September 10, 2010
For those of us in the natural health field, any headline stating
that B vitamins can help the brain, and be particularly useful for
people with Alzheimer’s, certainly wouldn’t be considered ‘new’ or
We are repeatedly told by
the media and
mainstream medicine that vitamins are bad for you and even downright
dangerous at dosages higher than the recommended daily allowances
That is until a study comes along with such overwhelmingly strong
evidence that even the diehards worshipping at the feet of
evidence-based medicine (EBM) have to capitulate. So it is with the
‘new’ and ‘ground-breaking’ study conducted at Oxford University,
UK, which found a staggering 53% improvement in 85 patients with
brain shrinkage associated with 'mild cognitive impairment' (MCI)
which, for many, precedes full-blown dementia and Alzheimer's
The drug's active constituents? You have it, the trio of
good ol' B vitamins associated with lowering homocysteine: folic
acid, B6 and B12.
Brain shrinkage or atrophy is a natural part of ageing, but it is
known to be accelerated in people with MCI - a kind of memory loss
and forgetfulness – and Alzheimer's. As with cardiovascular disease,
Alzheimer’s patients tend to also have especially high levels of an
amino acid called homocysteine in their blood.
These B vitamins help
reduce this age and disease related elevation, and the current
research corroborates that high doses of B vitamins (including folic
acid) can be particularly effective at lowering homocysteine levels.
The Oxford University study further demonstrated that the
participants who had the highest homocysteine levels benefited the
most from the treatment with high doses of B vitamins.
The study involved 168 volunteers in the area around Oxford (UK) who
suffered MCI. They were divided into a treatment group who were
either given the high dose B vitamins (85) or a control group who
were given a dummy placebo pill (83).
Statistics show that
approximately 50 percent of those with MCI develop Alzheimer’s
disease within five years.
Professor David Smith, pharmacologist and co-author of the research
published in the journal PLoS ONE, said,
the results were "immensely
promising" and that "it is a very simple solution: you give someone
some vitamins and you protect the brain".
The study is hailed as ‘controversial’ because it dares to suggest
that simply taking vitamins can achieve results that have so far
evaded the pharmaceutical companies, despite the millions of pounds
being spent on experimental dementia drugs.
But why do we see a seemingly positive study now flood the media,
with much the same vigor the negative studies do?
Let's remember, the positive news has come with a much-repeated
rider that this result has only been achieved with ‘very high’
dosages such as those that should only be administered under the
supervision of a doctor. These are vitamins, not drugs!
researchers have been very keen to keep stating that the dosages
used are not what you would find in a typical health food store or
pharmacy - perish the thought that consumers may take the initiative
and go out and purchase B vitamins in a bid to prevent age-related
memory loss! And the reason for making sure you only take such high
dose vitamins when prescribed by the doctor is, as always, that your
doctor 'knows best' and there is need for further research on the
safety of B vitamins.
Let's not forget that vitamins are among the
most well studied constituents of food!
So, ‘they’ tell us, whilst going down to your local health food
store and buying folic acid, B6 and B12 is not recommended, the use
of a patented pharmaceutical drug comprised of folic acid, B6 and
B12, prescribed by your doctor is absolutely fine. Suddenly the
draconian legislative regime for food supplements, combined with the
upcoming proposals from the European Commission for potentially
restrictive dosages, begins to make a whole lot more sense.
Given that many patents for some of the biggest earners of the
pharma industry are due to expire in 2013, you can understand why
knee-capping the natural health industry and then producing a range
of patented vitamin and mineral ‘drugs’ begins to look like an
appealing answer to profits on a downward spiral.
Let us introduce you to the drug TrioBe Plus® (manufactured by Meda
AB/Recip AB, Sweden), which is already available in Sweden under
medical supervision only.
It's not yet available in the UK and
elsewhere in Europe, but it seems with this media fanfare, the
ground is being prepared for a roll-out.
The table below represents the dosages in the product, and then
shows how these doses compare with the European Recommended Daily
Allowance (RDA) and the maximum levels of intake to guarantee
safety, as established by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
Apart from making a mockery of the paltry levels of the RDAs, it
makes no sense whatsoever, as you'll see above, to be warning
consumers of the 'dangers' of these vitamins at levels such as we see
in TrioBe Plus®.
Both the folic acid and B6 levels are 20% below the
UL, with the super-safe vitamin B12 being a mere 2.5% of the UL.
Let’s remind ourselves that the ULs themselves contain large safety
Also these dosages are very much in line with those used to great
benefit in nutritional and functional medicine and may even be
regarded as being a little on the low side.
Many of you may also have taken note of the forms of vitamins used
in the TrioBe Plus®, as shown in the table above. The forms used are
the cheapest ones available, and they tend to be either less
bio-available or less effective (or both) than the ones that could be
used, as found in the higher end products found in health stores or
sold by nutritional practitioners.
The forms used are identical to
those found in cheap vitamin and mineral products found in
pharmacies and supermarkets, not only in Europe, but through most of
the world. These forms are principally manufactured by pharma
companies, the German giant Merck being the largest single producer
of raw vitamin and mineral ingredients in Europe.
So what do we think is going on behind the scenes?
It seems to us
that a lot of effort is being put into scaring people away from the
vitamins in health stores. Now we see a clear effort to push people
towards patented, drug versions that should only be taken under the
supervision of conventional doctors. This is, in our view, central
to the regulatory game-plan we are unfortunate enough to be
experiencing, not only in Europe, but also in the USA and elsewhere
in the world.
The regulators, in cahoots with the pharma companies,
appear to be trying very hard to take therapeutic use of natural
products out of the hands of the consumer. They do this even (as we
see with TrioBe Plus) when there is no risk to the consumer!
While they're doing this, they are also working in a very high gear
to regulate all the best, most beneficial (read: therapeutic)
products off the health store market. They are also silencing the
industry by preventing health claims being made.
Quite simply, the drug companies want to corner the market with
their patented vitamin drugs and prevent us from getting good
products from anywhere else. You know the expression: if you can't
beat them, join them?
And who's really being most manipulated here? It's us, the
Awareness is our best hope. If people understand what is
going on, they won't be manipulated. If people carry on sourcing
their own vitamins - better quality vitamins - why should they feel
that the pharma offering is superior? It isn't! Let's call a spade a
This is some of the clearest evidence we’ve seen yet of the pharma
game-plan when it comes to the food (dietary) supplement industry.
hope this news is a call to action and we invite you to have a look
Get Involved page and join our campaign. The
bid for the natural health industry must be prevented as it’s only
going to result in the dumbing down of products for cheaper and more
inferior counterparts - products that many have come to rely on to
maintain their health and wellbeing.
We leave you with an interesting titbit to ponder - the competing
interests of Professor Smith, the paper's lead author, as declared
on the paper
published in PLoS ONE:
Dr. A. D. Smith is named as an inventor on two
patents held by the University of Oxford on the use of folic acid to
treat Alzheimer's disease (US6008221; US6127370); under the
University's rules he could benefit financially if the patent is
Drs. Refsum and A. D. Smith report having in the past
received speaking honoraria from Recip AB, the company that donated
the vitamin tablets, and from Axis-Shield, who make the equipment
used to assay homocysteine.
These competing interests do not alter
the authors' adherence to all the PLoS ONE policies on sharing data
and materials. None of the other authors have any financial
Submitted by A.J.A. Westenenk
12/10/2010 - 09:33
Big Pharma and its allies is trying to convince us that the absence
of proof (according to their rules) of effectiveness = proof of
absence of effectiveness, thus obscuring the probabilities of
effectiveness ranging from extremely high to fairly low.
sciences this trick is not accepted, why then do authorities accept
this logic in the field of health?
General experience that X is
effective against Y without problems induced people to take
advantage of that experience and try it for themselves. There is no
valid reason whatsoever to rob us from this basic pattern of
cultural evolution: it is our human right.
Submitted by Anita Rowe
11/10/2010 - 20:17
A part of my liver is permanently damaged and I have found that a
Caribbean herb called
Cerasse (Latin name Momordica Charantia, also
called Bitter Melon or Corilla) is occasionally very helpful. It is
also good for type 2 Diabetes.
Its action is very similar to that of
Wormwood, i.e. it is a very bitter-tasting herb which tricks the
digestive system into acting as though poison has been ingested. It
does not have the problems associated with Wormwood. However, it
works best if taken infrequently.
Is there a danger of this herb being banned? If so I must stock up!
And I can foresee the danger of a black market developing in banned
products. Will we be allowed to grow our own?
Submitted by Marilyn Vine
23/09/2010 - 00:33.
I suggest that everyone should read "Orthomolecular Medicine for
Everyone" by Abram Hoffer, MD, Phd and Andrew W Saul, PhD.
of you who are not familiar with the term Orthomolecular Medicine it
refers to healing the body by eating foods that contain the right
vitamins and minerals and also supplementing this food (preferably
organic) with good quality nutritional supplementation. When you
read this book you will see that many times it is advocated that
much more than the RDA is required to overcome a problem or to bring
a body back to its ultimate health.
I have read that the RDA as being set under the
is so low that it does not meet the body's nutritional requirements
Furthermore it is being estimated that if people are
restricted to this level of RDA that in a ten year period that 3
billion people will die from nutritionally based diseases! This is a
Orthomolecular Medicine has been around and publishing scientific
papers for the past 40 years and would you believe that the JAMA
will not publish their articles!!! Why??? Also Wikipedia is
distorting information with regard to Orthomolecular Medicine and
other natural information as well.
Why has Wikipedia become corrupt
in this regard???? A better source for information now is pubmed.org