A “new” study condemning the use of vitamins and ineffective and potentially dangerous is generating headlines throughout the mainstream media in the United States and Europe. Apparently generating headlines was the sole intention, as the study is neither new, scientific nor objective.
The “study” was led by Serbian scientist and “visiting researcher” at Copenhagen University Hospital, Goran Bjelakovic, whose name is now synonymous with vitamin meta-analyses (studies of other studies) which appear to show that vitamin supplements either don´t work or end up increasing your risk of death. Two similar Bjelakovic “studies” on vitamin supplements, in October 2004 and February 2007, resulted in similar outbursts of negative international headlines.
Upon closer examination, the flaws in the so-called study are apparent. First of all, in evaluating studies for inclusion, the authors omitted a massive 405 potentially eligible studies because there were no deaths in the studies and another 69 studies were excluded because they weren´t randomized controlled trials.
In other words, instead of conducting an honest review of all the studies, the authors arbitrarily eliminated all studies in which vitamins prevented mortality and kept people alive – leaving only the studies in which people died from various causes. Most of the trials used pertain to already sick people being given very high dose, synthetic, isolated nutrients for relatively short periods – they therefore have no relevance to the vast majority of vitamin consumers.
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