Mainstream media outlets such as The Today Show were abuzz this morning due to a new editorial published in this week’s Annals of Internal Medicine entitled “Enough is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements”. The editorial was based on three studies that just concluded looking at the effects of multivitamins on preventing heart attacks and cancer, as well as improving cognitive function in men older than 65. It’s conclusion, yet again, was that vitamins do not help improve human health and in fact “can be dangerous and should be avoided”. This is the message that went out to tens of millions of trusting Americans. The problem is that it’s a flat out lie.
There are so many problems with this story that it’s difficult to know where or how to begin to address it.
[Before we do so, just for the record, let’s be clear where I stand personally with some background and a disclaimer so there is no confusion. Though it isn’t my main occupation, out of pure love for the subjects of health, wellness and anti-aging research, as an entrepreneur I have worked in the health and nutrition industry on and off for over twenty years on the side. It is a passion. I started off as a hobbyist out of a burning desire to improve and optimize my own health — I envisioned a sort of super-hero like optimal ageless health and vitality. Eventually I decided to enter the industry as a business person. I’d always loved business and I loved health and nutrition, so it was a perfect fit. Through the years, I have worked as a researcher and writer of numerous articles on the subject and as a health and nutritional supplement consultant to individuals. I also owned a chain of health food stores that were sold to the GNC Corporation, owned a chain of juice bars, have done consulting to retail store owners in the industry, and eventually transitioned to product development where I worked directly with large manufacturing labs to create a line of anti-aging products — the most notable and successful being the UltraMax-HGH line. Though it may be redundant because it’s well known data, I still feel it’s important to state for the record. I eventually moved to the manufacturing side because that’s where my real passion was — supplement research, as well as where the most money can be made. I founded and was the CEO of a large nutritional supplement manufacturing company called Ageless Foundation Laboratories for six years that I actually started out of one of my health food stores when I was 25 years old. It grew into a multi-million dollar company within a few short years. That company was eventually sold to a much larger publicly traded company called Naturade. The products I developed are still on the shelves of most health food stores in America and in many other countries around the world. With that said, I do not currently own any nutritional supplement companies nor profit in any way from selling any. I have no vested financial interest in the industry. Only a love and passion for the subject.]
With that said, let’s begin. The most important thing to understand about this most recent article and the studies that were released is this: Number one, this is only happening in America. Most other civilized countries around the world do not let large corporations and industries control the health of their population, nor do they auction it off to the highest bidder the way the United States does. Hopefully this won’t last forever. Number two, there is a battle being waged against the natural foods and nutrition industry by the American medical establishment. It’s corporate piracy at its most ruthless. It has nothing to do with health or wellness or anyone wanting you or me to be healthy. Instead is has everything to do with making money. It’s been going on for nearly one-hundred years. Ever since the transition from medicine being an all natural healing modality to a corporatized monopoly worth hundreds of billions of dollars back in the early nineteen-hundreds.
Here’s the skinny: drugs and medicines can be patented. As long as they are “synthetic” or man-made. Natural foods and nutritional supplements cannot be patented. The reason for this is because supplements are normally “food sourced”, whereas drugs are synthetic. Foods cannot be patented. (Though this has not stopped Monsanto from somehow managing to find a way to patent seeds of the earth and suing farmers for using them. Go figure. But that’s a different post.) There are literally billions of dollars that a company can make from a patented drug, because once it’s approved, they are the only company that will be allowed to sell it. Nutritional supplements do not operate like that in the United States. No one can patent an herb or vitamin and be the only company that is allowed to bring it to market. This infuriates the pharmaceutical industry. Anything that has the potential to take money out of their pockets does. And the nutritional supplement industry has turned into a 16 billion dollar a year business. Not too shabby.
Every time a person chooses to go all natural versus the traditional allopathic medicine route, doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies lose money. There is nothing the American medical industry despises more than all natural or holistic medicine. They are constantly working behind the scenes — through bogus clinical trials, or propaganda campaigns disguised as PSAs, or in Washington DC through spending hundreds of billions of dollars in lobbying — to discredit anything remotely natural or nature based. They’ve been trying to discredit chiropractic medicine for decades. To no avail of course, because chiropractic really works. And it works great. No one should be allowed to live without visiting one at least twice a year if not once a month. But don’t go telling a traditional doctor that. They have no idea how to fix the body without drugs or surgery. The same goes for nutritional supplements. If you take St. John’s Wort, B vitamins and EFAs along with plenty of exercise to ward off anxiety or depression for example, drug companies don’t make any money. Neither do doctors. The same goes for lowering your cholesterol or preventing heart disease or any number of other maladies. If you stay healthy and never get sick through good eating habits, restful sleep, lots of exercise and the right nutritional supplements, needless to say, no one who works in the traditional medical establishment is going to make any money from your wellness. It’s only from your sickness that they get paid.
Here’s the funny thing about that though. As soon as a new herb is discovered that has healing properties, the medical establishment immediately rushes off to the lab to try to figure out what in it is so helpful so they can synthesize it., i.e. steal it from nature. If they can synthesize it, that is, create it in a lab from scratch in an artificial manner and render it useful in some way as a “medicine”, at least half as useful as the original herb itself, they can then patent it and sell it as a “drug”, even though all it is is just a fake less-effective version of something that came naturally out of the ground. Bayer Aspirin is nothing but a synthesized version of the herb White Willow Bark, an herb that was used for thousands of years as an all natural analgesic. Heroin and Morphine, also invented by Bayer interestingly, are simply synthesized versions of the Poppy Plant and opium. The hair loss drug Propeica may have been a new wonder drug at some point. But there was nothing new about it. In fact it is nothing but a feeble attempt at a synthetic version of the herb Saw Palmetto extract, something which has been used for thousands of years to lower the body’s excess DHT (di-hydro-testosterone) — one of the main causes of hair loss. Ironically simple and cheap Saw Palmetto extract works ten times better at preventing hair loss than the very expensive drug Propecia. Go figure.
I must admit to feeling more than a wee bit annoyed by having to post this information, only because I’ve done it a million times in a million ways. And so have lots of other people. There is nothing that will be written here that is not easily accessible through simple online research or at any local library, AND just due to the fact that I have been discussing it for so damn long. Thousands of people and organizations have. So forgive me if I skip around a bit. My feeling is that the most important thing here at this moment is just to get the information out there yet again to address this particular study asap — especially since this particular article mysteriously garnered so much media attention. In fact, let’s address that for a second with another very important area of day to day life where we are constantly fooled.
Nothing we see or hear or read in mainstream news has not been paid for and “pitched” through a PR firm or a news wiring agency. One of the reasons why the media reports on the White House everyday is because the White House sends them press releases everyday. It’s nearly a mandate. Whether interesting or not. President Obama pardons a turkey on Thanksgiving — a ridiculous event for so many reasons — and yet year after year you’ll see it plastered across your TV screen and splattered on the front page of many local newspapers. Why? Because the White House issued a press released through the right channels and big media covers any and all that does so. So too do large corporations that can afford to. So too do large Hollywood studios and television networks pitching their “next big blockbuster”. If you’ve always found yourself confused as to why the Kardashians and Paris Hilton and Brtiney Spears are all over the news when you have absolutely no interest in them and you have a feeling that most everyone else you know shares your sentiment, the reason is simple: they are paying for very expensive PR firms and issuing daily press releases. These get picked up by news distribution aggregators such as Reuters or Associated Press –wiring services — and then trickle down to smaller news services such as CBS, NBC, CNN, etc. and their local affiliates. That’s how we get our news. Through nothing more than a slightly altered, subtle form of glorified advertising.
This is the main reason why every media outlet in America picked up on the “vitamins don’t do any good” piece today. The Annals of Internal Medicine has access to billions of dollars. They issued a press release. Many news agencies don’t even bother to check on what they publish. They simply re-distribute and reprint everything that is issued through the news wiring services. I know this because I’ve been in the entertainment industry for most of my life and know how it works. If there’s any guilt to be had in the process, and I don’t necessarily believe there is, I’m just as guilty as the next guy. You wouldn’t believe the kind of things you can get away with releasing as “news” simply by paying to release it through the right channels. It’s laughable. And at the same time frightening as all hell. A good PR Firm will cost anywhere between $4,000 to $25.000 per month with a three month minimum. Without one of them, you’re a nobody. Meaning, you’ll have a tough time getting anyone in big media to pay attention to you, no matter important your news might be. If you want to do it yourself, you can form your own corporation and purchase a subscription to PR Newswire — the largest of the wiring services — for $1500 a year and then pay approximately $700 for about a 500 word press release. You won’t necessarily get picked up by The Today Show. That’s where a big name PR firm comes in. But you will get your news in tens of thousands of media outlets all over the country in less than 24 hours. This is how it’s done.
It’s the reason why we only hear about things that have money behind them AND why we almost never hear about things that do not have big money behind them. It’s the difference between major record label artists and indie artists; the difference between big budget Hollywood movies and indie films; the difference between big celebrities — no matter how annoying or worthless to society — and admirable do-gooders who we’ve never heard of: publicity, PR firms and PR wiring services. Or the lack thereof.
This is also why we heard all about this new study claiming that vitamins don’t do you any good but we almost never hear about the millions, yes, literally millions, of studies that have been conducted in labs all over the world that show that nutritional supplements cure disease or extend life. There’s just no money in running a science lab and conducting these studies unless you can patent that nutrient. And nutrients cannot be patented. This doesn’t stop labs and universities from doing studies. Scientists love research and exploring, getting to the bottom of things. They’ve got a sincere innate passion for discovery. They’re almost all conducted by research grants or non-profit companies who care a lot less about business than they do research. So the studies are out there. They just don’t ever make the news because there’s no big payoff in it. If reading about health studies and clinical research is your thing, or if you just want some proof that nutritional supplements work miracles in improving human health, go here: http://www.lef.org/search/?q=Vitamin%20C. You will see hundreds of studies that have been conducted that prove the effectiveness of vitamin C supplementation in preventing disease and improving health. This is just one example. Millions of such studies exist about thousands of different vitamins, herbs and other kinds of supplements. Everyone is at first shocked by how many millions of studies are out there that show how effective nutritional supplements are to human health. It is quite shocking at first. But again, we just never hear about them. THIS is one of the many shams being perpetrated on the American public on a day to day, year to year basis by big government controlled by bigger corporations.
So why would the medical community not want us to know about all these studies? Even more important, why would they spend millions of dollars to conduct different studies to try to disprove the thousands of studies that have already been conducted that show how effective certain supplements are? Hopefully you now know the answer to those questions. No money in nutrients. Plenty of money in disease, doctors, medicine and patented drugs.
I know what you’re thinking and you’re right. I didn’t quite believe any of this when I first heard it either. That was 20 years ago. I was just a kid. It sounded crazy. Like conspiracy theory speak. Doctors are in collusion with pharmaceutical companies to try to steer me clear of natural healing so they can profit from me being sick and using only drugs? It sounded insane. (But hey so did almost everything I learned about the history of the popes and the Catholic Church too….) But I kept reading and studying. I learned about how fluoride first got introduced into the system in America to “fight tooth decay”. Turns out that giant aluminum companies didn’t know what to do with the millions of pounds of aluminum fillings and dust they had leftover after manufacturing. So they got the idea to pay the government to dump it in the lakes and rivers. The government needed the money. As they always do. So they bit. The manufacturing companies were able to pay the U.S. government less than they were paying large union backed disposal companies to dispose of the same junk. Pretty soon they launched campaigns talking about the potential benefits of drinking “fluoride” — a chemical that the stuff breaks down into. They began paying dentists, in the form of scholarships, grants, donations and sponsorships of course, started pseudo-research organizations to promote that drinking fluoride and rubbing it on your teeth could prevent cavities. After all, aluminum is an abrasive. It made sense in theory. Millions of dollars were spent. Tens of millions. But nowhere near as much as they were spending to dispose of their aluminum leftovers the proper way. So it was actually cost effective. Pretty soon every municipality in America wanted those monthly checks from the big manufacturing companies. After all, all they had to do was allow them to dump aluminum fillings into public water systems. Flash forward a few decades. The aluminum manufacturers have saved hundreds of millions of dollars and 99% of Americans believe that rubbing aluminum dust on their teeth is good for them. And yes they even believe that drinking it is good for them.
The same thing happened with antiperspirant. The average American antiperspirant is actually nothing but the refuse of aluminum manufacturing companies. Read the ingredients. You’ll see it right on the label. The process allegedly works by clogging your pores with tiny metal shavings. You still perspire, which is a natural method your body uses to expel toxins; you just don’t perspire under your arms. You’ve clogged your sweat glands up with a toxic heavy metal. It’s brilliant. It also just might be the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard, right? Who in their right mind would deliberately shove microscopic toxic metal shavings into their body only for it to leak into their entire system? Turns out that a lot of people do. Because they don’t know any better. They’ve been fooled. Again.
With the advent of twenty years of research into Alzheimer’s Disease, many studies are starting to show conclusively that the one thing that all Alzheimer’s Disease patients have is an excess of aluminum in their brains. Where would all that aluminum in the brain be coming from? You guessed it. Antiperspirants, toothpastes and fluoridated tap water. The irony is that aluminum pots and pans have basically been banned from being used in the kitchen precisely because we are so concerned with the potential harm that is caused from eating food cooked in aluminum. Go figure that one out.
The first question I asked myself when I started learning about all this was “why isn’t the government doing anything to stop all this?” I believe that if you’re smart enough to be here, you probably already know the answer to that question. Why did the Obama administration allow Monsanto to block the labeling of genetically modified food into becoming law when he promised to be the hope and change president? Why has he locked up more black men for drug possession than any other previous president? Why has he deported more illegal immigrants than any other administration? Why does he have the dubious honor of being the first American president in history to authorize the assassination of an American citizen with no arrest or trial? Why doesn’t he do anything about fracking when whole towns around the country are becoming contaminated, desolate, unlivable swamps of pollutants where people can light their tap water on fire with a match and hundreds are getting sick or dying? There are a lot of these questions. In the end, the answer always seems to be about one thing: money.
I don’t believe that Barack Obama is necessarily “evil”. No more evil than George Bush or Dick Cheney or any of the others. Rather, it appears more that they just have a stronger desire for personal achievement than they do a desire to improve the world around them or right the wrongs of the world. In order to reach the level of president of the United States, one has to say yes to a lot of things one would never normally say yes to. Excepting the purely mad or sociopathic that is. Strange bed-fellows begin to appear in your inner chambers. Carrying large amounts of cash. What are you going to do? If you say no, you lose and you’re never heard from again. But if you say yes… The world can be yours. Or at least the presidency. Unfortunately it doesn’t begin and end at the top. In fact it only gets worse the further down the food chain we travel. Less money. Less access. More need. More ambition. As long as we continue to fool ourselves into thinking that attention hungry, ambitious politicians make effective civil servants and leaders, we will continue to face these same dilemmas, dangerous, harmful, even deadly.
It took me a long time to believe that the government knew about potentially harmful practices and products and didn’t do anything to stop it. It’s a terribly frightening fact to contend with. You feel naked and alone when first confronting it as a reality. For if you can’t trust the government, then who can you trust? And your doctor? Egads, you’re telling me that he or she is knowingly making decisions that are harming my health?
No. Not necessarily. It turns out that many of the largest medical schools in America were started by and are largely funded by large multi-national corporations, like Carnegie or Kellogg’s. There are agendas. Subtle but strictly adhered to. Scholarships are given out by the thousands by pharmaceutical companies. And it’s common knowledge that your average American medical doctor takes no more than three credit hours on human health and nutrition. This means that after eight or nine years of schooling they may know less than you do about health and nutrition. That’ s an alarming statistic. But it helps shed light on why most American doctors don’t know much about nutritional supplements or even health itself. Instead they are trained in disease. And the way they are trained to treat disease is by medicating it (with drugs) or operating on it. In fact, most doctors are even paid in various ways to prescribe drugs to their patients. This again is just a staggering fact to integrate. Why on earth would a doctor prescribe you an all natural nutritional supplement if they’ve been programmed to not know anything about nutritional supplements and instead are being paid to dispense drugs? They’re not evil. They’re just ignorant. At least at that level. It’s the higher-ups who are truly evil. The doctors are just the dumb middle men. Some of them at least.
If you ever want to test this out, next time you go to your doctor, ask him what he knows about a particular nutritional supplement. Not what he thinks about it, but what he knows. Choose one that you happen to know a lot about. See what he says. You’ll be surprised. It’s not that they don’t know a lot. On the contrary. They know tons. And thank God for that. Just not about health and nutrition. They can break a disease and its symptoms down like nobody’s business. They just have no idea how to prevent cognitive decline naturally or help you shed 20 pounds using exercise and the right nutritional supplements.
Luckily this is changing. When I was actively working in the nutrition industry, I was approached by doctors all the time who wanted to enter into the nutrition industry in any way they could. The stories were always the same. “The health insurance companies have us by the short hairs Fishy. I’m barely making enough to support my family. Certainly nothing compared to how many years I spent in school. You make way more money that I do. Certainly I can get in somehow… You can use me as a spokesman. Put my picture on one of your boxes of magic pills. I have to have a staff of ten girls in the front of office just to collect the money we are owed from these health insurance companies.” It’s sad. Their industry is a bloody mess. And it’s primarily due to the monopolistic control the health insurance and drug companies have over it. The doctors and the patients are the ones being screwed. Which is why it is vital that we learn as much as we can about health and nutrition ourselves; and encourage our doctors to do the same.
Over the years more and more traditional medical doctors are learning about the health benefits that can be had from simple changes in eating or the benefits of nutritional supplementation. It’s not like it was ten to twenty years ago. In fact, some of the products I helped develop were researched with medical doctors who had a keen interest in the subject. This is a hopeful trend. Many are beginning to see the light and are moving more and more towards holistic medical practice rather than a strict drug and surgery based approach.
Another thing to point out about the above mentioned studies is this: they were testing “vitamins”. What they don’t bother to mention is that most of the nutritional supplements that are on the market today are NOT vitamins. What they were testing were things like vitamins A, C, D, B vitamins, etc. They’re right in that most people don’t necessarily need these vitamins if they eat even an adequate diet. But they fail to mention that the most popular supplements in the world today, the ones that are all the rage for optimum health and anti-aging, are not vitamins per se. Instead they are very advanced lab created nutritional supplements and phytonutrients. Things like Essential Fatty Acids or Resveratrol or CoQ10. Alpha Lipoic Acid. AKG-L-Arginine. Various herbs that have been modified to only contain the most active constituents. These were not what they were testing in their so-called studies. Instead they were just testing the old basic vitamins, the kind that were popular back in the seventies. The kind that no one takes anymore.
Turns out they were actually testing “multi-vitamins”. Who in their right mind who knows a lot about health and wellness takes a multi-vitamin these days? It was silly kids stuff, these studies. A bait and switch game in an attempt to try to discredit what is turning into a very profitable industry. One that they desperately want in on. (Nearly every giant pharmaceutical company also happens to own a smaller vitamin manufacturing subsidiary with their own line of nutritional supplements that they try to sell to doctors. Again, it’s funny because it’s so contradictory.) Discredit nutritional supplements but at the same time manufacture them to sell to doctors just in case.
If I hadn’t experienced such miraculous results from using nutritional supplements over the years, I wouldn’t know about or believe in their myriad benefits. But I have. And I do. I boosted my IQ, measurably so, by almost 30 points. This was back in ’96. Just for the pure hell of it. Because I wanted to. I wanted super human intelligence. So I started on a smart-nutrient protocol and scheduled two IQ tests with a psychiatrist. One before I began the protocol and one six months later. I was pissed that I didn’t nail 160. The psychiatrist thought I was insane for not being satisfied with 158. But like I said, I was shooting for the moon. Going for superhero type stuff. Which I believe is entirely possible with the right mix and the right kind of nutritional supplements.
My current doctor (who is a naturopathic doctor, not a traditional allopathic doctor) is still scratching her head trying to figure out how I was able to lower my cholesterol by 250 points in six months using only nutritional supplements. To me there’s no mystery. It’s simple science. Anyone can do it. What really puzzles me is how the hell I allowed my cholesterol to get so high in the first place. Number one I was just being lazy. I had let myself slip a little over the last few years. I must confess I have a real weakness for red meat and certain dairy products like butter and cheese. Combined with the fact that it’s hereditary… I was doomed. It’s a trade off I supposed. Luckily I know how to combat the ill effects of these passions pretty easily. Now my cholesterol is back down to normal. And I didn’t have to change a thing in my diet. I just needed to augment it with the right nutrients.
Speaking of cholesterol, dinner has been served. So I’m off. More later. Check out this article on the studies that led to all this nonsense and you’ll see for yourself how full of holes the studies were. But let me leave you with this. There are plenty of “bad” supplements on the market today. The industry has grown tremendously over the last thirty years. Not many are reputable. Many are in it simply to make money. No different than any other business venture. And they’re more than happy to take your money regardless of whether you benefit or not from their magic pills. You have to know which brands are good and which are not. There is also the fact that one can easily take too much of certain nutrients and that can be harmful. They may be from nature and even all natural. But hey so is poison ivy. Research is imperative if you’re going to begin taking nutritional supplements on a regular basis. And less is usually plenty. Lucky for you, I have lately started to get a hankering to enter that industry again. In a very creative and what I hope to be helpful way. More on that later. In the meantime, be careful. Do your research. See a naturopath. They have a very solid background in nutritional supplementation and wellness. But for God’s sake don’t be fooled by this latest editorial by the medical establishment. Take your supplements. You too could be superhero like in no time.