Don’t let professional bias lure you from a healthier life!

“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” – G.K. Chesterton
“Today more than 95% of all chronic disease is caused by food choice, toxic food ingredients, nutritional deficiencies, and lack of physical exercise.” – Mike Adams
If there’s one series of posts in Elderwise Journal you don’t want to miss, it’s the one on nutritional supplements. Why? Because we look at and critique the world of dietary supplement politics so you can judge for yourself, whether our posts are written with an honest and objective intent. We provide some critical insights that will help you make the critical choices regarding supplements required to improve your health, vitality and longevity.
Everyone, even the “experts”, have biases that tint and sometimes severely warp their perspective! We are all victims and benefactors of our own experiences, training and conditioning. There’s no real escape, we can only try to broaden and perhaps adjust our critical thinking skills and views of reality to be more reliable, useful and safer. We do our best to help our readers navigate the world of health and longevity science so they can make choices that are best for them.
Finding reliable answers about supplements in a world of professional bias and conflicting opinions
Those seeking reliable and useful information regarding nutritional supplements soon find themselves in a world of conflicting opinions, professional bias and economic manipulation.
Consumers or anyone seeking reliable information about nutritional supplements are not only subject to their own biases, but the prejudices of the medical and research professionals they look to for guidance. Marketing hype and manipulation are also present in the pharmaceutical and nutritional supplement industries.
Add to this the economic and marketing forces attempting to manipulate both the professionals and consumers seeking the truth about particular supplements and medical drugs, and you get a minefield of conflicting views and data. We use the term minefield, because the information and, more often, opinions you end up relying and acting upon could mean the difference between saving and extending your life or not!
Below we provide some examples of the conflicting information, biases and forces of manipulation regarding nutritional supplements.
The venerable Mayo Clinic, in an article written by its staff, has said this about Vitamin C or ascorbic acid: It “is a nutrient your body needs to form blood vessels, cartilage, muscle and collagen in bones. Vitamin C is also vital to your body’s healing process. … Because your body doesn’t produce vitamin C, you need to get it from your diet. … Most people get enough vitamin C from a healthy diet.”
This appears to be very valid information, but upon closer scrutiny and investigation, we found the last sentence is subject to debate, as discussed here and in our next post.
Dietary supplement annual sales $30 billion in U.S.
Regarding nutritional supplements, Harvard Medical School’s Men’s Health Watch reported:
“Over-the-counter dietary supplements are big business — more than 90,000 products generate about $30 billion every year in the United States. … But are these pills good medicine, or a waste of money? … Even though supplements are popular, there is limited evidence that they offer any significant health benefits.”
The article claims that spending $30 billion on supplements is big business and a waste of money! In fact supplement sales are relatively small compared with the $485 billion spent on pharmaceuticals prescribed by medical professionals in the U.S. in 2018, according to Statista. Pharmaceutical sales in the U.S. in 2018 far exceeded those in any other country, by a whopping $350 billion.
Medial drug sales in U.S. amounted to $485 billion, with healthcare spending totaling $3.7 trillion per year
The $485 billion reflects only sales of pharmaceuticals, i.e. medical drugs, in the U.S. not total healthcare spending. According to Health Affairs, U.S. healthcare spending rose by 4.6 percent in 2018 to reach $3.6 trillion in 2018, representing a 17.7 percent share of the entire U.S. economy.
With so many of the world’s leading medical institutions and this level of spending on health care, one would expect U.S. citizens to be amongst the healthiest in the world.
Unfortunately, this is not the case!
U.S. has lowest life expectancy and highest chronic disease of OECD countries despite highest spending
The Commonwealth Fund, in an article entitled ‘U.S. Health Care from a Global Perspective, 2019: Higher Spending, Worse Outcomes?,’ by Roosa Tikkanen and Melinda Abrams, reported:
“The U.S. spends more on health care as a share of the economy — nearly twice as much as the average OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) country — yet has the lowest life expectancy and highest suicide rates among the 11 nations. … The U.S. has the highest chronic disease burden and an obesity rate that is two times higher than the OECD average.”
Yet despite these alarming facts, some U.S. medical “experts” focus on and criticize the efforts of those attempting to improve their health by taking nutritional supplements!
Some medical researchers claim multivitamins are a waste of money and advise against taking them
Johns Hopkins researchers Edgar Miller, M.D. and Lawrence Appel, M.D. and their coauthors claimed in an editorial in The Annals of Internal Medicine, multivitamins are not only a waste of money, but some vitamins may even be harmful.
“Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified, and they should be avoided,” according to Dr. Appel and his co-authors. “There’s really no evidence of benefit, and there is evidence of harm. Our recommendation is don’t waste your money,” Dr. Miller reportedly told CBS News.
Some representatives of these prestigious U.S. medical institutions claim that there is little or no evidence supporting the consumption of nutritional supplements. We challenge the above statements in our next post, based on scientific evidence and common sense, titled:
Scientific evidence casts doubt on claims against nutritional supplements.
Discover what the scientific evidence reported by other researchers indicate? Be sure to follow the evidence in our future posts!
What supplements have you found beneficial for your health?
Please share your comments, questions and suggestions in our Caring Connections forum under the Body category, about your experiences with supplements. By doing so, you can help encourage other Thrivers investigate whether or not there are supplements that could benefit them.
You can also tag your comments ‘Supplements’, ‘Vitamins’ , ’Nutrition’
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