Dr. Russell Blaylock, author of The Blaylock Wellness Report newsletter, is a nationally recognized board-certified neurosurgeon, health practitioner, author, and lecturer. He attended the Louisiana State University School of Medicine and completed his internship and neurological residency at the Medical University of South Carolina. For 26 years, practiced neurosurgery in addition to having a nutritional practice. He recently retired from his neurosurgical duties to devote his full attention to nutritional research. Dr. Blaylock has authored four books, Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life, Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients, and his most recent work, Cellular and Molecular Biology of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Find out what others are saying about Dr. Blaylock by clicking here.

Question the Media

Thursday, 12 April 2012 09:26 AM

Early nutritional studies (as well as some conducted today) were flawed because they tested nutrient compounds the same way pharmaceutical drugs are tested — that is, one at a time. If a researcher wanted to find out what ibuprofen does at a certain dose, he would give that dose to a group of people and see what happens. However, unlike drugs, nutrients do not generally work alone. Rather, they interact to enhance each other’s effectiveness.

As a result, high doses of one nutrient can suppress another vital nutrient. For example, high doses of the vitamin E component D-alpha tocopherol severely lower levels of two other compounds called gamma-tocopherol and alpha-carotene. Gamma-tocopherol is the only anti-inflammatory form of vitamin E, and alpha-carotene is the most potent in inhibiting cancer, especially lung cancer. My special report "Key Vitamins that Save Your Heart, Prevent Cancer and Keep You Living Long"will give you detailed information.

Some years ago, a study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested that beta-carotene (a red-orange compound found in plants that's converted into vitamin A in the body) was causing lung and prostate cancers. This report led to numerous hysterical headlines in the press suggesting that vitamins cause cancer. As a result, people began throwing away their beta-carotene supplements. But was the story true, or had the media failed to report the whole story?

What most people don’t know is that selected medical journals have sweetheart deals with the major media outlets, which are allowed to pre-release certain studies before doctors and researchers get a copy. But in fact, what the media sees is not the actual study; it’s just a synopsis — what I call the “CliffsNotes version” of the study.

Because most newspaper writers know very little, if anything, about nutritional science, they swallowed the “vitamins lead to cancer” story whole, and even printed some further aberrations. After all, scary headlines sell.

Once the dust settled, the real experts in nutritional science looked at the data and were appalled that the article was even accepted for publication, as it was full of flaws, omissions, and misstatements. For instance, the study was conducted with subjects who had been heavy smokers for years. This meant that participants may have already had undetected lung and prostate cancers before the study began. If more of those people ended up in the group getting beta-carotene, it would mistakenly appear that beta-carotene was causing their cancers.

It was also pointed out by experts in carotenoid chemistry that giving beta-carotene alone lowers levels of alpha-carotene, a compound that is known to prevent lung cancer. Finally, beta-carotene is designed to be utilized in a low-oxygen environment. The lungs contain very high levels of oxygen, which reacts with beta-carotene to block its antioxidant effects, turning it into a free radical — a charged molecule that is lacking an electron. And because the study subjects were heavy smokers, their lungs were already filled with high levels of free radicals.

In essence, millions of dollars were wasted on a study that gave the false impression that vitamins cause cancer.
For more of Dr. Blaylock’s weekly tips, go here to view the archive.

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Thursday, 12 April 2012 09:26 AM
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