The mainstream simpletons are at it again…
Their latest advice, which is based on the results of two recent studies, is aimed specifically at women past retirement age who want to live longer and reduce their risk of stroke:
1) Supplements will kill you!
2) Unlimited chocolate makes strokes go away!
But before you bin your supplements and devour all the chocolate you can lay your hands on, let’s take a step back to get a clear-eyed view at what’s really going on here.
“Supplements linked with death in older women”
That’s how the news headline read.
However, the news article was referring to an OBSERVATIONAL study, conducted by the University of Minnesota, in the US. Researchers asked about 39,000 older women about their supplement intake and followed their health records for nearly 20 years. Results showed a razor-thin link between death during the study period and supplement intake.
Because this study was an observational study and not a clinical trial, there’s a HUGE possibility that other factors contributed to the results… like the fact that many of the women were in their 80s by the end of the study period. Meaning they were PROBABLY more than likely close to the end of their lives!
In fact, the outcome of this trial has absolutely ZERO credibility! Even less so because the media made the absurdly slight death link their only ‘logical’ focus, blaming supplements instead of ‘logically’ thinking that it could be down to natural causes.
When you sort through all the hogwash put out about this study, you’ll find this interesting nugget that’s perhaps the only newsworthy part of this study’s results: Calcium supplements were linked with a LOWER risk of mortality.
Why did all of these editors and journalists miss it?
As an observation, the only way supplements can increase your risk of death is if a 100lb crate of them fell on your head… and that goes for older women, younger women, boys and men. In all other cases, with very few exceptions, if you swallow supplements, you’ll be just fine.
Now on to the chocolate…
We know that dark chocolate contains flavonols, which studies have shown to benefit heart health. However, when Swedish researchers asked 33,000 middle-aged and older women about their diets, then followed their health records for 10 years, this is how the media chose to report on the results:
“The more chocolate the women said they ate, the lower their risk of stroke.” and “Chocolate lovers have fewer strokes: Study.”
However, here’s what the lead researchers actually said: “Given the observational design of the study, findings of this study cannot prove that it’s chocolate that lowers the risk of stroke.”
Straight from the horse’s mouth: Chocolate doesn’t lower the risk of stroke.
I have to ask again, how is it possible that the media mongers actually got that wrong? It’s bad reporting like this that makes it glaringly obvious that nothing can be trusted from ANY mainstream media source. Especially when it comes to accurately reporting on healthcare.
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“Chocolate lovers have fewer strokes: Study” Reuters Health,
“Dietary Supplements and Mortality Rate in Older Women”
Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 171, No. 18, 10/10/11,
“Supplements linked with death in older women” Consumer
Reports, 10/11/11, news.consumerreports.org
“More places change course on fluoride in water” Lizette
Alvarez, New York Times, 10/13/11, nytimes.com
Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.