Monday, January 1, 2018

Pharmaceutical/AMA - War on Supplements, Essential Oils and Homeopathy

The War on Supplements, Essential Oils and Homeopathy

war on supplements

Dec 31, 2017    Story at-a-glance

  • As supplements and alternative therapies become more popular, Pharma is calling them ineffective and possibly harmful
  • The drug industry accuses the supplement industry of false claims and manufacturing irregularities — the same problems which afflict Pharma
  • Even as Big Pharma discredits supplements, many drug companies market their own vitamins and supplements
By Dr. Mercola
If you suspect that supplements are more popular than ever, you are right. More than half of American adults have used one or more supplements and more than half of women and 43 percent of men used a supplement of some kind within the last 30 days.1,2
While that means not taking vitamins or supplements is now a minority position, it also means Big Pharma is trying to get "in on" the supplement business. The U.S. retail sales of vitamins and supplements is expected to exceed $36 billion in 2017.3 While that's less than a tenth of what Pharma rakes in annually, it has nevertheless caught the drug industry's attention.
Also, the highest users of supplements and alternative therapies are the most desirable demographic to marketers — those reporting "excellent" or "very good" health, usually with a higher discretionary income.4 No wonder Pharma and Pharma-supported voices have launched an all-out smear campaign against supplements and alternative therapies. Both categories lack the huge price tags of drugs and encourage patient education and self-care.
Supplements and natural products also often treat or prevent the very conditions that enrich drug companies, which further explains Big Pharma's wrath. For example, probiotic-rich fermented food treats the heartburn for which Pharma hawks dangerous proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Omega-3 fats such as krill oil and other nonprescription products lower heart disease risks without using dangerous statins.
Prescription drugs can also increase the need for supplements. If you take a diuretic, an acid-blocking PPI or the diabetes drug metformin, you are more likely to develop vitamin or mineral deficiencies.5

Traditional Media Outlets Question Value of Supplements

In 2016, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a large study of U.S. supplement usage that found, according to The New York Times:6
"Americans spend more than $30 billion a year on dietary supplements — vitamins, minerals and herbal products, among others — many of which are unnecessary or of doubtful benefit to those taking them. That comes to about $100 a year for every man, woman and child for substances that are often of questionable value."
Elsewhere in recent years, negative news articles about vitamin C, vitamin A and beta carotene, vitamin E, vitamin B6, vitamin D, calcium and multivitamins have run. Supplements like ginkgo biloba, echinacea, fish oil and ephedrine are also under attack, as are homeopathy and aromatherapy.7,8,9,10
Some articles, many written by medical professionals, say supplements are ineffective and a waste of your money; others actually accuse supplements of causing or risking physical harm and even shortening lives. Some medical specialists also accuse supplements of impeding or interfering with drugs taken for other medical conditions.11
In addition to print media and the web, TV news media have joined in the discrediting of the supplement industry, exposing alleged disreputable manufacturers and lobbyists.
While I would never defend unethical makers of supplements who put the public at risk, these same news shows largely give Big Pharma a pass even though prescription drugs put the public at a much greater risk. Prescription drug overdoses are the ninth leading cause of death in the U.S., and the death toll continues to rise thanks to the growing opioid addiction crisis.12

Pharma Is a Pot Calling the Kettle Black

Leading Pharma's campaign to discredit supplements is the charge that unproven health benefits, not backed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are claimed by supplement makers. Yet almost every major drug company has entered into a settlement for the same thing, known as "off-label marketing" in the prescription drug world. At least 31 drug companies have been charged with such false promotion including Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Forest, Amgen and Allergan.13
Pfizer paid a $430 million fine for off-label marketing of Neurontin for the non-FDA approved indication of bipolar disorder.14 Eli Lilly engaged in another off-label marketing scheme, trying to market the selective estrogen receptor modulator Evista for the unapproved FDA indication of prevention of breast cancer, and unleashed hundreds of drug reps to sell the unapproved use.
Reps were told to hide a disclosure page that said, "The effectiveness of [Evista] in reducing the risk of breast cancer has not yet been established," from the doctors they were trying to sell on the drug, according to the Department of Justice.15 Scott Gottlieb, the new FDA Commissioner, drug stock trader and Pharma consultant, defended Evista's off-label marketing in a Wall Street Journal oped.16

Questions About Product Purity Cut Both Ways

Another way that Pharma-friendly voices try to discredit supplements they have yet to sell themselves is through raising questions about their purity, label accuracy and manufacturing process. Here is a quote from Dr. Paul A. Offit, one of the nation's leading drug and vaccine defenders, in an interview about his 2014 book "Do You Believe in Magic?" on Medscape:17
"Look at what happened with this vitamin-maker called Purity First. Purity First, a few weeks ago, had all of its products recalled by the FDA. They made three products. They made vitamin C. They made a multimineral preparation, and they made a B-complex vitamin preparation.
What happened was there were 25 women in Connecticut who started to develop symptoms of increased hair where they didn't want hair to be, deepening of the voice, and loss of menstrual cycles because they were inadvertently taking anabolic steroids.
Anabolic steroids had contaminated those preparations. How does that happen?... Just imagine if vaccines were inadvertently contaminated with anabolic steroids. You would never hear the end of it, but here somehow it all gets a free pass."
Offit is dead wrong. Drugs, vaccines and medical products are frequently recalled for quality and contamination though recalls are seldom reported in the mainstream press. In April 2017, GlaxoSmithKline recalled nearly 600,000 defective Ventolin inhalers.18 In March 2017, generic giant Mylan (of EpiPen fame) said it was recalling 4,005,177 bottles of the cholesterol fighter atorvastatin because of the "potential of an elevated bioburden with identification of objectionable organisms."19
Recalls of biologics (drugs that contain an ingredient extracted from a "biological" source such as cells from humans, animals or microorganisms) have increased significantly, especially for vaccines. From 2007 to 2010, 14 vaccine recalls and 13 recalls for immunoglobulins were made. Additionally, vaccines are not adequately tested for safety and effectiveness using methodologically sound scientific studies before they are licensed, so all of their side effects and long-term negative health outcomes are often unknown.

Examples of Supplements, Essential Oils and Homeopathy Therapy at Work

The medical literature includes notable examples of supplements and natural remedies that function as valuable medicines. Why do we so rarely, if ever, hear of them on health news sites or TV? Supplements and natural substances cannot be patented and hence present no profit potential for Pharma no matter how dramatic their actions. Here are some supplements for which there is promising evidence of effectiveness:
Folic acid, when added to enalapril (an ACE inhibitor used to treat high blood pressure, diabetic kidney disease and heart failure) produced a significant reduction in stroke occurrence in 2015 JAMA research.20
Oregano might be effective against the norovirus, say investigators at the University of Arizona.21
High doses of vitamin C may be useful in the treatment of ovarian cancer, boost the power of chemotherapy and ward off stroke, research indicates.22,23,24
Multivitamins and olive oil are under investigation for their roles in managing breast cancer.25,26
A compound found in a Japanese mushroom could be a cure for the currently untreatable human papilloma virus.27
Vitamin E likely plays an important role in deterring miscarriage.28
Preliminary evidence even suggests that micronutrients could be beneficial in treating adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to 2014 research published in The British Journal of Psychiatry.29
When children with ADHD inhaled vetiver essential oil three times a day for 30 days they had improved brain wave patterns and behavior and did better in school.
In patients with allergies, those using homeopathy reported improvements in nasal airflow compared with a placebo group and researchers described a "clear, significant and clinically relevant improvement in nasal inspiratory peak flow, similar to that found with topical steroids."

Don't Rule Out Vitamin D

In the past few years, vitamin D has gone from a vitamin "hero" whose deficiency potentially explained many maladies, to VNG (Vitamin Non Grata).30,31 The same flip-flop has been seen with calcium, once a good guy, now potentially another supplemental bad guy.32 In fact, vitamin D has been so demonized, the pro-Pharma Forbes site actually writes:33
"Vitamin D supplements, to put it plainly, are a waste of money. (For those concerned about osteoporosis, the widely used drug alendronate (Fosamax®), has been shown to increase bone density by about 5 percent, as explained in a 2011 article by Dr. Sundeep Khosia. But Fosamax has side effects.)"
The "side effects" mentioned by Forbes are an understatement. Bisphosphonate bone drugs such as Fosamax and Boniva have been linked to esophageal cancer, jawbone death, heart problems, intractable pain and the very fractures they are supposed to prevent.34They are one of the most dangerous drug classes ever marketed.
Far from a waste of money, vitamin D made such a difference in a 2014 breast cancer survival study, an investigator said "There is no compelling reason to wait for further studies to incorporate vitamin D supplements into standard care regimens."35 Research suggests it may have a valuable role in multiple sclerosis management, diabetes and depression, chronic liver disease and diseases of older age.36,37,38,39

Final Ironies

Even as the drug industry attacks the safety, reliability and effectiveness of vitamins and supplements, it creates them itself. In 2013, PGT Healthcare LLP (a venture of Procter & Gamble, Teva and Swisse Wellness) said it would expand its range of more than 100 vitamins, minerals and supplements.40
Other drug giants are also in the supplement business. Sometimes making vitamins results in drug companies making positive instead of negative statements. Here is what research funded by Roche (now DSM Nutritional Products) BASF and Pfizer found about multivitamins41
"A daily multivitamin can help a man reduce his risk of cancer, according to new research from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH). The first-of-its kind study will be presented October 17 at the 11th Annual AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research and published online the same day in the Journal of the American Medical Association."
Marketing vitamins also subjects Big Pharma to the same false claims charges it cites about the supplement industry. Pfizer, which makes Centrum products, was sued to remove its claims that the products support "energy and immunity," "heart health," "eye health," "breast health," "bone health" and "colon health."42 And although Merck announced December 14 that it plans to sell its subsidiary, Seven Seas, a quick look at its Seven Seas Multivitamin Complete reveals claims that it contains ingredients that "provide adults with energy … as well as a healthy heart … good eye sight, healthy bones and digestion system."4

Monday, December 18, 2017

Deep Sleep A Natural ‘Fountain Of Youth

Deep Sleep A Natural ‘Fountain Of Youth’ In Old Age, Study Says

A new study finds that as people age and their ability to get truly restful sleep diminishes, their risk of memory loss and a wide range of mental and physical disorders increases.
Person sleeping on couch
A recent study finds that older adults who aren’t getting enough deep sleep are more likely to suffer from memory loss and life-threatening ailments like heart disease.
Researchers at the University of California-Berkeley determined that the parts of the brain that deteriorate the fastest as we age are the same areas that are responsible for the deep, restorative sleep we enjoyed in our youth.
“Nearly every disease killing us in later life has a causal link to lack of sleep,” says senior author  Matthew Walker, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the school, in a news release.
Such ailments include heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, says Walker, while memory-related condition such as Alzheimer’s are more likely when it comes to lack of ample rest.
“We’ve done a good job of extending life span, but a poor job of extending our health span,” he adds. “We now see sleep, and improving sleep, as a new pathway for helping remedy that.”
During their review of the research, Walker and his team found that the elderly have more trouble generating the slow brainwaves that deep sleep requires, and their brains struggle to produce the neurochemicals responsible for switching from sleep to wakefulness.
In young, healthy brains, slow brainwaves help transfer memories and other information from the brain’s short-term memory center, the hippocampus, to the prefrontal cortex, where the brain stores long-term memories. These brainwaves become disrupted as we age.
The disruption of the brain’s production of the neurochemicals galanin, which promotes sleep, and orexin, which promotes wakefulness, often cause fatigue in older people during the day and restlessness at night.
The research team was quick to point out that sleeping pills don’t promote the kind of deep sleep that everyone needs.
“The American College of Physicians has acknowledged that sleeping pills should not be the first-line kneejerk response to sleep problems,” says Walker. “Sleeping pills sedate the brain, rather than help it sleep naturally. We must find better treatments for restoring healthy sleep in older adults, and that is now one of our dedicated research missions.”
Lead author Bryce Mander, a postdoctoral researcher in Walker’s lab, adds that just as important as the number of hours slept is the quality, or restfulness, of the sleep.
“Previously, the conversation has focused on how many hours you need to sleep,” he says. “However, you can sleep for a sufficient number of hours, but not obtain the right quality of sleep. We also need to appreciate the importance of sleep quality.”
So while many of us turn to supplements and holistic remedies to keep our brains and bodies young, perhaps deep sleep is the most natural — and effective — fountain of youth on the market.
The study’s findings were published in the journal Neuron.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Big Sugar - Killed How Many ?

Big Sugar Buried Evidence to Hide Sugar Harms

sugar industry paid scientists

Story at-a-glance

  • The sugar industry has long known that sugar consumption triggers poor health, but hid the incriminating data, much like the tobacco industry hid the evidence linking smoking to lung cancer
  • Historical documents show the sugar industry has spent decades manipulating, molding and guiding nutritional research to exonerate sugar by shifting the blame for obesity and heart disease to saturated fat
  • The documents also show the sugar industry buried evidence from the 1960s that linked sugar consumption to heart disease and bladder cancer. At the time, food additives shown to cause cancer in animals were banned
  • Sucrose was also found to have an adverse effect on cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Just like it defended sugar in food by shifting the blame onto dietary fats, the sugar industry also made sure sugar did not become a concern within dentistry by shifting the focus onto the need for fluoride

By Dr. Mercola
A number of recent investigations have revealed a significant truth: The sugar industry has long known that sugar consumption triggers poor health, but hid the incriminating data, much like the tobacco industry hid the evidence linking smoking to lung cancer. The most recent of these investigations, based on unearthed historical documents, found the sugar industry buried evidence from the 1960s that linked sugar consumption to heart disease and cancer.
The research didn’t see the light of day again until Cristin E. Kearns, assistant professor at UCSF School of Dentistry, discovered caches of internal industry documents stashed in the archives at several universities. The unearthing of these documents has resulted in three separate papers showing how the industry has systematically misled the public and public health officials about the dangers of sugar.
Emails obtained by Freedom of Information Act requests have also revealed Coca-Cola’s corporate plan to counter dietary warnings against soda consumption — tactics that include reshaping existing data and creating new studies, working with scientific organizations and influencing policymakers.1 All in all, the evidence clearly reveals that the food industry has but one chief aim, and that is to make money, no matter what the cost to human health.

Sugar Industry Influenced Dietary Recommendations

In 2016, Kearns and colleagues published a paper2 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine, detailing the sugar industry’s influence on dietary recommendations. In it, they revealed how the industry has spent decades manipulating, molding and guiding nutritional research to exonerate sugar and shift the blame to saturated fat instead. As reported by The New York Times:3
“The documents show that a trade group called the Sugar Research Foundation, known today as the Sugar Association, paid three Harvard scientists the equivalent of about $50,000 in today’s dollars to publish a 1967 review of research on sugar, fat and heart disease.
The studies used in the review were handpicked by the sugar group, and the article,4 which was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, minimized the link between sugar and heart health and cast aspersions on the role of saturated fat. Even though the influence-peddling revealed in the documents dates back nearly 50 years, more recent reports show that the food industry has continued to influence nutrition science.”
Kearns also partnered with science journalist and author Gary Taubes to write the exposé “Big Sugar’s Sweet Little Lies.”5 In it, the pair notes that one of the primary strategies used by the industry has been to simply shed doubt on studies suggesting sugar is harmful. This stalling tactic, where more research is called for before a conclusion is made, has worked like a charm for five decades. Industry-funded scientists who served on federal panels also made sure the panels relied on industry-funded studies that exonerated sugar.

Industry Buried Research Linking Sugar to Heart Disease and Cancer

The latest paper6,7,8 based on the historical documents Kearns unearthed was published in PLOS Biology on November 21. Here, Kearns and colleagues focus on industry research linking sucrose to hyperlipidemia and cancer, and how and why this research was ultimately buried. In 1968, the Sugar Research Foundation, which later became the Sugar Association, funded an animal project to determine sugar’s impact on heart health.
Considering what we know today, it’s no surprise to learn the study showed that sugar promotes heart disease. However, the mechanism of action suggested sugar might also cause bladder cancer. At that point, the study was shut down. The results were never published. Co-author Stanton Glantz, professor of medicine at UCSF, told The New York Times9 this latest report continues “to build the case that the sugar industry has a long history of manipulating science.”
In a public statement,10 the Sugar Association rejected the report, calling it “a collection of speculations and assumptions about events that happened nearly five decades ago, conducted by a group of researchers and funded by individuals and organizations that are known critics of the sugar industry.” According to the association, which confirmed the existence of the study, the research was shut down not because of adverse results, but because of delays that made it go over budget.

Industry Maintains Sugar Is Part of ‘Balanced’ Lifestyle

The Sugar Association also boldly proclaims that, “We know that sugar consumed in moderation is part of a balanced lifestyle …” But is it really though? And what is a “balanced” lifestyle anyway? Half poison, half healthy nutrition? I don’t know about you, but to me that’s not a prescription for a healthy lifestyle. That’s like saying that smoking in moderation is part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle — a claim few would fall for these days.
Here’s just one recent example of what that kind of “balanced” lifestyle achieves. UCSF researchers concluded children who drink sugary beverages have shorter than average telomeres, which is associated with higher risk of chronic disease and reduced life span.11According to the author:
Even at relatively low levels of sugared-beverage consumption, we found that how often these young children drank sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with telomere length, mirroring the relationship that has been found in some studies of adults.”

Big Sugar, Big Tobacco

The 1960s sugar industry campaign aimed at countering “negative attitudes toward sugar” by funding studies showing favorable results was led by John Hickson, a Sugar Association executive who went on to work for the Cigar Research Council. As noted in The New York Times:12
As part of the sugar industry campaign, Mr. Hickson secretly paid two influential Harvard scientists to publish a major review paper in 1967 that minimized the link between sugar and heart health and shifted blame to saturated fat … Hickson left the sugar industry in the early 1970s to work for the Cigar Research Council, a tobacco industry organization.
In 1972, an internal tobacco industry memo on Mr. Hickson noted that he had a reputation for manipulating science to achieve his goals. The confidential tobacco memo described Mr. Hickson as ‘a supreme scientific politician who had been successful in condemning cyclamates, on behalf of the Sugar Research Council, on somewhat shaky evidence.’”
While the Sugar Association claims13 it “has embraced scientific research … to learn as much as possible about sugar, diet and health,” and “will always advocate for and respect any comprehensive, peer-reviewed scientific research that provides insights,” in the real world, the industry has consistently condemned or downplayed evidence of harm, despite the overwhelming amount of such evidence.
Once you know how the game is played, you start seeing pages from the game book in action everywhere you look. Case in point: While concerns about obesity grow, Coca-Cola is now shifting its corporate health initiative from the failed promotion of exercise, back to the solidly refuted idea that “all calories count” and that you can manage your weight by counting of calories.14 Both of these strategies conveniently circumvent the truth that drinking less soda, or none at all, will improve your health, even if you do nothing else.
The fact is, you cannot compare calories from an avocado and calories from soda, and reducing intake of nutritious food to squeeze in sugary beverages while maintaining a certain calorie count is not going to do your health any favors. Soda companies are also eyeing new markets where soda consumption is low,15 now that Western consumers are starting to catch on to the fact that sugar is a major driver of obesity and ill health. This includes China, India and Mexico.16

Failure to Publish Project 259 Hid Carcinogenic Potential

While Hickson was still working for the Sugar Association, studies emerged suggesting sugar calories were more detrimental to health than calories from starchy carbs like grains and potatoes. He suspected this effect might be related to the way gut microbes metabolize sugar and other carbs. To investigate this link, the association launched Project 259, to assess how animals lacking gut bacteria would respond to sugar and starches, compared to animals with normal microbiomes.
The research was led by WFR Pover, a researcher at the University of Birmingham in the U.K, who was paid the equivalent of $187,000 in today’s currency to perform the study. The initial results, detailed in a 1969 internal report, showed that rats fed sucrose produced high levels of beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme associated with both arterial hardening and bladder cancer. According to the internal report, “This is one of the first demonstrations of a biological difference between sucrose and starch fed rats.”
Pover also found that sucrose had an adverse effect on cholesterol and triglycerides, and that, indeed, this was the work of gut bacteria. While animal research carries less weight today than it did back then, federal law at the time banned food additives shown to cause cancer in animals. This means that, had this research been published rather than buried, it could have had very serious ramifications for the sugar industry. As noted in Kearns’ paper:17
“The sugar industry did not disclose evidence of harm from animal studies that would have (1) strengthened the case that the CHD [cardiovascular heart disease] risk of sucrose is greater than starch and (2) caused sucrose to be scrutinized as a potential carcinogen.”

Sugar Industry Influenced Dental Policy as Well

A third report based on Kearns cache of historical records reveal the sugar industry also played a significant role in the creation of dental policy.18,19 As a result of this collusion, dental policy not only downplays the impact that sugar and processed junk food has on dental health, it also ignores the toxic nature of fluoride.
Just like it defended sugar in food by shifting the blame onto dietary fats, the sugar industry made sure sugar did not become a concern within dentistry by shifting the focus onto the need for fluoride. According to this paper,20 published in PLOS Medicine in 2015, the sugar industry’s interactions with the National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR) significantly altered and shaped the priorities of the National Caries Program (NCP), launched in 1971 to identify interventions that would eradicate tooth decay.
As noted in the paper, “The sugar industry could not deny the role of sucrose in dental caries given the scientific evidence. They therefore adopted a strategy to deflect attention to public health interventions that would reduce the harms of sugar consumption rather than restricting intake.” This industry-led deflection strategy included:
  • Funding research on enzymes to break up dental plaque, in collaboration with allies in the food industry
  • Funding research into a highly questionable vaccine against tooth decay. Another failed research goal included developing a powder or agent that could be mixed or taken with sugary foods to lessen the destruction to teeth caused by the Streptococcus mutans bacterium21
  • Forming a task force with the aim to influence leaders in the NIDR (nine of the 11 members of the NIDR’s Caries Task Force Steering Committee, charged with identifying the NIDR’s research priorities, also served on the International Sugar Research Foundation’s Panel of Dental Caries Task Force)
  • Submitting a report to the NIDR, which served as the foundation for the initial proposal request issued for the NCP

Industry Derailed Research That Might Have Led to Sugar Regulations

Omitted from the NCP’s priorities was any research that might be detrimental to the sugar industry, meaning research investigating the role and impact of sugar on dental health. Here, as with Project 259, “The sugar industry was able to derail some promising research that probably would’ve been the foundation for regulation of sugar in food,” co-author Glantz said.22
Even today, Big Sugar is being evasive about fessing up the truth, despite overwhelming evidence showing that excessive sugar consumption — which is part and parcel of a processed food diet — is a key driver of dental cavities. According to the World Health Organization (WHO),23 people across the U.S. and Europe need to cut their sugar consumption in half in order to reduce their risk of tooth decay and obesity.
WHO’s guidelines call for reducing sugar consumption to 10 percent of daily calories or less, which equates to about 50 grams or 12 teaspoons of sugar for adults. Ideally, the WHO says, your intake should be below 5 percent, which is more in line with my own recommendations.

Sugar Labeling Is Long Overdue

We probably will not see sugar being removed from the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) list anytime soon, even though a reassessment would probably be warranted, considering the evidence. Still, there is some good news. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration finalized its new Nutrition Facts rules in May 2016,24 and once the changes take effect, food manufacturers will be required to list added sugars in grams and as percent daily value (based on a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet) on their nutrition facts labels.
By listing the percentage of daily value for sugar on nutritional labels, it will be easier to identify high-sugar foods, and could help rein in overconsumption caused by “hidden” sugars. Unfortunately, we won’t see these changes until January 1, 2020. Manufacturers with annual sales below $10 million will have one additional year to comply.

Sugar Industry Has Lost All Scientific Credibility

Large sums of money have been spent, and scientific integrity has been tossed by the wayside, to convince you that added sugars are a “staple” nutrient that belongs in your diet, and that health problems like obesity, chronic disease and dental caries are due to some other issue — be it lack of exercise, too much saturated fat, or lack of fluoride.
Clearly, the sugar industry’s ability to influence policy for public health and research put us decades behind the eight-ball, as it were. It’s really time to set the record straight, and to stop looking to the industry as a credible source of information about sugar.
To learn more about how sugar affects your health, check out, created by scientists at three American universities to counter the propaganda provided by profit-driven industry interests. This educational website25 provides access to independent research that is unsoiled by industry interference. This kind of research really is key, and anyone who believes industry-funded research is as trustworthy is deluding themselves.
Case in point: A report26 published in PLOS Medicine in December 2013 looked at how financial interests influence outcomes in trials aimed to determine the relationship between sugar consumption and obesity. The report concluded that studies with financial ties to industry were FIVE TIMES more likely to present a conclusion of “no positive association” between sugar and obesity, compared to those without such ties.