Annual report reveals: No deaths from any nutritional supplements
By Lori Alton
The warnings of dire consequences seem to be everywhere. Whether on the back of nutritional supplement packages or in the disapproving look of your own family physician, the implication is always there: nutritional supplements can ruin your health, even cause your death.
Fortunately, all those red flags are unnecessary. For all the hand-wringing, predictions of catastrophe and strong-worded reservations, a recent study of all poisonings shows there has not been a single death traced to the use of nutritional supplements. Meanwhile, prescription drugs – those properly prescribed – account for 128,000 deaths and 2.74 million serious adverse reactions each year.
Nutritional supplements have a ‘clean bill of health’
According to a report issued in early 2015 by the U.S. National Poison Data System, not one death had been attributed to a nutritional supplement in 2013, the most recent year information was collected and reviewed. Its latest 251-page report contains data from 2.2 million poisonings reported by 55 American Association of Poison Control Centers. The findings were published in the journal Clinical Toxicology.
The American Association of Poison Control is the body responsible for maintaining the National Poison Data System (NPDS), a database of information on more than 60 million poison exposures reported since 1983. NPDS is considered the authoritative voice on poisonings, and the only database of its kind in the country.
Nutrition-based health advocates are quick to emphasize the results show no deaths due to any type of dietary nutritional supplement, including zero deaths from any amino acid, herbal, or mineral products. Yet, according to USDA survey data, much of the U.S. population remains deficient in a number of vitamins and minerals, based on Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs).
Big pharma money hides real threat to human health
It doesn’t take much research, however, to uncover the shocking statistics about prescription drugs, which are in sharp contrast to the clean slate of nutritional supplements. On an annual basis, prescription drug use has caused 128,000 deaths on an annual basis, 1.9 million hospitalizations and 2.74 million adverse reactions.
These numbers do not include the abuse of prescription drugs, drugs that were incorrectly prescribed or those that were self-prescribed. In addition, new prescription drugs carry an incredible 1 in 5 chances of causing a serious reaction – after receiving the government’s “stamp of approval.”
So, why are you not hearing the same warnings about prescription drugs that are needlessly stated about supplements?
The answer is clear: Big Pharma has a lot of money invested in the development and promotion of prescription medications. Unfortunately, all that money has influence and that influence is used to sway the medical community, media and general public away from natural, nutritional supplements and toward prescription drugs.
The dark side of so-called “clinical research”
Donald Light is a professor at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine. Writing for the Harvard University Center for Ethics, Dr. Light points out that published medical literature, once considered an unbiased source for clinical guidelines and protocols, has now become nothing more than marketing tools for the pharmaceutical industry.
Clinical trials designed by marketing departments, careful selection of what evidence is released, and private funding for the division of the FDA that approves new drugs all support the revenue goals of pharmaceutical companies. Big Pharma even secures its own team of science writers, editor and statisticians. By the time physicians review scholarly articles, the information has been biased multiple times.
So, I ask you: Can we really trust conventional medicine and science for an honest opinion about health?