CM critics should welcome evidence: Gibson


spoonful of vitamins

Critics of complementary medicine should welcome evidence to support its use when supplied, Carl Gibson of the Complementary Medicines Association has told the AJP.

Gibson, the CEO of CMA, was responding to comments in and responding to an article on ajp.com.au where Dr Ken Harvey, a member of Friends in Science in Medicine, challenged the CM industry to provide evidence on its products.

“The industry agrees that multivitamins and supplements should be used in combination with a good diet and exercise,” Gibson told the AJP.

“However, just last month the Australian Bureau of Statistics released figures showing that the typical Australian does not take sufficient dietary nutrition from the five main food groups.”

Gibson says that the ABS report on Australia’s eating habits showed that the typical Australian is eating plenty of food but is still starving of quality nutrients.

“Based on self-reporting just 6.8% of the population met the recommended intake of vegetables and just over half at 54% met the recommendations for serves of fruit.

“The dire lack of adequate dietary intake in Australia, the benefits of good nutrition, and the low risk of multivitamins are facts that can’t be refuted.

“The mere fact that supplements raise nutritional status and even better, confer other benefits such as reduced cancer incidence are good reasons for their use, in the absence of an adequate diet.

“Ken Harvey calls for evidence, but then when its provided – he dismisses it out of hand, as “just one study in a crowded field”… efficacy of supplements was backed-up by the 2012 Physicians’ Health Study II, which showed a statistically significant 8% reduction in total cancer incidence in male physicians.

“This wasn’t just some other study this was the largest randomised trial of a multivitamins,” Gibson says.

“Ken Harvey should welcome the research by highly respected nutrition researchers Gaziano JM, Sesso HD, Christen WG, Bubes V, Smith JP, MacFadyen J, whom highlight the role that multivitamins can play in improving general health and decreasing the risk of chronic disease.”

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