RUSH: We have a story that too many vitamins cause cancer. Vitamin supplements have been discovered, too many vitamins can, I should say “can.” It’s from the Daily Mirror in the UK: “Too Many Vitamins Can Give You Cancer, Major New Study Warns the Millions Who Take Them.”
Apparently, if you take vitamin supplements you are at as great a risk for getting cancer as people who smoke cigarettes.
RUSH: Here you go. It’s from The Mirror UK: “Taking extra vitamins ‘does more harm than good’ and increases the risk of cancer and heart disease, a major study has revealed. Around 18 million Brits down supplements thinking they are getting a health boost, but research has found they can have the opposite effect.
“Dr. Tim Byers — one of the worldÂ’s top cancer experts — examined research papers spanning 30 years. He looked at three widely taken Âover-the-counter pills and supplements, vitamin E tablets, beta-carotene and folic acid, and warned against exceeding the recommended daily amount. Dr Byers said: ‘We are not sure why this is happening,'” and that’s par for the course with cancer, nobody really knows.
Oh, they’ll tell you they do. Yeah, smoking, guaranteed, accept it isn’t. But this is not gonna sit well with the health Nazis. All these people out there downing and gobbling vitamins, thinking they’re warding off the common cold and other diseases, possibly now, potentially — and, hey, you know, I know, I know, I’ve always said that you get one of these or two of these medical reports a week and then a month or two or a year later they all say, “Sorry, sorry, we were wrong.”
From oat bran to butter, to you name it, caffeine, all of these things that were gonna kill us now aren’t. So I know this fits in the category. But I’m gonna use this because I love the point that it makes. I love goosing the health Nazis. I just do. ‘Cause the health Nazis preach at everybody. So they’re out there taking these vitamins and these supplements, and here is scientific research, which is believed, is it not, we have a consensus on global warming. So if you’re gonna believe that science, you gotta believe this.
“People who take more dietary supplements than needed tend to have a higher risk of developing cancer. ‘We found that the supplements were actually not beneficial for their health. In fact, some people actually got more cancer while on the vitamins.’ Folic acid supplements are thought to be taken by more than 230,000 pregnant UK women each year as it can help prevent spina bifida and other birth defects affecting the brain and spine. But one study examined by Dr ByersÂ’ team found too much increased the chances of getting cancer by 56%.
“Two trials of beta-carotene supplements found taking more than the recommended dose increased the risk of developing lung cancer and heart disease by 20%.” Now, how many people do you know or have heard of who have lung cancer that never smoked? Everybody scratches their head, “How in the world did that happen?” And the first thing people think of, erroneously, is secondhand smoke. That isn’t true, either. We may now have a cause: beta-carotene supplements. How does this sound, do you think, to people? Beta-carotene. I mean, that’s what’s in carrots.
Remember, everybody who has eaten carrots has died. Never forget that. Extensive research. “Two trials of beta-carotene supplements found taking more than the recommended dose increased the risk of developing lung cancer and heart disease by 20%. Meanwhile another trial of 35,000 people between 2001 and 2014 in the States found taking too many vitamin E tablets increased the risk of developing prostate cancer by 17%.”
The human body is designed to get our vitamins from our food. See, this is the thing. Food is a necessity. We all must eat it in order to live, and food is, what? The essence of nature. In practically every food we eat or in every bit of sunshine we stand in, we’re gonna get every vitamin that we need. How do you explain the fact that people who never take vitamin supplements are just as healthy as people who do? You get plenty of vitamins just with a normal diet. Anyway, I know this is a matter of — you know me. I’m freedom of choice and laissez-faire. If you want to OD on these things, you have at it. I don’t care.
I’m not one of these people that thinks I’ve found the right way and that you must, when it comes to diet, personal habits, stuff like that, but if you’re out there thinking that this is making you healthy and you’re warding off disease, it may be doing just the exact opposite out there. And I would be remiss as your host if I did not take time and go to great pains to point this out to you. Just like we moved into fast action on keeping our own kids safe, the soccer charity that we founded, because head injuries are far greater in soccer than even in football than people knew. They doubted that at first, too, you remember.
Have you seen this tirade, the manager of the Cincinnati Reds, lashing out at the media covering his team? He’s had it. He just had it. We’ve got the audio sound bite of this. (interruption) That’s it on the vitamins. What else is there? I’ve given you the news. I’ve told you what’s in the news here. I’ve given you every relevant passage from the story. Dr. Byers said we are not sure why this is happening, but the evidence shows that people who take more dietary supplements than needed tend to have a higher risk of developing cancer. And these are studies of thousands and thousands of people over many years. It’s not a select group of 1,200, people sampled for a couple of months.
These are extensive and exhaustive studies. You looked at me oddly. Do you think just eating a normal diet you’re gonna be vitamin deficient? (interruption) Really? Most people are? Well, but the stuff you eat accommodates. A fast food diet, every vitamin you need. Just because you think that food’s bad for you, fat, there’s plenty of vitamins in all the fast food, all the junk food, there’s still vitamins in it. What makes it junk? Sugar. Sugar and carbohydrates is what makes junk food junk food. Anyway, I gotta take a break here, folks. This is probably gonna stir it up. This is the kind of thing that’s just gonna infuriate people.
RUSH: David in Cincinnati, you’re next. Welcome, sir, to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. How you doing?
RUSH: Good, sir. Thank you very much.
CALLER: Good. Hey, that vitamin article that were talking about earlier, I’m a physician. I treat people using diet and vitamins, been doing it 25 years. That article is simply an indictment on the use of synthetic vitamins and had nothing to do with natural high quality vitamins.
RUSH: Okay, let me grab the story here again. People that down supplements think they are getting a health boost. Researchers found they had the opposite effect. Widely taken over-the-counter pills and supplements, vitamin E tablets, beta-carotene, and folic acid.
RUSH: Those are the three focuses here. So your point is those are synthetic?
CALLER: Yeah, the review of 30 years of literature that Dr. Byers did, I’ve seen the same literature over the 25 years that I’ve been in this, and whenever they do a study like this versus placebo, they’re always using a synthetic vitamin. If you look at the folic acid as an example that they’re citing there, folic acid, most people don’t even know this, is not really found much in nature. We have now the synonymous term, folic acid and folate. Well, folate is the natural form that’s found in our food.
RUSH: Wait a minute. I have a little experience with folic acid because of one of the 15 or 25 diets that I’ve tried, I forget which one, but it said that I had to have at least four-tenths of a gram of this stuff a day.
CALLER: Yeah, but what you probably don’t know is if you were taking folic acid or folate, and that’s the difference. The folate is the natural form found in our foods. Folic is just a synthetic.
RUSH: No, no, wait. You just said it isn’t found in nature. That was gonna be my question. If folic acid isn’t found in nature, then who the hell determined that we need it? And where do we get it if it’s not in nature? I mean, where did the people in biblical times go to get their folic acid or their folate?
CALLER: Well, they didn’t, they got folate from their food and then in 1943, I believe, it was synthesized, and in 1989 it was required to be placed in all grains to fortify it to prevent spina bifida and birth defects for women. So the folate is not what’s in our food supply when it’s made by man, but it’s in our natural food supply.
RUSH: Oh. Okay. So what you’re saying here is that Tim Byers is essentially full of it?
CALLER: Well, he’s not full of it. He’s doing what he does. I mean, he’s a researcher that does what he does. He’s looking at research, and the research shows this is a bad sign, this is a bad deal for people who take low quality, inexpensive vitamins. If you’re taking that kind of stuff, you are taking a risk, and you probably are increasing your cancer risk.
RUSH: Okay, give me an example of what you’re talking about. Low quality, inexpensive, what do you mean?
CALLER: Easiest way to tell in a multivitamin, vitamin E is also known as a tocopherol, so there are mixed tocopherols available to us in our food supply. When they take one of those tocopherols, usually the D version or the delta version, you’ll see it on the label as dl-alpha tocopherol. The L is what tells you it’s synthetic. You don’t want a dl-alpha tocopherol. You want a d-alpha-tocopherol. Makes a big difference. If a company is using the DL form it is a cheap, inexpensive vitamin.
RUSH: Okay. So you’ve gotta know enough to look for the L on the label —
CALLER: You do.
RUSH: — at the health food store —
RUSH: — to find out whether or not you’re swallowing junk?
CALLER: That is the easiest way to tell on a multivitamin. It gets a little more difficult with the other vitamins. But the beta-carotene and the folic acid, those are synthetic, that Byers looked at that research. You know, one of the dumbest things I could honestly say about vitamins, to make this point, is that the more expensive the vitamin, probably within reason, the better it’s going to be for you.
RUSH: Is that right? The more expensive it is, the better? Okay, give me the down low — sorry — give me the low down on fish oil?
CALLER: EPA, DHA.
CALLER: EPA, DHA, essential fatty acids?
RUSH: No, no, no. Yeah, the omega oil. I know people that down that stuff left and right thinking they’re as healthy they can be.
CALLER: I don’t think there’s any form of omega 3s that are synthetic. There’s different levels and there’s a couple different things you need to know about omega 3s. There’s EPA and there’s DHA that have to be in some sort of a balance.
RUSH: Right. This is easy.
CALLER: There is a krill oil form of it, the krill oil is a crustacean, so if you’re allergic to shellfish you shouldn’t be taking that. There’s a lot to know there, but essentially omega 3s are good and there’s not a lot of risk in taking them.
RUSH: Okay. Well, I’m glad you cleared that up. Essentially there’s nothing to worry about unless you’re taking synthetics, and then Byers could be right, you could be killing yourself. Otherwise spend as much as you can on vitamins and you’re safe.
CALLER: I totally agree. Could I make one more comment to you, please, before I go?
RUSH: By all means.
CALLER: I wanted to thank you for helping me raise a Rush Baby. He’s 35 years old now, and one outstanding human being.
RUSH: Thirty-five years old?
CALLER: Rush, I picked up on your radio station the first day you were on here in Cincinnati on I think it was called WCKY back then; it’s now 55KRC.
CALLER: Day one, there you were, and I just listened ever since, and my son was in the room with me, and, what was that, 28, 29 years ago now.
RUSH: I appreciate that. I really do. Thank you so much for that. I appreciate it. It’s great to have you in the audience. I’m glad that you helped to clarify this. Cincinnati, as I recall, was one of the last major market holdouts on this program. Even if I could remember why, it probably would make sense just to shut up about it.
RUSH: Steven in Hamilton, Texas. I’m glad you waited, sir. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: What an honor, Rush.
RUSH: Glad you called, sir.
CALLER: Well, the doctor took some of my thunder because I was gonna point out that vitamins you buy off the shelf, most of them are synthetic. You’re absolutely right, you get vitamins from your diet. They’re easy to get. What you cannot get from your diet though is all the minerals you need to keep yourself healthy.
RUSH: Oh, yeah, the minerals, yeah, the minerals, it’s a big deal.
CALLER: But can I bring up something else since the doctor screwed me?
RUSH: Yeah, by all means, have at it.
CALLER: You’re always talking about how we have the best medical system in the country — or in the world, and you’re only half right, and I’ll explain. The MD doctors, if you have an infectious disease, broken bone, need a bullet pulled out, you know, need a new heart, you absolutely need an MD doctor. But when it comes to chronic diseases, they suck, and the reason they suck is because they don’t know the physiology of the body.
RUSH: You mean we don’t have one doctor in America that doesn’t suck with chronic diseases?
CALLER: Well, if you’re talking about naturopathic or holistic doctors, they’re very good with chronic diseases.
RUSH: Well, give me an example of a chronic disease that we don’t have a good doctor for.
CALLER: Well, look at Alzheimer’s.
CALLER: The medical doctors have been driving the medical bus for a hundred years, and Alzheimer’s, we started to have a few cases in the seventies —
RUSH: Wait. Are you saying there’s a cure that medical science is denying?
CALLER: Not a cure, but a preventative.
RUSH: There are preventatives that medical science is denying?
CALLER: Yeah. Well, you remember the hockey stick guy in the global warming thing?
RUSH: Yeah, I know who that guy is, the hockey stick guy. Yeah. He’s at Penn State.
CALLER: If you graph out Alzheimer’s in the late eighties, Alzheimer’s went through the roof and became the number six killer in this country. In the late 1980s that’s when statin drugs became available.
RUSH: I see. I see. Look, this is not my bailiwick. I’m fully aware of the controversies that exist between homeopathic, holistic, aliens, and medical science, and I’m not interested enough in it. I don’t think the medical community’s committing crimes, so I don’t want to go there. I’m just not interested. I’m sorry, folks, I’d get bored and irritated if we stuck with this, and I just don’t want to.