Here is the main conclusion...
To get to the truth about nutritional supplements, above all:
Trust facts, not authorities.
After all, it was none other than Albert Einstein, PhD, (1879–1955) who warned:
“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
Because it is not uncommon, as Einstein was well aware of, for official authorities and acclaimed experts to omit, ignore, or even suppress facts (sound scientific evidence).
Today, this is a familiar reality across virtually the entire field of science. Both modern medicine as well as non-orthodox alternative medicine with all its many sub divisions, such as the domain of nutritional supplements among the health industry, are no exceptions to this routine practice.
Marcia Angell, MD, a former longtime editor of The New England Journal of Medicine, one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world, concluded in sadness:
“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines.” (Marcia Angell, MD, in 2009)
Therefore, a proper understanding of nutrition, diets, nutritional supplements, modern medicine, and the so-called healthcare system is inextricably tied to having a good grasp of the political-social context –this includes especially a sound perception of politics. This broader insight is the major reason why "macro-level" information, such as on socioeconomic and political processes, is rather generously included and discussed in this site's content on "micro-level" topics, such the health benefits of vitamin supplements or vitamin toxicity. (Another chief aspect of this rationale is coming up below).
Preceding Marcia Angell's abovecited observation, Linus Pauling, PhD, (1901-1994), recipient of two Nobel Prizes, gave us this timeless advice in 1986, being fully cognizant of the deep presence of wicked politics in mainstream allopathic medicine and the political landscape:
“Don’t let either the medical authorities or the politicians mislead you. Find out what the facts are, and make your own decisions about how to live a happy life and how to work for a better world.”
We live in an environment in which you are routinely presented with, and exposed to, many different and oftentimes conflicting opinions, rather than facts, about health and nutritional supplements. Frequently, these eclectic opinions are dispensed by a variety of authorities and experts.
No surprise so many people are confused about food supplements.
Are you mystified about supplements?
“In order to take care of one’s complex physical equipment, it is necessary, at least partially, to understand it. […]. If one is not willing to learn, he or she must take the consequences. These may include living a life less rich in energy and satisfaction than it might have been.” (Roger J. Williams, PhD, 1893–1988, Trailblazer Of Nutritional Science)
Have you ever asked yourself...
This website addresses (or is going to) all of these issues about nutritional supplements. And much, much more.
“Acquiring truth about health and biology is difficult at best, and acquiring falsehoods about health and biology seems to be inordinately easy.” (John W. Gofman, MD, PhD, 1918-2007)
At this very moment, you're either convinced that nutritional supplements are a total waste of money (and maybe even dangerous), or that they are extremely beneficial and necessary. Or, you likely hold a position that lays somewhere in-between these two points of view.
How did you arrive at your current conviction? Whose information helped you form your perspective?
Do you believe you most certainly know the facts about dietary supplements?
Are you dead set in your thinking, are your attitudes about health supplements “set in stone”?
The information on this website might challenge some (or many) of your perceptions about nutritional supplements, nutrition, health, natural medicine, and orthodox medicine.
But challenges carry the seeds of new possibilities, progress, and growth. And oftentimes... a path to the facts. Because it is not uncommon to find the truth in the things that deeply disturb us, in things that make us uncomfortable.
And more often than not, the reason why something is challenging us and is making us uneasy is because it goes against "common knowledge", against the offical views advocated by public health authorities and the medical establishment.
Thus, the exposure to "challenging information" –about nutritional supplements, for instance– may lead you (and leave you) onto the side of a rather unappreciated tiny minority.
A long time ago a very astute doctor, originally trained as a conventional MD but then became an "alternative" or holistic physician, noted:
“The discovery and acceptance of truth are alike painful. It is a continual warfare with one's self and the world: it is a fight in which defeat is moral death, and in which victory brings no ovation.” (William H. Holcombe, 1825-1893)
A closely related observation had been spoken by a famous US politician in the 20th century:
"Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change." (Robert F. Kennedy, 1925-1968, in his N.U.S.A.S. "Day of Affirmation" Speech, University of Cape Town, South Africa, 6-June-1966) [emphasis added]
A 21st century author expressed a similar notion:
"[...] being a moral person requires taking on the personal responsibility of judging right from wrong and following one’s own conscience, the opposite of respecting and obeying "authority"." (Larken Rose, in "The Most Dangerous Superstition", 2011)
Many dogmatic traditions and dominant organizations, which portray themselves largely as the sole and exclusive authoritative possessors of the truth (the facts) –as in the case of the prominent, “sacred” institution of conventional allopathic medicine (organized medicine)– are representations of culture-specific ideologies.
Such ideological perspectives are a direct outcome of, and determined by, both authoritarian governments and other highly influential, rigid groups in positions of power whose origins and battles over turf may go back hundreds or even thousands of years.
By contemplating new data and by putting new information (or uncommon perspectives) about nutritional supplements, health, and modern medicine against this inflexible-dogmatic, cultural background, it might assist you in viewing knowledge that diverges or contradicts the established authoritarian paradigms, with renewed vigor and openness.
As the biologist Raymond Peat, PhD, once told me:
“[…] if nothing is taken as a final and completely adequate answer, then everything stimulates interest, […].” (Personal Communication, 20-May-2008)
“[...] the whole economic structure of Western civilization is based on the production and distribution of goods and services that are contributing to poor health. These include chemicalized agriculture and food processing, the pharmaceutical industry, technological medicine and the petrochemical and plastics industries. The guiding motto for industry is 'profit', while for the consumer it is 'convenience'. The price for all to pay is the loss of health. This situation is the natural outcome of a society based on selfish motivation.” (Walter Last, Independent Health Investigator, Author, and Former Biochemist & Toxicologist)
When reading the writings on this site you will discover that it is not uncommon to find political elements and socioeconomic contexts discussed among information on nutritional supplements, health, and allied topics.
The reasoning behind it is this:
Whether healthy nutrition or unhealthy nutrition, the foods we eat (our diet), the dietary supplements we take, the water or other beverages we drink, and the air we breathe are principally products of the conditions of the environment.
This line of argumentation leads to the overarching recognition that...
...the environment is a (extended) part of every person's organism.
Just like individual vitamins and minerals inside of you do not operate in a vacuum independent from your “personal body”, your personal body does not operate in a vacuum independent from the “planetary body” (the environment).
Whatever affects the environment affects us. Whatever affects the “health” or conditions of the environment affects us. (Conversely, the health of people affect the health of the environment.)
The author and seminal cultural critic Ivan Illich (1926-2002) wrote in his classic book "Medical Nemesis” of 1975:
"For more than a century, analysis of disease patterns has shown that the environment is the primary determinant of the state of general health of a population."
Economic systems, the social milieu, and politics affect the conditions or quality of the environment in the most fundamental way possible. Therefore, social, economic, and political factors, conditions, and decisions that are impacting the environment (ecology), are integrally connected to one's own personal health –and its closely associated fields of diet, nutrition, and nutritional supplements.
Ultimately, having genuine knowledge about sociological forces and politics, especially in Big Business societies (e.g., the corporate-controlled Westernized nations), empowers you. It allows you to (better) figure out whether the dominating authoritarian culture –with its particular system of economics and climate of politics, with its ideologies, regulations, and popular narratives– is actually constructive to your health or rather destructive (e.g., ponder the quote underneath the headline of this section and an earlier quote by Dr. Linus Pauling).
As touched on above, let's not forget that personal responsibility is part of the nutrition equation because nutrition (and “lifestyle”, in a broader sense) is in part directed by individual decision.
Carl Pfeiffer, PhD, MD, (1908-1988), a pioneer of nutritional supplementation (“megavitamin therapy”), summed it all up neatly in 1975 when he stated:
“Our economic policies, our political philosophies, our individual lifestyles all must change together in support of one principle –the preservation of the species and the good life on earth.”
"Everyone must gain the truth in an active way. If you want to know something you must look at all the premises yourself, listen to all the arguments yourself, and then decide for yourself what seems to be the most likely answer. You may be easily led astray if you ask the authorities to do this work for you." (Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD, Independent Medical Researcher, in 2000)
An observation by Sir Francis Bacon (1561–1626) indicates what might be conceivably the best frame of mind a person ought to entertain about nutritional supplements, and essentially about anything, in order to arrive at the truth of things:
“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.
A similar insight came from someone from a more recent time period:
“Don't believe anything. Regard things on a scale of probabilities. The things that seem most absurd, put under 'Low Probability', and the things that seem most plausible, you put under 'High Probability'. Never believe anything. Once you believe anything, you stop thinking about it.” (Robert A. Wilson, 1931-2007)
An open but critical, questioning, doubting state of mind practically guarantees that you're always thinking about the things you're exposed to (rather than “blindly” believing the declarations of authorities and experts).
It's the frame of mind with a “high probability” of leading you to the truth about nutritional supplements. And anything else for that matter.
It's the frame of mind I humbly and strongly suggest you apply when reviewing the information on this website. And... any information on anything else.
“Independence –is loyalty to one's best self and principles, and this is often disloyalty to the general idols and fetishes.” (Mark Twain, 1835–1910, American Author)
Most importantly, my intention as an independent investigator is to provide you with the facts, always. I may, however, not always succeed in uncovering them. Attempting to reveal the truth about nutritional supplements is challenging in a maze of, oftentimes contradictory, data. After all, alongside unacknowledged and suppressed factual data, there is a lot of information and misinformation –even hype– about supplements, nutrition, and health available. But...
...this is my aim, my goal, my intent in my research on dietary supplements, and health.
I'm dedicated to always seeking, and hopefully finding, the truth.
Primarily because nutritional supplements, quintessentially, are all about health. Your health. And mine. Our most precious asset.
The best way to protect and maintain our health is with accurate information, the facts. With facts I can be of greatest value to you because by providing actual facts I can help you the most with making your life better.
Therefore, your health (and mine) deserves nothing but the truth about nutritional supplements, both good and bad.