by Francois Lubbe
When I first saw the headlines, I was pleased and a bit surprised...
Let's face it, it's unusual for a study showing the therapeutic
benefits of vitamins to receive so much attention by the mainstream
Unfortunately, it didn't take much reading between the lines before
I smelled something very fishy...
As much as the results of a recent study on the positive effects of
B-vitamins for sufferers of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are very
welcome (especially as they offer hope in the fight against
Alzheimer's disease), it also appears to be yet another case of Big
Pharma wolf in sheep's clothing.
prove effective in the fight against Alzheimer's
The recent 'groundbreaking' Oxford study involved 168 volunteers all
with brain shrinkage associated with 'mild cognitive impairment'
(MCI). Participants were divided into either a treatment group who
were given a high dose of B vitamins (folic acid, B6 and B12) or a
control group who were given a placebo.
Previous studies have shown that elevated
homocysteine concentrations may
contribute to MCI and we also know that Alzheimer's patients tend to
have especially high levels of this amino acid in their blood.
Results of the Oxford study showed that B vitamins help reduce
homocysteine levels and demonstrated that the participants who had
the highest homocysteine levels benefited the most from treatment
with high doses of B vitamins. In fact, participants in the vitamin
B group showed an astounding 53 per cent improvement.
Pharmacologist and fellow researcher of the study Professor David
Smith, said the results were immensely promising and added that,
"it is a very simple solution: you
give someone some vitamins and you protect the brain".
Many of you may now take Prof. Smith on his word and run down to
your local natural health food store and buy folic acid, B6 and B12,
because this study clearly suggests that simply taking vitamins can
achieve the kind of results that the major drugs companies have not
been able to achieve with their pharmaceutical drugs...
But wait! There's a snake in the grass...
The researchers warned that the results of the study can only be
achieved with 'very high' dosages of the vitamins, which should only
be administered under the supervision of a doctor... and that
further studies are needed on the safety of B-vitamins...
Okay? But we are talking about vitamins which are found in many
foods not man-made pharmaceutical drugs, right?
The researchers were also very clear in saying that the dosages used
in the study are not what you would find in a typical health food
store or pharmacy...
Hang on... is it just me, or does it sound as if someone is trying
to stop us from taking the initiative to purchase B-vitamins in a
bid to prevent age-related memory loss?
Enter the 'drug' TrioBe Plus, manufactured by Meda AB/Recip
AB, Sweden... which is the 'drug' used in the study
Along with Helga Refsum's
statement, another researcher part of the Oxford team, who said,
"This is a drug, not a vitamin
intervention", it all starts to make sense...
The forms of vitamins used in TrioBe
Plus are the cheapest ones available, being either less
bio-available or less effective (or both) than those in high-end
products found in health food stores or sold by nutritional
What's worse is that these sub-standard
forms are mostly manufactured by pharmaceutical giants like
There you have it! The motive behind the European Union's (EU) legal
restrictions for food supplements, combined with the proposals from
the European Commission to restrict dosages, becomes clear as day
Vested interests are at play - scaring people away from the vitamins
and supplements in health food stores and pushing them towards
patented 'drug' versions that can only be taken under the
supervision of conventional doctors... This is a cunning game-plan
being deployed in Europe, and elsewhere, to take therapeutic use of
natural products out of the hands of the consumer and into the hands
of pharmaceutical giants and mainstream medicine.
They do this even - as is the case with
'TrioBe Plus' - when there is no risk to the consumer!
The upper level (UL) as recommended by the EU contains large safety
margins and the UL's for all three B-vitamins in TrioBe Plus fall
well within these margins. Both the folic acid and B6 levels are 20
per cent below the UL, with the super-safe vitamin B12 being a mere
2.5 per cent of the UL.
No wonder this vitamin study enjoyed so much media coverage... Big
Pharma have their eyes set on the vitamin and supplement market with
their patented vitamin drugs and will do anything to prevent us from
getting good products from anywhere else, even if it means that they
must team-up with regulators and the media to get their misleading
I wonder what their game-plan is against common sense...
And another thing, each year an
estimated 40,000 cases of salmonella and related food-bourne illness
are reported in the US alone. Young children, the elderly, and those
with compromised immune systems are at the greatest risk of severe
Common symptoms include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps that
begin 12 to 72 hours after infection and can continue for four to
seven days. While most people recover without treatment, some may
experience severe diarrhea that requires hospitalization to prevent
dehydration and the spread of the infection from the intestines to
the bloodstream. Once the bacteria is in the blood, other sites in
the body can become infected, which can be fatal without treatment.
If you think you or a family member may have contracted salmonella,
contact your doctor or local hospital. It is important for health
authorities to know about the case so that they can help identify
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'B vitamins found to slow
progression of dementia' published online, 09.09.10,
'High homocysteine and low B
vitamins predict cognitive decline in aging men: the
Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study' American Journal of
Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 82, No. 3, 627-635, September 2005
'Homocysteine-Lowering by B
Vitamins Slows the Rate of Accelerated Brain Atrophy in Mild
Cognitive Impairment: A Randomized Controlled Trial'
published online, 09.09.10, plosone.org