Skip to main content

For many years I’ve been a subscriber to What Doctor’s Don’t Tell You. I trust them.

Last week my jaw dropped as I read their leader. I’m forwarding it here for you,

From WDDTY: “Being the president of the United States—and probably being the leader of any country—has been likened to playing four-dimensional chess.  When you make a decision, you think you’ve anticipated every conceivable reaction, but there will always be unforeseen ones that you hadn’t even imagined.

Now, imagine you’re looking at a medical intervention on the most complex thing of all—the human body—and you quadruple the level of complexity and likelihood of unanticipated consequences.  They happen with surgical interventions and with almost every drug that’s been licensed for use, whose unanticipated consequences are known as adverse reactions.

They also happen when agencies introduce a public health policy, such as lockdowns that had so many unanticipated consequences that we’re still working our way through them. 

A fascinating example came to light just this week, and it was to do with fortifying food.  The fortification of foods sounds like a good idea, in principle at least.  Most people don’t eat a nutritious diet—in fact, 60 percent of Americans eat just one serving of fruit or vegetables every day—and so it makes sense to add nutrients to the food they do eat, such as breakfast cereals and supermarket bread.

Niacin, or vitamin B-3, has been added to flour, cereals and oats for many years, and manufacturers have been mandated to do so in more than 50 countries.  It’s supposed to lower cholesterol levels and so, in turn, reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD), at least according to the diet/cholesterol/CVD theory. 

But the body does a very strange thing when there’s too much niacin in the system: it creates something to break down those levels, and that something is known as 4PY, a metabolite. 

And guess what 4PY does? It triggers vascular inflammation, and that damages blood vessels and can make cardiovascular disease more likely.

So, adding niacin to food causes the very thing it’s supposed to prevent.  Now that’s an unanticipated consequence.

Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic made the discovery when they tested niacin levels in a group of volunteers.  The ones with the most niacin in their body also had high 4PY activity.

The problem affected a quarter of the participants, so it may be reasonable to assume that 25 percent of a population that’s eating niacin-enriched foods are also at a greater risk of heart disease.

Lead researcher Stanley Hazen likened it to an overfull water butt that’s being filled from four different taps.  We get niacin from fortified foods, natural foods, from nutritional supplements, and from over-the-counter remedies.  To cope with the overspill, the body produces 4PY—which then creates its own unanticipated consequences.

The remedy is clear: eat fresh fruits and vegetables, and avoid processed foods, especially the ones fortified with niacin.

Better yet, says Hazen, tell food manufacturers to stop putting it into their products in the first place.”

The implications are significant!

Graeme Dinnen

Leave a Reply