Understanding Negative Vitamin Articles

Scaring Americans from Taking Dietary Supplements

by Tom Petrie, July 3, 2016

So what else is new?  A  December 17, 2013 article in USA Today had this article:  Medical Journal ‘Case Closed’ Against Vitamin Supplements.

Sounds pretty definitive, doesn’t it?  Well sure it does, but upon closer examination, we learn that it’s not convincing at all.  Let’s explain why.

As with all critiques, the first thing we have to do is look at the source: USA Today.  They are a daily, national newspaper, and not a scientific journal.  Secondly, we need to look at the source they cite: a “Medical Journal.”  Since when are medical journals authorities on vitamins?

Medical journals sell lots of advertising space to drug companies, not vitamin companies, therefore, we have to be careful who they’re trying to not criticize and from what they might be distracting us!  According to Gary Null (author of the documentary and article “Death by Medicine” in 1994), legally prescribed prescription drugs kill over 100,000 people each year in America.  And vitamin deaths?  Not ONE in the past 30 years.

So where’s the big expose of the dangers of modern medicine?  Sure, there’s the occasional critique of the overuse of antibiotics or the dangers of overusing or abusing prescription pain medications, but there’s little on the dangers of drugs even when taken as prescribed.  Well, unless you’re a drug linked to 60,000 deaths from heart disease, as was Vioxx, 12 years ago!  Only after the deaths became hard to conceal, did the FDA finally remove Vioxx from the market.

So back to our article referenced by USA Today and covered in many major newspapers that week.

The study was an “observational study”

The study was an “observational study”—in other words, an historical “survey” of what women took over the previous years, taken from memory!   The researchers surveyed 38,772 women from the Iowa Women’s Health Study (IWHS) about their vitamin supplement habits over 18 years in 6 year intervals.

In short, these kinds of surveys are notoriously inaccurate, although this is not to discount their value entirely.[i]  One can do studies of this sort checking one data point or another but when ten or twenty data points are being surveyed at such extreme intervals, and then “adjusted” according to ten or so individual variables, we no longer have a valid study in this authors opinion.  In short, we should be cautious about accepting any of the study’s shocking conclusions based upon just this one fact.  But there’s more!



In addition to these stated flaws, there was no review of brands used, the amount of supplements or potencies taken by brand or concern about “total intake” (e.g., micrograms, milligrams or grams taken for any given nutrient).  Blood levels of various nutrients were not taken and the consistency of use wasn’t measured in any way.  And who reading this article hasn’t changed from one supplement to another over the years?  Who hasn’t added or subtracted supplements over time?  Does anyone believe that individuals took the same supplements, brands, potencies and combinations of supplements during an 18-year study period?  There was also no analysis of the almost infinite combinations of supplements taken, nor was there any analysis of the cause of death beyond “cancer,” “heart disease,” or “other.”

Also, the kinds of vitamins that were taken was not evaluated.  In other words, we do not know if the vitamins were natural or synthetic, balanced or unbalanced, filled with additives and chemical preservatives or not.  (The number ONE multi-vitamin in America is Centrum—hardly an example of a balanced and natural multi-vitamin!)

As if the aforementioned flaws were not enough to prove the worthlessness of the data, the data was further adjusted for age, place of residence, body mass index, athletic activity, age, tobacco use, food intake, blood pressure and use of hormone replacement therapy.  Keep in mind that phrases like “multi-variate analysis” sound authoritative, but really hide the fact that numerous adjustments were made to the data that could compromise the integrity of the study.  As if these “adjustments” weren’t bad enough, a second multi-variable analysis was undertaken which included many of the aforementioned items in addition to ‘adjusting’ for the consumption of alcohol, saturated fats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables!  Yes!—they “adjusted” for one’s consumption of vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables!

People Often Take Dietary Supplements

After They Get Sick but not before!

It is a fact that most common diseases are preventable, yet many people don’t engage in healthier lifestyle choices until after they become seriously ill with heart disease, cancer or some other degenerative disease or condition.

The classic example is an individual who never swallowed a single dietary supplement until they’re diagnosed with cancer.  They then go from zero or low intakes of dietary supplements to swallowing 30 or more pills per day in what, too often, is a futile attempt to cure an advanced-stage cancer.  Having worked for almost eight years at The Schachter Center for Complementary Medicine, (Suffern, NY until Sept. of 2014), I can attest to this fact: Many cancer patients came to this center in very poor health after having exhausted conventional medicine as their first treatment choice.  So YES, very sick patients often load up on vitamins in an effort to get some positive results—positive results, by the way, that WERE NOT , apparently, forthcoming by their conventional treatment plan, for whatever reasons.  (This is NOT meant to denigrate conventional treatment approaches to cancer—although they deserve criticism, as such patients often come to their illnesses after years of neglect of their own health and well-being!)

In the Iowa Women’s Health Study, the authors admitted they did not factor in the increased intake of dietary supplements that occur in response to the development of symptoms or diagnosis of serious disease!   Stated differently: If a woman was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and began ingesting 30 vitamin pills daily, but died six months later, she would have been counted as being a heavy supplement user who died prematurely!

How could this flaw play-out in the real world?  A person with a serious ailment who could benefit from a smartly chosen dietary supplement program, might be discouraged from taking ANY supplements, because of his reading of “how bad” supplements are, in his local newspaper such as the USA Today article noted at the beginning of this post.

This flaw by itself could render the overall findings of the Iowa Women’s Health Study meaningless because much of the lay public today associates dietary supplements as something very important to initiate after serious disease appears.  Yet, instead of initiating a smartly chosen supplement program, they might decide to “not bother” taking anything!  It is sad, but this is the result of what happens when the average consumer who is not that “nutrition savvy,” reads one of those sensational anti-vitamin headlines in their local paper or hears a similar message on their evening news.  It’s also clearly a result that occurs when lazy reporters decide to take the conclusions of a biased medical journal without any careful analysis or study.

It’s also very consistent with efforts to ban dietary supplements to make way for “Codex-Alimentaris.” Codex Alimentaris is an effort to ban ALL dietary supplements that have more than 150 percent of the US RDA, or a similar standard.  In order for this act to be passed, extremely negative articles that vilify dietary supplements are therefore, ‘necessary,’ from time to time, to soften up the public, to get the public behind what is really a sick and devious effort to discourage Americans from taking dietary supplements, to consequently help to make Americans sicker and of course, to increase the profits of the pharmaceutical companies.  This is the REAL motivation, in this writer’s opinion.

Findings of Reduced Mortality Overlooked by Media

Initially, The Iowa Women’s Health Study showed that women who supplemented with vitamins C, D, E and calcium had significantly lower risks of mortality.  However, as noted earlier, the study authors then made multiple adjustments to their data to conclude that multivitamin/mineral supplementation could increase mortality.  How did these “multi-variable adjusted proportional hazards regression models” play out in real life?  What does this mean in plain English?  That the study authors could take the study data and endlessly massage it until they got more negative or more positive results is certainly horrible, but the results to public health is where the significant negative consequences lie.

Because of the negative results fly so diametrically opposite to other studies on vitamins, this study supports my claim of there being extreme bias against the health benefits of dietary supplements by the study’s authors.  This bias was further indicated by a glaring omission by the study’s authors: The positive findings of a European study published in July of 2011.

In this study, mortality from cancer, cardiovascular conditions, and all-causes was substantially lower in those taking vitamin and mineral dietary supplements. This European study indicated that long-term users of antioxidant vitamin supplements had a 48 percent reduced risk of cancer mortality and 42 percent lower all-cause mortality.[ii]  What is still shocking about this positive data is that supplement takers who reported at least 25 percent compliance, in other words if they took their supplements at least 5 out of 20 days, would be considered in “full compliance.”  Despite this fact, they achieved the dramatic positive results just mentioned.  Did you read of THIS study in USA Today?  Did you read of it in another major media outlet or have you read about the dangers of vitamins in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the LA Times or Time Magazine?  Let me know by responding to this post.

Now let’s consider another positive vitamin study from the University of California at Berkeley.  In this study, Dr. Block and his colleagues, looked at the health benefits of dietary supplements.[iii]  Entitled “Usage patterns, health, and nutritional status of long-term multiple dietary supplement users: a cross-sectional study,” the participants showed significant health benefits from dietary supplement use versus those who did not use such supplements.   However, this study was NOT based upon reports or surveys that were filled out every six years.  Instead, they actually TESTED people.

Let’s quote the conclusion of this study in its entirety:

This group of long-term multiple dietary supplement users consumed a broad array of vitamin/mineral, herbal, and condition-specific dietary supplements on a daily basis. They were more likely to have optimal concentrations of chronic disease-related biomarkers, and less likely to have suboptimal blood nutrient concentrations, elevated blood pressure, and diabetes compared to non-users and multivitamin/mineral users. These findings should be confirmed by studying the dietary supplement usage patterns, health, and nutritional status of other groups of heavy users of dietary supplements.

  • Nutrition Journal, Oct., 2007


The journal that published this “study” is owned by the American Medical Association, which is not always the most objective source of information on vitamins.  By the way, they receive a substantial source of their revenue from the sale of advertising space from hugely profitable pharmaceutical companies.  Needless to say, vitamin advertisements are rarely, if ever seen on their pages, as is true for most other conventional medical publications.

What’s even more troubling about these facts is the fact that the AMA is a criminal enterprise.  You wouldn’t know this from a review of the mainstream media over the previous eight decades, but it’s true.  In the past, the American medical establishment—lead by the American Medical Association—has fought battles to limit the practices of many “alternative” medical practices and these have included naturopaths, osteopaths, podiatrists, optometrists, psychologists and chiropractors.[iv]  In other words, the AMA has been working tirelessly to limit the acceptance of ALL “alternative” medical treatments not sanctioned by them.   What would be the ACCEPTED treatments?  This would be CAT scans, mammograms, pharmaceuticals and surgical interventions, but do NOT involve non-toxic and fairly inexpensive treatments, dietary supplements or herbal remedies.  Such treatments kill or allow to die, over 400,000 Americans EACH year and the media doesn’t so much as raise a peep.

Let’s review the history of the AMA’s efforts to squelch just one ‘alternative’ therapy, namely chiropractic.  This effort took off under the guidance of AMA’s secretary from 1924 to 1949, Dr. Morris Fishbein.  It was during his 25 year reign that a major anti-chiropractic campaign was launched.  His words weren’t that scientific, as he referred to chiropractic as an “unscientific cult” and that “they cared for nothing but getting their patients’ money.”

While Fishbein left in 1949, the campaign against chiropractic continued unabated.  In 1963, during a meeting of the AMA Board of Trustees, a committee on Quackery was created.[v]  This committee’s prime mission was “The containment of chiropractic and ultimately, the elimination of chiropractic.”  For those who might not be aware of this fact, the word “quackery” was created at the turn of the 19th century to denigrate ANY one or ANY profession that did not teach conventional medicine.  The word is meant to convey, “nonsense,” “non-scientific” or “worthless.”  While the use of the word quackery is sometimes appropriate, its use is often-times meant to simply shortcut any honest discussion of certain treatments.  These are often treatments that special interests would rather you avoid using entirely, not because they don’t work,” but because they “work too well!”  “A quack remedy?  Why would anyone want to take such a thing,” would go our thinking upon learning that a certain proposed treatment is “quackery.”  But don’t be misled!  The use of language to mislead folks has been going on for the past century.

The medical profession has a long history of opposing alternative healing professions. While always claiming public safety as its reasons for the attacks, the true reasons involve protecting their monopoly of the health care market.  

                                               –  Dr. Robert Grisanti, D.C., The AMA Conspiracy Against Chiropractic[vi]

The first annual report from the Board of the Committee on Quackery of the AMA stated “the involvement (and indoctrination) of the State Medical Society leadership, in our opinion, is vital to the success of the chiropractic program.  We hope and believe that, with continued aggressive AMA activity, chiropractic can and will be contained at the national level and that steps are being taken to stop or eliminate the licensure of chiropractic at the state level.”

In 1967, the Committee on Quackery explained their anti-chiropractic goals as follows:

“Basically, the Committee’s short-range objectives for containing the cult of chiropractic and any additional recognition it might achieve revolves around four key points:

  • Doing everything within our power to see that chiropractic coverage under title 18 of the Medicare law is not obtained;
  • Doing everything within our power to see that the recognition or listing by the U.S. Office of Education of a chiropractic accrediting agency is not achieved;
  • To encourage contained separation of the two national chiropractic associations and
  • To encourage state medical societies to take the initiative in their state legislatures in regards to legislation that might affect the practice of chiropractic.”

So now you learn that during all those years during which time there were specific “forces” behind the years of anti-chiropractic legislation and various anti-chiropractic efforts, it was all propaganda developed by the American Medical Association.  Its goal was to see that there was limited acceptance of the science of chiropractic.   As this campaign continued, the AMA distributed propaganda to the nation’s teachers and guidance counselors, eliminated the inclusion of chiropractic from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Health Careers Guidebook and made sure that the educational guidelines in medical schools included notices regarding the “hazards to individuals from the unscientific cult of chiropractic.”  There were many other measures taken, but in short, the AMA worked both politically and publicly against the chiropractic profession all the while it, nevertheless, gained increased acceptance as a medical subspecialty.  Why was this?  It was because chiropractic achieved substantial results in so many millions of patients where the AMA’s methods had failed.

It is a fact that any organization that tries to limit the ability of another organization to perform commercially, in the interests of their profession, is committing a crime, is likely breaking the law.  On this issue, the Supreme Court has agreed.  (It was in 1975 that the Supreme Court ruled that professions are NOT exempt from anti-trust law suits.[vii])

In 1979, Pennsylvania and New York, asked the Supreme Court to rule on whether or not the AMA could interfere with the chiropractic profession as they apparently had been doing in so large a way for the previous seven decades.  In anticipation of this pending ruling, the AMA’s code of ethics was modified.  (Before this time, medical doctors were prohibited from associating with chiropractors.  In other words, they could not refer patients to chiropractors and were not allowed to accept patients from chiropractors either.)  And in 1982, the Supreme Court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission can enforce anti-trust laws against medical societies.

Finally, in September of 1987, Judge Susan Getzendanner found the American Medical Association and others GUILTY of an illegal conspiracy against the chiropractic profession!  She also issued an injunction against the AMA and forced them to print the courts findings in their journal.  Despite appeals against the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court in 1990, the original decision was upheld.

The take home message from this brief story is that the American Medical Association was found by the highest court in the land to have been operating a criminal enterprise.  At one time, they had 70 individuals, working full-time, to dismantle one subspecialty of medicine (or alternative medicine, if you like), namely, that of chiropractic medicine.  These efforts were not ultimately successful, but they did cause huge grief for this profession from 1924 to 1990.  The damage to the public-at-large is hard to fathom, as there are other professions that could provide similar benefits, but it is not known how many Americans suffered or died seeking help from conventional medical providers, and received harm or died, when what they needed was chiropractic care.  It’s simply impossible to answer this question.

It is against this backdrop that we need to question the credibility of the American Medical Association, which publishes the Archives of Internal Medicine.  We’ve already established that this agency works in a medical system that “supervises” or “allows” the deaths of approximately 780,000 Americans each year.[viii]   So the style of medicine they sanction and support through the medical schools, journals and newspaper articles causes huge disability and death while virtually no one ever dies from a dietary supplement.   So why must we constantly hear or read about how bad dietary supplements are?


  1. The authors started their study by claiming that they didn’t expect supplements to add to years of life to the study participants, indicating their bias from the beginning.
  2. If a study surveys users of vitamins EVERY SIX YEARS, one cannot expect accurate results!
  3. The kinds, amounts, quality and brands of supplements weren’t factored into the equation.
  4. Numerous “adjustments” were made to the data, further obscuring benefits from risks.  People often take dietary supplements AFTER they get sick, not before.  Therefore their death from cancer (or from their medically accepted “treatments”), should be factored into the equation.  This fact was, instead, entirely ignored.
  5. The study authors did NOT control for prescription or over-the-counter drug use, an enormous error.  Recall how it was mentioned earlier that there is a minimum of 100,000 deaths from prescription drugs each year in America.
  6. The credibility of the source is without question abysmal.  If an organization is found to be actively trying to hinder the practice of not only chiropractic, but other “alternative” medical professions—obviously in an attempt to maintain their monopoly position over “health care” in this country, we can’t accept that they have “our interests” at heart when they sponsor or support a “vitamin study.” This is but a brief summary of why we should NOT put much attention on negative vitamin articles, such as the one from USA Today that was addressed—in detail—in this post.

[i]     “Mike Adams interviews Dr. David Brownstein about media hoax to kill vitamins, Info Wars Nightly News.” Excellent interview about the flaws of “Observational Studies,” viewable here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiFl-H7Uyew .

[ii]       K. Li, R. Kaaks, J. Linseisen, S. Rohrmann,  “Vitamin/mineral supplementation and cancer, cardiovascular, and all-cause mortality in a German prospective cohort (EPIC-Heidelberg)” European Journal of Nutrition Online version, published ahead of print, July, 2011;  To view this study online, go to Dr. Pressman, Tools for Healthy Living at:  http://www.drpressman.com/antioxidant-vitamins-may-cut-mortality-risk-epic-data

[iii]      Block, Gladys, Jensen, Christopher D, et. al; Usage patterns, health, and nutritional status of long-term multiple dietary supplement users: a cross-sectional study, Nutrition Journal, Vol. 6:30, Oct., 2007.  For a link to this article, go here: http://www.nutritionj.com/content/pdf/1475-2891-6-30.pdf

[iv]    Food Matters, a documentary film by James and Laurentine, http://www.foodmatters.tv.

[v]     International Wellness Directory, The History of Quackery, Online article: www.mnwelldir.org/docs/history/quackery.htm

[vi]      Your Medical Detective, Online Newsletter, Sequoia Educational Systems, AMA Conspiracy Against Chiropractic, 2010:  http://www.yourmedicaldetective.com/public/237.cfm

[vii]      Goldfarb, et ux. v Virginia State Barm et. al, Supreme Court Decision, 1975.  GOLDFARB v. VIRGINIA STATE BAR, 4th circuit, 421 U.S. 773 (1975)  

[viii]   See the award winning Documentary “Death by Medicine” by Gary Null, Ph.D., 2011.

[1]     “Mike Adams interviews Dr. David Brownstein about media hoax to kill vitamins, Info Wars Nightly News.” Excellent interview about the flaws of “Observational Studies,” viewable here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiFl-H7Uyew .

[2]        K. Li, R. Kaaks, J. Linseisen, S. Rohrmann,  “Vitamin/mineral supplementation and cancer, cardiovascular, and all-cause mortality in a German prospective cohort (EPIC-Heidelberg)” European Journal of Nutrition Online version, published ahead of print, July, 2011;  To view this study online, go to Dr. Pressman, Tools for Healthy Living at:  http://www.drpressman.com/antioxidant-vitamins-may-cut-mortality-risk-epic-data

[3]        Block, Gladys, Jensen, Christopher D, et. al; Usage patterns, health, and nutritional status of long-term multiple dietary supplement users: a cross-sectional study, Nutrition Journal, Vol. 6:30, Oct., 2007.  For a link to this article, go here: http://www.nutritionj.com/content/pdf/1475-2891-6-30.pdf

[4]     Food Matters, a documentary film by James and Laurentine, http://www.foodmatters.tv.

[5]     International Wellness Directory, The History of Quackery, Online article: www.mnwelldir.org/docs/history/quackery.htm

[6]       Your Medical Detective, Online Newsletter, Sequoia Educational Systems, AMA Conspiracy Against Chiropractic, 2010:  http://www.yourmedicaldetective.com/public/237.cfm

[7]        Goldfarb, et ux. v Virginia State Barm et. al, Supreme Court Decision, 1975.  GOLDFARB v. VIRGINIA STATE BAR, 4th circuit, 421 U.S. 773 (1975)  

[8]     See the award winning Documentary “Death by Medicine” by Gary Null, Ph.D., 2011.

Recent Posts

For Parents of Young Children

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and its Major Causes

by Tom Petrie, Nutritionist


The problem arises in understanding SIDS because the way in which SIDS is studied is totally wrong!  The major components that should be looked into—namely nutrition and a child’s immediate environment (environmental toxins), is totally ignored while all kinds of money and effort is spent on factors that have little to do with solving the problem!  When the issue of nutrition IS raised, it is summarily rejected without investigation!  Thus factors that could lessen the nutritional health of a child are not considered worthy of investigation.  In other words, they’re ignored.

SIDS or ‘Sudden Infant Death Syndrome’ is the leading cause of death in the first six months and is rare after a year of age.  Yet, it is important to recognize that SIDS is not necessarily ‘sudden’ in so far as happening without any underlying cause.  There are consistent underlying variables if one knows to look for them!

This article will just give the reader a glimpse of an important controversy.  It’s not really a controversy, but different levels of knowledge and understanding.  It may seem trivial—a mere 6,000 to 7,000 deaths per year—but the story is compelling and each reader should derive some benefit from it.   Besides, many readers will know someone with a child under one year of age and this information could save their life!

  SIDS refers to sudden, unexpected death of an infant who was either apparently well or suffering from a ‘trivial’ illness which normally would not be expected to cause death.  Also, autopsy findings usually fail to provide a satisfactory explanation for death.

(Please note, that by ‘normally not expected’ we mean, not expected by those people who don’t attempt to figure out the underlying human biochemistry when confronted with a health challenge, of whatever sort.  All events in the human body occur at the ‘cellular level’, so to ignore this fact, is to ignore how the body works.  Ignoring this fact, doesn’t change it—it just makes ‘finding causes’ that much more ‘elusive,’ that’s all.)

Some aspects of SIDS that have been studied during recent years include various ‘risk factors’ as well as abnormal biochemical, bacterial, viral, and immunological associations.  Various modern medical technologies have also been investigated and used.  The more fine abnormalities are looked into, the more that is found.  For example, there’s a recognition that cigarette smoking (cigarette smoke destroys ascorbic acid in the blood), in the home, increases the risk of a SIDS baby.  Yet nothing has been found by ‘mainstream’ researchers that dramatically reduces the incidence of the syndrome.

This article should totally dispel the myth that ‘we don’t know what causes SIDS.  The first part will discuss the link between acute vitamin C deficiency and SIDS.  The 2nd part will discuss the role that toxins from fungi that grow on flame-retardant children’s mattresses cause SIDS.   (And yes, vitamin C plays an important role in these cases too.)

Most authorities will not discuss any specific cause of SIDS, because by conventional medical standards, they simply do NOT KNOW what causes it!  When you’re finished reading this two part article, there should be no doubt in your mind as to the major causes of this problem.

There are two major factors that explain virtually all SIDS cases: acute scurvy and/or exposure to toxic fungi from flame-retardant children’s mattresses.  This article will address both factors in detail.



Ascorbic Acid and SIDS


Over thirty years ago a doctor from Australia by the name of Archie Kalakeronis (Dr. K) was able to reduce the infant mortality (the death rate of infants before their first birthday) from fifty percent (yes, that’s half!) to near zero in a very short period of time.  [See his 1981 book, “Every Second Child”]  He did this when he discovered that vitamin C brought ‘near SIDS babies’ back to almost ‘normal’ health within hours of their first vitamin C injections.  If you, the reader, think this ‘is crazy,’ that’s the same reaction he got in Australia AND in America when he came to Wash., D.C. (in 1977, 1978 and 1980) to try to discuss this issue with officials from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

In the area under Dr. K’s control, before he implemented the vitamin C therapy, a very large number of babies died before their first year.  In many cases, they had simply been suffering from—what to most observers, would be considered a ‘trivial’ illness.  After suffering from listlessness, they would stop breathing and die.  Autopsies failed to explain why, but vitamin C status was NEVER considered, and, therefore, totally ignored.  By the way, if the reader doesn’t know it by now, if something is not considered to be a cause of xyz health problem, it won’t be considered as a factor either!

When Dr. K. sought assistance from other general practitioners, specialists and government departments he was told that:  (1) That nobody else had such a problem, that (2) He was obviously doing something wrong; (3)  That he was not suited to practice medicine in such an area (with very poor Aborigine children) and (4)  That he should see a psychiatrist because he was ‘over concerned’.

With such a result one would expect other doctors to sit up and take notice.  However, Dr. K. was shocked to find that the reverse occurred.  Doctors and authorities, (and later various SIDS organizations), not only ignored his work but became extremely hostile!

Now a simple question is this: How does a physician become ‘over-concerned’ about a fifty percent infant mortality figure?

It turns out that all doctors in this part of Australia had the same problem of an enormously high infant mortality.  In some areas it was worse than others, but no matter how it was looked at, it was extremely high.  Many doctors, for reasons that were hard to understand by Dr. K, thought they did not have the problem despite existence of clear medical records showing a huge problem.  According to Dr. K., other doctors, specialists and government officials deliberately lied to him.   (As he has stated:  “They still lie, cheat and misrepresent when some most serious and obvious medical problems are considered.”)

Eventually Dr. K found that provided he could treat an infant early enough he could reverse the unconscious stage or an unexplained shock by giving vitamin C in large doses.  The method of administration and the dose given depended on the severity of the clinical state, but it was always intravenously or intramuscularly.   According to Dr. K, the results were dramatic.  The statistics demon-strated clearly how Dr. K. was able to dramatically reduce the infant death rate during the period from December 1967 to November 1975.  After this time, he left the area in Australia where he had been stationed for some 15 years.

With such a result one would expect other doctors to sit up and take notice.   However, Dr. K. was shocked to find that the reverse occurred.  Doctors and authorities, (and later various SIDS organizations), not only ignored his work but became extremely hostile!   Several times he was able to demonstrate to colleagues the dramatic reversal of the shock or unconscious stage.  Yet, according to Dr. K., they remained hostile.

Here is an account of the kind of behavior that confronted Dr. K during one episode while working down in the Australian outback.  It is from one of his recent writings on the subject:

 “This hostility reached an extreme state one time when twins were admitted to the hospital in a desperately neglected, malnourished and dehydrated state.  I lived next door to the hospital.  There were three phone lines between my place and the hospital.  The twins were admitted (from memory) about 10.00pm at night.  Nobody informed me about their admission.  I saw them when I did routine rounds next day at 10.00am.  When I stated that I was going to resuscitate them by administering intravenous fluids the nurses tried to talk me out of doing this. When I insisted that I would they all walked out, leaving me alone to find the instruments and equipment and resuscitate them. They did survive.”

About six years ago, triplets from Westchester County were the subject of a cover story in the New York Daily News:  Apparently all three stopped breathing at the same time while in their pediatrician’s office.  I contacted the mother the next day and she confirmed (as I had suspect-ed) that they all had just ‘mild colds’ and all three had recently been vaccinated (a fact that I also suspected).  Obviously I recommended a modest quantity of vitamin C and caution with regards to future vaccinations, especially during a ‘trivial’ cold, to prevent any future occurrences (or ‘near death’).

The attitude that doctors have with regards to nutritional interventions and prevention of a variety of health problems, (including SIDS), is disturbing to say the least.  Here’s how Dr. K. explains his experience:

“What makes otherwise sane people do something like this? I can only assume that there was a large degree of hostility because of jealousy – something gets into individuals and changes their entire psychology. They become twisted in such a way that normal human responses are impossible. It is necessary for me to stress this event so that others can understand why it is that my work has been ignored.”

“But worse was to come. I observed that in some circum-stances, particularly when infants had even a mild illness that sudden collapse (shock or unconsciousness or sudden death) could occur after the routine administration of a vaccine of any type. Immediately authorities rushed to deny that such a thing happens or if it does it is so rare that it can be ignored because of the overpowering benefit of the vaccines to others.”

“Now I am not going to state here that vaccines should not be administered – that is too complex a topic for simple consideration. But I am going to say that serious reactions to vaccines, particularly the crude form of whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine that is used in Australia, are far more common than authorities would have us believe. More important this gives us an important clue that leads to an understanding of the SIDS.”

     In susceptible infants, any factor that leads to the depletion of vitamin C in the blood can lead to SIDS.  Such things as infection, stress or vaccinations all can lead to sudden unconsciousness or sudden shock and death.  The SIDS is not a clearly defined condition.  It must be considered as a multi-factorial end to a complex picture.  A child with low vitamin C status will have a poorer immune response and, likely a greater likelihood of succumbing to SIDS.   Thus, vitamin C plays a very important, indeed a critical role that should not be ignored.

      Back in June of 2001, there was a major newspaper report that smoking was strongly linked to SIDS!  So what?  Smoking (including second hand smoke), depletes blood levels of vita-min C and therefore, if a drop in blood level of vitamin C causes or increases the likelihood of a SIDS event, then a link between smoking and SIDS would not be surprising, but expected!  

      Back in 1980, I wrote a paper in college discussing the importance of breast feeding—especially in reference to the prevention of a ‘SIDS’ child.  It is very important that a mother nurse her infant.  Of course, it’s also important that the nursing mother consumes adequate amounts of (vitamin C rich) fruits, vegetables and/or supplements.   Still, nursing a child can NOT prevent a “SIDS” death if such a child is sleeping on a dangerous mattress!  (For more on this subject, see Part II in the next month’s issue.)

And as far as this writer and Dr. K (of Australia) is concerned the problem is ninety percent solved.  If other doctors prefer to think otherwise we will continue to see many more unnecessary deaths.   Thus it is important to recognize that most research projects now in progress only cloud the issue without solving it.

Still, there is another direction that research has taken on the SIDS front and this aspect of SIDS research needs to be considered before leaving the subject.  That vitamin C is still ‘relevant’ to reversing/preventing SIDS with this second cause will become clear in Part II

Before World War II, sudden infant deaths were very uncommon.  After 1948, the governments of nearly all the rich industrialized countries required treatment of baby and child mattresses with flame retardant chemicals.  The most common chemicals used were phosphorus and antimony.  In addition, arsenic was sometimes added as a preservative.

Since the use of these flame-retardant chemicals, the American SIDS death rate ballooned from barely on the radar screen  before World War II to about 10,000 per year by 1980!  It has since declined to about 7,000 per year in the year 2000.  IT SHOULD BE ZERO DEATHS!  Part of the reason for the decline may be a forty percent reduction in cigarette smoking in households across the nation (with and without children), improved diets and the greater use of vitamin C supplements.


Before World War II, sudden infant deaths were very uncommon.  After 1948, the governments of nearly all the rich industrialized countries required treatment of baby and child mattresses with flame- retardant chemicals. 


When the chemicals added to these flame retardant mattresses are heated by body heat (or a fire!), extremely poisonous gases are released.   In most households is a common, ordinarily harmless household fungi known as Scopulariopsis brevicaulis.  This fungi and other microorganisms consume the phosphorus, arsenic and antimony, (added as fire retardants and plastic softeners) during their normal metabolic processes.   As they consume these chemicals, the fungi emit the heavier-than-air gases based on phosphine (PH3), arsine (AsH3) and stibine (SbH3). These highly toxic gases are about one thousand times more poisonous than carbon monoxide, which kills many innocent people from faulty furnaces to a car inadvertently left running in a closed garage.  One of the most toxic gases known is called Sarin.  (In the Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Compounds, 1994 Ed. it’s amongst the most toxic compounds known—rated ‘6.0’ on a scale of 1-6…mercury is 5.0, fluoride is 4.5 and lead is 4.0).  The chemicals produced in these flame-retardant mattresses are about as toxic as sarin!  This is the same chemical used by Iraq against the Kurds and by the criminal during the 1995 Tokyo terrorist subway attack.

Sadly, approximately one million babies have died ‘suddenly’, worldwide as a result of exposure to these toxic gases!   The toxic gas are produced as the baby warms these chemicals.  Perspiration, dribble, urine and a high pH enable the fungi to grow and quickly generate the toxic gases.   Also, if there is any antimony in the mattress, this can be converted to stibine, which is toxic enough to kill a baby!   Breathed for an extended time even in minute quantities, these nearly odor-less gases can interrupt nervous impulses from the brain to the heart and lungs.   This is what shuts down the central nervous system, stops heart function and causes breathing to stop.



It is true that most of these gases quickly dissipate away from an infant child. But if enough gas accumulates to a fatal dose, the parents know nothing of it until their terrible discovery, typically the next morning.  Now the parents suffer from enormous ‘guilt’ reactions with unbelievable negative consequences.  The truth is the parents did NOTHING wrong!

To prevent crib death, an appropriate gas-impermeable barrier is needed between mattress and baby.  An inexpensive slip-on mattress cover called BabeSafe® — invented by New Zealander T.J. Sprott, PhD — came to market in New Zealand in 1996.  Among one hundred thousand or so babies sleeping on this/these product(s) there and elsewhere, not one crib death has been reported.  An equally successful alternative is to wrap the entire mattress using thick, clear polyethylene plastic; see instructions with supply details at the end of this document.

Until a safe protective cover is used, (such as BabeSafe®), or when its use might not be feasible, mothers can reduce (but not eliminate) the risk of SIDS by elevating the head end of the crib an inch or two.  Doing this will allow these heavier than air toxic gases to flow to the foot end — and dissipate away to the floor.   In addition, consumption of adequate amounts of vita-min C (see last issue), will dramatically reduce and perhaps eliminate SIDS.   A rolled towel prevents the baby from sliding.   Accor-ding to an informal test reported in the 1960s by an Ameri-can metropolitan newspaper, that procedure prevented any crib deaths.  The result, mysterious at the time, is now readily explained by the research on toxic fungi.   Also, it is important to ensure that your baby sleeps face up.   A bassinet or crib with solid sides would trap dangerous gases (in an unprotected mattress), and therefore, should be avoided.


A Little History on Gases Produced by Toxic Fungi


That various household fungi can produce various toxic gases called arsines, has been known for over a hundred years.   Although thousands of children were killed by this gas in Europe throughout the 19th century, it was not until 1892 that an Italian Chemist discovered its cause.   Nearly a century later, a Dr. Sprott proposed a toxic gas explanation for SIDS in 1986.  In 1989, Mr. Barry A. Richardson, a widely published British consulting scientist and expert in materials degradation inde-pendently came to the same conclusion, and then further refined and elaborated the connection to crib death in the early 1990s.  Dr. Sprott’s 1996 book, The Cot Death Cover-up? provides a clear explanation on how toxic gases can and do cause SIDS.


Other factors that lend support to the link between toxic gases and SIDS include the following facts:


  1. In 1989, a British researcher, Peter Mitchell, found that the risk of SIDS doubled from a mother’s first baby to her second and doubles again from the second to the third baby. Others had noticed this factor, but couldn’t explain higher SIDS risk among a mother’s later babies.   The toxic gas explanation explains it perfectly since fungal spores esta-blished during prior use will multiply in those mattress—most likely in poor families, that are re-used from one child to the next.  Poorer mothers can’t afford new mattresses so they simply re-use the ones they have.  If SIDS researchers were honestly looking at ALL possibly causes of SIDS, they wouldn’t ignore the toxic gas cause of SIDS, that’s for sure!


  1. In Taiwan from 1988 to 1992, babies born second to fourth were 70 percent more likely to die of SIDS than the first; risk for fifth or later babies was up 130 percent. Not knowing about toxic gases and their link to SIDS, the researchers did not understand their findings.  Yet, the toxic gas hypothesis explains these statistics just fine.  Unfortunately, SIDS organizations in the United States and Canada have NOT investigated the link between toxic gases and SIDS and, therefore, do NOT have these statistics available.

The two discoveries, (1) One hundred percent protection by BabeSafe® and (2) the doubled, then quadrupled risk in subsequent babies, appear to destroy theories blaming SIDS on other causes.  Still, the link between vaccinations and SIDS should not be discounted for the following reason: Vaccinations can dramatically reduce a child’s blood levels of ascorbic acid.  Ascorbic acid can neutralize the alkaline gases that are produced by the toxic fungi, thereby, saving a child’s life.  Therefore, even though vaccinations may not be a direct cause of SIDS, in a susceptible child, it can contribute to their untimely/unexpected death.  It is no wonder that vaccinations are strongly associated with SIDS.  What critics call a ‘temporal association,’ may be more than that!


A mattress developed in New Zealand that is not treated with dangerous flame-retardant chemicals has been used by over 100,000 children.  These ‘BabySafe’ mattresses have been used with no child death (on any such mattresses used).


The toxic gas hypothesis explains why having child sleep face-up, reduces their risk of dying  These gases are heavier than air and the closer a child’s mouth is to their mattress, the greater would be their exposure to these dangerous gases.  Toxic gas output from infants’ mattresses declined rapidly in Britain after Mr. Richardson publicized his hypothesis in June 1989, and again in December 1994 after he and Dr. Sprott dramatized the problem in “The Cook Report,” a highly-rated program on BBC television.   Parents bought new mattresses that lacked the potential for toxic gas creation, or properly wrapped old ones.   Manufacturers quietly began to remove the chemicals, which fire safety regulations had required.   Before that, the SIDS rate in Britain had been rising; it had reached a tragic new peak in 1986-88 when more phosphorus was added to baby mattresses.   It fell for the first time immediately after Richardson’s 1989 announcement.

The ongoing, first-ever decline in Britain’s SIDS rate accelerated in December 1991, after “Back-to-Sleep” publicity urged parents to put babies to sleep face up.  The toxic gas hypothesis explains the nearly worldwide drop in crib deaths, which followed that campaign.  Incidentally, New Zealand was the first country to make face-up sleeping a national program, after research there proved its effectiveness.

Recent research, presented for the first time at the SIDS 2000 conference (Auckland, New Zealand, February 2000) by professor Bill Cullen from University of British Columbia, proved the generation of an arsine from sheepskins containing arsenic.  The sheepskins tested were provided to Dr. Cullen by Dr. Sprott, who had obtained them from parents who had lost to SIDS babies sleeping on the very same sheepskins.

There’s much more to this topic, but hopefully, this material has convinced you that no child needs to die from SIDS.

For further reading, go to: (1) www.babysake.com, (2) www.criblife2000.com or call:  David D. Davis, MD at (800) 951 9255 or (970) 926-5316; E-mail: drd@criblife2000.com

Also, call Smart Publications at (800) 976-2783 or (707) 769-8308 for  The Infant Survival Guide: Protecting Your Baby from the Dangers of Crib Death, Vaccines and Other Environmental Hazards, by Lendon H. Smith, MD, with Joseph G. Hattersley, MA or on the Internet, go to Amazon.com.

(1) Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients Aug/Sept, 2000.

(2)  See Every Second Child by Dr. Archie Kalokeronis, M.D., 1981.

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