Vitamin B or not to B

Most patients’ initial adventures into vitamin supplementation begin when they realize something is not right. They feel a lack of energy, fatigue, weight gain, loss of stamina, loss of libido or they want to take better care of themselves. Many realize our food sources are not as nutrient-dense with the advent of “Big Agra” and the over-farming in mineral-poor soils.  

Spending on supplements is increasing every year and some of the most educated Americans are spending an indiscriminate amount of money with vitamin cupboards rivaling a pharmacy shelf. This has attracted the attention of the medical community, with health professionals being some of the biggest indiscriminate spenders. 

In the last three decades, there has not been a year that goes by without a “Task force” drawing conclusions on vitamin supplementation based on a review of hundreds of studies. These conclusions often sound like this:

  1. based on available evidence the Task Force has concluded that there is no benefit to taking vitamin E 
  2. beta-carotene showed an increased risk of CVD and Lung Cancer in “high-risk” individuals
  3. The review included an assessment of vitamin D with or without calcium, calcium alone, folic acid (in nonpregnant adults) with or without vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin B3 and B6, and selenium. Most studies showed no association with CVD or cancer outcomes, though the body of evidence was limited for some supplements
  4. For most supplements, there was little to no evidence of serious harm
  5. Unfortunately, based on the existing evidence, the Task Force cannot recommend for or against the use of most vitamins and minerals and is calling for more research.” 

Although this is often the conclusion offered in the text of the review article, The Title reads:

 “USPSTF Recommends Against Vitamin E, Beta-Carotene Use for CVD and Cancer Prevention”

For such inconclusive findings, that’s a rather definitive headline. Is there a bias here?

There are problems with the indiscriminate supplement user and these retrospective review studies. 

PERSPECTIVE is the real problem.

Some background on the state of healthcare in the United States.

Conventional medicine is diagnosis-driven. As you might have figured out, a “diagnosis” can be any sign or symptom. For example, diarrhea is gastroenteritis, a runny nose is allergic rhinitis or sinusitis, elevated blood pressure is hypertension, high sugar is diabetes and elevated cholesterol is dyslipidemia. These are not necessarily a cause for a disease but a sign or symptoms a health professional can quickly identify and name.

Conventional medicine is obsessed with “pigeon-holing” patients during a 20-minute visit. In doing this, a doctor arrives at a health insurance-covered “diagnosis” more rapidly, starts the lucrative testing that is permitted for that “diagnosis”, gets to the next patient to be seen in the shortest period of time, and lastly rapidly generates a list of approved medications to prescribe. This is what drives the “pill for an ill” approach from healthcare professionals. 

The attempt to assess vitamins through the same model is ridiculous. Prescription medications are “blockers”, “inhibitors”, mouse products called monoclonal antibodies, and chemotherapy. These are all meant to disrupt what your body was doing naturally. It’s not mentioned in the review article above, but research has also shown that none of the prescription medications that a doctor gives you reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease or cancer. 

If you want proof, look up if there has been any significant change in the annual cardiovascular death rate. The truth is that the only thing that has impacted cardiovascular death in the last 30 years was “quit smoking” campaigns. All of the new medications and procedures in cardiovascular healthcare have not made a dent in the 600,000 heart attack deaths that occur per year. Cancer, dementia, and autoimmune disease statistics are worse. 

On the other hand, vitamins and supplements are necessary and meant to enhance the normal function of your body’s defense and repair mechanisms. Without knowing your vitamin levels at baseline, which systems in your body need support, or how your genetics affect what form of vitamins you need, these studies can never be conclusive. 

Ask yourself, do I have a Lipitor deficiency when my cholesterol is high?, do I have a calcium channel blocker deficiency when my blood pressure is high?, do I have a chemotherapy deficiency when I have cancer? Of course, you don’t! What is actually happening is that conventional medicine has failed to identify and treat the root cause of disease, sometimes up to 10 years before they make their diagnosis.  

People who spend their money on supplements innately understand that something is missing from their conventional healthcare and I commend them on taking more responsibility for their health. However, even the approach of taking boatloads of vitamins can be wrong.

Our integrative team at Meraki Wellness uses a comprehensive history, genetic testing, metabolic testing, and the latest regenerative technology. We are experts at identifying root causes of disease, nutritional deficiencies, and sources of chronic inflammation. In doing so, we design personalized health, nutrition, and exercise plans that will restore balance to your body’s ability to defend, repair, regenerate, and rejuvenate. Identifying and treating root causes of disease is how you avoid those all too common causes of death and disability and the only way to reduce and get off medications. 

Yes, vitamins and supplements are necessary and helpful. A specific vitamin or supplement does not necessarily cure a specific disease but with testing and knowing how to affect your epigenetics, vitamins and supplements are an essential tool in restoring your body’s natural healing mechanisms.

Call Meraki Wellness to find out more.

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