They finally got something right

You wouldn’t believe my surprise when I opened the most recent issue of JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association). Inside was a positive study on the use of nutritional supplementation.

It made a buzz in the mainstream media for a couple of days. Of course, if a new drug or mainstream therapy produced a result this incredible, we would still be talking about it today. Unfortunately, it’s already “old news” in all the major news outlets.

So in case you missed this “blip” on the radar, let me share the good news here…

Researchers found that by simply taking a daily multivitamin, you can reduce your risk of cancer by 8 percent. That is a huge number. At last this should put the multivitamin question to bed. And yet…it’s already been “forgotten” by our hype-loving (and generating) media.

We have known from earlier studies that a multivitamin is one of the few things that can hold the telomere together. Telomeres are found at the end of your chromosomes and have been identified as an important indicator of longevity and even cancer prevention.

But now, we have a new, substantial study that provides even greater confirmation. It’s the Physicians’ Health Study, which analyzed data from almost 15,000 male physicians followed for over a decade.

The researchers concluded:

“The reduction in total cancer risk in PHS II argues that the broader combination of low-dose vitamins and minerals contained in the PHS II multivitamin, rather than an emphasis on previously tested high-dose vitamins and mineral trials, may be paramount for cancer prevention. These data provide support for the potential use of multivitamin supplements in the prevention of cancer in middle-aged and older men.”

Note their point about “high-dose vitamins and mineral trials.” What they’re referring to here is the fact that in previous tests using high doses of individual vitamins and minerals, they saw less-than-stellar results.

But let me explain both to you and to them why their poorly designed trials on single, high-dose vitamins and minerals don’t work. First of all, these types of studies are typically designed to fail. And secondly, our bodies don’t use single high-dose vitamins and minerals. We use them in combinations. And that is something the scientific community doesn’t understand.

The way you test for successful nutritional supplementation is not like testing for a new drug. Maybe they will see the light. It’s the combinations of things that work. If they can see it in a multiple, then perhaps they will design better studies to evaluate other nutritional supplements in the future. So they can see the same great results I do with my patients and you do at home.

Given that more than 1.6 million new cancer cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each year, this translates into about 130,000 cancers prevented every year. Along with all the healthcare costs and suffering.

A good multi is not a substitute for a good diet and healthy lifestyle, but it does help.

“Multivitamins in the prevention of cancer in men.” JAMA. 2012():1-10. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.14641. Published online October 17, 2012.