[Paleopsych] LRC: Global Battle Erupts Over Vitamin Supplements by Bill Sardi
checker at panix.com
Thu May 19 19:06:03 UTC 2005
Global Battle Erupts Over Vitamin Supplements by Bill Sardi
In an unprecedented action, the World Health Organization (WHO), the
United Nations (UNICEF), and an AIDS activist group that promotes drug
therapy in South Africa, joined forces in opposing vitamin therapy
that exceeds the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), and in particular
vitamin C in doses they describe as being "far beyond safe levels."
These health agencies suggest nutrients primarily be obtained from the
diet and warn that supplemental doses of vitamin C that exceed a 2000
milligram per day upper limit could cause side effects such as
diarrhea. The AIDS activist group also suggests patients receiving
doses beyond the RDA should undergo proper counseling and informed
consent before being placed on high-dose vitamin C.
As outrageous as these statements sound, they burst into public view
recently with an ongoing battle between Dr. Matthias Rath, a former
Linus Pauling researcher, and The Treatment Action Campaign in South
Africa. The public battle ensued after Dr. Rath published a full-page
ad in the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune
advocating vitamin therapy over anti-AIDS drug therapy. Coinciding
with these full-page newspaper ads is a legal battle underway in South
Africa where The Treatment Action Campaign seeks to censor statements
made by Dr. Rath.
Dr. Rath cites a study by Harvard Medical School researchers that
showed dietary supplements slow the progression of AIDS and resulted
in a significant decline in viral count. [New England Journal of
Medicine 351: 23-32, 2004] Harvard researchers responded by saying
vitamin therapy is important but may not replace anti-viral drug
Diet promoted over supplements
UNICEF and WHO advocate a balanced diet rather than supplements
despite the fact AIDS patients have nutritional needs that exceed what
the best diet can provide. AIDS patients often exhibit nutrient
deficiencies due to malabsorption or diarrhea. Vitamin E, one of the
supplemental nutrients provided in a cocktail developed by Dr. Rath
for AIDS patients, is known to reduce the incidence of diarrhea. [STEP
Perspectives 7:2-5, 1995]
RDA for vitamin C is bogus
Furthermore, the RDA for vitamin C established by the National
Institutes of Health (NIH), referred to by the Treatment Action
Campaign, was established using testing methods that have been proven
to be inaccurate. A study published last year in the Annals of
Internal Medicine by NIH scientists clearly shows much higher vitamin
C levels can be achieved with oral dosing than previously thought
possible. [Annals Internal Medicine 140:533-7, 2004]. Twelve noted
antioxidant researchers have petitioned the Food & Nutrition Board to
review the RDA for vitamin C now that it is apparent the RDA is based
upon flawed research. Steve Hickey Ph.D. and Hilary Roberts,
pharmacology graduates of Manchester University, have authoritatively
outlined the flaws in the current RDA for vitamin C.
Furthermore, the RDA was established for healthy people and does not
apply to patients with serious infectious disease such as AIDS
Health groups tip their hand
This battle over vitamin supplements may be a foretaste of what will
happen later this year when a worldwide body called Codex Alimentarius
will meet to establish upper limits on vitamin and mineral
supplements. Codex is governed under the auspices of the United
Nations and World Health Organization. These health organizations are
tipping their partiality for drugs over nutritional supplements.
For example, Codex may establish a 2000 mg upper limit for vitamin C
as previously proposed by the National Academy of Sciences, or as low
as 225 mg which was recently established by German health authorities.
Controlled studies do not support the use of either number.
Dr. Rath is reported to recommend 4000 milligrams of daily vitamin C
for AIDS patients. The amount of oral vitamin C that a patient can
tolerate without diarrhea increases proportionately to the severity of
their disease. [Med Hypotheses 18:61-77, 1985] AIDS patients often
dont exhibit any diarrhea with extremely high-dose vitamin C therapy.
Diarrhea may occur among healthy individuals following high-dose
vitamin C therapy depending upon how much vitamin C is consumed at a
single point in time. Divided doses taken throughout the day minimizes
Huckster or helper?
Dr. Rath, a renowned vitamin researcher who described a vitamin C cure
for heart disease and cancer in 1990 in collaboration with Nobel prize
winner Linus Pauling [Proc Natl Academy Sciences 87:9388-90, 1990], is
characterized as a "wealthy vitamin salesman" by the Treatment Action
Campaign in South Africa. Raths vitamin company is providing free
vitamin therapy for AIDS victims in South Africa.
Anti-AIDS drug therapy failing
World health organizations appear to be solely backing AIDS drug
therapy at a time when a highly drug-resistant strain of HIV that
quickly progresses to AIDS has been reported in New York [AIDS Alert
20: 39-40, 2005], and drug resistance is a growing problem [Top HIV
Medicine 13: 51-57, 2003]. Its only a matter of time till all current
anti-AIDS drugs fail.
Of particular interest is selenium, a trace mineral included in Dr.
Raths anti-AIDS vitamin regimen, which appears to slow progression of
the disease. Researchers report HIV infection has spread more rapidly
in Sub-Saharan Africa than in North America primarily because Africans
have low dietary intake of selenium compared to North Americans.
[Medical Hypotheses 60: 611-14, 2003] Selenium appears to be a key
nutrient in counteracting certain viruses and HIV infection progresses
more slowly to AIDS among selenium-sufficient individuals [Proceedings
Nutrition Society 61: 203-15, 2002].
The strong reaction by world health organizations against vitamin
supplements causes one to wonder if they are afraid vitamin therapy
will actually prove to be a viable alternative to AIDS drug therapy.
Bill Sardi [send him mail] is a consumer advocate and health
journalist, writing from San Dimas, California. He offers a free
downloadable book, The Collapse of Conventional Medicine, at his
Bill Sardi Archives
10. mailto:BSardi at aol.com
More information about the paleopsych