Category Archives: vitamins

How To Compile an Affordable Diet that Includes Recommended Vitamins and Minerals

Washington Post carries a thought-provoking and slightly depressing article: Even a Dietitian Can Find It Hard to Craft a Diet That Covers All the Bases. Essentially, even a very experienced Registered Dietitian found it difficult to design a diet that met all the dietary guidelines within 1800 calories (day’s menu for a hypothetical 35-year-old, 5-foot-4-inch woman who weighs 130 pounds and exercises three times a week) and that isn’t taking issues such as affordability into account. Continue reading

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Daily Mail and Its Frame of a Recent Homocysteine and Depression Study

Daily Mail regularly displays a remarkable similarity to the public writings of Visiting Professor Patrick Holford. It has taken time out from its usual project of dividing substances into things that will give you cancer or cure it, or similarly for diabetes to digress into the Holford obsession with over-claiming for the significance of homocysteine levels and the outcome of manipulating them. In a recent round-up, Daily Mail declared Vitamin B can beat ‘old age blues’. A little confusingly, the accompanying photograph is that of an attractive, well-turned out woman in her late 20s/early 30s or so. It’s distracting because the study was carried out in men over the age of 70. Continue reading

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Alternative Nutrition bingo: we predict industry responses to the JAMA trial of vitamin C and E

The Journal of the American Medical Association has recently published a good quality, placebo-controlled, randomised, double-blind trial looking at whether vitamin C and E supplementation can reduce cardiovascular events. It ran for 10 years, and included “14 641 US male physicians enrolled, who were initially aged 50 years or older, including 754 men (5.1%) with prevalent cardiovascular disease at randomization.” The trial concluded that “[t]hese data provide no support for the use of these supplements for the prevention of cardiovascular disease in middle-aged and older men.”

I was surprised to see that the alternative nutrition industry has not yet responded to this – I was waiting with bated breath for Sir Cliff Richard’s definitive critique of the science – so I thought that I would respond on their behalf: frankly, the alternative nutrition industry’s response to such trials has become tediously predictable so there seems to be little point in waiting.

I will list a number of likely industry responses below; I will then enjoy the small satisfaction of ticking them off when they appear in industry press releases: Continue reading

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Filed under antioxidants, supplements, vitamin c, vitamins

Patrick Holford and His Recommendations for Vaccines: As Canard-Stuffed As We Feared

Former Visiting Professor Patrick Holford is still, unaccountably, Head of Science and Education at Biocare although Biocare prides itself on the appropriate credentials of its scientific staff. We offer an illustrative example of the validity of Holford’s claim to understand evidence appropriately or interpret it for others: we shall focus on “Vaccinations: what every parent needs to know” in 100%health Newsletter, No. 46, July 2008, pp. 5-8.[a] Continue reading

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Filed under children, Holford, patrick holford, supplements, vaccination, vaccines, vitamins

Polypills or Vitamins for Homocysteine and Cardiovascular Risks: the Hype is Ahead of the Evidence

You may have experienced déjà vu over the last few days if you’ve been reading excited accounts about polypills for the over-55s (there was a lot of Oh Brave New World about the potential for polypills in 2003). The claims are that polypills will prevent 100,000 premature deaths a year and also prevent up to 80% of heart attacks and strokes. The polypills will contain a cholesterol-reducing statin; three types of medicine to lower blood pressure (thiazide, aspirin and beta-blockers); and folic acid to reduce levels of homocysteine (Hcy). Continue reading

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Irish Association of Nutritional Therapy on the Cochrane Review of Antioxidant Supplements

Miriam Barry of the Irish Association of Nutritional Therapy (IANT) offers a Response to the recent media coverage regarding antioxidants. She opens her response with these words:

As nutritional therapists we feel compelled to give the public the facts of this case. Please click here to inform yourself of the facts regarding this study.

All of which is rather promising but quickly falls into something more akin to something Jonathan Aitken would have said, although the rhetoric is less stirring than the memorable “sword of truth and trusty shield of fair play”. Barry’s piece is short but contains so many distortions that it would be both tedious and unreadable to deal with them all. Continue reading

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Patrick Holford Responds to Radio 4 Programme and Misses the Point: Part 1

We are not entirely sure that Professor Patrick Holford of Teesside University and also Head of Science and Education at Biocare quite understands the purpose of issuing clarifications. Hint, the clue is in the name.

As it is impossible to comment on Holford’s page, we reproduce his clarifications here and address what is wrong with them. Here, we shall look at the vitamin C claim for colds. Continue reading

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Filed under David Colquhoun, Goldacre, Holford, patrick holford, supplements, vitamin c, vitamins