Quackery! | The Jackal

1 Jan 2012


Under the cover of peoples New Year's Eve hangovers, TV3 repeated a program today called Are Vitamins Killing You?

It looked into eight peoples vitamin intake and obviously had an ulterior motive, to soften people up for vitamins becoming regulated by the medical industry in accordance with National's totalitarianism.

Here’s a small excerpt from the fictitious programme:

Being that the original concept for the documentary came from 'Executive Comedian' John Glass... it's no wonder it's filled with quacks!

It’s true that taking too much vitamin supplements could be bad for your health, but the same can be said of fat… while we need a certain amount of fat in our diets. Taking too much of any substance can kill you, including drinking too much water.

Listener Columnist Sally Blundell gets to the truth of the matter:

Earlier this year an NZ Herald headline shouted: “Major research finds link between multi-vitamin pills and breast cancer”, reporting that a Swedish study found women who take daily multivitamin pills are nearly 20 percent more likely to develop breast cancer. But dig deeper, and it turns out that the 20 percent increase was the relative risk; the study found a 0.32 percent risk of breast cancer for women taking multivitamins regularly, compared with a 0.26 percent risk for non-vitamin-takers—a difference in absolute risk of less than 0.1 percent.
The very same week, BusinessWeek cited new research claiming that women who take multivitamins and calcium supplements had a reduced risk of developing breast cancer. Days earlier, a Korean study concluded that women with the human papilloma virus who used multivitamins had a 79 percent lower risk of developing cervical cancer.
It’s almost impossible for a non-chemist to figure out which reports to believe, but it seems that the sensible response to last year’s sensationally titled Inside NZ documentary ‘Are Vitamins Killing You?’ is ‘No’.

So the program has already been shown to be factually incorrect... yet MediaWorks decided to repeat it anyway. What a bunch of propagandists!

Not only was the doco completely unscientific, it provided numerous inaccuracies and blatant untruths.

The worst of these came from Rod Jackson, who is apparently a Professor at Auckland University. He said that vitamins are drugs and taking them was as bad for your health as passive smoking.

Firstly, vitamins differ from drugs in that they're most commonly used as a dietary supplement and/or preventative medicine. They're usually derived from natural substances and not synthesized. The relative side effects are hardly even worth mentioning in comparison to prescription or illicit drugs.

Secondly, passive smoking kills approximately 350 New Zealander's per year, while there's no documented deaths associated with vitamin supplements. There's no scientific evidence that the proper use of vitamins as per the manufacturers guidlines increases the risk of diseases... in fact the evidence shows quite the opposite.

With such inaccuracies, it appears that "Professor" Rod Jackson got his PhD from a Weetbix packet... surely the University of Auckland can do better?