(NaturalNews) The New York Times reported recently that American doctors regularly prescribe placebos to patients. The survey involved 679 randomly chosen internists and rheumatologists, among them about half reported recommending placebos regularly. Doctors in Denmark, Israel, Britain, Sweden and New Zealand responded similarly. The American doctors doled out headache pills, vitamins, antibiotics and sedatives most commonly. Though these placebos are not really inert, they are used primarily for their psychological effect. This may confer some benefit, so it is thought. The study is being published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
Recent example of how vitamins beat placebos starts with a study on overweight women taking chromium picolinate. Compared to placebo, chromium supplements significantly reduced food cravings and hunger levels (Anton et al., 2008). Increased intake of vitamin K2 reduced the build up of calcium in arteries that leads to hardening of the blood vessels (Beulens, et al., 2008). L-Carnitine significantly reduced both physical and mental fatigue and increased cognitive function in older people (Malaguarnera M, et al., 2007). Zinc supplements activated the production of brain factor that wards off depression and keeps nerve cells alive (Sowa-Kućma M, et al., 2008). Women who received vitamin E supplements had a significant 21% reduction in blood clots (Glynn RJ, et al., 2008). Pantethine, an active form of vitamin B5, significantly reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol in several clinical trials (Binaghi, et al. 1990; Coronel 1991, et al.; Pins & Keenan, 2006). Overwhelming evidence on the incredible benefits of vitamin D, omega-3 fats, probiotics, and other important supplements are being reported, even by the medical "experts". So, rather than handing out placebos, physicians should be providing high quality multivitamins and mineral supplements, and teaching people about how to eat right to prevent illness. This is a much more intelligent and caring approach to patients than giving them placebos.
So, why do Americans buy into health care that has so little to offer? Why are we paying through the nose for medicine that ranks so low among nations? Despite enormous strides in food and vitamin science, the medical world is largely deaf to nutrition science. Profit-driven health care that preys on sickness is not where the best medicine can be found. Fortunately, efforts by the pharmaceutical industry to keep people ignorant of nutrition science are beginning to fail. People are seeking out naturopaths, nutritionists, or taking health into their own hands for many health concerns. Also, there are a few integrative physicians out there, who represent real health, if you're lucky to find one. Unfortunately, these practitioners do not accept most insurance plans, as insurance companies are also behind the times and do not cover dietary supplements or newer diagnostic tests.
What The New York Times report really says is that, at least 50% of the time, doctors have no clue how to help us. So, why not give people something that really helps, like vitamins or minerals.