Supplements and Chronic Disease  - Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND

Supplements and Chronic Disease 

February 4, 2019
In what the authors probably assume is a fantastic expose, they conclude that “Dietary Supplements Don’t Prevent Chronic Disease.” 
The authors first note that the dietary supplement industry had an estimated $41.1 billion in sales in 2016 while the Academy of Nutrition and Dieteticsis cautioning against their “routine and indiscriminate use.” 
They qualify that while “single- and multiple-vitamin and mineral supplements may benefit the many Americans whose diets are lacking in micronutrients, there is no scientific evidence to warrant their regular use for preventing chronic disease in healthy individuals.”
But, wait a minute, dietary supplements are not drugs – so says the FDA – they are only used to support the structure and function of the body. So, why does medicine even put supplements in a drug category to “prevent chronic disease” and then put them down because they don’t perform?
As for “no scientific evidence.” I have yet to see a proper study done using highly absorbable natural nutrients – most use low dose synthetic supplements that the body probably rejects.
The authors draw their conclusions from reviews that define who needs supplements hoping to show that they aren’t meant for everyone.
They say that those with increased requirements and at risk for inadequate dietary intake include the following. After the colon, you can see my math.
1. Growing children: 24% of the population is under 18.

2. Chronic disease: 45% of the population has at least 1 chronic condition.

3. Medication use: 55% of the population is on regular medication.

4. Malabsorption: 65% of the population has a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy. Celiac disease has an incidence of 1% but non celiac gluten sensitivity can be as high as 13%.

5. Pregnancy and lactation: 4% of the female population is pregnant and lactating at any one time.

6. Aging: 33% of the population is over 50.
What’s the total percentage of people who, according to the authors’ criteria, may require dietary supplements? 175%. OK, so there is obviously some overlap with people in several categories, but this exercise serves to show that perhaps the majority of the population requires dietary supplements. Not as the writer implies that it’s only for a select few. It’s like they don’t even know how to do the math. Or they’ve convinced themselves that dietary supplements are not necessary, because they never learned about them in medical school, so they just ignore the facts. They certainly don’t look at the thousands of research papers showing the importance of magnesium supplements.
The authors trot our more stats that continue to contradict their conclusions. “About a third of US adults use a multivitamin-mineral supplement.” And “ Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey shows 25% to 70% Americans have low dietary intake of calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, D, and E.”
The authors trot out more stats that continue to contradict their conclusions. “About a third of US adults use a multivitamin-mineral supplement.” And “Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey shows 25% to 70% Americans have low dietary intake of calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, D, and E.”
Wouldn’t the fact that only 1/3rd of the population is using supplements yet up to 70% are low in one or more nutrients mean that more supplements are necessary? I know that 80% of Americans get less than the stingy RDA of magnesium making them deficient. And 100 years ago we could get 500mg of magnesium in our diet and now we are lucky if we get 200mg.
They also happily report that there is “No Scientific Proof That Multivitamins Promote Heart Health.” Again, they are implying that nutrients are drugs and they aren’t working. 
Now come the dire warnings: “Haphazard use of supplements, however, may raise consumption of certain micronutrients above the tolerable upper intake levels (ULs), thereby posing health risks such as adverse interactions with medications and inhibition of other essential micronutrients.”
The “adverse interactions with medications” is worthy of note. I learned about this concern in the Codex meetings I attended in Bonn, 2004 and Rome, 2005. You can read about Codex in my article “Kiss Your Health Goodbye”. Codex wanted to standardize food and dietary supplements being shipped across borders. This gave the World Trade Organization the authority to make sure food was allowed to be as toxic with chemicals and heavy metals as possible, and that supplements would be synthetic and low potency – so they would not interfere with medications. 
And you do realize that the most common way supplements “interact with meds” is to make them obsolete! If you have a disease condition that is a misdiagnosed vitamin or mineral deficiency, when you take the nutrients you can get rid of the disease and the drug! That’s just bad business according to the drug companies.
In my Jan 13, 2019 blog post, “Demeaning Dietary Supplements,” I cited a Jan 5, 2017 Orthomolecular News Service (OMNS) Press Release that there have been “No Deaths from Supplements. No Deaths from Minerals. No Deaths from Amino Acids. No Deaths from Herbs”. On Jan 8, 2019 the latest statistics were reported by the OMNS.  “So Where Are the Bodies THIS Year? Nutritional Supplement Safety Again Confirmed by America’s Largest Database.”
Dietary Supplements Don’t Prevent Chronic Disease” then offers itself up as a position paper giving dietary supplement recommendations. You can click on the article and laugh, like I did, at the archaic list that, of course, leaves out magnesium.
Because of the chaos in the dietary supplement industry, about 10 years ago, I decided to create highly absorbable products combined in a simple protocol that anyone at any stage of health or disease could use effectively. It’s the daily evidence of tremendous benefits from my protocol that propels me to warn people about going down the twin rabbit holes of drug-based medicine that has staggering side effects and oversupplementing with nutrients that don’t work.
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Carolyn Dean MD ND

The Doctor of the Future®

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