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In two articles in the June 19th issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association, Drs. Kathleen M. Fairfield and Robert H. Fletcher of the Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts review studies published between 1966 and 2002 that investigated the links between vitamin intake and diseases such as cancer and coronary heart disease. Their conclusions:

  • The elderly and those who follow restrictive diets face the risk of vitamin deficiency, but even people who eat a normal diet may not be getting enough of certain vitamins.
  • Because low vitamin intake has been linked to a host of illnesses, Drs. Fairfield and Fletcher recommend that everybody–regardless of age or health status–take a daily multivitamin.
  • It’s rare to find a health-promoter that offers such a substantial benefit with a relatively low cost and low risk of problems,” Fletcher told Reuters Health. “And when you have such a thing,” he added, “you ought to jump on it.”

SOURCE: The Journal of the American Medical Association 2002;287:3116-3126, 3127-3129.

Unfortunately, Drs. Fairfield and Fletcher were clueless as to the differences in supplements and how those differences impact the human body. What do I mean by that? As it turns out, their articles recommend that you buy and use the cheapest vitamins you can find. How sad. Just when you thought it might be safe to listen to your doctor. Let’s hope it doesn’t take medical research another 50 years to take the next step in consciousness and acknowledge that quality matters. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait that long to know the truth. Lessons from the Miracle Doctors devotes an entire chapter to this issue, and Multiplex II, offers you the only supplement in the world that actually lets you SEE how effective it is.

But that’s not the only fun story in the news that touts supplements. According to the venerable British news magazine, The Economist, a recent scientific study now shows that supplementation changes behavior.

Keep Taking the Tablets

The study involved 231 18-to-21-year-old men in a maximum-security jail in Aylesbury, Great Britain. Half of the offenders received daily nutritional supplements, and the rest placebo pills. The two groups included a comparable mix of anxious, depressed and aggressive individuals. Their antisocial antics—ranging from violent assaults to swearing at the guards—were recorded before and during the experiment.

The results, published in the July issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry, are striking. Those on supplements committed 25% fewer offences than those taking placebos. Moreover, with at least two weeks’ “treatment”, inmates receiving supplements committed 35% fewer offences than before starting the trial, compared with a 7% reduction in those taking placebos.

SOURCE: The Economist, June 29th, 2002.