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Media Twists Research and Distorts Health Supplement Effectiveness

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 by: Marek Doyle
Tags: mainstream media, nutritional supplements, health news

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(NewsTarget) As the unreported war between the Consumers for Health Choice and the corporate supporters of the EU Food Directive continues to rage, Big Pharma and their PR department - otherwise known as the mainstream media - continue in their attempt to tilt public opinion away from natural health choices. Recent headlines in the Daily Mail and the Metro reported that 'vitamins and health supplements become useless in a week' in a ridiculous (and inaccurate) take on a recent study.

The reports, which followed the release of an article in Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, describe a process called deliquescence, which sees some compounds dissolve into the air under certain levels of heat and humidity. "Opening and closing a package will change the atmosphere in it. If you open and close a package in a bathroom, you add a little bit of humidity and moisture each time," said lead researcher Dr Mauer. She added that the changes were not dangerous, but reduced the effectiveness of the product. "You're just giving them candy at that point."

As has previously been the case, the media took the conclusions of the study and stretched it for all it was worth. Although the study only found degradation amongst crystalline substances (B vitamins and vitamin C), the report launched an attack on all health supplements. True to form, the newspapers failed to mention that many pharmaceutical drugs, including those used to treat asthma and epilepsy, are also made up of crystalline substances. They also failed to report the extreme conditions required for the changes to occur.

The actual conclusions of this study were that if you leave open powdered ascorbic acid outside of the container in 98 percent humidity, you may find that your supplements degrade 'in less than a week'. As a comparison, the humidity in Miami in July peaks at 85% most years. In any case, the issue of deliquescence will not be of any concern whatsoever if you have air conditioning, your supplement is capsule-based, it contains an absorbent strip inside the container or you store your supplements in the fridge. In essence, the study is pretty much irrelevant for all of us, except those that leave their vitamin C containers wide open on the bathroom shelf whilst they have a long, hot shower.

Whilst the mainstream media continue to hunt for real stories to please their drug companies that sponsor them, they will have to make do with distorting run-of-the-mill research. Meanwhile, if this latest episode is anything to go by, we may need to brace ourselves for a spate of sensational and laughable non-stories.





About the author

Marek Doyle is a London personal trainer, nutritionist and the pioneer of the Combined Allergy Test, with locations serving Kensington, Chelsea, West London and Basingstoke. Marek runs Blueprint Fitness, edits theAdrenal Fatigue Focus website and has been recognised as one of the top three trainers in the country and counts world champion athletes, models and TV celebrities amongst his clientele.

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