(required by law): This site is intended as a reference only, not for
medical advice. The information given here is to help you make informed
decisions about your nutrition. Vitamins and minerals are essential to
your health, but too much of many micronutrients can be hazardous to your
health, and in certain individuals can cause unpleasant and dangerous
side effects, as well as interacting with medications. You should always
check with your health professional before taking any supplements. The
content and claims in this site have not been reviewed by the Food and
Disease and Health Condition Index
FOR LINKS TO SPECIFIC DISEASE INFORMATION, PLEASE READ THE STATEMENTS ON THIS PAGE FIRST. Links are shown in the list below.
First, it is important to realize the major role nutrition plays in your risk of dying! It is surprising the emphasis placed on auto accidents and seat belts, while so little attention is paid to good nutrition. The following table shows clearly that your risk of dying from cancer and heart disease, which may be reduced approximately 50% by taking vitamins B6, folic acid, B12, vitamin C and E, is THIRTY TIMES GREATER than your risk of dying in an auto accident, which can be reduced by wearing your seatbelt. Getting adequate intake of vitamins is a mighty wise investment of time and money!
From the Surgeon General's Report on Nutrition and Health, 1988, Table 2
Links to medical conditions with nutrition components
*. Alcohol and Drug Abuse
*. Arthritis (Osteo and Rheumatoid)
*. Autism spectrum conditions like Asperger's
. C-reactive protein
*. Colds and Flu
*.Eyes - cataracts, macular degeneration - see vitamin C and vitamin E; get fish oil for dry eye syndrome
*. Gallstones - another reason to stay
thin and enjoy nuts and omega-3s
Disease and atherosclerosis
(1) High Cholesterol Levels
( 2) High Homocysteine Levels
(3) High Blood Pressure
*. Irritable bowel
*. Memory - See Eating for a healthy memory
*. Neurologic Disorders (Alzheimer's, Parkinson's)
*. Reasons/Ways to Quit Smoking
*. Other research on disease
WHAT CAN ONE BELIEVE ABOUT MEDICAL CLAIMS RELATED TO NUTRITION:
At the bottom of this page is a list of diseases for which there are significant studies related to nutrition and disease. The goal in this section is to determine and clearly document the information that is known about nutritional supplementation and health based on clearly stated scientific and medical principles and studies. There are many undocumented substances which may be beneficial, but it is unclear whether many of these substances are safe or useful. Other manufacturers and authors supply an abundance of such unproven, speculative products. The studies listed with each disease indicate responsible studies in peer-reviewed journals which suggest that particular micronutrients may be helpful in reducing the risk or treating particular diseases. When confronted with a particular situation, one must judge whether the risks for negative outcomes associated with taking the micronutrients are less than the potential for benefits from the particular treatment. Unfortunately, most physicians have had only a single day of nutrition education as part of their medical training, and few are aware of recent medical studies. The studies cited can be obtained from a good medical library, usually found at major universities, so that you can discuss them with a qualified medical professional to determine whether the treatment might be useful in your particular situation.
What are some major criteria to judge the scientific and medical principles and studies presented?
1. The evidence must be published in peer-reviewed scientific and medical journals.
2. When hypothesized, the chemical and physiological mechanisms of action should be plausible and well-defined.
3. The best clinical trials are peer-reviewed, double-blind, and placebo-controlled..
4. Nutrients should be non-toxic with minimal documented side effects based on long term usage by large number of study participants.
5. Nutrition studies should be done with human subjects.
Most currently available nutritional recommendations are highly suspect. Anecdoctal statements even by qualified medical experts are highly suspect because of placebo effects. Statements in "nutrition books" by popular authorities are highly suspect because of frequently conflicting claims, conflict of interest from product endorsements, and lack of adequate documentation in primary scientific and medical literature.
Credible information about nutrition and health is rapidly changing because of the major increase in well-documented and designed research which began in the late 1980's when the National Institutes of Health began funding research into alternative medicine, particularly the use of nutritional supplements. Typified by the Women's Health Initiative and the Physician's Health Study, each involving about 50,000 subjects over many years of careful study, these studies are providing new, well-documented and controlled studies which can provide safe, proven nutritional guidance to those concerned about their present and future health. The research and development program of Personal Health Corporation concentrates on making this information available both as documented information and as reliable products.
The following are examples of the kind of confusing information currently available in the popular and scientific press. This is a compilation from a number of recent popular nutrition books which recommend specific recipes of vitamins, minerals, and herbs for specific conditions. What is noteworthy is how often the recommendations are different in specific nutrients and dosages. I spoke with a distinguished nutritionist while compiling this research, and asked how all of these published nutrition books could have such different advice. She confirmed my fear that the current nutritional advice of this nature is "one-third fact, one-third speculation, and one-third hype".
Unless a compound is properly investigated (see safe and proven essay), it is likely that even sugar pills can be demonstrated to treat effectively almost any condition, a process known as the "placebo effect". "In a study of more than 6,000 patients being given experimental treatments for asthma, duodenal ulcers and herpes, two-thirds improved...even though rigorous tests later found the treatments medically useless." ( Healing Unlimited, Boardroom Classics, CT, 1997, pg. 329). If so little faith can be put in a study involving 6,000 patients, how much trust can you put in a single author's opinion, which is the basis of numerous "best-selling" nutrition books by "nutrition experts".
For lots of references, click here.