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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