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 Huge study finds no benefit of vitamins 
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Vitamin C Expert
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Post Re: Huge study finds no benefit of vitamins
ofonorow wrote:
You obviously haven't read my book :)


:oops:

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(See the Steve From Florida testimony. I fear he is no longer of this world, but his testimony was taken verbatum from this forum. Steve reported no success with the Pauling-therapy after the Cleveland Clinic inserted a medical stent. We also discuss the reasons why we believe persons who initially recovered so quickly, reported relapses over time, (yes not all the news was good news) and of course there is Carol Smith - who anyone can talk to and you can listen to her radio interview from our main web site - hers is a 9 year case study of on the Pauling therapy, feeling fine, getting a normal EKG, stopping for economic reasons and relapsing almost to the point of death. This happened 3 times.)


Fair play to you for including testimonies from people who were successful and not so successful while on the therapy. But the main drawback with testimonies is that it is difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions from them. How do you control for the placebo-effect, or avoid reporting bias or confirmation bias? Even if Pauling Therapy is effective in some patients, there's no way to get an idea of the response rates or the subpopulations in whom the treatment will work.

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That's a bizarre reason to dismiss Vitamin D. Sorry, but I'm simply not convinced that scientists have a personal vendetta against the late Linus Pauling. And whether or not Omega-3 has been touted by alt.med proponents is irrelevant here - you made the claim that the way to ruin a research career would be to publish favourable studies on nutritional supplements. A simple search on one of the most prestigious medical journals debunks this claim.

[color=#0000FF]I have never made a claim that scientists are biased against Linus Pauling! (Of course, I don't consider medically trained doctors running these trials to be scientists.) I can point you to several books that expose the debunking campaign, at that time, orchestrated by certain individuals then connected with the AMA. An author posed as a reporter, offering to help, and was given access to files, and he made copies. He found that they had actually studied which alternative modalites seemed to work, and which ones were the most popular, and used this information to aim the disinformation campaign against. It is notable that vitamin D did not make the list, that's all. (They must regret their mistake now.) This is big business, huge business, and these interests know exactly where the competition comes from.


So are all medical researchers forwarded this debunk list, or is this something inculcated in medical school - "thou shalt publish negative studies of vitamin A,B,C,E,K,etc...oops forgot D"?

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update: I did look at the first abstract, http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/ab ... type=HWCIT

regarding ascorbic acid and lead levels, and while this 1999 study was nice, Pauling wrote about this known result in his 1970 book, in the section mentioning that children who consumed more vitamin C had higher IQs, and speculated that this effect was probably due to the then already known result of lower lead levels in people with higher vitamin C blood levels (paint was a larger problem in those days). He has the studies cited, I'll have to check, but they were probably done in the 1940s. If I get time, I will study the references in this 1999 JAMA study to see if they found the earlier work Pauling cited. If they did, I will be surprised, because most of this early work is "hidden" from modern researchers.


Doesn't invalidate my point, even if Pauling speculated upon it in his book; the fact remains that there are both negative and positive studies of vitamins in the mainstream medical literture. As far as early research is concerned, I suspect it is often not cited because of the difficulty accessing the papers or they might be in other languages.

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For the most part, taxpayers.

[color=#0000FF]This is what I would have thought. Unfortunately, the $27 billion funded (now $40 billion funded after stimuls) NIH turned us down - twice. Why does the government have no interest in this? Maybe because the pharmaceutical interests - for all intents and purposes - control the NIH? (And if you appreciate irony, after sending my book to the few (2) vitamin C friendly folks at the NIH - they contacted us - the Vitamin C Foundation - asking for grant money to help THEM - the NIH - study vitamin C!?! Think about that?!)


Well, getting funding is not easy to get in general. I'm sure if you asked any PI, they probably submit grant applications to several funding agencies.

Perhaps a Vitamin C researcher might stand a better chance of getting funding from the NCCAM.

Another alternative would be to stumble upon a philanthropist who benefited from Pauling Therapy - another key source of funding for some researchers is non-profits and charitable organizations.

In any case, I wouldn't construe the fact that you have been turned down twice as a general bias against vitamin C. Getting funding isn't easy.

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As far as the data, medical science has a blatant self interest, and to the extent Universities are dependent on NIH or pharmaceutical grants, they lose their objectivity. You can chose to believe what you want, but because of the outright fraud in so-called medical science (again I can quote Author and former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine about how these medical "studies" are routinely doctored) I do not believe it is worth my time to read any studies run by medicine.


Then you're throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Even if pharmaceutical companies can rig trials does not mean that they do it routinely. In recent years, there is greater awareness of this especially after the Vioxx saga - I think often the pendulum has swung way too far in favour of the anti-pharma sentiments.


Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:34 pm
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Post Re: Huge study finds no benefit of vitamins
Are you going to the read the book?


Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:49 am
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Ascorbate Wizard
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Post Re: Huge study finds no benefit of vitamins
Quote:
Fair play to you for including testimonies from people who were successful and not so successful while on the therapy. But the main drawback with testimonies is that it is difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions from them. How do you control for the placebo-effect, or avoid reporting bias or confirmation bias? Even if Pauling Therapy is effective in some patients, there's no way to get an idea of the response rates or the subpopulations in whom the treatment will work.


In general, I don't personally give much credence to testimonials, and it is wise to be skeptical, however, this is of a treatment advocated by a leading scientist, of which there have been maybe one (Kenton) study since Pauling advocated his theory and protocol around 1992. And most of the people on our testimonials list agreed to use their real names, and you can speak with them. They understand their stories are "unbelievable" and you would think that one or two such stories would have created enough scientific interest for medicine to have conducted a fair study, but the opposite has happened. If even one person was helped, stopped their pain, avoided surgery, what a story! But over the years, this kind of report was the norm, not the exception. I personally don't require a study to know that Pauling was right - and that ANY medical doctor could find out for themselves with very little trouble that Pauling was right using inexpensive and completely nontoxic substances. So pardon my for being cynical about the medical profession. What is the downside?


As far as your funding ideas - we have tried them all and posted the various rejection letters (e.g. from the William Gates Foundation Warren Buffet, Mel Gibson, etc.) And yes NCAAM is the obvious choice but it is a joke. Our 2 grant requests were to the NCAAM, by the way, and it is still true the Levin ask US for funding!?!


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Even if pharmaceutical companies can rig trials does not mean that they do it routinely

If fraud was the exception, and not the rule, I would probably be willing to give modern studies more weight, but I believe it is the other way around. It is too bad that this colours the work of so many honest researchers, but medical "science" is what it is. That is why I rely on the older studies, prior to 1970 are good, prior to 1960 even better, and so on back to the golden age of science in the beginning of the 20th century.

If you want me to find the quotes of Marcia Angell (NEJM editor) or others about the fraud, all the drugs approved on "fraudulent" science, and how studies are rigged, I will.

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Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:39 am
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Post Re: Huge study finds no benefit of vitamins
ofonorow wrote:
Quote:
Fair play to you for including testimonies from people who were successful and not so successful while on the therapy. But the main drawback with testimonies is that it is difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions from them. How do you control for the placebo-effect, or avoid reporting bias or confirmation bias? Even if Pauling Therapy is effective in some patients, there's no way to get an idea of the response rates or the subpopulations in whom the treatment will work.


In general, I don't personally give much credence to testimonials, and it is wise to be skeptical, however, this is of a treatment advocated by a leading scientist, of which there have been maybe one (Kenton) study since Pauling advocated his theory and protocol around 1992. And most of the people on our testimonials list agreed to use their real names, and you can speak with them. They understand their stories are "unbelievable" and you would think that one or two such stories would have created enough scientific interest for medicine to have conducted a fair study, but the opposite has happened. If even one person was helped, stopped their pain, avoided surgery, what a story! But over the years, this kind of report was the norm, not the exception. I personally don't require a study to know that Pauling was right - and that ANY medical doctor could find out for themselves with very little trouble that Pauling was right using inexpensive and completely nontoxic substances. So pardon my for being cynical about the medical profession. What is the downside?



I don't give much credence to arguments from authority either. Linus Pauling will be remembered for his work in chemistry, but he was not a medical scientist. Ultimately, it's the evidence that matters. Anecdotes are at best patchy evidence. The best way to know whether an intervention works is through a randomized clinical trial, despite all its shortcomings.

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Even if pharmaceutical companies can rig trials does not mean that they do it routinely

[color=#0000FF]If fraud was the exception, and not the rule, I would probably be willing to give modern studies more weight, but I believe it is the other way around. It is too bad that this colours the work of so many honest researchers, but medical "science" is what it is. That is why I rely on the older studies, prior to 1970 are good, prior to 1960 even better, and so on back to the golden age of science in the beginning of the 20th century.


How do you know it's the rule, not the exception? If you were to take any medical journal, would you be able to identify which studies are fraudulent and those which aren't?

There's been a lot of good basic scientific and medical research done in recent times - it would be criminal to ignore it.

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If you want me to find the quotes of Marcia Angell (NEJM editor) or others about the fraud, all the drugs approved on "fraudulent" science, and how studies are rigged, I will.


I've read some of Angell's articles, and she tends to focus on a handful of concrete examples. There are cases where drug companies set up trials to make their drug appear superior to another - this happened with some antidepressant trials in the nineties. There are also cases where the company did not report certain data i.e. the Vioxx saga. The thing is, hundreds of clinical trials are performed each year - she doesn't provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate that fraud is as widespread as she claims.

It's one thing to say that drug companies test their products against a competitor's product with doses that are too high or too low either to make it look safer or more effective - but that almost assumes that the people who design the trial can see into the future or that they have a superhuman ability to know at which dosage to strike the right balance between safety and efficacy. Say I have a new statin drug in the pipeline and I want to setup a Phase III trial comparing it to Lipitor. Phase II studies showed that the drug is well tolerated and has fewer side effects than that associated with Lipitor - but Phase II studies are small, and it could be entirely due to chance. Preclinical studies suggest that the drug is not as potent as Lipitor. So now if I want to "rig" this trial to make my drug look better - I'm in a conundrum. I could lower the Lipitor dose in the control arm, to make it seem less effective, but then it might appear to be as safe or safer than my drug. I could increase the dose, but then the increased efficacy could still outweigh the associated side effects - and I still don't know if my drug is necessarily safer. So it's hardly easy - and not to mention that people aren't stupid and would be well aware of what the accepted dosage of Lipitor is.

There are of course problems associated with drug-company sponsored clinical trials - such as ghost writing, underreporting of negative results, etc. Some of these issues are being improved upon especially after all the negative press. Merck took quite a beating in the courts after the Vioxx scandal, so drug companies do have incentives not to engage in dodgy behaviour.


Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:18 pm
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Ascorbate Wizard
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Post Re: Huge study finds no benefit of vitamins
Quote:
I don't give much credence to arguments from authority either. Linus Pauling will be remembered for his work in chemistry, but he was not a medical scientist. Ultimately, it's the evidence that matters. Anecdotes are at best patchy evidence. The best way to know whether an intervention works is through a randomized clinical trial, despite all its shortcomings.


Who in your opinion is a great, even good "medical scientist?"

Pauling was not only a chemist, and a physicist, but in his own words, the first Molecular Biologist and a brilliant medical researcher. Other than the Nobel prize, based in part on his book The Nature of the Chemical Bond, most of his work that we remember had to do with medicine, not the least of which was his discovery that sickle-cell anemia was a molecular disease. He identified the defect in hemoglobin, if memory serves. He developed artificial blood for the War Department during world war II, and he was the first human being to understand anesthesia, the reason and how it works. One of those Eureka moments in the life of a scientist. (The book LINUS PAULING IN HIS OWN WORDS, by Barbara Marinacci is a very good book on Pauling. It contains many of these stories, taken from his own writings and personal papers and notes.) Pauling's first paper on the structure of antibodies appeared in 1940 (before that he studied with with Erwin Schrodinger at Niels Bohr's institute in for theoretical physics in Munich, and became one of the first Americans to master the technology of X-ray diffraction, which helped him to understand the nature of the chemical bond.) A life-long problem that interested him was the coiling of the polypeptide chain in proteins. By folding a paper on which he had drawn a polypeptide chain, he discovered that alpha helix. pauling and corey published a description of the structure of proteins in 1950, which was soon verified experimentally. The story of the race to discover the nature of DNA is well known, and would make a good movie. (Yes, Pauling lost the race, but it is interesting that the French have since found a variant DNA with 3-strands.) And the story of his second Nobel prize was also medicine related in that it had to do with the danger of above ground nuclear testing, and his calculations that such testing would cause "55,000 children to be born with gross birth defects, 500,000 miscarriages, still born deaths, etc." And the "authorities" at that time, debunked Pauling and took away his passport as a commie sympathizer.

As they say, this is only the tip of a very large iceberg. Your impression of Linus Pauling is based on a deliberate lack of knowledge, and again, I suggest that you refrain from making incorrect statements until you have a least read HOW TO LIVE LONGER AND FEEL BETTER.

Yes a clinical trial (or even 400 like Lipitor has) would be wonderful w/r to the Pauling therapy. But as Pauling himself said, with the complete lack of toxicity and downside, and the quality of the reports of efficacy in almost everyone, there is no reason to wait for the clinical trials before advising people how to save themselves. Why would a doctor hesitate for a second?


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How do you know it's the rule, not the exception? If you were to take any medical journal, would you be able to identify which studies are fraudulent and those which aren't?

There's been a lot of good basic scientific and medical research done in recent times - it would be criminal to ignore it.


That is entirely my point. I am not smart enough to know which studies are fraudulent, and which are honest. And neither is anyone else. Since some are corrupt, one must assume they are all corrupt, especially studies of pharmaceutical drugs where the stakes are high. Given the economics involved, I would tend to agree that most dishonesty probably has to do with studies of pharmaceuticals. however, vitamin C and other nutrients are the primary competitors to prescription pharmaceuticals. It is naive to think medicine would give them a fair shake. I know I can't change your mind about this, and you don't have to worry, most doctors will keep believing the studies the read in their journals are good science.

However, to use the word criminal is to overlook the fact that medical science has not investigated a claim as to the cause and effective treatment of the number one cause of death in the USA. What kind of crime is that? Perhaps 500,000 unnecessary deaths for now more than 10 years?


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The thing is, hundreds of clinical trials are performed each year - she doesn't provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate that fraud is as widespread as she claims.


If the editor of the NEJM can't prove it to you - who could, the researchers taking the bribes? You are aware that the New York times tracked down over 200 prescription drugs that were approved on the basis of now known fraudulent studies.

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Sat Feb 21, 2009 7:03 am
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Post Re: Huge study finds no benefit of vitamins
I found an article at the LA Times site referencing this study.
http://www.latimes.com/features/health/ ... 1167.story
With this quote.
"The 3,741 women who took stress multivitamins -- formulations with higher doses of several B vitamins along with an extra jolt of vitamin C -- were 25% less likely to have a heart attack. No other correlations between vitamins and health outcomes were statistically significant."

Imagine what the headlines would be if a pharmaceutical company had developed a drug that had no side effects and reduced the the risk of heart attack by 25%.


Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:46 am
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Ascorbate Wizard
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Post Re: Huge study finds no benefit of vitamins
Bravo for finding this nugget!

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Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:05 am
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Post Re: Huge study finds no benefit of vitamins
bioboingoloid wrote:
I found an article at the LA Times site referencing this study.
http://www.latimes.com/features/health/ ... 1167.story
With this quote.
"The 3,741 women who took stress multivitamins -- formulations with higher doses of several B vitamins along with an extra jolt of vitamin C -- were 25% less likely to have a heart attack. No other correlations between vitamins and health outcomes were statistically significant."

Imagine what the headlines would be if a pharmaceutical company had developed a drug that had no side effects and reduced the the risk of heart attack by 25%.


Well, if it reduced the risk of heart attack by 25% in a randomized clinical trial (rather than a observational study) then it probably would make headlines.


Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:59 pm
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