Monday, 9 July 2007

When Science and Common Sense Collide, Part 1

Sorry for the long vacation, folks. I had to take care of some personal matters. For now, let me open your eyes to a world -- our world -- where commons sense collides with science.

First up: it is common knowledge (at least among the more well-informed crowd -- not counting "experts" being paid or "educated" by drug companies) that vitamins act as anti-oxidants that can scavenge harmful free radicals. It is also well-known that people with diabetes suffer from continuous production of free radicals, endangering them so several degenerative diseases like heart and eye problems so common among diabetics.

Most people also would rather take natural or essential nutrients to help ease disease (sorry, I cannot say "cure" disease -- it's the drug-company-influenced law) primarily because nutrients are far safer than drugs.

So why is it that researchers prefer a drug to help scavenge free radicals than good old Vitamin C? Personally, I don't know the answer, but I think the researchers are very much giving the public disservice by not recommending the safer alternative: Vitamin C.

Read all about it here.

Vitamin C could help reduce some of the complications associated with diabetes, research suggests.

However, a University of Warwick team found the blood pressure-lowering drug Telmisarten had the same effect - and might be a safer alternative.

Both help "mop-up" tissue-damaging molecules called free radicals which are over-produced in diabetes patients.

Experts warned the work, published in two diabetes journals, was no reason to start taking vitamin C supplements.

That is very strange, to say the least. But to be fair, let's compare the "preferred" drug,
Telmisarten and Vitamin C.

Telmisarten's side effects include dizziness and upper respiratory tract infections such as colds and sore throat.

On the other hand, while Vitamin C does have reported side effects, none has been confirmed conclusively. And probably those side effects are experienced at a very high dosage. Linus Pauling Institute recommends
"a vitamin C intake of at least 400 mg daily—the amount that has been found to fully saturate plasma and circulating cells with vitamin C in young, healthy nonsmokers."

Telmisarten's side effects, by the way, can probably be prevented by Vitamin C.

According to LPI, you would need at least 5 servings or 2 and a half cups of fruits to get half of the recommended intake so you would probably need to supplement if you cannot eat 5 cups of fruits a day.

My take is for people to continue taking high quality Vitamin C, especially those who suffer diabetes. And ignore research that undermines common sense.

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