Vitamins A, C and E Increase Mortality! (and other nonsense from the realm of junk science)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of (See all articles...)
Tags: antioxidants, junk science, health news

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(NaturalNews) The latest attack on vitamins A, C, E, selenium and beta-carotene comes from the Cochrane Library, a widely-read source of information on conventional health matters. In the paper published yesterday, these antioxidants were linked with a higher risk of mortality ("they'll kill you!"), and now serious-sounding scientists have warned consumers away from taking vitamins altogether. But with all the benefits of antioxidants already well known to the well-informed, how did the Cochrane Library arrive at such a conclusion? It's easy: The researchers considered 452 studies on these vitamins, and they threw out the 405 studies where nobody died! That left just 47 studies where subjects died from various causes (one study was conducted on terminal heart patients, for example). From this hand-picked selection of studies, these researchers concluded that antioxidants increase mortality.

Just in case the magnitude of the scientific fraud taking place here has not yet become apparent, let me repeat what happened: These scientists claimed to be studying the effects of vitamins on mortality, right? They were conducting a meta-analysis based on reviewing established studies. But instead of conducting an honest review of all the studies, they arbitrarily decided to eliminate all studies in which vitamins prevented mortality and kept people alive! They did this by "excluding all studies in which no participants died." What was left to review? Only the studies in which people died from various causes.

Brilliant, huh? This sort of bass-ackward science would earn any teenager an "F" in high school science class. But apparently it's good enough for the Cochrane Library, not to mention all the mainstream press outlets that are now repeating these silly conclusions as scientific fact.

Aspirin Causes a Drop in Erections!

Using this same cherry-picking method for reviewing previous studies, I could find evidence to support practically any conclusion I wanted. For example, let's say that I took a look at 100 studies reviewing the effects of aspirin on erections. And let's suppose I arbitrarily decide to eliminate all the studies involving men, leaving only studies involving women. I could then announce -- with the evidence to back it up -- that "Aspirin Linked with Drop in Erections!" Why? Because nobody in the groups I look at had any erections at all. Sure, they're all women, but that's beside the point. By arbitrarily removing selected studies from my analysis, I can "prove" just about anything, even if it's utter nonsense.

The antioxidant study did the exact same thing by eliminating all studies in which people were kept alive and healthy while taking antioxidant vitamins. Or, put another way, the lead researchers on this study purposely eliminated all the studies involving healthy people, leaving only the studies involving people who were about to die anyway (like the chronically-diseased heart patients I mentioned earlier). Never mind the fact that antioxidants might have actually extended the lives of some of these people by a few days or weeks -- the fact that they died while being treated with vitamins is enough, it seems, to point the finger at the vitamins themselves.

If a suicidal stock broker leaps from a tall building, and you hand him a vitamin C tablet on the way down, then it's obviously the vitamin C that kills him, right? That's the conclusion of this ridiculous study: Take a bunch of patients who are about to die, load 'em up with antioxidants, and tally the inevitable death toll. Then announce, with great fanfare, your findings that "Antioxidant Vitamins Increase Mortality!"

Much "scientific" research is pure fiction

As you can see from this particular junk science study on antioxidants, the credibility of much of what happens under the guise of "science" is now so awful that I often wonder how many pharmaceuticals the researchers are on. These people literally have to be on drugs to come up with such poorly-designed studies (and to have the gumption to announce their results with a straight face, too!).

Turns out I'm not off the mark. A recent survey in Nature found that 20 percent of science academics use mind-altering drugs for non-medical reasons to boost academic performance. That's one out of five researchers engaged in illegal drug use! This is a group that takes more mind-altering drugs than a Southern California hippy parade. And then they turn around and come up with "scientific" studies that lack such credibility, even an intelligent child could see right through them.

Actually, it's worse. Because what we're seeing in this antioxidant study is not merely bad science, but deceptive science. Bad science is created by bumbling idiots mucking around with clinical trial data, but deceptive science is created by people who have an agenda; people who have decided what outcome they wish to create even before the study begins. And that's not real science, folks: That's just subterfuge with an agenda.

Agenda-driven scientific-sounding trickery has now replaced real science in much the same way that politicians' pronouncements of "the economy is great!" have replaced any real talk about the national debt. The truth is no longer relevant, it seems. What matters is whatever they can pull off and get the public to believe. The illusion of science is now being routinely used to push a particular anti-vitamin agenda. And guess who's behind that agenda? Big Pharma, of course. There's no better way to trap consumers in a system of lifelong pharmaceutical treatment than to convince them that vitamins are not merely worthless, but perhaps even dangerous!

The unstated conclusion behind all this, by the way, is that "Drugs are therefore safe." If vitamins are dangerous, drugs must be the safe way to treat disease, right?

Riiiight. Drugs are safe, vitamins are dangerous, sunlight will kill you, water has no health benefits, fresh spinach is dangerous... need I go on? These are the pronouncements of a system of medical idiocy that has gone so far beyond the limits of reason, they've actually fallen off the edge of their own Flat Earth. Next, they'll be telling us that breaking a mirror brings you seven years of bad luck, or that if you keep a lucky rabbit's foot in your pocket, pharmaceuticals will work better.

Because let's face it: When facts are no longer relevant, modern "science" becomes nothing more than superstition.

Additional thoughts

I don't mean, by the way, that all modern science is meaningless. There's still a lot of great science going on these days. But when I see "scientific" studies like the one reviewed here being published in the mainstream media, I have to wonder just how low the scientific standards have become today. One thing for sure: The "peer review" approach to science is a complete disaster. All peer review does is protects entrenched ideas that should have been tossed out decades ago. Peer review is a way for defenders of outmoded ideas to reject new ideas, and thus protect their careers and egos.

Peer review doesn't work. After all, it allows junk studies like the one described here to be readily published. All peer review means is that as long as all the peers share the same illusions (or biases), the paper will be published as scientific fact!

Don't believe what you read in the science journals, folks. At least not without engaging your own brain and thinking for a moment about who's behind the study and what they're trying to accomplish. It's quite clear that on this particular study, the aim is to scare consumers away from taking vitamins. Now ask yourself: Who would that benefit? The answer is rather obvious.

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About the author: Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is the founding editor of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news website, now reaching 7 million unique readers a month.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

In addition to being the co-star of the popular GAIAM TV series called Secrets to Health, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

In 2013, Adams created the Natural News Forensic Food Laboratory, a research lab that analyzes common foods and supplements, reporting the results to the public. He is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released ten popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at

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