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Originally published August 22 2004

American Heart Association's advice on antioxidant supplements helps people avoid heart disease by dying younger (satire)

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

On the heels of a bizarre announcement from the American Heart Association that people should not use antioxidant supplements to prevent heart disease, the Council for Responsible Nutrition has replied with a review of epidemiologic studies that shows strong support for the use of vitamin E and other antioxidants in reducing the risk of major coronary disease. One study that reviewed 80,000 nurses who took vitamin E supplements showed a 41% reduction in the risk of major coronary disease. Another study of 11,000 elderly people showed a 47% reduction in coronary disease mortality and a 53% reduction if they used both vitamin E and vitamin C.

I think the American Heart Association should respond by saying "The only way people don't get heart disease is if they die before the age at which they would normally be diagnosed with it. Thus our recommendation is that people avoid taking antioxidant supplements so they die earlier before they ever get heart disease." This should be part of the American Heart Association's new advertising slogan, which is: "Avoid heart disease by dying before you get it!" That seems to be consistent with the AHA's message, after all.

OK let's get serious about this for a moment, and ask "What's stupid about this news?" The answer's obvious -- it's that the American Heart Association, which is supposed be telling people how to prevent heart disease, is out there giving people precisely the wrong information. They're telling people to avoid taking supplements that reduce the risk of heart disease. Shouldn't this association be giving people information that makes them healthier rather than increasing their risk of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular trauma?

If you look at the history of the American Heart Association, their present position is no surprise. The AHA has, for decades, denied any benefit whatsoever from vitamins, minerals or nutritional supplements. In fact it was only grudgingly and reluctantly dragged into the era of nutrition after being confronted with a mountain of undeniable evidence in support of nutrition for heart health.

For decades, the AHA actually prescribed a diet that avoided all heart-healthy oils, such as cod liver oil, salmon oil, fish oils, omega-3 oil, primrose oil and other dietary oils. The AHA told people that consuming any of these oils would increase their risk of heart disease. Of course, we now know that to be complete nonsense.

Which brings up the all-important question: how many people have died over the past 20 years from listening to the American Heart Association's advice? And, by the way, guess where the AHA gets millions of dollars in funding each year? It's from the prescription drug companies, of course, who stand to benefit from treating patients with pharmaceuticals rather than having patients get well from nutrition. That's why I propose that we pass a national law renaming the AHA to "the American Heart Association for Complete Idiots". And require it to change its slogan to "Prevent Heart Disease. Die Sooner."

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