This Labor Day weekend, I was alarmed by the media reports about life extension and supplements and a new drug development. First the new drug development that startled me as it sounded a lot like a vitamin D analog.
I was watching Fox News on Monday morning. Yes I know, if you have a liberal political persuasion you have already labeled me and not consider reading further. There was an interview with a doctor about a new drug that would significantly reduce heart disease and also significantly reduce all-cause mortality. It will likely be approved by the end of the year. This sounds a very fast track. A very fast track is a good thing if there are no side effects, a low number needed to treat, NNT, and we can put an end to heart disease. The drug had not been named which was another surprise to me. What really got me going was the description of how it acted. Here is the print article from Fox News.
It was not only reported to reduce heart disease, it was also stated that it would significantly increase life expectancy. Why was I alarmed? It sounded like vitamin D3. First there was the interview with a Dr. Joseph Prendergast from about 2007 where he reported that he had been extremely successful in treating heart disease with vitamin D3 and L-arginine. He said in the interview that he had been so successful that a three physician cardiology practice in the same town that he practice had moved to another town because of lack of business. He had treated more than four thousand patients. Then there is the description by Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist and author of the book “Wheat Belly”, that claims in his practice there are not anymore emergency calls from his patients. He says that he used a variety of nutrients with Vitamin D being a very important one. And then I remembered all the published papers on how vitamin D3 significantly reduces heart disease collected by Henry Lahore at VitaminDWiki. Cardiovascular Disease Also the many articles at the Vitamin D Council related to cardiovascular disease and vitamin D3. And on and on.
What is more alarming is the NNT, before a positive outcome, the prevention of death. “About 32 people would need to be treated with the new drug to prevent one death from heart-related causes. “ This description does not sound as if the drug is effective as just plain vitamin D3 that can be purchased over the counter. This sounds significantly different that the experience of Dr. Prendergast and Dr. Davis and the multiple of medical papers published on the subject. As a society, are we so set in maintaining the medical economy that doctors cannot tell people that vitamin D is very significant in the course of heart disease? When other specific nutrients are added and changes in diet, heart disease could be a thing of the past.
The second report was on CBS 60 Minutes. They had a segment on research with the aging of what extended life and what did not. It was very educational and interesting until Leslie Stahl asked about supplements. The answer was no, there was not any significant reduction of death with supplements. She then asked a much scripted question. No help from vitamin E? No. No help with vitamin A, vitamin B, and vitamin C. No. No help with a multiple vitamin? No. Notice the order of vitamins not to take the listener to vitamin D as they were not in alphabetical order. Also note that the question was not asked about vitamin D. There was a bottle of vitamin D3 plainly on display in the cabinet. Plainly getting the viewer to believe that vitamin D3 has no affect without stating. Subliminal communication at its best! There are papers stating that life expectancy could be extended by seven or more years with higher levels of vitamin D3? Mortality and Vitamin D3
Propaganda delivered at its very best! – Pandemic Survivor