Junk Science at its Best in Supplement Study

Did you see the recent headlines screaming about women increasing their mortality rates if they take supplements?   That would definitely be alarming – if it was true!!

The Iowa Women’s study is junk science at its best.  A 9th grade science student would have received an F on this report if they’d reported the same conclusions!

First flaw – no one looked to see if the women had any underlying health problems.  People with health issues generally take more supplements than those without any.   Life Extensions explains, “If a woman was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and began ingesting 40 supplements daily, but died six months later, she would have been counted as being a heavy supplement user who died prematurely.”

Second flaw – 13.5% of the supplement takers were also taking a dangerous hormone that is now known to cause a variety of lethal diseases.  This of course would also show a higher mortality rate for supplement takers.  7.2% of the non-supplement users were on this hormone.

Positive Findings Omitted.   The study authors completely omitted the positive findings.   Initial reports showed that women who supplemented with vitamins C, D, E and calcium had significantly lower risks of mortality (as we would expect).

A recent European study, published by the European Journal of Nutrition in July 2011, discovered stunning positive results.   They found that long-term antioxidant supplement users had a 48% reduced risk of cancer mortality and 42% lower all-cause mortality.   That’s a home run in my book!

If you’d like to know more, Life Extensions wrote a complete report in response to the study.

Trouble – The biased reporting of the Iowa Women’s Study is especially troubling to me because the FDA is working hard to greatly restrict (if not eliminate) our access to many supplements.

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  • Misty

    Great article! Its silly that someone wouldn’t have enough common sense to think antioxidants WOULDN’T help keep you healthy and therefore live longer. Although, I know people who would believe the junk.

  • Kelli

    I’ve seen the recent headlines proclaiming supplements as “dangerous”, too. And did not believe it for a second. As usual, the FDA is trying to ban supplements, which is the purpose of these junk studies.