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Newsletter v6n5a

Newsletter v6n5a
Back Issues

Linus Pauling vs. Dow Jones

The Wall Street Journal Pontificates on Vitamins


"Free of charge, free of advertising, and free of the A.M.A."

Copyright 2006 by Andrew W. Saul. Commercial use of this Newsletter is strictly prohibited.

Linus Pauling in a Bear Market:

The Wall Street Journal Pontificates on Vitamins

Many readers have sent me word of a recent Wall Street Journal article (March 20, 2006) trashing vitamins. While such propaganda is hardly unique, this Doctor Yourself Newsletter “extra” might serve as a 5-point checkup for the open-minded.

1) Financial newspapers are not medical journals. I am reasonably confident that the founders of the Wall Street Journal did not set out to rule on nutritional matters. Neither do we expect NEJM or JAMA or Lancet to give investment advice (although they have been shown sufficiently interdependent with the pharmaceutical industry to do so).

2) There are those, especially in the pharmaceutical-advertising-supported media, who would like you to think that vitamins have no therapeutic value. In fact, they’d like you to think that nutritional supplements are downright dangerous. Advertiser money buys editorial favor. Scare stories sell papers. So what’s the surprise? ( )

3) If the Wall Street Journal were to analyze stocks with the convenient selectivity with which they choose to report on vitamins, either they’d have the SEC on their tail or we’d be in the midst of another stock market crash.

Almost all vitamin research is positive. If you search the National Library of Medicine’s MEDLINE index for “vitamin,” you will find over 174,000 papers. (And there are plenty more good studies not indexed on Medline, such as hundreds and hundreds in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. ( )

A Medline search for “vitamin therapy” yields 53,372 citations; “vitamin therapeutics” yields 16,191. A search for “vitamin contraindications” gets 165 responses. Vitamins are well studied, safe and effective. Read a true sampling of the research and see for yourself. ( )

4) My own personal search of the medical literature has failed to find even one death proven to be caused by the public’s use of vitamin supplementation. ( ) If you find to the contrary, please send it on to me. Remember, please, that I am looking specifically for proven instances, not hearsay. Not allegations, but forensic evidence.

5) Remember to always ask the fundamental question: “Where are the bodies?”

May I suggest that you might want to use what I say when people talk to me about all this:

“Show us all these people – any people – that have died from vitamins. Where are the bodies? Now explain this: the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that at least 106,000 Americans are killed by pharmaceutical drugs, properly prescribed and taken as directed, every single year.” (Journal of the American Medical Association, 1994, 272:23, p 1851. Also: JAMA. 2000 Jul 5;284(1):95-7.)

In the end, you have to decide for yourself whether to trust Dr. Linus Pauling or Mr. Dow Jones. ( ) Money may make the world go ‘round, but even mega-money cannot bring you health. Megavitamins can, have, and will. ( )

And, if it will help keep things in perspective, why not bear in mind what Ward Cleaver told his son, Beaver: "A lot of people go through life trying to prove that the things that are good for them are wrong."

And at least some of those people likely work at the Wall Street Journal.