited about studies that show synthetic vitamins don’t do much good?
Who cares? Most of those are made by big companies, too. They’re not “natural” anyway.
Isn’t this like good cholesterol/bad cholesterol?
Why not use such reports to promote whole food supplements like those you market, instead?
While there may not be large scale studies on many of them yet, at least they are of the same world viewpoint as whole food based eating – versus fake foods and food-like substances – they’re whole food based supplements.
P.S. Speaking of whole food based daily supplements, there’s a fairly new one on the market at natural food stores – Alive. Not a bad product at all. People are getting it. Natural whole-food-based is in – and synthetic is out. That is, for those of us who care about such things in the first place.