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Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, April 8, 2010

Torrential Feedback To Reader's Digest Anti-Vitamin Article
No, You Can't Fool All the People All the Time

(OMNS, Apr 8, 2010)

More than half of America now takes nutritional supplements. Here's some of what the vitamin-taking public had to say to Reader's Digest about their anti-vitamin scaremongering:

"The more your readers digest the lies presented in "5 Vitamin Truths and Lies", the sicker they will become. But no need to fear because your sponsors, the pharmaceutical companies, provide the remedy: drugs and lots of them, which are readily available within the pages of your magazine. Seems to me a good return on their investment."

"I'm very disappointed to find out that a reputable publication such as yours would put out such a slanted and biased article about nutritional supplements. I grew up reading Reader's Digest, and used to enjoy it tremendously before it was apparently taken over by pharmaceutical ads. Then, the articles were pure and touched the heart. Now, it seems that they are biased and are only written to support Big Pharma."

"Antioxidants did not cause death from cancer among smokers that you attributed to vitamins. Smoking did."

"So what are you going to follow this with in your next issue Reader's Digest? 'Bacon and Hot Dogs are Actually Good For You' or '10 Ways to Serve Gravy as a Beverage'? I mean, could you BE any more of a disservice to humanity?"

"Can't wait for Reader's Digest's next '5 Truths and Lies' article. Laughter is the best medicine."

"The research demonstrating that vitamin supplements are beneficial in thwarting and healing heart disease, inflammatory disease, Alzheimer's disease, mental illness, diabetes, and more is solid and growing. If the article were accurate, the author might have stated the astonishing discrepancy between the number of deaths per year related to the pharmaceutical industry vs that of the nutraceutical and vitamin industry. ( ) But then, those facts do not support the ad on the back cover of the magazine."

"The Reader's Digest article 'Vitamin Truths and Lies' is simply an outright lie. The only part missing is the TRUTHS."

"I have personally witnessed the healing effects of therapeutic doses of cheap and common vitamin supplements, such as vitamin C, niacin, and others. I think you will find many other readers who echo this sentiment."

"Reader's Digest insults its readership with this type of propaganda. Add another check to the growing list of people who won't be reading any longer."

"If supplement companies advertised in your magazine instead of Big Pharma, the article might have read differently. Needless to say, this was the last Reader's Digest I'll ever read."

"I've been taking vitamins successfully to cure colds and prevent them for the past year. I also feel much better, lost 30lbs, and have more energy than ever. My wife used to have seasonal allergies that are no longer an issue. Vitamins do work when taken in proper doses, with virtually zero side affects, I might add."

"The pharmaceutical companies are trying to protect their monopoly on healthcare by bashing supplements. The alternative to boosting your nutritional intake is to live your life on a large number of prescription drugs and poor food, while 'enjoying' a debilitated existence."

"The Reader's Digest has joined the Flat Earth Society. Shame on you!"

"For seven years I was a regular clinic/hospital visitor due to either severe colds or inflamed tonsils. For my tonsillitis, two EENT specialists had recommended surgical removal. Three years ago, while browsing the internet I came across websites and articles about orthomolecular medicine where I have learned the importance of supplements. In my desperation, I megadoses of vitamin C up to 23,000mg, vitamin E 800 IU, B-complex 300mg, and niacin 600mg. My tonsil inflammation was gone in 5 days."

"How do sleep well at night after these awful lies, misleading the people again? Maybe with some pills from the pharmaceutical industry?"

"When health issues are at stake, I would much rather put my trust in vitamin supplements than have to rely on pharmaceuticals. How many people have died from vitamins? ( ) How many have died from drug complications?" ( )

"As I read their amazingly biased information regarding vitamins, I realized Reader's Digest does publish some nice fiction stories."

"Basic biochemistry and a review of the literature support the benefits of supplementation. Not all supplementation helps. Much supplementation does. Reader's Digest discussed only science that it chose to discuss. Cherry-picking science is bad science. "

"Why did you miss reporting on large studies showing vitamin supplements improve IQ scores in children?" ( and )

"Having made mistakes in my own health column years ago when a reporter for a Los Angeles newspaper, I know how easy it is to disseminate false information. However, with fact checkers and common sense use of the Internet and PubMed I believe your reporter could have discovered many thousands of scientific studies on the health benefits of vitamins and minerals."

"I challenge Reader's Digest to contact the doctors on the Editorial Review Board of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, and submit 'Vitamin Truths and Lies' for its critical review, and publish their response in its entirety. "

"I sent a message to the Reader's Digest, lambasting them for the misinformation they had the gall to publish about vitamins. Their reply said that the author is a prize-winning writer who is known for thorough research prior to publication. I asked the Digest for references and citations. I received none."

"Please see ( ) to read the statements from doctors refuting your article on vitamins. At the very least I hope to see Reader's Digest interview some of these researchers and physicians that have been studying and using vitamins/supplements in their practice for years, and write another article with both sides represented. You can also go to witch is a website that summarizes current research in nutrition and integrative medicine."

"It works for Prevention magazine, so why not Reader's Digest? I once opened a Prevention magazine and counted 18 drug ads and articles before I came to one on nutrition. Should we expect more from Reader's Digest?"

"You have got to be kidding. You have ignored a flotilla of articles, peer reviewed as well, on the benefits of vitamins for a variety of conditions including macular degeneration. I know this field well as I am an ophthalmologist. The only explanation I can think of is that you have been unduly influenced by your pharmaceutical advertisers."

"I am a registered nurse and read many articles on health. I feel that your recent article on vitamins was very misleading. Please ask the author to research more thoroughly and write a new article."

"Ignorance may be bliss, but when ignorance is reported as if it were a truth in this case it is not bliss but close to a crime. Ignorance accompanied by 15 pages of drug advertisements is closer to a racket."

"For a full and comprehensive research on what vitamins can do you need to go to and where you can find real research, not the kindergarten stuff reported in your April 2010 issue. I have been following the impeccable reporting of the orthomolecular people for years now and will give them an A+ on their content, and you a flat F."

"Your slamming of vitamins and minerals is truly tragic. For those who look to Reader's Digest as a valued resource, you have let them down. You neglect of the thousands of therapeutic nutritional research studies and articles from universities and from other research teams worldwide that you can find easily in Medline, and the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. Bad journalism (telling half the story) can result in poor health for millions. I hope your own families weren't reading this article."

To post your comments at the Reader's Digest website, or to read their original biased article if you missed it:

To send your thoughts directly to the Reader's Digest editors:

To learn more about how vitamins safely and effectively fight disease:

The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource.

Editorial Review Board:

Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. (Canada)
Damien Downing, M.D. (United Kingdom)
Michael Gonzalez, D.Sc., Ph.D. (Puerto Rico)
Steve Hickey, Ph.D. (United Kingdom)
James A. Jackson, PhD (USA)
Bo H. Jonsson, MD, Ph.D (Sweden)
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D. (USA)
Jorge R. Miranda-Massari, Pharm.D. (Puerto Rico)
Erik Paterson, M.D. (Canada)
Gert E. Shuitemaker, Ph.D. (Netherlands)

Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D. (USA), Editor and contact person. Email:

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