Attitudes About Micronutrient Supplements in American Academic Medicine

by Howard Jamison on March 10, 2013

vitamin supplements

vitamin supplements

I came across an interesting article published by the American Medical Association in 1998 that stated throughout the 20th century American academic medicine has resisted the concept that supplementation with micronutrients might have health benefits!

The article points out the difficulties that Galileo, Linus Pauling (vitamin C) and others had with their “radical” ideas. Also, about the resistance of the medical community to the concept that scurvy, beri-beri, and rickets were caused by vitamin deficiencies.

This resistance by the medical establishment is evident in several ways: (1) by the uncritical acceptance of bad news about micronutrient supplements; reports of toxic effects were rarely questioned and widely quoted; (2) by the scornful, dismissive tone of the discussions about micronutrient supplementation in the leading textbooks of medicine, a tone avoided in most medical controversies; and (3) by the skeptical reaction greeting any claim of efficacy of a micronutrient, relative to other therapies; indeed, most claims were simply ignored.

Part of the resistance stems from the fact that the potential benefits of micronutrients were advanced by outsiders, who took their message directly to the public, and part from the fact that the concept of a deficiency disease did not fit in well with prevailing biomedical paradigms, particularly the germ theory. Similar factors might be expected to color the response of academic medicine to any alternative treatment.

3 Important Questions When Evaluating a Potential Treatment

1- Does it work?
2- What are the adverse effects?
3- How much does it cost?

Ideally, issues such as the theory underlying the treatment or the guild to which the proponents of the treatment belong should be irrelevant to the fundamental questions of efficacy, toxicity, and cost. The history of the response of academic medicine to micronutrient supplementation suggests that we have not attained that ideal.

Think there is any resistance to new concepts today??

The complete article is available here (right click and download PDF): Battling Medical Quackery


Click on the image below to find out more about “balancing the body pH”

pHion is the category leader when it pertains to pH balancing of the body.

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