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Supplement Warning! Synthetic Vitamins Linked To Deaths

by kassandrabragg » Wed Feb 28, 2007 3:17 pm


http://tinyurl.com/2gy3f3

Antioxidant Supplements Tied to Death Risk
By Michael Conlon
Reuters
CHICAGO (Feb. 27) - Beta carotene and vitamins A and E, antioxidant supplements taken by millions to fight disease, may actually raise the risk of death, a review of 68 studies on nearly a quarter-million people said on Tuesday.



Mario Tama, Getty Images
According to a new study, taking the antioxidant supplements Beta carotene and vitamins A and E can be dangerous.

Talk About It: Post Thoughts

The finding drew fire from critics who said it was flawed and based largely on studies of people who were already chronically ill before they were treated with the supplements.

Tuesday's report related only to synthetic supplements and not to fruits and vegetables in everyday diets which are natural and contain less concentrated levels of antioxidants, said the study from the Center for Clinical Intervention Research at Denmark's Copenhagen University Hospital.

While the review did not pinpoint any biochemical mechanism that may be behind the increased death risk, it may be that "by eliminating free radicals from our organism, we interfere with some essential defensive mechanisms," the study concluded.

Antioxidants are believed to fight free radicals, atoms or groups of atoms formed in such a way that they can cause cell damage.

"Beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E given singly or combined with other antioxidant supplements significantly increase mortality," the study found. It said the increased death risk is about 5 percent higher than those not given supplements and that figure is probably conservative.

It also found no evidence that vitamin C increases longevity and though selenium tended to reduce mortality, more research is needed on that topic.

Balz Frei, director of the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, said the study and the data studied are both flawed because more than two-thirds of the previous research that was examined involved people with heart disease, cancer or other risks who were being treated to see if the supplements worked.

"This kind of approach does not work," he said. "Over the years it has become clear from these clinical trials that antioxidants don't work in disease treatment."
The Natural Products Association, a supplement trade group, said the study "stands in stark contrast to large actual clinical studies that have not demonstrated any increased risks."

Daniel Fabricant, a vice president of the association, said reviews of existing studies, called meta-analysis, often work but in this case the process was biased because "there are many other factors that could contribute to mortality that were simply not assessed."

The study, published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association, said that 10 percent to 20 percent of adults in North America and Europe -- up to 160 million people -- may consume the supplements involved.

"The public health consequences may be substantial," it said. "We are exposed to intense marketing" which holds the opposite view of what the researchers found, it added.

"We did not find convincing evidence that antioxidant supplements have beneficial effects on mortality," concluded the study. "Even more, beta carotene, vitamin A and vitamin E seem to increase the risk of death."

_______________________________________________


Even more reason to get your nutritients from whole food sources versus synthetics.[:)]

Blessings,

Kassandra
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Re: Supplement Warning! Synthetic Vitamins Linked To Deaths

by TonyRush » Wed Feb 28, 2007 3:36 pm


Great post, Kassandra.

Despite the fact that the detriments of synthetic vitamins have been documented for years, I'm surprised that more people in nutritional MLM companies aren't aware of it. I think it's because most "wellness MLMers" only have whatever nutritional training that their own company gives them; and obviously their own company isn't going to tell them that their own product is made of substandard synthetic vitamins.

For instance, over 90% of all the "Vitamin C" found in supplements today (MLM and otherwise) is manufactured in a lab in Europe. (Rouch Laboratories). It's synthetic. How can you tell? Look on the label: if you see a chemical name next to the name of the vitamin (such as "ascorbic acid"), your supplement is made of synthetics.

The only "real", natural vitamin is one derived from plants...not made in a laboratory.

Thanks for posting this Kassandra.

Tony Rush
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Re: Supplement Warning! Synthetic Vitamins Linked To Deaths

by jana » Wed Feb 28, 2007 3:39 pm


The (London) Times is absolutely full of this story today, also. It's basically a big international retrogressive meta-analysis of other clinical trials involving about 230,000 patients (or 180,000 patients if you consider only those trials with the best and most reliable methodologies).

As far as I was aware from my own training, regarding Beta-Carotene and Vitamin A, there is no surprise here at all: excess supplementation of those has always been considered pretty bad and unwise news anyway. Vitamin E is rather a surprise - to me, anyway. But then again, it may still of course turn out not to be true anyway ... :O]

(Regarding Beta-Carotene, specifically, it makes absolutely no difference whether it's synthetic or organic, by the way. The risk factors are identical.)
Last edited by jana on Wed Feb 28, 2007 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Supplement Warning! Synthetic Vitamins Linked To Deaths

by djsartin » Wed Feb 28, 2007 3:41 pm


Hi Kassandra....

I had posted another article on this last night and
totally agree that isolate and extraction based
supplements can pose great dangers.

Same applies to mega amounts of any single type
nutrirional. Too many mgs of any one vitamin, enzymes,
or antioxidants, or even minerals...in proportion to all
else one intakes via their normal daily diets.

When anything in us is way out of balance we
end up with potential risk of causing health issues.
Either excabarating a current health issue or
developing a new one.

Some say don't worry...our bodies will just throw
off as waste anything it doesn't currently need. Not
true, as only water soluble components are thrown
off...many others are stored.

And the biggest danger is that while in us...before
being thrown off as waste these mega amounts of
some nutrients can actually hinder the body's utilization
of other nutrients.

Balance is the key. Moderation rather than excess of
any one type of nutrient.

I personally learned this the hard way when my
albumin and potassium levels were thrown way off....

Ended up in the ER.

No more. Now I've switched to only whole food
products and not just a few foods that are high in one
nutrional aspect. It takes a wide variety in types of
foods to achieve a truly balanced diet and ongoing
wellness, vitality and the ability to truly maintain
quality of life throughout our lifetimes.

I will never take individual supplements again,
unless a doctor tests and states I'm low on that one
component of a balanced diet.

Awareness is power and thanks Kassandra for
posting this article,

DJ
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Re: Supplement Warning! Synthetic Vitamins Linked To Deaths

by Kim_Ward » Wed Feb 28, 2007 4:14 pm


I personally do not take synthetic drugs or supplements, for I
am a firm believer in natural sources, and yes, I do practice
what I preach, and have found that it works for me and my
family over the years.

But too much of anything is not good, even water. How does
one know what is to much though, or not enough?

Here is some info I found that made a lot of sense, and I
have found it to be true with others who adjust their
products to what their body needs.

From:

http://www.thenutritionreporter.com/Free-rads.html
Now that I've sacrileged the shrine of antioxidants, the
inevitable questions arise. First, should you take
antioxidants? Unquestionably, yes.

How much vitamin E and other antioxidants should you take? There's no simple answer. The traditional, and low,
Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) are in a state of
flux and will probably be revised upward. Last year, the
nonprofit Alliance for Aging Research, based in Washington,
D.C., recommended that generally healthy people take
antioxidant supplements in the following daily ranges:

* vitamin E, 100-400 IU,
* vitamin C, 200-1,000 mg., and
* beta-carotene, 17,500-50,000 IU.

To decide how much of these antioxidants you should
take, weigh the free radical stresses you face. Do you live in
a large, polluted city? Do you smoke or live with a smoker?

Do you live at a high altitude or spend a lot of time in the sun?
Do you eat refined foods with polunsaturated fats (from which
the vitamin E has been removed)? The more of these questions
you say "yes" to, the higher your antioxidant intake should probably be.

Ultimately, of course, you have to listen to your body and
determine the dose you feel better at, or worse, and adjust
it accordingly.

By all means, take more if you feel better-or if a physician
suggests that you do so. However, if you're really studious
about your diet, eat organic foods, are relatively young, and
in good health, you may not need a lot of supplemental antioxidants.

One more point to consider:
Harman contends that the downward slide begins at age
27, meaning this is when you really need to start protecting
yourself against the growing free radical cascade in your
body.




I would like to add that I have more energy at 40 then I had
at 20, and that's a sign to me that I am doing something right.
I do go by a day to day basis on what I take though. I just
listen to what my body tells me I need.

Hey mom, look, I'm an expert. [;)]


Cheers,

Kim
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Re: Supplement Warning! Synthetic Vitamins Linked To Deaths

by djsartin » Wed Feb 28, 2007 4:29 pm


I agree, Kim...thanks for sharing that very informative
article. We need more like this.

..and I strongly feel that anyone taking any supplements
should adjust the amounts according to their personal
responses to the added nutrients....

...no two people will ever be consuming the exact same
total dietary intake because of lifestyle, favorite foods,
foods they dislike, habits...and more...

So any supplementation will vary in results from one
person to another.

Experts? Even researchers state they haven't even
identified all the micro nutrients within any food.

Sooo...no real experts to do with nutrition....me thinks.

Best we can all do is find what works best for ourselves
and then do this consistently.

We all also know that even so called fresh foods
or organic available to us will not have near the
nutritional content they did years ago when raised
at home. Trucked too many miles before we see
them in the stores we buy from.

So I"m all for supplementation.

Like others here...I am now only consuming whole
food based products and feel it's the wisest choice
for me, as there is always more synergistic value
in whole foods.

I'm amazed in the stores to find every vitamin
available standalone...and almost every mineral.
And I think the folks that get in trouble with
supplementation have done so after reading that
this or that helps with something...so they run and
buy just that and add it to their personal home
pharmacy. BetaCarotene...selenium...Vit E, on
and on.

The healthiest folks I know do seem to spend some
time and effort creating their own supplemental
plan...and often, adjust as they go along...

And this is alls I know...so far.

Still livin', lovin', laughin' and learnin' with the best,

DJ
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Re: Supplement Warning! Synthetic Vitamins Linked To Deaths

by jana » Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:16 pm


Last year, the nonprofit Alliance for Aging Research, based in Washington, D.C., recommended that generally healthy people take antioxidant supplements in the following daily ranges:

* vitamin E, 100-400 IU,
* vitamin C, 200-1,000 mg., and
* beta-carotene, 17,500-50,000 IU.


Yes indeed; last year or the year before, certainly. But these days, Kim, (meaning "this year"!) in the light of much more retrogressive meta-analysis of various clinical trials, I don't think anyone would be recommending such quantities of Beta-Carotene. There are some proven risk factors involved with that. It's true that I don't very regularly get asked for dietary advice, because of the sort of clinics I work in now, but I would certainly be advising any patient against too much supplementary Beta-Carotene (from whatever origin). Just my opinion. (Well, actually, no ... not really "just my opinion": I should say "current medical opinion", I think!).
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Re: Supplement Warning! Synthetic Vitamins Linked To Deaths

by Marko1 » Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:29 pm


Hello Kassandra

Antioxidant Supplements Tied to Death Risk
By Michael Conlon
Reuters
CHICAGO (Feb. 27)


Without intending it as criticism at all, "Synthetic Vitamins Linked To Deaths" is a considerable interpretation of what's been published, don't you think?

There's absolutely no evidence or suggestion whatsoever in this research that the fact that the vitamins were synthetic was associated with the increased death-risk at all: the results could (and many would say "would") have been identical if the vitamin supplements had been from pure, organic, wild sources.

To show what you've announced in your thread-title, you'd actually have to compare various groups of people taking synthetic vitamin supplements with groups of people taking natural vitamin supplements (there are such things, you know). But this wasn't done at all.

These were simply trials in which people taking vitamin supplements were compared with people not taking vitamin supplements.

It may be your own interpretation or hunch that the fact that the vitamins were synthetic was relevant to the outcome, but there was no suggestion of that in the research done at all. (And incidentally many previous studies in which synthetic and organic vitamin supplements have been compared have consistently failed to show any outcome differences at all.)
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Re: Supplement Warning! Synthetic Vitamins Linked To Deaths

by djsartin » Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:51 pm


I would agree as far as the studies were focused
only on synthetic vitamins classified as antioxidants...
so to state only synthetics are danterous would
bear rethinking.

Nature provides us with a wide variety of foods
for a reason.

Personally, I was taking no synthetic vitamins at
all when I ended up short on Potassium and problems
with albumin levels when tested.

However, if we were to eat nothing but carrots for
a week..we could still end up developing an overload
of certain nutrients.

Balance is the key...if we take even whole food based
supplements that contain only a few foods that contain
high levels of certain nutriients then during a time period
this can throw things out of proportion, and actually
cause other nutrients not to even be utilized by the body
for hours.

I'm no expert, but in reviewing all I ever learned regarding
wellness and nutritional choices, this is my personal
belief at this time.

I do still learn more as I continue thru life being open
to all new information on the subject of nutrition.

DJ
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Re: Supplement Warning! Synthetic Vitamins Linked To Deaths

by redwhite35 » Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:53 pm


I would agree as far as the studies were focused
only on synthetic vitamins classified as antioxidants...
so to state only synthetics are danterous would
bear rethinking.

Nature provides us with a wide variety of foods
for a reason.

Personally, I was taking no synthetic vitamins at
all when I ended up short on Potassium and problems
with albumin levels when tested.

However, if we were to eat nothing but carrots for
a week..we could still end up developing an overload
of certain nutrients.

Balance is the key...if we take even whole food based
supplements that contain only a few foods that contain
high levels of certain nutriients then during a time period
this can throw things out of proportion, and actually
cause other nutrients not to even be utilized by the body
for hours.

I'm no expert, but in reviewing all I ever learned regarding
wellness and nutritional choices, this is my personal
belief at this time.

I do still learn more as I continue thru life being open
to all new information on the subject of nutrition.

DJ



Remember what they say, if you take too much of "ANYTHING" it could be extremely dangerous no matter how natural or un-natural.
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Re: Supplement Warning! Synthetic Vitamins Linked To Deaths

by Kim_Ward » Wed Feb 28, 2007 7:11 pm


Marko it states:

Tuesday's report related only to synthetic
supplements and not to fruits and vegetables in everyday diets



I would like to comment on:
"Over the years it has become clear from these clinical
trials that antioxidants don't work in disease treatment."


When reading statements like this, I have to wonder how much
the media favors another source of disease treatment connected
to those with big pockets and black helicopters. [;)]

Cheers,

Kim
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Re: Supplement Warning! Synthetic Vitamins Linked To Deaths

by Marko1 » Wed Feb 28, 2007 7:39 pm


Marko it states:
Tuesday's report related only to synthetic
supplements and not to fruits and vegetables in everyday diets


Yes, I'm very well aware of that, Kim. We are talking at cross-purposes, I'm afraid, because that doesn't detract from my simple, factual points at all.

Nobody is suggesting that synthetic vitamins are as beneficial as vitamin-containing fruits and vegetables in everyday diets. Well, at least, I'm certainly not.

I am simply making the point that describing this research as "Synthetic Vitmains Linked To Deaths" is suggesting that the research shows that the fact that the vitamins were synthetic was killing people. And that is a completely untrue statement: nothing in any of that research makes any such suggestion at all. (Yes, I have read all of it in the original, and much statistical and scientific analysis of it too, not just newspaper reports of it, because that's part of my job). That's all I'm saying. Simple, factual observation. Honestly. Nothing controversial, I hope and trust! [:)]

Anyone reading headines about "Synthetic Vitamins" and assuming (as some people will) that natural vitamin supplements or organic vitamin supplements are necessarily better and necessarily safer would be making a big mistake, because the research does not suggest that at all and that's why I posted. People can believe that if they want to, and I know that some people do want to, but if they say that that belief is backed up by this research then they are seriously mistaken. Is that ok with you? [;)]
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Re: Supplement Warning! Synthetic Vitamins Linked To Deaths

by Kim_Ward » Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:04 pm


I am simply making the point that describing this research
as "Synthetic Vitmains Linked To Deaths" is suggesting that the research shows that the fact that the vitamins were synthetic
was killing people.


I agree Marko, the results on that can be flawed. I did not
see anything the proved that is was linked to death, did you?

I still believe natural is better then synthetic, for me that's just
commons sense, but I am not here to convince anyone, that's
just my belief.

Cheers,

Kim
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Re: Supplement Warning! Synthetic Vitamins Linked To Deaths

by RhondaD » Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:12 pm


... Nobody is suggesting that synthetic vitamins are as beneficial as vitamin-containing fruits and vegetables in everyday diets. Well, at least, I'm certainly not.

I am simply making the point that describing this research as "Synthetic Vitmains Linked To Deaths" is suggesting that the research shows that the fact that the vitamins were synthetic was killing people. And that is a completely untrue statement: nothing in any of that research makes any such suggestion at all. (Yes, I have read all of it in the original, and much statistical and scientific analysis of it too, not just newspaper reports of it, because that's part of my job). That's all I'm saying. Simple, factual observation. Honestly. Nothing controversial, I hope and trust! [:)]

Anyone reading headines about "Synthetic Vitamins" and assuming (as some people will) that natural vitamin supplements or organic vitamin supplements are necessarily better and necessarily safer would be making a big mistake, because the research does not suggest that at all and that's why I posted. People can believe that if they want to, and I know that some people do want to, but if they say that that belief is backed up by this research then they are seriously mistaken. Is that ok with you? [;)]


Ok, I just saw this exact post on another board and being quoted as being from doctor who's a medical school professor. So are you a doctor Marko, or was that a quote from somewhere else because I don't recall seeing a post stating you were a doctor. I do believe that Jana perhaps mentioned credentials like this, so are there 2 doctors here? Did you get this info elsewhere? Or do you and Jana share the same body? lol

Not trying to start anything. Just curious.
"Be the change you want to see in the world." -Gandhi
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Re: Supplement Warning! Synthetic Vitamins Linked To Deaths

by kassandrabragg » Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:24 pm


Marko: Synthetic vits/anioxidants were the types mentioned in this study, not whole foods. So these particular sythetic vits were the ones linked to the deaths according to the article. I could've just said "vits" but that would not be accurate since the article clearly states it was synthetics in the study. Whatever else you got from it was conjured up in your own mind and doesn't necessarily mean everyone else thinks the same as you. Anywho, bye for now.

Blessings,

Kassandra
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Re: Supplement Warning! Synthetic Vitamins Linked To Deaths

by Marko1 » Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:24 pm


Hello Rhonda, nice to meet you.

Ok, I just saw this exact post on another board


I'm astonished. Someone has copied it, then. No other possibility. I wrote it here only, I did not post it anywhere else.

and being quoted as being from doctor who's a medical school professor. So are you a doctor Marko


Yes, I am. I teach at a medical school in London which is affiliated to London University and to a teaching hospital which is part of our National Health Service.

I do believe that Jana perhaps mentioned credentials like this


Jana is mostly a neurologist.

so are there 2 doctors here?


At least! 2 who have been referred to just in this one conversation!

Did you get this info elsewhere?


Sorry, I don't follow this question. What does "this info" refer to?

Or do you and Jana share the same body?


I think my wife would be less than keen on that idea, really (And no, Jana is not my wife!).

Not trying to start anything. Just curious.


Also not trying to start anything. Just trying to satisfy your curiosity. However, if you'll excuse some curiosity in return, please could tell me where my post was copied to? I don't mind at all (although I wouldn't have minded being asked first, I suppose) but I am fascinated. You can understand this, I think?
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Re: Supplement Warning! Synthetic Vitamins Linked To Deaths

by Marko1 » Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:37 pm


Synthetic vits/anioxidants were the types mentioned in this study, not whole foods.


Yes, I do understand that, thank you, Kassandra.

We're talking at cross-purposes here.

I'm not trying to tell anyone that synthetic vitamin supplements are any better or any worse than any other sort of vitamin supplements. I'm not making any comments about that at all. I'm simply making the point that your heading "Synthetic Vitamins Linked To Deaths" might suggest to some people that the deaths arose because the vitamins were synthetic, whereas in fact there is absolutely no such suggestion in any of that research that that's true at all.

What the research suggests is to do with them being supplements, not to do with them being [/b]synthetic[/b]. That's all. Nobody (and least of all me) is suggesting anything positive about synthetic vitamins or anything negative about wholefood vitamins at all.

Whatever else you got from it was conjured up in your own mind and doesn't necessarily mean everyone else thinks the same as you.


Kassandra, I study such research and teach people about it for a living. It doesn't make the slightest difference whether anyone else thinks the same as me, because I'm not offering my opinion anyway. All I'm doing is stating a simple, objective, irrefutable fact.

Blessings to you also [:)]
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Re: Supplement Warning! Synthetic Vitamins Linked To Deaths

by jana » Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:50 pm


please could tell me where my post was copied to? I don't mind at all (although I wouldn't have minded being asked first, I suppose) but I am fascinated. You can understand this, I think?


I can answer that, Marko, because the culprit just called me to ask me to explain/apologise to you, she doesn't have your email address. It was my friend Yuliya, you know her father, I think?

Apparently she saw a discussion very similar to this one in a "Work At Home Mums" forum (!) and was concerned that people there might also wrongly imagine that the fact that the vitamins were synthetic was being blamed as the cause of the problem, and she was sensible enough to want to do something about that. Having no way of contacting you, she quoted there from your post (excerpts only, not the whole post!) and attributed it simply as "something a doctor had said in another forum".

The mystery is resolved. No harm done, I think? [:)]
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Re: Supplement Warning! Synthetic Vitamins Linked To Deaths

by kassandrabragg » Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:51 pm


I'm simply making the point that your heading "Synthetic Vitamins Linked To Deaths" might suggest to some people that the deaths arose because the vitamins were synthetic, whereas in fact there is absolutely no such suggestion in any of that research that that's true at all.


That's the conclusion you drew.[:)] Perhaps if the heading was " ALL sythetic vitamins are proven to kill people and whole food vits are better" you'd have a point, however, I strongly believe your conclusion was drawn by a combination of your current world view and the many diverse opinions and posts shared in this thread and not the headline itself. A headline is just that. Can't exactly post the whole article there can I?[:p] And yes, these particular vitamins in this particular study were linked to the deaths. (Not enough characters allowed in the headline to list the particualr vitamns etc.) I didn't write it, I just shared the info. Anywho, your opinion and the conclusion that you personally came to based on your current world view is noted. Thank's for the blessings, I receive that.

Blessings,

Kassandra
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Re: Supplement Warning! Synthetic Vitamins Linked To Deaths

by Marko1 » Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:55 pm


The mystery is resolved. No harm done, I think? [:)]


Absolutely none. And she's most welcome. Thanks for explaining, J!
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