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My Response to Biased JAMA Article That "Bashed" Nutritional Supplements

Many of you know me as The Natural Pharmacist. I feel compelled to comment on an article just published in the October 11, 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) titled The Supplement Paradox: Negligible Benefits, Robust Consumption. Many people believe the healthcare system in America is dysfunctional. It really has very little to do with health. Its primary focus in treating the symptoms of disease. This recent JAMA article highlights part of the problem.

JAMA is one of the most widely read and respected medical journals. However, when it publishes articles like the one I am addressing, it makes me realize that JAMA is primarily the voice of traditional medicine, which is of course influenced greatly by the pharmaceutical industry.

The article starts out by saying, "During the past 2 decades, a steady stream of high-quality studies evaluating dietary supplements has yielded predominantly disappointing results about potential health benefits, whereas evidence of harm has continued to accumulate.” (I added the red highlights).

Articles and reports of this nature are an example of typical medical industry ignorance and bias. Something is drastically wrong when the FDA and other regulatory agencies continue to attack nutritional supplements, while ignoring studies which report that FDA-approved prescription drug use kills hundreds of thousands of people every year.

There are less than a handful of deaths each year due to nutritional supplements so in reality, nutritional supplements are quite safe. In fact, I have hundreds of studies in my data base reporting both health benefits and safety from nutritional supplements, often at doses higher than the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA).

However, a 2003 report from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics reported that the total number of deaths caused by conventional medicine was estimated to be an astonishing 784,000 per year. This should be an astounding reality check for every citizen because it means that the American medical system is the #1 cause of death and injury in the United States. In comparison, in 2001, deaths from cardiovascular disease reached about 700,000, while the deaths from cancer was just over 553,000.

Almost all drugs have side effects and most drugs actually deplete nutrients from your body. In my book The Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook, I teach people which nutrients are being depleted by the drugs they are taking. For example, did you know that oral contraceptives deplete 14 different nutrients from women’s bodies?  Frequently these nutrient depletions cause additional health problems, which cause people to go to the doctor to get another drug when in fact the appropriate nutritional supplement often prevents or corrects a problem.

Drugs do not  fix health problems; they just treat symptoms. For example, blood pressure medications do not cure your high blood pressure. They just suppress a symptom that we call hypertension while the underlying problem continues to worsen, often resulting in a heart attack or stroke at some future date. And, antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs don’t cure mental health problems. The medical profession is lying when they lead people to believe that the drug that is being prescribed is going to fix or cure them. In her book A Mind of Your Own, psychiatrist Kelly Brogan said, “Before I stopped prescribing drugs, I had never cured a patient.”

Most health problems are caused by diet and lifestyle issues, especially the ever-increasing load of environmental toxins people are being exposed to regularly. Toxins are the primary drivers of disease. Drugs don’t fix people. Changes in diet and lifestyle are the path to improved health.

In closing, I just want to say, JAMA, shame on you for bashing nutritional supplements and suggesting that nutritional supplements are a great cause of harm and health problems in the United States. Let us instead take a long hard look at the FDA, the pharmaceutical industry, the medical profession and the belief that prescription drugs are the path to better health. In reality, prescription drugs and the medical profession are killing more people than heart disease and cancer. Stop bashing nutritional supplements and trying to increase regulations on the nutritional supplement industry when the vast majority of health problems are due to the drugs people are taking and environmental toxins.

The JAMA article I’ve been ranting about can be found at the following link:

Thanks for listening to my rant.  In health,  Ross 

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