Churnalism. Don’t you just love it? The repetition of self-serving claims from press releases into press as if they were facts. Wikipedia calls this “fact-washing”.
WDDTY said they would not do this. It’s as true as their principled statement that they would never take paid advertising.
So it’s no surprise to see a tweet from WDDTY:
We know WDDTY well enough by now to be able to read the subtext. A new supplement (i.e. made by the whiter-than-snow big-pharma-suppressed all-natural supplement world) is superior to the current drugs.
And this is clear too in the story they link:
A new nutritional supplement is better than calcium and vitamin D for protecting the bones in older women, a new study has concluded.
There you have it: the supplement is better than the drug calcium and vitamin D. Except – wait – that’s a supplement too isn’t it? How can this be? Ah yes: calcium and vitamin D, usually branded Adcal or Calcichew, is made by big pharma.
KoACT is a calcium-collagen chelate—which means the two compounds are bound together—that prevents bone loss, and so reduces the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
Well that’s plausible enough, but it rather runs against the narrative as the calcium-collagen chelate is produced by a pharmaceutical manufacturing process; the supplement is a form that does not actually exist in nature.
It’s been tested for a year on 39 older women, who were given either KoACT or calcium and vitamin D supplements. Women in the KoACT group had a 1.23 per cent loss in bone mineral density at the end of the 12 months trial, while those taking the supplements experienced a 3.75 per cent loss.
N=39 is a very small study. The difference in bone loss could be significant, or it might not.
Researchers from Florida State University, who carried out the study, say the results are “crucial” for women, and especially for those who have reached the early stages of menopause when bone loss can be rapid.
Do they indeed? Or is it, perhaps, that these words were planted in their mouths by someone?
You know what’s coming. You will have guessed the obvious right from the outset. But I won’t spoil your pleasure yet.
KoACT website: www.koact.net
(Source: Journal of Medicinal Food, 2014; 141014082953002).
Want to see that source? You bet. The journal link is doi:10.1089/jmf.2014.0100 and it’s also summarised in Science Daily.
The Science Daily coverage is more comprehensive, giving a more neutral overview and not including claims that the results are “crucial” but instead the much more plausible:
Arjmandi acknowledged he was “pleasantly surprised” by the outcomes and hopes that the supplement will be used in the future as a way to prevent bone density loss.
And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for. There, at the bottom of Science Daily’s article is the one piece of genuinely crucial information, the essential fact omitted from WDDTY which necessarily colours any interpretation of this small, preliminary study:
Arjmandi’s study was funded by AIDP, Inc.
And AIDP Inc. is, of course, the manufacturer of the supplement.
What Doctors Don't Tell You
Why don’t doctors tell you that a calcium/collagen chelate is more effective for preventing bone loss than calcium and vitamin D?
Because the evidence to date is one rather small study funded by the manufacturer.