Vitamin A supplements for children could save 600,000 lives a year

During the past 18 months we’ve been bombarded by a slew of pharmaceutical company-sponsored studies purporting to show that vitamin supplements are useless. (Strangely, at the same time this was happening, pharmaceutical companies continued to BUY dietary supplement companies.)

But, prior to this “period of negativity”, it seemed permissible to not only tout the benefits of vitamins, but some experts were even stating that the proof was so conclusive it was inarguable!

One such statement regarding vitamin A was published online in the British Medical Journal in August 2011.

They found vitamin A supplements reduced child mortality by 24% in low and middle income countries. In the report, the researchers stated that the effectiveness of vitamin A supplementation is now so well-established that “further trials would be unethical”.  They then urged policymakers to provide supplements for all children at risk of deficiency!

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It’s hard to believe that a nutrients such as this can fall from such lofty heights so quickly, but that’s exactly what happens when billions of dollars are at stake by convincing people they cannot treat or heal themselves with nutrients.

We don’t want to make such “healing” claims here, of course, but let’s take a quick look at what vitamin A is known for:

Vitamin A is an essential, fat-soluable nutrient that must be obtained through diet. There are two different types of vitamin A. The first type, preformed vitamin A, is found in meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products. The second type, provitamin A, is found in fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based products. The most common type of provitamin A in foods and dietary supplements is beta-carotene.

Vitamin A deficiency in children increases vulnerability to infections like diarrhea and measles and may also lead to blindness. Globally, the World Health Organization estimates that 190 million children under the age of 5 may be vitamin A deficient. In adults, higher levels of vitamin A have been linked with lower cancer rates.

It can be reported that the “experts” believe 600,000 lives a year could be saved by making vitamin A supplements widely available. But at the same time, no label on a bottle of  vitamin A can claim that it treats or cures any disease. Strange days indeed.

The aforementioned study on children was conducted by researchers based in the UK and Pakistan. They analyzed the results of 43 trials of vitamin A supplementation involving over 200,000 children aged 6 months to 5 years.

You can read more about the study here.

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