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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Confusing you on purpose

B Complex vitamins do reduce heart risks, although a recent report opposes benefits -
A study published by the American Journal of Cardiology last month finds that cardiovascular patients with high homocysteine levels (above 15µmol/l) treated with B vitamins cut their risk of death by a quarter over ten years.

Among those not given B vitamins 32% had died, compared to only 4% of those given high dose vitamins. Homocysteine is now a proven marker for cardiovascular disease risk. For example, a recent meta-analysis concludes “each increase of 5 μmol/L in homocysteine levels increases the risk of CHD events by approximately 20%, independently of traditional CHD risk factors“. Lowering homocysteine levels with B vitamins has also been shown to reduce stroke risk.

Vitamin B12 is also a well established nutrient to help the fight against dementia.

Heart Disease: B-vitamin Pills Have No Effect, Review Finds

ScienceDaily (2009-10-20) -- B-vitamin supplements should not be recommended for prevention of heart disease, say scientists. A new review has shown these supplements do not reduce the risk of developing or dying from the disease. ... > read full article

1 comment:

Grosvenor said...

I read the linked article. Not enough information there to have confidence in the conclusions. Maybe the actual study is more convincing, but I wouldn't be surprised if that weren't the case.

I was especially blown away by another "related" article that was linked on that page ( citing another study purporting that several common antioxidants increase mortality. (What is this, the anti-supplement gang?) Not surprisingly, the study was a meta analysis. The researchers divided up the studies in their analysis into high quality / low bias and low quality / high bias, but the article only obliquely refers to high quality methods, so its hard to know the exact basis of determination. Although there isn't enough information in the article to get a true sense, I bet they didn't even consider dosages or frequency of dosing in their "analysis"--or even the form of the antioxidant being ingested.

It unnerves me that these men of the scientific cloth are paid great homage for producing garbage yet often more careful attempts by others to really learn about true effects of various supplements on health are readily dismissed by the scientific clergy on the basis of much more minor flaws.