Supplement Deniers - Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND

Supplement Deniers

September 15, 2019

I’ve written many blogs about the Supplement Deniers. Here is an excerpt from “The Anti-Supplement Lobby.”

On Aug 23, 2017 CNN-Health posted the following: “High doses of vitamin B (B6 & B12) tied to lung cancer risk, study says.” My fellow doctors on the Advisory Board of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service (OMNS) say it’s a crock!! Click on their website and scroll down to a critique of the article posted in a press release Sept 1, 2017.

The study only surveyed men with cancer and assessed their B vitamin intake via diet surveys. They took no blood levels. One OMNS doctor said that the participants in this study smoke and probably chug Red Bull for energy and that’s how they get their B vitamins. Red Bull contains caffeine, taurine, synthetic B vitamins, sucrose, and glucose. I do recommend B vitamins but in contrast our ReAline is food-based and methylated and has L-taurine and L-methionine as glutathione precursors – a much safer and natural energy balancer. 

CNN-Health is comparing apples and coconuts and doesn’t even know it. They launched into whether taking prenatal vitamins was even “worth the money” or “whether cereal has too many vitamins for kids.” This is in spite of the fact that a deficiency of folate in pregnant women has been proven to cause neural tube birth defects in 1 out of 1,000 newborns.

Here is what I wrote in “Hooked on Vitamins,” another blog that exposes the anti-supplement lobby. 

“Older Americans ‘Hooked’ on Vitamins” is the absurd and disrespectful title of this stubborn attempt to deny the importance of vitamins.

I say it’s disrespectful because it’s labeling seniors as drug addicts simply because they are trying to take care of their health in a non-drug fashion! It’s a horrible testament to the stupidity of a medical system that never taught its doctors anything about nutrition and lifestyle to help keep their   patients well. Instead they have become locked into a flawed and failing system of using drugs to prevent disease. As Andrew Saul said on my show April 2, 2018 “Drugs make a well person sick. Why would they make a sick person well?”

The NY Times article referenced a Mar 6, 2018 JAMA paper called “Vitamin and Mineral Supplements What Clinicians Need to Know.” It’s just a commentary, actually, not a clinical study. But it manages to display bias right from the start. It presents dietary supplements as a huge commercial industry, as if that’s problematic, earning $30 billion in the US, whereas the pharmaceutical industry pulls in $446 billion and is totally profit driven. It also asserts that scientific research doesn’t support the use of supplements and implies that they may in fact be dangerous. 

I’d run out of titles for this type of blog and the next one I just called “Another Anti-Vitamin Study.” Here are some excerpts.

Grrrrrr. Medscape happily published the following article “No Scientific Proof That Multivitamins Promote Heart Health.”  And I said a little prayer for all the people who will read this nonsense and stop taking their multivitamins and forfeit another piece of their health.

You may know that I’m not that keen on most multivitamins because they are usually synthetic and don’t do as much as ionic minerals and food-based vitamins. What they may be doing is keeping people away from taking dangerous drugs and allowing them to focus on a healthier lifestyle.

This “comprehensive meta-analytic review of relevant research…found that multivitamin/mineral (MVM) supplements does not prevent myocardial infarction, stroke, or death from a cardiovascular cause.” The authors say that “The take-home message is simple: there is no scientific evidence that MVM supplements promote cardiovascular health. We hope that our paper helps to settle the controversy on MVM use for CVD prevention.”

Another MVM critic interjected that “Vitamin and mineral supplements are taken by nearly half of US adults, yet few benefits have been documented.” This same doctor said that “Multivitamin supplements will never be a substitute for a healthful and balanced diet.”

The irony of that last statement is that – finally allopathic doctors are recommending a healthful and balanced diet – right when we know that there is no possibility of getting what you really need to survive in the available processed, synthetic, nutrient deficient diet arising from mineral-depleted soil.

It’s also very disingenuous for the researchers to only look at MVM supplements and not scan the many thousands of magnesium studies that show definite benefits for the brain and heart – and every other organ and tissue in the body.

In my blog “Supplements and Chronic Disease” I slay the Supplement Deniers with my nutrient-driven logic: 

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 Dietetics is 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 – such as the ones I make – 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. But I’ll beat them at their own game, I’ll give you their list and the actual population beside it. 

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%.

Let me quote from my blog “Demeaning Dietary Supplements” which gives the statistics on supplement deaths. What are they? NONE. For comparison, you can read my Death by Modern Medicine where I tally the iatrogenic, premature deaths from allopathic medicine at One Million and counting! 

How can nutrients that the body requires for every breath we take, every move we make, and every thought we have be so misunderstood by doctors? When I first began taking a close look at magnesium in the late 1990s I was astounded at what it can do – and I remain astounded as the research on magnesium continues to reveal its miraculous properties. But instead of studying nutrients and learning how to work with them to make us healthier, doctors persist in dismissing nutrients and supplements as if they are at the same time both worthless and dangerous.

The Orthomolecular Medicine News Service every year or two publishes  “No Deaths from Supplements. No Deaths from Minerals. No Deaths from Amino Acids. No Deaths from Herbs”. The information for these articles is collected by the U.S. National Poison Data System, and published in the journal Clinical Toxicology. Compare this statistic to the hundreds of thousands of prescription drug deaths and the million+ annual iatrogenic deaths. Is medicine trying to distract us from what they are doing with drugs and make supplements the fall guy. 

The final blog that I’ll quote is called “Medicine Mad At Supplement Sales” where they elevate nutrients to a global $133 billion industry as if somehow this money is coming out of their paycheck.

People are still conditioned to trust doctors, so when doctors write articles that say “More Bad News About Dietary Supplements”, “Dietary Supplements Don’t Prevent Chronic Disease”, “Pricey Pee: Time to Regulate Vitamin and Dietary Supplements”, some people actually believe them and distrust dietary supplements.

The latest article “More Bad News About Dietary Supplements” assumes that we already know that dietary supplements are “bad news” and buries the coffin a little deeper. Why do I keep harping about the attacks on dietary supplements? It’s because nutrients represent the last bastion of defense that vulnerable medical patients can turn to when drugs and doctors let them down. And allopathic medicine is doing it darndest to keep patients away from supplements. A Medscape article “Supplements and CVD: Why Negative Data Don’t Dampen Sales” shows exactly what I mean.

The article leads with the erroneous conclusion that “Vitamins and supplements do not prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD).” They crow about the “resounding lack of benefit” and that “negative data abound” all the while ignoring the fact that nutrients can’t be studied one at a time, they all work together. The studies they cite report on the use of synthetic vitamins and poorly absorbed minerals. And they don’t even bother to look at all the positive studies about magnesium. The people who have taken magnesium and found benefit from their magnesium-deficient heart symptoms don’t understand these studies and may even question their own experience because science tells them what they are taking is bogus. It’s Fake News at its finest!

Anti-nutrient researchers line up all the single nutrient studies that showed no effect and promote the fact that some nutrients even made some people worse – which is really not true. Then they say the $133 billion industry is a waste of money. This article expresses their disbelief that people keep buying products when their fake studies show that they aren’t working. When I’ve been told by researchers that there can be supplement side effects, I quickly counter with the truth that it’s likely in sports supplements contaminated with drugs – making it a drug side effect!

Ironically researchers talk about “medically justifiable” supplements such as calcium or vitamin D for bone health, whereas these are the specific supplements that I caution people about since they both will reduce the amount of magnesium in the body. 

It amazes me that as drug side effects pile up in terrific and terrifying numbers the supplement deniers escalate their vitriol against basic nutrient building blocks in the form of dietary supplements. The latest diatribe is a negative commentary on Medscape called “Vitamins and Supplements Are a Waste of Money.”

As with most abusive articles about supplements, it begins by railing against the amount of money that the supplement industry is making – thirty billion dollars annually according to this piece. Basically the doctor is giving people financial advice telling them that they are wasting their money because a survey in The Annals of Internal Medicine assured him that “There is no high-quality evidence that any vitamin or supplement has a beneficial effect on overall mortality.

Because the survey takes data from 277 randomized trials and nearly a million patients we’re led to believe that the findings are infallible. However, most nutrient trials only use diet diaries and supplement surveys and correlate them with the incidence of disease over time. It’s hardly scientific and as I’ve stated many times you cannot do a randomized controlled trial isolating a single nutrient because all the nutrients in the body work together. Also, analyzing diets to determine nutrient intake is ineffective because the soil is depleted of minerals and they just don’t show up in the foods.

It’s only commonsense that if people eat well, exercise, sleep properly, and take some basic nutrients, they look and feel healthier. The writer, however, comments that “Observational studies of vitamin and supplement usage are plagued by what’s known as ‘healthy user bias’: Individuals who choose to take vitamins often engage in other healthful behaviors. Time and again, vitamins that looked promising in observational studies failed in large randomized trials.”

The previous comment, again, should allow researchers to conclude that the method of studying vitamins just doesn’t work and. Nutrients aren’t amenable to large randomized trials – so for Pete’s sake, let’s do something different.

But they just forge ahead with their biases and according to this last writer, who conclude that “The only intervention that had even moderate-quality evidence for protection against all-cause mortality was reducing salt intake, which, frankly, doesn’t sound like a vitamin or supplement to me.” And it’s also wrong – adding sea salt to your drinking water is actually very beneficial.

Sheesh! Then the writer admits he’s been “heavy handed” and says “To give fair play to the other findings, there was low-quality evidence that omega-3 fatty acids might protect against myocardial infarction and heart disease, and that folic acid might protect against stroke. There was moderate-quality evidence that a combination of calcium and our old friend vitamin D increased the risk for stroke. But all of these effects were pretty small.”

There was no mention of magnesium at all or the thousands of studies that show the importance of this simple mineral.

In another admission of unfairness and arrogance he concludes “To be fair, this is only looking at mortality and cardiovascular outcomes. It remains possible that vitamins and supplements might improve subjective quality of life. But you know what else improves quality of life? Money. And based on this study, you might want to save yours when you’re walking down the vitamin aisle.”

An even more bizarre Medscape article reported on another Annals of Internal Medicine study. The article is called “Choking Hazard: Another Reason to Skip Supplements.” Actually, I’ve had that same concern for my patients and customers, however the advice should be to stick to smaller tablets or capsules not to “skip supplements” altogether.

This “Skip Supplements” advisory also quotes the survey above that led to the “Don’t Waste Your Money” advice. They throw in the $30 billion a year price tag on the supplement industry and make sure you know that using supplements “has no effect on overall mortality.”

Fortunately there were no deaths due to choking on supplements but choking is a very stressful event. The FDA asks drug companies to voluntarily regulate the size of pharmaceutical drugs but apparently not to supplement companies. They probably should. However, what I also learned from this study is that the high incidence of swallowing problems in the elderly is likely due to magnesium deficiency, which causes muscle spasms anywhere in the body, including the esophagus.

The moral of this story? Please put this Anti-Supplement information in context and realize that it’s driven by a TRILLION dollar pharmaceutical industry. Learn to take care of your own health with information that’s true and products that are real. Visit me at

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Carolyn Dean MD ND

The Doctor of the Future®

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