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Originally published August 6 2004

American Heart Association's Advice on Vitamin E and Antioxidants is Terrible Advice, Highly Distorted, and Prone to Actually Cause Heart Disease

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

The American Heart Association, which has for decades fought against vitamins and nutritional supplements, has now found a new reason to recommend that people stop taking vitamins -- and instead start taking cholesterol-lowering prescription drugs like statins. The new evidence? A review of older studies, using synthetic forms of vitamin E, have concluded that the synthetic vitamin E supplements and other anti-oxidants don't offer much protection against heart disease. As a result, the AHA has taken this as an opportunity to discredit all vitamins, and many of the headlines you see in the news these days say vitamins are worthless, or, "Vitamins are no good for your heart."

It's all hogwash, of course, and it's yet more anti-vitamin propaganda from the AHA, designed to do nothing more than support the sales of prescription drugs. But before believing that conclusion yourself, allow me to explain what's really behind these studies, and what is motivating the AHA to issue this sort of damaging advice.

The first thing to note is that in nearly all of these studies, the form of vitamin E that was used was a synthetic form of vitamin E. In other words, they used a chemical that never appears in nature. By using this chemical and claiming it's vitamin E, they can discredit all vitamin E by suggesting that the chemicals they use are in fact the same as natural vitamin E. But they are not the same at all -- from a molecular point of view, they are opposites. Had they used natural vitamin E, there's little doubt that the results would have been far more positive. In fact, I believe that many of these vitamin studies are constructed in an effort to discredit vitamins and accordingly, they purposely choose artificial, synthetic vitamin E instead of natural vitamin E.

The next thing that's wrong with this study is that it looked at only isolated antioxidants. As we know, antioxidants work in concert. When you eat whole foods or take organic vitamins made from whole foods, you are ingesting a vast array of antioxidants and phytonutrients that support human health and fight heart disease. A person who wants to have a healthy cardiovascular system will of course get their nutrition from whole foods and superfoods, such as chlorella and broccoli sprouts, sea vegetables, healthy oils, and so on. But in these studies, they didn't use full spectrum superfoods or whole foods. Instead, they used isolated chemical compounds, and the more isolated any compound is, the less effective it will be in supporting human health. These researchers must be aware of that fact, and once again, that is probably why they always choose isolated compounds for studying the effect of nutritional supplements.

You see this a lot in western medicine, and it's a paradigm that permeates the belief systems of western medical researchers and doctors. They believe that the health benefits of any food, if there is such a benefit, can typically be attributed to one or two so-called "active ingredients." They believe that a food can be understood by breaking it down into its parts -- a sort of Descartes reductionism in terms of nutrition. And when they seek to study the potential health effects of foods, they extract certain isolated ingredients and merely test those. Then they assume that whatever results were achieved from that test are equivalent to the health effects of eating the whole food.

We've seen this in the past with tomatoes and lycopene. Many studies have used lycopene extracts and then concluded that tomatoes don't offer you much of a health benefit because isolated lycopene didn't show such a strong benefit.

The next bit of advice from the American Heart Association is that people should not only stop taking vitamins and antioxidants, but that they rely entirely on foods for their nutrition. They say eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and poultry, and avoid taking vitamins and nutritional supplements. Well, once again, this is terrible nutritional advice that will no doubt ensure that millions of Americans remain diseased with heart disease, and thus will further ensure the survival and the importance of the American Heart Association. This advice assumes that the national food supply is a good source of nutrition, and that assumption dangerously incorrect. Not only are our foods depleted of minerals in terms of the soils in which they're grown, but such foods also lose additional nutrients when they are cooked and prepared for meals by consumers.

By my calculations, you have to eat 10,000 calories a day of readily available grocery store food just to meet the minimum USRDA numbers for the primary vitamins and minerals. That's 10,000 calories a day, or approximately 500% more food than the average American adult really needs. Even a guy like Lance Armstrong doesn't even burn 10,000 calories a day, meaning you would have to eat yourself into a massive state of obesity in order to prevent nutritional deficiencies as described by the USRDA numbers.

Yet, the AHA recommends that this is precisely the way you should get your nutrition: by relying on nothing but everyday foods. They're recommending that you should eat approximately 2,000 calories per day, meaning you should only get 1/5 of the nutrition required to actually prevent disease, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, mental depression and other such diseases. This is one of the many ways in which the AHA provides advice that actually promotes disease. Remember, for decades, the AHA recommended that heart patients avoid all dietary fats -- another bit of advice that also promoted cardiovascular disease due to the important role of healthy fats in preventing heart attacks.

As it turns out, the only way to actually get the nutrition you need to not only meet the USRDA numbers but exceed those numbers in an effort to prevent or even reverse chronic disease is to supplement your diet with high-density nutritional supplements such as superfoods, herbs, organic vitamins, trace minerals, powdered whole foods, and other sources that provide high-density nutrition without the calories associated with normal food. All of this is a rather obvious conclusion once a person understands nutrition and looks at the nutritional quality of the American food supply, but for some reason these obvious facts seem out of reach for our nation's top so-called experts on heart health, and the AHA remains dedicated to promoting statin drugs and other pharmaceuticals without speaking the truth about methods for preventing heart disease through nutrition.

The bottom line to all this is that the AHA's advice is the advice of disease: they are saying don't take any vitamins, avoid nutritional supplements, and get your only nutrition from the nutritionally depleted food supply available in this country. That's terrible advice. That's the kind of advice that will undoubtedly land you in a hospital, dependent on prescription drugs, and possibly even with heart disease.

Hearing all this typically drives cardiologists crazy because they believe everything the American Heart Association says. If the AHA says don't take vitamins, they will turn around and repeat that to their patients, regardless of how much nonsense the position entails. If the AHA says people can get all the nutrition they need from 3 meals a day, then that's the advice most cardiologists will pass on to their patients. It's as if many of these doctors simply don't think for themselves. Somehow, in medical school, too many people seem to lose the ability to engage in independent thought. They become propaganda machines for the AHA, the pharmaceutical industry, and the FDA, and they parrot whatever official statement comes down the line without giving it a second thought.

If you want to know who's right about all this information, by the way -- myself or mainstream cardiologists -- just look at the health statistics of the people talking about this. My own cardiovascular health is ideal, even by western standards. I doubt there is any western-medicine-thinking, practicing cardiologist in this country who can demonstrate a higher degree of cardiovascular health than my own, and while most cardiologists aren't willing to talk about their own health records, I've posted mine publicly on the website for everyone to see. My LDL cholesterol is 67, my HDL cholesterol is 62, I have a resting heart rate of 48, and my blood pressure is 105/60.

I would put this up against any cardiologist in the country if they want to talk about how to achieve a healthy cardiovascular system, and I can tell you this: I didn't get healthy by following the advice from the AHA. I got healthy by taking massive quantities of superfoods supplements, by eating all sorts of healthy oils and fats, including cashews, macadamia nuts, peanut oil, coconut oil, and flax oil, and by engaging in regular physical exercise.

And out of those three basic things, the AHA has stood firmly against two out of the three for decades. For many years they've insisted that vitamins are no good for you, and that all diets should be low-fat diets. In fact, it was the AHA that was primarily responsible for the low-fat or no-fat dietary craze of the 1980's and '90's that caused so much obesity and diabetes in this country. So the AHA has a very poor history of being correct when it comes to health, which is one reason why I would not listen to this organization if you want to be a healthy individual. However, if you enjoy spending time with cardiologists, if you enjoy taking prescription drugs and watching television in hospital rooms, the AHA is a perfectly acceptable place to get your health information.


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