The great supplement witch hunt continues

If you didn’t already believe that the powers-that-be have it in for nutritional supplements, you will now.

You see, the authors of a new “Patient Page” in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association are saying that — with the exception of cranberry for urinary tract infections — there’s no proof that herbs and supplements have any benefits at all.

Surprising? Not to me, it’s not. After all, JAMA is one of the most prized mouthpieces of the medical community. Why not use it to launch a fresh attack on the supplement industry?

The funny part is that JAMA is calling this “Patient Page” a public service. (More like a pubic disservice if you ask me.)

Just get a load of this…

“For instance, the beneficial effect of St John’s wort for short-term treatment of mild to moderate depression is still debated,” they write. (By whom?) And, “use of Echinacea for treatment of colds is not supported by scientific data.” (Says who? I can send them a dozen references RIGHT NOW.)

“Similarly,” they continue, “there is questionable evidence on the efficacy of ginseng, which is often used to improve physical and cognitive performance.” (No mention of exactly why they consider the ample evidence out there questionable. I guess those details aren’t important.)

Anyway, the page goes on and on like this. And in the end, these authors are just plain wrong.

All you have to do is perform a quick search on PubMed (the search engine that offers free access to study abstracts from medical journals published all over the world) on any one of these natural remedies. And you’ll come back with a whole slew of scientific studies supporting their various benefits.

So why the neverending witch hunt? Here’s one theory: The powers-that-be simply don’t like that these products aren’t “approved” by the FDA.

But why should they be? Despite what the government would like everyone to believe, FDA approval is hardly a guarantee of safety.

Pharmaceutical and over-the-counter medications are FDA-approved. Yet Tylenol — one of the most common drugs on the market — is the No. 1 cause of liver failure in the United States. (And that’s just one prominent example.)

Besides, the FDA does already oversee supplement labeling and manufacturing — pretty extensively, I should add.

But perhaps the most ironic part of the whole article comes when the authors suggest that patients talk to their doctors about the supplements they’re taking.

Which is a nice thought, but with attitudes like this, can you blame patients for not speaking up?

I’ve said this before and I will say it again — most doctors really aren’t all that smart. They may know what they’ve studied inside and out. But most doctors know absolutely nothing about nutritional supplementation. And if JAMA insists on disseminating this kind of nonsense, what reason do they have to get educated? Generally speaking, most doctors believe what they’re told and they don’t think outside the box.

That’s why modern mainstream medicine is led by Big Pharma. Because they have creativity and ingenuity in spades — at least, when it comes to lining their own pockets.

Case in point: We have no new antibiotics to combat the growing number of resistant bugs. But we have four drugs for erectile disorders. About 40 for depression, and even more for anxiety. And don’t even get me started on cholesterol drugs.

All of these drugs are huge profit makers for Big Pharma — despite the fact that they have lists of side effects a mile long.

Meanwhile, herbs have a track record of safety and effectiveness that goes back thousands of years. We continue to use them today because, yes — they are quite effective in managing many conditions. And you don’t have to deal with nasty, potentially lethal side effects to enjoy these benefits.

So quite frankly, I couldn’t care less what JAMA has to say about it. Because the American public is driving this revolution. They wouldn’t be spending billions of dollars on supplements each year if they didn’t think they worked. No one is bullying or coercing patients into trying these treatments — and you certainly can’t say the same about pharmaceuticals.

It’s truly sad that those in power can’t take patients’ best interest to heart. They would rather scare you into thinking it’s all a hoax. But who, exactly, do they think doctors like me are fooling?

If the natural solutions I recommend didn’t work, do they really think people are stupid enough to keep taking them?

If patients want to lead a healthier lifestyle — and do so without potentially harmful medications — then don’t doctors have an obligation to help them do that?

At the very least, they have an obligation not to bombard their patients with misinformation and biased conclusions.