Now Even the US Attorney General Is Slandering Supplements!

Like the flawed Frontline documentary, like New York state’s attorney general, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch is spreading gross misinformation about dietary supplements. Action Alert!

Last week, Attorney General Lynch released a video for National Consumer Protection Week about supplements. Excuse us, but since when is the US attorney general an expert on this subject? Since she obviously isn’t, she must be relying on distortions and untruths she has been fed by other agencies of the government such as the FDA and Centers for Disease Control.

For instance, Ms. Lynch warns consumers against “ingesting substances whose safety and efficacy are not guaranteed” by FDA study. As we pointed out in our response to PBS, pharmaceutical drugs are also not studied by the FDA. The agency relies on industry studies to determine if new drugs can come to market. No independent review is done to check the industry’s results, which has led to all kinds of manipulation and sometimes disastrous outcomes (see the examples of Vioxx and Avandia). And after approval is granted, the actual medicine itself is never tested, even though it may be manufactured in Chinese plants or other faraway locales.

FDA approval is certainly no guarantor of safety. Consider that pharmaceutical drugs, when properly prescribed, cause an estimated 1.9 million hospitalizations and 128,000 deaths each year. And that’s just in hospitals—deaths outside hospitals would add considerably to this total if they were recorded. In stark contrast, dietary supplements caused zero deaths in 2013, the last year reported.

Ms. Lynch also charges that supplements “endanger public health” by containing harmful ingredients. The supplement industry—like all industries—has some bad actors. But supplements that contain unsafe ingredients are already “adulterated” which means that the FDA has a responsibility to remove them and prosecute the makers. Nor does Ms. Lynch mention that supplement companies must follow stringent guidelines known as current good manufacturing practices (cGMPs) intended to ensure the safety and quality of dietary supplements. In other words, supplements are federally regulated.

Finally, Ms. Lynch says that many supplements “falsely claim to cure illness and disease.” As a student of the law, Ms. Lynch must be aware that the FTC and FDA regulate what can be said on supplement labels. By law, supplements cannot make disease claims—only drugs can. Any supplement that does make such claims is therefore breaking the law. We don’t agree with this law, but if it isn’t being followed why doesn’t the government simply enforce the law. In past years, FDA memos have indicated that sometimes the agency does not enforce the law on purpose, in the hopes that an ensuing scandal will lead to even more federal control over supplements. The cost of this would in turn drive their cost sky high and largely eliminate them as competition for drugs.

No, Ms. Lynch, supplements are regulated, are safe, and are effective. Just the opposite of what you suggested. You are not a doctor or scientist. But as the top law enforcement official of the country, you can at least get your law right.

Action Alert! Write to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and urge her to correct the misinformation she spread to consumers about dietary supplements. Please send your message immediately.


Doctors Have Known For 10 Years They’re Killing You

This is one of the most-damning studies that has ever been brought to my attention.

The “standard”, if you have ever had a cardiac “event” or coronary artery disease, is to immediately place you on a statin (for the rest of your life) and, in most cases (exception: if you have ulcer issues) low-dose aspirin as a low-level anticoagulant.

Here’s the problem: It doesn’t work because it’s not targeting where the actual issue resides.

This has now been known since 2004, when this study published; the study itself was initiated in 1999.  304 patients with a history of coronary artery disease were tested and baselined.  Only those with normal glucose levels were accepted into the study; clinical diabetes was an exclusionary factor.  202 of the 304 were excluded at baseline for this reason, leaving the study authors with 102 patients.

The results ought to wake you up; they’re here in this table.

CAD Study

The CVE+ entries are for those who had a second cardiac event during the three years of the study, the CVE- entries are for those who did not.  ALL of the CVE+ entries had elevated (by double on average) insulin levels despite both groups having normal blood glucose.

Further, those who had a second event had no material difference in cholesterol levels compared to those who did not.  In other words “management” of cholesterol levels was not protective.  Finally, there was a material difference in statin use — in the negative sense, in that a greater percentage of those who had an event were taking a statin (and a nitrate!) than those who didn’t, and even worse, aspirin wasn’t protective either.

One cautionary note: All of these results are associative, as they must be in such a study.  Even though the divergence in insulin levels was ridiculous between the two groups that does not prove causation.

But remember — while associations can provide strong evidence of a connection they are just as valuable, if not more-so, in disproving said connections.  In this case it appears that both statins and aspirin are worthless when it comes to preventing a second CAD event.

Further, since all of the participants had normal glucose levels there is no intervention that targets “diabetes management” which helps in this case.  Indeed the study showed that “management” of diabetes symptoms (specifically, blood glucose levels) that allows high insulin to persist may actually potentiate — that is, cause — the second heart attack and CAD event.

There is no medicine for the condition of high insulin — that is, “insulin resistance.”  We can and do treat the symptom that it (eventually) produces, that is, high blood glucose, but the cause of the high glucose remains unaddressed.

There is, however, a means to improve your insulin sensitivity — that is, to move yourself either from that second column to the first one or at least get closer to itGet all of the vegetable oils and carbohydrates (that is, grains and starches including breads, cereals and similar), with the exception of green vegetables and modest amounts of fruit, out of your diet.

Again — this study has been out since 2004.  Why hasn’t your doctor — and especially, if you have one, your cardiologist — told you?

Further, if you’ve got evidence of CAD in your medical history why hasn’t your insulin sensitivity (NOT just cholesterol and glucose tolerance) been tested and monitored?  Is it because there is no pill for it and that the actual means of improvement available to us require admitting that the so-called “standard recommendations” for what to eat, especially for those with heart disease, are exactly backward?