Thursday, January 21st, 2010
To hear opponents of natural medicine say it, vitamins and herbs are extremely dangerous for your health. They should be regulated, we’re told, because they’re so dangerous!
Statistics from the U.S. National Poison Data System prove otherwise. According to a 174-page report just published, the number of people killed in 2009 across America by vitamins, minerals, amino acids or herbal supplements is exactly zero.
Compare that to the 100,000 (or so) Americans killed each year by FDA-approved pharmaceuticals — and that’s even according to studies published in JAMA. Also consider the thousands of women harmed or killed by medically-unjustified cancer treatments following false positives from faulty mammograms. And don’t forget about the more than 16,500 Americans killed each year from internal bleeding caused by NSAIDs (over-the-counter painkillers).
As the July 1998 issue of The American Journal of Medicine explains:
“Conservative calculations estimate that approximately 107,000 patients are hospitalized annually for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-related gastrointestinal (GI) complications and at least 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occur each year among arthritis patients alone.” (Singh Gurkirpal, MD, “Recent Considerations in Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug Gastropathy”, The American Journal of Medicine, July 27, 1998, p. 31S)
So if NSAIDs alone are killing 16,500 people a year (or likely much more now, as use of these drugs has risen significantly since 1998), and nutritional supplements are killing zero people a year, why do health regulators try to scare everybody about vitamins being so “dangerous?”
Pharmaceuticals, meanwhile, are openly allowed to be prescribed for off-label use, meaning that doctors can prescribe them for diseases and health conditions for which they’ve never even been tested!
What’s wrong with this picture? It’s clearly a war against nutrition — a war against natural medicine — being waged by the health regulators of the world who are conspiring with Big Pharma to keep the people trapped in a state of malnutrition (all while profiting from their disease by selling them more patented pharmaceuticals).
The Orthomolecular Medicine News Service published a full article on this issue. Here’s what they had to say about the safety of nutritional supplements and the misguided attempts by world governments to limit or outlaw many supplements.
Poison Control Statistics Prove Supplements’ Safety
There was not even one death caused by a dietary supplement in 2008, according to the most recent information collected by the U.S. National Poison Data System. The new 174-page annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers, published in the journal Clinical Toxicology, shows zero deaths from multiple vitamins; zero deaths from any of the B vitamins; zero deaths from vitamins A, C, D, or E; and zero deaths from any other vitamin.
Additionally, there were no deaths whatsoever from any amino acid or herbal product. This means no deaths at all from blue cohosh, echinacea, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, kava kava, St. John’s wort, valerian, yohimbe, Asian medicines, ayurvedic medicines, or any other botanical. There were zero deaths from creatine, blue-green algae, glucosamine, chondroitin, melatonin, or any homeopathic remedies.
Furthermore, there were zero deaths in 2008 from any dietary mineral supplement. This means there were no fatalities from calcium, magnesium, chromium, zinc, colloidal silver, selenium, iron, or multimineral supplements. Two children died as a result of medical use of the antacid sodium bicarbonate. The other “Electrolyte and Mineral” category death was due to a man accidentally drinking sodium hydroxide, a highly toxic degreaser and drain-opener.
No man, woman or child died from nutritional supplements. Period.
61 poison centers provide coast-to-coast data for the U.S. National Poison Data System, which is then reviewed by 29 medical and clinical toxicologists. NPDS, the authors write, is “one of the few real-time national surveillance systems in existence, providing a model public health surveillance system for all types of exposures, public health event identification, resilience response and situational awareness tracking.”
Over half of the U.S. population takes daily nutritional supplements. Even if each of those people took only one single tablet daily, that makes 154,000,000 individual doses per day, for a total of over 56 billion doses annually. Since many persons take more than just one vitamin or mineral tablet, actual consumption is considerably higher, and the safety of nutritional supplements is all the more remarkable.
If nutritional supplements are allegedly so “dangerous,” as the FDA and news media so often claim, then where are the bodies?
Those who wonder if the media are biased against vitamins may consider this: how many television stations, newspapers, magazines, and medical journals have reported that no one dies from nutritional supplements?
Bronstein AC, Spyker DA, Cantilena LR Jr, Green JL, Rumack BH, Giffin SL. 2008 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS): 26th Annual Report. Clinical Toxicology (2009). 47, 911-1084. The full text article is available for free download at http://www.aapcc.org/dnn/Portals/0/… .
(Vitamins statistics are found in Table 22B, journal pages 1052-3. Minerals, herbs, amino acids and other supplements are in the same table, pages 1047-8.)
Download any Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers from 1983-2008 free of charge at http://www.aapcc.org/dnn/NPDSPoison…
The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource.
Editorial Review Board:
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D.
Damien Downing, M.D.
Michael Gonzalez, D.Sc., Ph.D.
Steve Hickey, Ph.D.
James A. Jackson, PhD
Bo H. Jonsson, MD, Ph.D
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D.
Jorge R. Miranda-Massari, Pharm.D.
Erik Paterson, M.D.
Gert E. Shuitemaker, Ph.D.
Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D., Editor
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Original article published at: http://www.orthomolecular.org/resou…
This article was posted: Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 5:26 am