Dr Sarah Myhill and Food Supplement Regulations

December 31, 2011 at 1:56 pm (Nutritionism, Supplements) (, )

The webpages here and here marketed supplements and contained statements implying that a balanced and varied diet cannot provide appropriate quantities of nutrients in general. For example: “I believe that if you wish to stay healthy, or recover from almost any illness, then taking nutritional supplements is essential. My reasons are given in Nutritional supplements – why we all need them.”

This is contrary to Article 7 of Directive 2002/46/EC, implemented in this country by Provision 6 (4) of the Food Supplements (England) Regulations 2003 and in Wales by Provision 6 (4) of the Food Supplements (Wales) Regulations 2003:

Article 7 – “The labelling, presentation and advertising of food supplements shall not include any mention stating or implying that a balanced and varied diet cannot provide appropriate quantities of nutrients in general.”

Provision 6 (4) – “No person shall sell any food supplement which is ready for delivery to the ultimate consumer or to a catering establishment if the labelling, presentation or advertising of which includes any mention, express or implied, that a balanced and varied diet cannot provide appropriate quantities of vitamins or minerals in general.”

I contacted Trading Standards in August and, in November, one of the pages was altered a little: Nutritional supplements…

Dr Myhill has removed from this page the instructions for how to buy her supplements, and has also (mostly) removed the tradenames of various products she has been promoting. There is still a contact email for purchasing food supplements on the contact us page as well as references on the nutritional supplements page to Biocare multivitamins and Myhill’s Magic Minerals (now referred to as Mineral Mix, or MM). Here are some of the deleted statements:

I am also sourcing lithium – in doses of 1mg per day this is protective against dementia; lithium to treat mental disorders is used in hundreds of milligrams.

The above nutritional regime is designed for my patients but can, of course, be implemented by anyone who can obtain BioCare products and my mineral mixes.

Please, request a Nutritional Supplements Price List from my office.

It looks as if Dr Myhill has decided to remove references to brand names and the sale of supplements from her page in order to allow her to voice her unsubstantiated personal opinions on ‘the Western diet’ while staying just the right side of the law.

The most interesting element of this exercise for me is the discovery that Trading Standards do appear to be willing to enforce the requirements of food supplement regulations. Another point of interest is that Dr Myhill has added a section on compliance with the law. It’s almost as if Dr Myhill is annoyed at having to comply with the regulations on promotion of food supplements:

The law of the land is that nutritional supplements are not necessary for anyone eating a balanced diet. Of course this begs the question as to what is a balanced diet? By definition a balanced diet is one that supplies all the necessary macro and micronutrients in adequate amounts for optimum health. The problem is that Western diets do not deliver and so by definition are not balanced. Indeed during 30 years of nutritional practice I have yet to see normal levels of micronutrients in a healthy person eating a Western diet! That is why I came to the view that the above approach is necessary.

Dr Myhill believes that we’re unable to obtain sufficient quantities of nutrients from our diet, that RDA levels are too low (Myhill states that “RDA amounts were set down in 1941 and are now outdated”, which is misleading as RDA amounts have been reviewed and revised several times since 1941), and that everyone needs to take vitamin pills.

With regard to the setting of RDA levels:

The term [RDA] recognises that particular groups of individuals (E.g. infants and those over 60) have different needs and for each group, the intention was to be sufficiently generous to encompass the presumed (but unmeasured) variability in requirement among people. This meant that the value was usually set deliberately high. [Derek Shrimpton]

Those setting RDAs have recognised that we are all individuals, with nutrient requirements that vary. They set the RDAs deliberately high in order to compensate for this variation in the amounts of nutrients required. Given that RDAs are usually set deliberately high, it’s actually more likely that they are over and above our needs rather than being ‘sub-optimum’. But that won’t be enough to reassure some people – they will still worry about the low levels of vitamins they assume they are consuming. More on that in a moment.

With regard to our diets lacking micronutrients, there is this paper, which notes that “Using data from 1688 British children aged 4–18 years who completed 7 d weighed dietary records in 1997, micronutrient intakes were examined across quintiles of added sugars. After excluding low energy reporters, mean dietary intakes of most nutrients exceeded the reference nutrient intake, except for zinc.”

And what happens if people follow Dr Myhill’s advice that everyone needs to take supplements? This paper reports that “Long-term supplementation with antioxidant vitamins and minerals had no beneficial effect on HRQoL [Health-Related Quality of Life] in this trial. This is contrary to conventional beliefs and claims that such an effect exists.” The Daily Mail reported on this trial, as can be seen on the Daily Veil website.

Experts said the study – one of the most extensive carried out into vitamin pills – suggested that millions of consumers may be wasting their money on supplements.

Many users fall into the category of the ‘worried well’ – healthy adults who believe the pills will insure them against deadly illnesses – according to Catherine Collins, chief dietician at St George’s Hospital in London. She said: ‘It’s the worried well who are taking these pills to try and protect themselves against Alzheimer’s disease, heart attacks and strokes. ‘But they are wasting their money. This was a large study following people up for a long period of time assessing everything from their mobility and blood pressure to whether they were happy or felt pain.’

There are some specific cases where supplementation is advised (for example, Folic Acid is recommended from the time you stop using contraception until the 12th week of pregnancy) but blanket recommendations to supplement vitamins and minerals are unwarranted.

71 Comments

  1. Cybertiger said,

    I thought the turkey was for Christmas. jdc523 must be a goose.

  2. Oliver Dowding said,

    @JDC – questions for you. It’s easy to be critical of others, but I wonder what you have is your opinions on this issue?

    You quote “Article 7 – “The labelling, presentation and advertising of food supplements shall not include any mention stating or implying that a balanced and varied diet cannot provide appropriate quantities of nutrients in general.””

    Would you, in your personal or professional capacity, rather than hiding behind some regulatory words, consider that the population is receiving full nutrition and are fully balanced diet?

    There are over 60 million people in this country, would you agree that this applies to all of them? The way that you wrote this piece, suggests that you consider there is no issue of malnutrition requiring supplemental correction, apart from a bit of phoning acid for a short period for a select group.

    If you don’t consider that all 6o million+ people are receiving sufficient levels of ALL nutrients, micronutrients et al on a daily basis, how many people would you think are running some form of deficiency, and to what extent and range?

    Do you consider that the food being produced today on farms, be that in this country or elsewhere, has same level of nutritional density as in 1941? In making your response, you will no doubt wish to consider commenting upon the inclusion levels of all minor trace elements, minerals etc. Maybe this paper will help you before you come to your answer. http://www.nutritionsecurity.org/PDF/NSI_White%20Paper_Web.pdf

    Sometimes it seems easy to take a pop at people who are trying to do something positive for those who are suffering problems deficiencies etc, rather than proactively and constructively trying to deal with them.

    Happy New Year!

  3. Anonymous said,

    Do you think that those people who don’t get enough minerals and other nutrients are likely to find their way to Dr Myhill’s isolated Welsh farmhouse and be able to pay for her supplements?

  4. Cybertiger said,

    The doctors at Great Ormond Street overlooked a nutritional deficiency in this baby,

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2075884/Parents-guard-accusations-babies-shaken-death-continue-grow.html

    … with disastrous consequences. The medical error cost the taxpayer in the region of £3 million, but of course the financial was but a small part of the total cost. Any thoughts, jdc523?

  5. jdc325 said,

    At the moment, Oliver and Cybertiger seem to be arguing against the position that no-one is deficient in micronutrients. Which is not at all what I said in my post. I pointed out that vitamin supplements, contrary to the unsupported assertions of Sarah Myhill, are unnecessary for most people eating a balanced and varied diet.

    Anonymous wants to know if people “are likely to find their way to Dr Myhill’s isolated Welsh farmhouse”. As I point out in my post, you can email your order to Sarah Myhill’s office. There is no need to hunt out isolated Welsh farmhouses in order to track down Sarah Myhill and buy supplements from her.

  6. Oliver Dowding said,

    Sorry to say, JDC, but you did not answer my question about the adequacy of the mineral levels in food today versus time past.

    Equally about the difference between asserting that people shouldn’t be deficient, if they eat a balanced diet, which I considered to be purely a theoretical stance. You and I both know that a huge proportion of the population don’t eat a balanced diet, for a variety of reasons well documented in many places by many people. When this is further comprised because people are eating food with a reduced stroke significantly reduced level of micro-nutrients, the problem only gets worse. Would you not agree?

    Did you read the paper I attached the link for? The decline in nutritional value is perfectly obvious, and to anyone involved in agriculture perfectly logical. We are withdrawing far more from the soils nutrient bank when we are replenishing, and the first thing to suffer in such situations are the micro-nutrients which we don’t ever replace, instead focusing on just the macro nutrients, typically nitrogen, phosphorus and potash, and latterly occasionally sulphur and manganese. Each of these minor minerals in deficiency causes some biological function within the body to under-perform or fail.

    All of this is before we start to consider how the vast number of drugs people are taking compromise the efficacy and uptake of key nutrients, etc. Plus, the effect of smoking, drinking etc. Plus many other factors which complicate making a generalisation on this issue.

  7. jdc325 said,

    “You and I both know that a huge proportion of the population don’t eat a balanced diet, for a variety of reasons well documented in many places by many people.”
    And the solution to that would be…? To improve the diet of those people or for them to spend money on pills?

    PS: what is your definition of “a huge proportion of the population”, and where is your supporting evidence that this is indeed the case?

  8. jdc325 said,

    “The decline in nutritional value is perfectly obvious…”
    Let’s assume that it is. How has this manifested itself in the general population? You read my link, no doubt. The one that pointed out that “mean dietary intakes of most nutrients exceeded the reference nutrient intake, except for zinc”.

    Read the medical literature on the prevalence of vitamin deficiency in the West. It’s actually pretty uncommon.

    And please do remember that RDAs were set deliberately high in order to compensate for the variation in the amounts of nutrients required.

  9. Oliver Dowding said,

    Thanks for that – signing off for tonight so more tomorrow!

  10. Neuroskeptic said,

    Oliver: “We are withdrawing far more from the soils nutrient bank when we are replenishing, and the first thing to suffer in such situations are the micro-nutrients which we don’t ever replace, instead focusing on just the macro nutrients, typically nitrogen, phosphorus and potash, and latterly occasionally sulphur and manganese. Each of these minor minerals in deficiency causes some biological function within the body to under-perform or fail.

    All of this is before we start to consider how the vast number of drugs people are taking compromise the efficacy and uptake of key nutrients, etc. Plus, the effect of smoking, drinking etc. Plus many other factors which complicate making a generalisation on this issue.”

    So that explains why human life expectancy has never been higher…?

    Incidentally, how do you know it’s only nutrients that are being depleted? Surely, by the same logic, bad stuff in the soil like heavy metals, arsenic, etc etc would also be reduced, thus improving our health?

  11. Neuroskeptic said,

    Also, if we really are deficient in so many nutrients, why do so many nutrititionists sell nutrients in individual pills?

    Surely the best thing would be for everyone to take a multivitamin & mineral supplement. Just one.

    I do that. Costs me about 10p per day from Boots. That’s the economy of scale for you. No doubt if everyone in the world took them it would be even cheaper, supply & demand etc.

    By your own logic, isn’t selling individual supplements therefore an encouragement for people to not get all the nutrients they need, by making it prohibitively expensive?

    It’s a bit like a cartel. Nay – a conspiracy – to make us under-nourished… sorry, got a bit carried away there. But you see the point.

  12. ChrisP said,

    Oliver Dowding, I think this has already been said, but if people by their choices fail to eat a varied and adequate diet, they may end up with some nutritional deficiencies. The proper solution to that is to improve diets by encouraging the population to eat a varied and healthy diet, not to flog them pills.

    Indeed, consuming too many vitamin and mineral supplements can be harmful and as this work discovered harmful effects can occur even at more modest levels of intake. http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/297/8/842.abstract

  13. emgee said,

    Well, looking at real evidence, it would appear that antioxidant supplementation just might kill people:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17327526
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19145725
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18425980
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18173999

    Or does sod all:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21235492

    How about looking at the evidence, rather than making stuff up to pander to the multibillion supplements industry? The real position is clear, as above: blanket supplementation with these things, outside the specific nche areas the blogger referred to, unwarranted, unnecessary, and possibly harmful.

  14. nobby68 said,

    i know its off topic but what the heck:

    “Do you consider that the food being produced today on farms, be that in this country or elsewhere, has same level of nutritional density as in 1941?”

    do you consider the food being produced on farms today uses the same crops as they did in 1941?

    “The decline in nutritional value is perfectly obvious, and to anyone involved in agriculture perfectly logical.”

    are you sure? would it be more logical to also include that we are not using the same crops as we did 70 years ago?

    or:
    http://www.utexas.edu/news/2004/12/01/nr_chemistry/

    ““We conclude that the most likely explanation was changes in cultivated varieties used today compared to 50 years ago,” Davis said. “During those 50 years, there have been intensive efforts to breed new varieties that have greater yield, or resistance to pests, or adaptability to different climates. But the dominant effort is for higher yields. Emerging evidence suggests that when you select for yield, crops grow bigger and faster, but they don’t necessarily have the ability to make or uptake nutrients at the same, faster rate.”

    or how about this link:
    http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=870383&show=abstract

    “The only mineral that showed no significant differences over the 50 year period was P. The water content increased significantly and dry matter decreased significantly in fruit. Indicates that a nutritional problem associated with the quality of food has developed over those 50 years. The changes could have been caused by anomalies of measurement or sampling, changes in the food system, changes in the varieties grown or changes in agricultural practice.”

    its all so perfectly obvious isn’t it?

  15. anarchic teapot said,

    @Oliver Dowding
    “Would you consider that the population is receiving full nutrition and are fully balanced diet?”

    *Receiving* full nutrition? The Government isn’t distributing meals to the entire country, Soylent Green-style. Last time I was in the UK there was plenty of info available about balanced diets, and it was actually quite easy to follow one, even as a tourist.

  16. jdc325 said,

    A couple more papers…

    Vitamin/mineral supplements: of questionable benefit for the general population. (h/t @arripay)

    Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study: do vitamin and mineral supplements contribute to nutrient adequacy or excess among US infants and toddlers?

    Overall, the prevalence of inadequate intakes was low (<1% to 2%). However, 65% of supplement nonusers and 9% of supplement users had vitamin E intakes less than the Estimated Average Requirement. Excessive intakes (ie, intakes above the Tolerable Upper Intake Level) were noted for both supplement users and nonusers for vitamin A (97% and 15% of toddlers) and zinc (60% and 59% of older infants and 68% and 38% of toddlers) as well as for folate among supplement users (18% of toddlers).

    Generally, healthy infants and toddlers can achieve recommended levels of intake from food alone. Dietetics professionals should encourage caregivers to use foods rather than supplements as the primary source of nutrients in children’s diets. Vitamin and mineral supplements can help infants and toddlers with special nutrient needs or marginal intakes achieve adequate intakes, but care must be taken to ensure that supplements do not lead to excessive intakes. This is especially important for nutrients that are widely used as food fortificants, including vitamin A, zinc, and folate.

  17. Oliver Dowding said,

    @jdc: regarding the degree of balance within people’s diets, you don’t have to be Einstein, or have any specific documentary evidence on this to accept that there are a huge number of people not eating a balanced diet. If they were, surely they wouldn’t be obese? http://bit.ly/hy6sbB which is an NHS report, with plenty of depressing but supporting information. Furthermore, surely anybody who studies people’s trolleys at supermarket tills, and regrettably but perhaps not surprisingly, all the more so at the lower end of the market, can see that the quality of the items in the trolley would hardly backup any suggestion that all people are eating a balanced or improved diet.
    @neurosceptic: regarding life expectancy.
    I suggest that we might consider that it’s the life you have in the years you live, not the years you live per se. For many people, the latter years are increasingly marked by very poor quality-of-life for the last and extended period, often courtesy of such debilitating diseases as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s etc.
    Increasing life expectancy? Not in America, where it is anticipated that the younger generations will be the first not to live longer than their parents.
    http://news.discovery.com/human/united-states-life-expectancy-101210.html
    The same seems to be happening in Europe, albeit with a different picture according to which country you live in. http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/03/16/ije.dyr061.extract
    You also asked a perfectly pertinent question “how do you know it’s only nutrients that are being depleted? Surely, by the same logic, bad stuff in the soil like heavy metals, arsenic, etc etc would also be reduced, thus improving our health?
    I don’t, and yes this is possible. However, as many as stupid politician has paid no attention to soil science for 30+ years, we don’t know the answer to such questions. 50% of everything to do with the crop happens in the soil, but we spend less than 5% of the research budget on this area of crop growth.
    @Chris P
    “Indeed, consuming too many vitamin and mineral supplements can be harmful and as this work discovered harmful effects can occur even at more modest levels of intake. http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/297/8/842.abstract
    I’m sure that it’s perfectly possible to over consume supplements, to the extent where harm could result. There’s nothing new in what you highlight, and many people have known it from many years. I totally agree, let us strive to see diets improved. However, the evidence, particularly as we enter a time of economic depression, is that this is not happening. Given the increasing preponderance of fast food outlets, highly processed food in supermarkets etc, we are probably seeing an emergence of a two tier nutrition within the population, where particularly the poorer part are consuming a declining quality diet. For many reasons.

    @emgee
    “Well, looking at real evidence, it would appear that antioxidant supplementation just might kill people”, and you then provided a bunch of links.
    But, who said I was referring to antioxidants, or any other specific supplement? That wasn’t at all what I was referring to, or claiming, or made any comment about. The point that everybody might note, as it seems to have become side-tracked onto something to do with supplements. It is worth noting, however, that the bioavailability of many supplements is hugely varied, and perhaps greatly understudied with little definitive knowledge available.
    http://www.nutritional-supplement-truths.com/bioavailability-of-nutritional-supplements.html

    @Nobby
    “do you consider the food being produced on farms today uses the same crops as they did in 1941?”
    Oliver “The decline in nutritional value is perfectly obvious, and to anyone involved in agriculture perfectly logical.”
    Nobby “are you sure? would it be more logical to also include that we are not using the same crops as we did 70 years ago?”
    You then gave this link to look at:
    http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=870383&show=abstract and then copied this piece from it “The only mineral that showed no significant differences over the 50 year period was P. The water content increased significantly and dry matter decreased significantly in fruit. Indicates that a nutritional problem associated with the quality of food has developed over those 50 years. The changes could have been caused by anomalies of measurement or sampling, changes in the food system, changes in the varieties grown or changes in agricultural practice.” To which you said “it’s all so perfectly obvious isn’t it?”
    But…………..this is what the report actually says, and bear in mind that this is only with research that went through to the 1980s after which there is little to suggest that the process has reversed.

    The conclusion said:

    Our food system is rapidly losing its ability to produce food with nutrient levels ad¬equate to maintain the health of our families. There is no guarantee that the food produced and harvested meets nutritional standards needed to maintain good health. To change this threat to the health of our families and the families of the world an effec¬tive strategy to increase the nutritional values of our food and restore the minerals and organic material in our depleted our soils is needed.
    The Nutrition Security Institute (NSI) aims to restore depleted soils, regenerate topsoil and assure that arable soils will grow the nutritionally rich food needed to keep people healthy. Specific goals of the Nutrition Security Institute are to:
    • Establish comprehensive programs to restore minerals and organic content to soils to halt declines in topsoil
    • Encourage the application of new soil science to change agricultural practices to improve the biological life in soil
    • Improve human health by promoting agricultural methods that increase the nutritional values of food
    To work toward meeting these goals, NSI is developing three program areas, Global Top¬soil Restoration Initiative, Sustainable Soils Initiative and Nutrient Dense Food Initiative. These three program areas will provide global leadership to implement a global vision of a global food systems where sustainable farms grow nourishing food for people in healthy nutrient rich biologically active soils.

    It also says ““A comparison of the mineral content of 20 fruits and 20 vegetables grown in the 1930s and the 1980s (published in the UK Government’s Composition of Foods tables) shows several marked reductions in mineral content. Shows that there are statistically significant reductions in the levels of Ca, Mg, Cu and Na in vegetables and Mg, Fe, Cu and K in fruit.”

    Nobby, you might think that today’s varieties of crops will be better at assimilating nutrients and creating greater nutrient density, but the paper you link to actually says this about the differences between historical varieties of crops and today’s varieties.
    ““We conclude that the most likely explanation was changes in cultivated varieties used today compared to 50 years ago,” Davis said. “During those 50 years, there have been intensive efforts to breed new varieties that have greater yield, or resistance to pests, or adaptability to different climates. But the dominant effort is for higher yields. Emerging evidence suggests that when you select for yield, crops grow bigger and faster, but they don’t necessarily have the ability to make or uptake nutrients at the same, faster rate.”
    In your second if link http://www.utexas.edu/news/2004/12/01/nr_chemistry/ you say it shows “The only mineral that showed no significant differences over the 50 year period was P. The water content increased significantly and dry matter decreased significantly in fruit. Indicates that a nutritional problem associated with the quality of food has developed over those 50 years. The changes could have been caused by anomalies of measurement or sampling, changes in the food system, changes in the varieties grown or changes in agricultural practice.”

    Whereas the text says
    ““It is much more reliable to look at average changes in the group rather than in individual foods, due to uncertainties in the 1950 and 1999 values,” Davis said. “Considered as a group, we found that six out of 13 nutrients showed apparently reliable declines between 1950 and 1999.”
    These nutrients included protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin and ascorbic acid. The declines, which ranged from 6 percent for protein to 38 percent for riboflavin, raise significant questions about how modern agriculture practices are affecting food crops.
    “We conclude that the most likely explanation was changes in cultivated varieties used today compared to 50 years ago,” Davis said. “During those 50 years, there have been intensive efforts to breed new varieties that have greater yield, or resistance to pests, or adaptability to different climates. But the dominant effort is for higher yields. Emerging evidence suggests that when you select for yield, crops grow bigger and faster, but they don’t necessarily have the ability to make or uptake nutrients at the same, faster rate.””

    Now, but I just say that that is all I’m going to comment about now. I’ll read anyone’s critique and differences of opinion with pleasure, the thrown enough information in to illustrate my points, even if you take a different view.

  18. jdc325 said,

    @jdc: regarding the degree of balance within people’s diets, you don’t have to be Einstein, or have any specific documentary evidence on this to accept that there are a huge number of people not eating a balanced diet. If they were, surely they wouldn’t be obese? http://bit.ly/hy6sbB which is an NHS report, with plenty of depressing but supporting information. Furthermore, surely anybody who studies people’s trolleys at supermarket tills, and regrettably but perhaps not surprisingly, all the more so at the lower end of the market, can see that the quality of the items in the trolley would hardly backup any suggestion that all people are eating a balanced or improved diet.

    Oliver, I don’t think anyone has claimed that all people are eating a balanced and varied diet.
    As for the assumption that the best way to remedy the fact that not all people consume balanced and varied diets is to provide supplements… I refer you to ChrisP’s comment (#12)

    The proper solution to that is to improve diets by encouraging the population to eat a varied and healthy diet, not to flog them pills.

    Indeed, consuming too many vitamin and mineral supplements can be harmful and as this work discovered harmful effects can occur even at more modest levels of intake. http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/297/8/842.abstract

    (See also the second link in comment #16.)

  19. and1mell said,

    @ jdc325

    When are you going to add Oliver to the blacklist and discontinue his comments? Sad little dishonest man, you are going to get your 15 minutes of f(sh)ame soon.

  20. Oliver Dowding said,

    @and1mell
    Well, perhaps you could explain what foundation you have for calling me “dishonest”? Just curious, you will understand, as I have never been accused of that before.

    dis·hon·est (ds-nst)
    adj.
    1. Disposed to lie, cheat, defraud, or deceive.
    2. Resulting from or marked by a lack of honesty.
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/dishonest

    By all means blacklist me – if you prefer to hear only one side of a case I guess that is what one does.

    Out of curiosity I wondered who you meant by “wellknowntrolls” and lo and behold, a quick google for “wellknowntrolls” brings up this. Interesting! http://bit.ly/tyhOxC

  21. ChrisP said,

    Oliver Dowding, you failed to address the key point in my last post. Do you not agree that the appropriate way to deal with the problems of people not gaining proper nutrition through food choices is to encourage them to eat a balanced and healthy diet?

    If you do agree, you would then have to agree that the widespread promotion of unnecessary dietary supplements, as done by Ms. Myhill, is inappropriate.

    As I pointed out in my last post, it is possible for dangerous health situations to occur with even modest consumption of dietary supplements, which makes Ms. Myhill’s promotion of her supplements potentially dangerous, as well as inappropriate. The fact that Ms. Myhill states that everybody should be taking nutritional supplements all the time even if there is nothing wrong, suggests to me she has a lack of understanding of the role of supplements in nutrition.

    In fact, I find much of the advice that Ms. Myhill gives on supplements flies in the face of basic biochemical understanding. For example, high doses of Vitamin C are in fact a total waste of time. The excess is simply removed from the body by the kidneys. The suggestion that a topical cream containing minerals rubbed on the skin is a useful way of dealing with minerals shows a total lack of knowledge relating to how the skin works.

  22. Oliver Dowding said,

    @ChrisP

    Para 1 – yes, but as anyone who has had children will know, encouraging is one thing, it happening something very very different! I would much prefer to see those who should, agree that the soils are providing inadequate levels of minerals and get the food more wholesome.

    Para 2 – No: see answer to “1”. For many they are necessary.

    Para 3: possible/potentially are words that if Dr Myhill (yes, she is Dr., remember) uttered them you would chide her for doing so. As for inappropriate, we disagree.

    Para 4: I’ve read much by others suggesting there is benefit with such as high dose vitamin C, so it seems this is another case of diametric opposing veins! I have no knowledge on the creams, so cannot comment there.

    That it for now! Awaiting my banning order!!

  23. and1mell said,

    @ Oliver Dowding

    My comment was directed at jdc325. I haven’t read all of your comments, but have been following your replies. You have somewhat taken over where I left off. James isn’t interested in the truth or a meaningful exchange of ideas, he gets his kicks by attacking alternative medicine. When things get to rough he resorts to libel and you find yourself on “wellknowntrolls”.

    James is a pseudo intellectual Charlatan and a coward, he hasn’t accepted several responses I have posted in previous posts.

    Note: Andi’s comments are being edited to remove personal information and allegations.

  24. mrsP said,

    @Oliver Dowding

    I am not a scientist, so could not pass on comment on the papers you have cited to say there is nutrient deficiency in crops. However even assuming there might be, diet these days even for the poor is vastly better than when I was growing up in the 40s and 50s and this would more than compensate.

    The choice of fruit and vegetables is enormous. Most of the fruit and veg we had when I grew up was canned too and very limited in range, and we ate a lot less.

    Health in general has improved too, so what evidence is there that people are suffering deficiencies that they need supplements of everything all the time?

  25. ChrisP said,

    1. Most soils do provide adequate levels of nutrients.

    2. Well, I don’t think we are going to get anywhere here with this discussion if you think dietary supplements are necessary for all people. Such a view is at variance with the scientific evidence and common sense.

    3. What a weird statement. The fact that Ms. Myhill doesn’t present a balanced view of the medical literature is a major problem with her website. By the way, Ms. Myhill only has a Bachelor’s degree. The use of Dr. by her is only as a courtesy title. In contrast I am really allowed to use the title Dr.

    4. I am sure you have. One only needs to read Ms. Myhill’s website. However, it is an idea that has been shown to be wrong by scientific research. The Cochrane Collaboration has conducted several meta-analyses for the role of Vitamin C and can find no evidence that high doses of Vitamin C are efficacious.

    http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD007176/no-evidence-to-support-antioxidant-supplements-to-prevent-mortality-in-healthy-people-or-patients-with-various-diseases

    “We found no evidence to support antioxidant supplements for primary or secondary prevention. Vitamin A, beta-carotene, and vitamin E may increase mortality. Future randomised trials could evaluate the potential effects of vitamin C and selenium for primary and secondary prevention. Such trials should be closely monitored for potential harmful effects. Antioxidant supplements need to be considered medicinal products and should undergo sufficient evaluation before marketing.”

    http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD000980/vitamin-c-for-preventing-and-treating-the-common-cold

    “The failure of vitamin C supplementation to reduce the incidence of colds in the general population indicates that routine prophylaxis is not justified. Vitamin C could be useful for people exposed to brief periods of severe physical exercise. While the prophylaxis trials have consistently shown that vitamin C reduces the duration and alleviates the symptoms of colds, this was not replicated in the few therapeutic trials that have been carried out. Further therapeutic RCTs are warranted.”

    http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD007749/antioxidant-supplements-for-liver-disease

    “We found no evidence to support or refute antioxidant supplements in patients with liver disease. Antioxidant supplements may increase liver enzyme activity.”

    http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD004072/vitamin-c-supplementation-in-pregnancy

    “The data are too few to say if vitamin C supplementation either alone or in combination with other supplements is beneficial during pregnancy. Preterm birth may have been increased with vitamin C supplementation.”

  26. and1mell said,

    @ emgee

    What do you think about giant pharma and it’s role in “health care”. How about the following information while you are citing “real” evidence on PubMed over and over:
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/print/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-and-medical-science/8269/

    or this article
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/01/23/why-almost-everything-you-hear-about-medicine-is-wrong.html

    Here is the study by Professor John Ioannidis, the foremost expert on epidemiology, the above articles are based on and I must warn you a very long technical read: http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124.

  27. ChrisP said,

    @and1mell

    Let me guess. You haven’t read or haven’t understood Ioannidis’ paper?

    Perhaps I should see. Can you explain the problem of multiple comparisons and why epidemiology is bedeviled with this problem? Or how medical science really deals with this issue? Perhaps you might like to explain why Ioannidis’ findings have more significance for the media and the alt-medicine community on the internet than they do for medical science?

    If you have any trouble, let me know. I am always happy to help out.

  28. Cybertiger said,

    @mrsP who said,

    “Health in general has improved too, so what evidence is there that people are suffering deficiencies that they need supplements of everything all the time?”

    The mother of the child that died was Vitamin D deficient. The child was found at post-mortem to have rickets. [1]

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-16107085

    The mother didn’t know she had a nutritional deficiency and didn’t take supplements. The doctors allegedly looking after her baby didn’t look further than to make accusations of physical abuse that turned to murder when the baby died. A supplement – perhaps vitamins D and C too – could have saved the baby, saved the trauma – and expense – of a 6 week murder trial at the Old Bailey.

    Why were mother and baby deficient in vital vitamins? Any thoughts, mrsP?

    [1] personal communication from Irene Scheimberg, consultant paediatric and neonatal pathologist at Bart’s Hospital – who carried out the post-mortem on the baby and tested the mother.

  29. ChrisP said,

    @Cybertiger

    And how does Vitamin D deficiency occur tiddles?

  30. Cybertiger said,

    @ChrisP

    That was my question for mrsP. Be patient – and polite – and wait for the answer.

    PS. Do you think infantile scurvy exists – as a nutritional deficiency syndrome? Or is murder now the diagnosis of the day? Like rickets.

  31. ChrisP said,

    @Cybertiger

    Infantile scurvy, a disease that occurs when parents have really strange dietry habits. Like this one http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17428115

    Pretty close to child abuse in my book. What about yours tiddles?

  32. Cybertiger said,

    ChrisP looks at his book, the gospel of child protection, and says,

    “Pretty close to child abuse in my book.”

    But is it murder? What happens when a paediatrician fails to take a ‘detailed dietary history’, fails to make the correct diagnosis, fails to correct the dietary deficiency, and the baby dies? What then?

  33. Cybertiger said,

    @ChrisP

    I don’t suppose this interesting paper is included in your gospel on child protection.

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/108/4/e76.full

  34. mrsP said,

    @cybertiger

    I don’t see why Chris shouldn’t comment on Vit D deficiency. Obviously there is a potential problem with Vit D deficiency in the northern hemisphere for dark skinned people and those housebound for example.

    The solution is health education and careful monitoring by health visitors, GPs and to a lesser extent nursery and school teachers, not the blanket delivery of supplements to the entire community.

  35. Cybertiger said,

    @mrsP

    “I don’t see why Chris shouldn’t comment on Vit D deficiency.”

    I agree, but he/she didn’t.

    “Obviously there is a potential problem with Vit D deficiency in the northern hemisphere for dark skinned people and those housebound for example.”

    Obviously not so obvious to the paediatricians at GOSH.

    “The solution is health education and careful monitoring by health visitors, GPs and to a lesser extent nursery and school teachers, not the blanket delivery of supplements to the entire community.”

    Remind me: what was the solution for the prosecuting authorities in the case of Rohan Wray (22) and Chana al-Alas (19)? They were lucky! Others were not,

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/4632198/Doubt-over-shaken-baby-theory-that-has-sent-dozens-of-parents-to-prison.html

  36. jdc325 said,

    As I noted in the blog post, there are some specific cases where supplementation is advised. The example I gave was of folic acid but there’s some evidence that vitamin D supplementation might be beneficial for some groups. For example, this.

    Vitamin D inadequacy has been reported in approximately 36% of otherwise healthy young adults and up to 57% of general medicine inpatients in the United States and in even higher percentages in Europe. Recent epidemiological data document the high prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy among elderly patients and especially among patients with osteoporosis. Factors such as low sunlight exposure, age-related decreases in cutaneous synthesis, and diets low in vitamin D contribute to the high prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy.

  37. Cybertiger said,

    I’m fascinated by the psychopathology hereabouts: ridicule, derision, zero tolerance for Sarah Myhill’s simple messages on nutritional supplementation, letters to the GMC, and sanctimonious blogging from the likes of jdc666 and utterly pathetic comment from the likes of neuroseptic.

    On the other hand, doctors fail to save a baby because they failed to diagnose rickets. And then to compound the failures, the doctors accuse the young, dark skinned parents of murdering their baby and arrange an ‘Old Bailey’ trial that lasts six weeks, costs millions of pounds to the taxpayer.

    And then there is silence, not a peep, not even a mild expression of outrage at what has happened and the failures, deficiencies, wickedness and sheer stupidity of GMC registered paediatricians.

    We live in a sick society. Please, please, please, provide the evidence that I’m wrong.

  38. mrsP said,

    Cyber

    It is obviously sad when people die, children in particular, and when and if doctors make mistakes or fail to diagnose early enough. And again obviously we would hope that either the local authorities or the GMC would take action if negligence was found.

    However it is pointless arguing individual cases as we do not know the whole story from what is reported in the press. Vitamin D supplement is advised for breast fed babies, and prenatally, for old people and those with various disease routinely. So maybe the parents in question did not follow routine advice as given to all pregnant women, we do not know.

    However a website is open to the public, and in this case necessarily so to attract clientele and therefore should expect criticism if people find information that may be wrong.

    ETA I also should have said northern latitudes not the northern hemisphere, where the amount of sunshine we get can be limited, in a previous post.

  39. Cybertiger said,

    I politely asked for evidence that we are not party to a sick society. You have not provided it. You have only provided banal platitudes in the face of wickedness. Please try again, mrsP.

  40. mrsP said,

    And I asked for evidence about the necessity of universal supplements and you threw in a red herring which has no relevance whatsoever.

    Society is no sicker than it ever was, ie a mixture of good and bad and everything in between. Sometimes our perceptions are altered by our own experiences.

  41. Cybertiger said,

    “Society is no sicker than it ever was …”

    Where is your evidence, mrsP? I think you’re just b*llsh*tting … again!

    “Sometimes our perceptions are altered by our own experiences.”

    What’s that b*llsh*t supposed to mean?

    PS. Have you ever lost a baby and then been up in court charged with the baby’s murder? All for the want of a nutritional supplement you didn’t know you needed? Me neither.

  42. ChrisP said,

    @Cybertiger

    As parents are given detailed advice about child nutrition in developed nations, parents placing a child on a diet consisting of “a boiled mixture of organic whole milk, barley, and corn syrup devoid of fruits and vegetables” for 2 years is pretty close to child abuse in my mind. A paper about understanding the cause of infantile scurvy at the beginning of the 20th Century is not really relevant.

    Like rickets caused by placing children down the pit in the 19th Century is not all that relevant to the example you feel is worth talking about. In fact that example is quite difficult, because we don’t have all the information and there was considerable doubt about the diagnoses. On the basis of that doubt, it is right that the parents were acquitted.

    But this single example of yours is still not support for a statement that everyone should take supplements all the time, even if there is nothing wrong. And certainly support for the odd supplement regime that Ms. Myhill sells.

  43. Cybertiger said,

    I simply cannot think of anything polite to say … probably because there is nothing polite that could be said … at all. The only words that I can think of are very impolite.

  44. mrsP said,

    @cybertiger

    If you can only think of abuse to hurl, then perhaps you have realised your arguments have no evidential basis.

    The only people to benefit from mass consumption of supplements are the people selling and making them.

    The case you mention is not an indication of a sick society, it is an indication of the complex nature of our society, and the need for better state funded public health, which I doubt will be provided by lansley and co.

  45. Helen said,

    The NHS guide Birth to Five, which used to be given in hard copy to all new mothers (I assume it still is) gives advice on feeding, weaning and vitamin supplements http://www.nhs.uk/Planners/birthtofive/Pages/Vitamins.aspx including how to get these free if you qualify. When I last received a copy (!8 months ago) it was available in a variety of languages and formats.

    In any public health information process there will be outliers and it is really sad when this leads to the death of a child. However, I would disagree with the view that the best way to reach these outliers is for lone voices to encourage parents to purchase expensive brand name supplements.

  46. Cybertiger said,

    Oh, for goodness sake, mrsP, you’re an utter waste of space. I asked for evidence that I was wrong and all you can come up with is the strongest evidence that I’m right. This country is sick. This country is not well. This country is nearly as sick as Monty Python’s parrot. If it’s any consolation, you’re less of a dollop than ChrisP, albeit marginally.

  47. Oliver Dowding said,

    For what its worth regarding vitamins and death…….
    I just present for info as I came across it today, and will not be taking part in debate as not the time
    http://bit.ly/zc97eT

  48. josephinejones said,

    The NHS give useful information here on when supplements may be advised, pointing out that most people can get all the vitamins and minerals they need from a healthy, balanced diet:

    http://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1122.aspx?categoryid=51&subcategoryid=168

    You may remember they published a version of this report back in June, which provoked a long anti-NHS rant from Patrick Holford on his website:

    http://www.patrickholford.com/index.php/blog/blogarticle/who_funds_nhs_anti-vitamin_propaganda/

    He states “… “If you fall outside of these groups and buy vitamin pills then the chances are you will be wasting your money on surplus amounts of vitamins you’ve already gained through your diet.” declares NHS direct.

    Not that you’ll need any advice on supplements because they are all worthless but if you do the NHS direct say “Before you buy a product you should consult your GP.” Get real. Most GPs know next to nothing about nutrition.”

    I think the food supplement regulations may have implications for Mr Holford.

  49. josephinejones said,

    There’s a link to the actual report ranted about by Holford here:

    http://www.nhs.uk/news/2011/05May/Pages/supplements-special-report.aspx

    It’s more detailed than the one I linked to yesterday.

  50. Mick said,

    I’m a big fan of supplements but I can see your point, there are many people who really don’t need these pills but see them as some magic health fixer, they won’t fix all of your problems but can be a good aid if you want to clean up your diet and lifestyle.

  51. Casper said,

    Dear blog owner. I don’t know your motives for urging authorities to enforce EC rules and trading regulations to the last comma upon small one-man companies. I guess your motive is just over-zealousness. But why don’t you go for the big offenders instead, those who spend millions on misleading commercials etc.

    What Sarah Myhill claims about supplements — that the average Western modern diet is deficit on nutritions — is an opinion that millions of people have (and I agree with her). Now, even if we said it was a misconception, as you, the bureaucrats and many doctors think, you are not likely to obliterate that common ‘misconception’ just by hitting one random person. Major-scale censorship of books, media and the internet would be needed.

    Sarah Myhill is not really trying to sell her stuff to the average comsumer with diffuse health worries. Her website is aimed at people who actively search information, and especially those who already have a deal of knowledge about the subject. Also, it seems unlikely she has any great profit from her small-scale mineral supplement business.

    Her specialisation in CFS is a niche, and her mineral mixture is an even smaller niche. You are maybe not aware of it, but you are hitting a small niche for people with serious problems, who have few resources where they can get information and useful help.

    Her website is a great source of information and practical hints for people with from chonic fatigue syndrome. She presents all this info without claiming any payment. She has helped a lot of CFS sufferers, including me. While there are a handful of expert doctors with useful views on CFS, she is the only one I know of who has made such an effort to make her info available in a non-profit way to a lot of people who will probably not become her patients, for practical or other reasons (I live in Denmark and don’t intend to go to a doctor in Wales). Most other docs have chosen to publish books, or travel around to let patients consult them in hotel rooms (such as Kenny de Meirleir) – which are sources of income, as contrary to putting up a website.

    Why don’t you think there should be room for doctors who have other opinions than the mainstream? They actually help a lot of people who are otherwise lost.

    I came to this very blog because I was looking for info on how to order her minerals – not because I have been persuaded by her website, but because it seems like a well-customized product for CFS patients, and the price is fairly reasonable too.

    If you want to see people who make a profit on health worries with dubious claims, go to the major supplement retailers, or why not pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies.

    Buying bulk pharmaceutical minerals, mixing and portioning them in small quanta, and selling them off to one specific patient group, is unlikely to yield any significant profit. So I doubt she does it for the money.

  52. jdc325 said,

    @Casper,

    Her website is a great source of information and practical hints for people with from chonic fatigue syndrome.

    I’m not sure I agree with your assessment of Dr Myhill’s website as “a great source of information”. If you take a look at my previous posts on Myhill’s website you’ll see that I complain about various incorrect assertions and unsubstantiated claims. Perhaps her information on CFS is more accurate.

    why don’t you go for the big offenders instead

    You seem to think I am picking on Dr Myhill and ignoring big companies. If you take a look at the category on activism you will note that I have made ASA complaints about Principle Healthcare, the Breakspear, and Rodial. Then there was the complaint to Trading Standards about Healthspan. Then there are the PCC complaints I have made about various newspapers, including this recent one regarding the Daily Mail.

  53. Ana said,

    The whole point about Dr Myhill’s website site is that it is informative. Her information is free,and it gives us, the consumer, the choice. Stop rabitiing on about her cost. We have choices to make at all stages of our lives, How we chose to live our lives is one.
    For heavens sake…are you really trying to go nearer to a police state?

  54. Cybertiger said,

    jdc352 is a paid up member of the NewStasi Party

  55. Casper said,

    The whole point about Dr Myhill’s website site is that it is informative.

    I totally agree, and I think it is obvious that her website is intended as a collection of information, practical experience and advice. People will read it and deduct whatever they can use. Nobody will take it as an authorised textbook (anyway, authorised medical textbooks have nothing to offer CFS sufferers!).
    Yet, as she claims herself, most of her advice is infact science-based (which is not th same as evidence-based. If we were to base all CFS treatment on evidence published in journals, we would need to wait for a long, long, long time – and I am already 37 years old and struggling to start a resonably healthy life, with some success after a few years of doing things similar to Dr Myhill’s advice).

    For heavens sake…are you really trying to go nearer to a police state?

    Yes, they are. It’s a grim business. Diverging opinions are unwanted, diverging practice is punished.

  56. jdc325 said,

    @Ana,

    I’ve just re-read the post you’re commenting on and I’m baffled as to why you might think I’m “rabitting on about her cost” rather than addressing the information on Dr Myhill’s website. I briefly mention the email address for purchasing supplements and the removed statement regarding a price list. The bulk of the post is about the regulations regarding marketing of food supplements and the way Myhill marketed supplements she sold.

    I’m also a bit surprised that you think contacting Trading Standards regarding a breach of marketing legislation constitutes a move towards a police state.

  57. jdc325 said,

    @Casper

    I totally agree, and I think it is obvious that her website is intended as a collection of information, practical experience and advice.

    The problem is that the ‘information’ on Myhill’s site is unreliable.

    Yet, as she claims herself, most of her advice is infact science-based (which is not th same as evidence-based. If we were to base all CFS treatment on evidence published in journals, we would need to wait for a long, long, long time – and I am already 37 years old and struggling to start a resonably healthy life, with some success after a few years of doing things similar to Dr Myhill’s advice).

    Perhaps you’d like to explain how Myhill’s advice is science-based without being evidence-based?

  58. Sean said,

    Jdc – you do rabbit – I have to agree with other posters here that she knows a damn site more about nutrition and the causes of modern diseases than most doctors and the existence of her type of therapy benefit more people than are harmed – remember too that a lot of people are harmed by the guinea pig approach to arthritis medication – CFS has some overlaps as gut damage is common in both. They are both auto-immune.

    I have Ankylosing Spondylitis and I supplement with selenium, Magnesium, zinc, calcium – I can tell you that unless I am experiencing 15+ years of placebo effect then they sure help me a lot. If I stop the magnesium then I go gradually downhill. I am also gluten free – which is the other bone of contention that you rabbit on about on other parts of this website.

    I studied this report attached by ChrisP and the “study” is an amalgamation of trials over many years. Nearly all the high doses of vitamin e were given to subjects that were not given additional selenium! See tables…

    http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/297/8/842.abstract

    – vitamin e interacts with selenium – lots of minerals work together the concept of this evidence in ChrisPs linked research is highly flawed and proves nothing if the current known science of which minerals balance with others are followed. You and ChrisP are good at finding links – and after all ChrisP is a scientific researcher – go find the links on interactions between selenium and vitamin e, grain fed animals and depletion of selenium in most of britains soil. You might come to the conclusion that it is not just us that is not getting a balanced diet – it is the animals that we keep too!

  59. Oliver Dowding said,

    Sean, quite right. Doctors ignorance on diet is disappointing, at best. Their appreciation of the subtleties of the many minerals that combine to make us all such wonderful organisms often escapes them.

    You might be interested to know that one of the “better” supermarkets has been working on a project to enhance the selenium levels in wheat, fully recognising they are deficient at present. However, that is just the start. There is shocking deficiency in so many areas. A very knowledgeable friend of mine once referred to it as the need to “feed the hidden hunger”. Sadly, consumers don’t get a printout of what their body is missing, and keep feeding themselves the same things which caused the problem in the first place. Disappointing. Government health departments don’t get it, the NHS hasn’t even contemplated it, as far as I can see.

  60. jdc325 said,

    Dr Myhill is now making similar comments in the promotion of supplements on her online shop: “Modern Western diets are deficient in micronutrients. To address these deficiencies taking nutritional supplements should be an essential part of life.”

  61. Oliver Dowding said,

    Does this mean you think there are no deficiencies in modern diets?

  62. jdc325 said,

    Oliver, the problem is that Dr Myhill, in the promotion and marketing of the products she sells, states that her “basic package” is what all people should be taking and makes the blanket statement that “modern Western diets” are deficient in micronutrients. It is Myhill that is making absolute statements, not me.

  63. Oliver Dowding said,

    Maybe not all are deficient, but I venture to suggest that the vast majority are and most are short of many nutrients. I see soil analyses and know how they have changed. I see how the many hydroponic crops are grown only with those nutrients needed to create the physical object, not the nutritionally dense food.
    Etc.

  64. jdc325 said,

    Those are interesting suggestions Oliver. What would be even more interesting would be some evidence.

    Here’s something on the proposal to add B12 to flour: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20629351 You will note that in the US 6% of the elderly (those most at risk of deficiency) are deficient and 20% show signs of depletion. The reason for this is not that their diet lack B12 but gastric atrophy, which impairs the absorption of the vitamin from food.

    Most European adolescents are not deficient in fat-soluble vitamins: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21666963

    Here’s another: http://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/332762#SA3 You will note that in the vast majority of cases, it is a minority that fail to reach the EAR. (Vitamin D is a notable exception here, as most people get most of their vitamin D requirement from sunlight.)

    I venture to suggest that the vast majority are not deficient and are certainly not short of many nutrients.

  65. And1Mell said,

    Who’da thunk, but I actually agree with James. Making blanket statements about nutritional deficiencies and promoting usage of supplements is sales propaganda. Unless an individual has been diagnosed with a deficiency (and not an absorption issue or other) by a competent practitioner (that will not be your run of the mill MD) and unless it is a quality supplement, it is more often then not a waste of money to say the least.

    Poor lifestyle habits cannot be counterbalanced by supplements. Supplements are highly processed and are part of the problem as they only contribute to the waste of precious resources. If food is deficient in nutrients then that needs to be fixed, supplements do not provide all the nutrients or interactions as food and are therefore at least not yet the answer. In the western world at least it is still supply due to demand, in other words make proper choices.

    I have never taken any regular supplements and rarely take anything at all. I however pay careful attention to the foods I consume along with proper lifestyle habits in general. Based on the latest available testing I don’t have any deficiencies and easily outperform most everyone, even those that are 20 plus years my junior.

    Supplements can be a great modern invention to regaining health, but should only be used temporarily until the problem is resolved.

  66. Oliver Dowding said,

    And1Mell – spot on and this was the answer I was hoping JDC would make. Most food IS deficient, but most supplements won’t correct the all problems on all occasions.
    However, I agree with his thrust, although there are many papers from the same source highlighting some levels of deficiency http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25027766 is one of many.

  67. jdc325 said,

    Oliver – if most food is deficient, how come most people aren’t?

    I know there seems to be a disconnect between your observations on micronutrient content of soil and the evidence I have posted on the prevalence of deficiency but there are several possible reasons for that. One of those possible explanations is food fortification (for example flour). As I say, that’s just one possible explanation.

  68. Chris Preston said,

    Nutritional supplements – what everybody should be taking all the time even if nothing is wrong

    http://drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/Nutritional_Supplements_-_what_everybody_should_be_taking_all_the_time_even_if_nothing_is_wrong

    Oh dear.

    Vitamin C RDI is 45 mg/day for adults http://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/vitamin-c

    2 g per day is more than 4 times the RDI.

    Selenium RDI is 60 micrograms/day http://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/selenium

    3 g of MMM contains 2 times the RDI for selenium

    Chromium RDI id 25 micrograms/day http://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/chromium

    3 g of MMM contains 5 times the RDI for chromium

    Molybdenum RDI is 45 micrograms/day http://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/molybdenum

    3 g of MMM contains 3 times the RDI

    Iodine RDI is 150 micrograms/day http://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/iodine

    3 g of MMM is 6 times the RDI

    Boron RDI is about 1 mg/day

    3 g of MMM contains 6 times the RDI.

    Looks to me like this advice is not aligned with best practice nutritional advice.

  69. jdc325 said,

    Thank you for commenting Andi. I think you are right that poor lifestyle habits cannot be counterbalanced by supplements. People seem to view supplements as an easy fix, but they’re no substitute for a healthy lifestyle. Sadly, for those of us who are keener on fried food and ale than we are on exercise, nothing is.

  70. jdc325 said,

    Looks to me like this advice is not aligned with best practice nutritional advice.

    I’m struggling to think of an occasion where I have seen Myhill give advice that was aligned with best practice advice.

  71. James G said,

    As far as I am concerned, Dr Myhill is a godsend. I’ve suffered from CFS for 4 years and the lack of understanding from the medical profession (as well as people generally) is shameful. Dr Myhill, and other CFS doctors, are also shamefully treated by their own profession for:

    1. Admitting that CFS exists
    2. Doing something about it

    Her approach may seem unconventional, but she is trying to treat a very unconventional disease.

    I have adopted some of Dr Myhill’s advice, with some success.

    Most of her website’s advice is geared towards CFS patients, who often have a very wide range of health issues that require treatment. Her advice on testing, lifestyle changes and supplementation also accords with the advice I have had from two excellent specialists I have seen recently.

    I would like to point out that Dr Myhill’s most recent book on the diagnosis and treatment of CFS was recently awarded a ‘highly commended’ certificate at the British Medical Association book awards in September. It seems she is finally getting the recognition she deserves.

    I would also like to point out that I have never met Dr Myhill, or purchased anything from her (I live in Australia and she doesn’t deliver overseas). I just want to defend one of the few advocates we have.

    Take care all :)

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