Your leader in the September newsletter "Of Strokes and Smokers" about the beta carotene studies (WDDTY vol 7 no 6) bought up some important issues regarding orthodox research studies and their results. Unfortunately, statistics is such a holy cow th
Your observations about failing to determine other risks factors or differences between study groups, when assessing the effect of an isolated supplement like beta carotene, is crucial. Within this context there is an additional and potentially important factor to consider.
How was the beta carotene produced and presented to the participants in the study? It has come to my attention that many vitamins and other supplements are manufactured in such a way as to leave residues of chemicals in them, which could act as carcinogens or as immunodepressants.
Benzene and certain benzene related chemicals used as solvents or to disinfect bottles, etc, are particularly dangerous.
If the supplement given does indeed contain a carcinogen or immunodepressant, then it makes sense that those given beta carotene actually had a higher incidence of cancer than the control group. Unfortunately, this is a distinct possibility and typical of the way our fragmentist "orthodox" science stares at only one factor, oblivious of all others, let alone of the synergistic effect of several working together. Professor Jens Jerndal, Idre, Sweden...........
WDDTY replies: Thank you for your article with the fascinating proposal that AIDS also may have a "benzene connection". These days, when our bodies are getting bombarded by chemicals of all varieties, no proposal for a link between chemistry and disease is too farfetched to warrant further study.