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 ‘ground-breaking’.
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 (RDA).
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’
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 disease.
The drug's active constituents? You have it, the trio of good ol' B vitamins
associated with lowering homocysteine: folic acid, B6 and B12.
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.
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.
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".
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 vigour the negative studies do?
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! The 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!
‘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 EU’s
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.
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.
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 avaialble in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, but it seems
with this media fanfare, the ground is being prepared for a roll-out.
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).
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 margins.
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.
of you may also have taken note of the forms of vitamins used in the TrioBe
Plus®, as shown int he table above. The forms used are the cheapest
ones available, and they tend to be either less bioavailable 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
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 gameplan 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!
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.
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?
who's really being most manipulated here? It's us, the consumers! 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 spade!
This is some of the clearest evidence we’ve seen yet of the pharma
gameplan when it comes to the food (dietary) supplement industry. We
hope this news is a call to action and we invite you to have a look at our
Get Involved page and
join our campaign. The pharma take-over 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.
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
interests: 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 exploited. 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 disclosures.
Dr Robert Verkerk’s blog on the study.
Some links to the story as it appeared in the UK media:
B is revolutionary new weapon against Alzheimer's Disease
Vitamin B ‘puts
B supplements could delay onset of Alzheimer's, says study
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. In other 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
by Anita Rowe (not verified) on Mon, 11/10/2010 - 20:17.
of my liver is permanently damaged and I have found that a Caribbean herb
called Cerassie (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.
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?
by Marilyn Vine (not verified) on Thu, 23/09/2010 - 00:33.
that everyone should read "Orthomolecular Medicine for Everyone"
by Abram Hoffer, MD, Phd and Andrew W Saul, PhD. For those 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 (preferbly 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.
read that the RDA as being set under the Codex Aliminetarius is so low that
it does not meet the body's nutritional requirements at all! 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 scandalous situation.
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