Vitamins, Herbs, And Nutritional Supplements Are Under Attack
The value of nutritional supplements in protecting and promoting human health has been intensely debated in recent years throughout the scientific and medical community as well as the national press. Many researchers believe that supplements provide a convenient and effective way to supply the optimal amounts of essential nutrients that are necessary for supporting long-term health, while others argue that there is no proof that supplements provide any real health benefits at all.
A lot of the debate has been published by media that is more interested in selling papers than reporting the truth. Because of this sloppy reporting and distorted information, the public has been unnecessarily alarmed, causing them to lose trust in complementary health care. It is crucial that this false information be addressed before harm that is irreversible is done to an industry that is committed to natural approaches to wellness and a public that is increasingly confused as to where to turn for truthful advice on preventing disease and achieving optimal health. The mixed messages that have been reported in the headlines have confused both health-conscious consumers and medical practitioners, as one day they’re told something is good for them and the next day they’re told it is not.
If there is any consolation to this whole thing, it may be helpful to understand that science never progresses smoothly, as there are always new findings that appear to disprove long-held beliefs. Controversy is necessary for change, as it paves the road that science must travel in order to arrive at the real truth. Unfortunately, bias in the media and conflicts of interest add an unnecessary element to finding the real scientific truth.
When looking at the recent studies that have been negated, there are several explanations that arise for the findings that seem to contradict prevailing scientific evidence. First of all, several long-term dietary intervention trials have recently come about which were developed in the early 1990s before good and bad fats were differentiated. Because of this design, these studies simply assume that all fat is the same, and to reduce fat, one must cut out all kinds of fat. Secondly, it has been proven that there will always be a statistical fluke in a bunch. Therefore, out of 100 clinical studies to investigate a particular effect, probability states that five of these studies, no matter how well they are designed, will show results that are not real.
Thirdly, it is expected that about one fifth of clinical trials that investigate a particular effect will not have the needed number of subjects to produce a result that is statistically significant. This is so because in most clinical trials there is only an 80% probability of finding a real result, which is known as the power of the test. Because of this, there is up to a 20% chance completely missing the mark and failing to find a difference when one actually exists. Finally, some investigations are just bad science, as they are improperly conducted, poorly reported, and inadequately reviewed. Unfortunately, these studies attract a great deal of attention from the media, which has been the case recently.
Natural vitamin supplements can feed the body and help the body fight disease and stay wall. The foods we eat determine what kind of health we will have, if we eat poorly, we will live with poor health. This is why we should consume a multiple vitamin and mineral as well as herbs and food concentrates to help supply our diet with the needed nutrients to sustain and maintain a good healthy lifestyle. Look to your local or internet health food store for vitamins, herbs, and food concentrates.