I heard on TV that Vitamin C and Vitamin E are useless in preventing heart attack. I confirmed this on WebMD. So why have some doctors been recommending these vitamins for years? Am I safer just taking medicine?”
–N.D., Albany, New York
ANSWER: Don’t be naïve. High-quality brands of these antioxidants DO protect the heart and the study you mention flies in the face of tons of research. What you heard about on TV was just a twisted version of a clinical trial that skewed results, successfully demonizing two powerful nutrients in an effort to get you running fast into the arm of “proven” therapies. The underlying message to frightened consumers is, “Be afraid of vitamins; they don’t work, so take your medicine — it’s proven!” I know my readers are too savvy to fall for these twisted tactics and you realize that statistics can be calculated in many ways. In this study, the results were calculated based on ALL participants in the study, even those who did not take vitamins, so no overall benefit was observed. The study also did not account for what form of vitamins were used (synthetic vs. natural), malnutrition, medication use and other illnesses.
Now, if you calculate the stats from this study based on women who actually complied with the regimen of Vitamins C and E (and beta-carotene), the results are remarkably different… actually, extraordinary. According to Health Ranger Mike Adams, founder of NaturalNews.com, these women enjoyed a 31 percent reduction in stroke and a 22 percent reduction in heart attack incidence. That’s more impressive than any “proven” drug from the pharmacy! See? You can’t believe everything you read, unless you’re reading it in my column!
Don’t be frightened. It’s OK to eat a diet rich in C and E if you want to, or to take high-quality supplements. When taking Vitamin E, look for the gamma form, mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols. Practice a heart-healthy lifestyle; popping supplements is never an excuse to eat poorly or sprawl sedentary by the TV. Besides, you never know what other invented bad news you might hear.
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.