I want to comment on the recent and very misleading study regarding vitamins.
The date collected from a group of women in Iowa was observational data. Meaning that they were asked three times over eighteen years-this is every six years which vitamins they were taking. This is very random and did not take into account any other situations or health events in their lives.
Furthermore, the women did not have to specify what multivitamin they were taking; whether it was synthetic or food based, how much they were taking or for how long they took it.
Life Extension Foundation also did its own scientific analysis of the Archives of Internal Medicine study. Among other things, it pointed out that copper and iron are pro-oxidants, so their overuse should be expected to lead to earlier mortality. It also noted that many people start taking supplements only after they become ill, which is not controlled for in any way, and that a sizeable minority of the supplements users were also taking drugs that have since been proved to be highly dangerous—patented hormones in particular—although no attempt whatever was made to control for drug use.
I have used vitamins and supplements personally and in my private practice for 21 years. I closely monitor what my clients take, what brand, what dosage, and what allopathic medicines they take. I monitor their signs and symptoms along with their Oriental Medicine diagnosis and change their vitamin program accordingly. Vitamins can help make a positive change in people’s health. I carry only the highest grade vitamins and supplements, and where they are available the food based vitamins. Brands do make a difference.
It is important to let your MD know what vitamins you take, even if they don’t agree with what you are taking. It is important for your complementary medicine doctor to know what allopathic medicines you are taking. And as also it is important to pay attention to how you feel when taking vitamins.