WASHINGTON, May 22, 1997 ––
A new report by the National
Defense Council Foundation finds that the federal government
could save up to $6.3 billion annually by increasing the health
of active and retired military personnel through a anti–aging
program that includes the use of vitamin supplementation.
The report, "The Aging Crisis: Does the Graying of
America Threaten National Security?" cites recent studies on
the health benefits of vitamins, in particular Vitamin E.
The report said that Vitamin E:
Improves immune system function:
"Vitamin E has been demonstrated to bring about significant
improvements in the immune system of patients over the age of 60.
In one study, the number of white blood cells increased by 10
percent to 50 percent in patients who received between 400 IU
(International Units) and 800 IU of Vitamin E supplements daily,"
the report said.
Reduces heart disease for women: "In one study
of 87,000 women, it was determined that those taking Vitamin E
regularly for two years had a 41 percent reduction in the risk of
Reduces cancer and heart disease for men::
"Another study of 40,000 men determined that those taking
Vitamin E for two years had a 37 percent reduced heart disease
risk. Low levels of Vitamin E have also been associated with
several forms of cancer in studies both in the U.S. and
The president of the National Defense Council
Foundation, Milton Copulos, author of the report,
“ Of critical importance, though, are the indications that supplements with antioxidants may be a way to significantly reduce the risk of both cancer and heart disease. Especially encouraging is the evidence that benefits will accrue at whatever point the supplementation is initiated.”
Antioxidants are compounds that protect the body from the
formation of oxygen free–radicals –– unstable
oxygen molecules that can line the interior of blood vessels,
thus restricting blood flow. The formation of
free radicals can lead to an array of diseases.
The report, presented at a Congressional seminar in
Washington, D.C., recommended supplementation of the normal diet
with a daily dosage of Vitamin E.
“ The RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for Vitamin E is currently 8 IUs to 10 IUs for adults. Many
clinicians, however, believe that the optimal dosage is on the order of 400 IUs per day. Since it would be necessary to consume two quarts of corn oil or 22 cups of peanuts per day to achieve this level, the only practical way to do so is through a supplement," the report said.
The report also recommended offering vitamin supplements to
patients free of charge.
“ Given the inexpensive nature of vitamin supplements, it
would likely be cost-effective to make them available to patients
without charge," it said.
The savings would come from the health benefits of the overall
anti–aging program, which includes improved nutrition, exercise,
tobacco and alcohol education, hormone replacement and monitoring
for specific health risks.
“ Clearly, the implementation of a program
encompassing both prevention and intervention would yield
enormous savings in near and long-term health care costs for the
(Department of Defense) Armed Forces (DOD) and the Department of
Veterans Affairs (DVA)," the report said.
The National Defense Council Foundation is a 20,000–member
non–profit research, education, and humanitarian aid
My letters to the Author & his responses
From: Frank M. Painter, D.C.
To: Milton Copulos
Subject: Re: NDCF article "The Greying of America"
Date: Tuesday, September 22, 1998 1:15 PM
I do nutritional consulting in my chiropractic practice. Chiropractors generally have a wellness/holistic approach to healthcare.
You are to be highly praised for your paper. When various communities continue to claim that supplements are not necessary, the far–sighted like yourself read the literature and support the benefit that quality, blinded, and randomized trials have demonstrated. I have personally
experienced significant health changes with minimal additions to the diet, as have many of my patients.
The paper you wrote (which I don't have a copy of) quoted a trial: "In one study of 87,000 women, it was determined that those taking Vitamin E regularly for two years had a 41
percent reduction in the risk of heart disease." Could you advise me the name and authors of that study? I hate to be a pest, but I'm just so darned good at
It is my hope that this publication(s) will become available on-line in the near future. I would love to add the link to my Nutrition section
( http://www.chiro.org/nutrition/ ), because this is such a powerful study. Is there any liklihood that it will be released on-line?
Thank you for your speedy response! Thanks again.
Your in health,
Frank M. Painter, D.C.
Check out the LINKS section @
The Chiropractic Resource Organization @
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
Subject: NDCF article "The Greying of America"
Date: Tuesday, September 22, 1998
Regarding your inquiry concerning "The Greying of America",
I am sorry to note that at this point it does not exist
online. This document is one in a series that
NDCF has produced concerning strategies to improve military
medicine. These reports cover a vareity of topics
ranging from preventative health care measures, such as the use
of nutritional supplements and vitamins to provide optimum troop
health, to new technologies for extracorporeal life support to be
used for far forward casualty sustainment.
In addition to the document to which you referred, you might also
be interested in the NDCF publication "Ensuring Troop Nutrition:
The Problem of Marginal Vitamin Deficiency". This
report, as well as the others is available in hard copy from the
I should also note that since authoring these articles, I have
changed status, and am now a professional staff member of the
House Government Reform and Oversight Committee.
Part of my area of responsibility does include issues related to
the Food and Drug Administration, so I have not totally abandoned
health care as an interest.
If you have any questions, I can be reached at (202) 226–2299,
Subject: Harvard Heart Study
Date: Tuesday, September 22, 1998
Dear Dr. Painter:
In reference to your query concerning the study I referred to, it
is the Harvard Heart Study which is comprised of approximately
87,000 nurses who have been followed for more than 20 years now.
There is also a companion study of physicians,
which, I believe includes roughly 39,000 individuals if memory
serves. These two studies have been widely quoted
–– I know that the New England Journal of Medicine is one
place they are described.
There are, of course, many other well designed, scinetifically
valid studies that have been done on other nutritional
substances, for example folic acid. One specific
nutrient that I am particularly excited about is coenzyeme Q 10,
which has had over 2,000 studies performed in Japan, ranging from
relatively small outcome studies through large–scale randomized,
double–blind clinical trials. Unfortunately, many
of the reports on these studies are unavailable in the United
States, or only exist in Japanese.
You might also want to look at the American Academy of Anti-Aging
Medicine's website at worldhealth.net. They
usuallly post recent articles and studies. Of
course, there is always medline, although getting full documents
rather than abstracts can get expensive.
As I noted earlier, it is unlikely that any of the NDCF military
medicine project reports is going to be on line soon.
They simply don't have the funding to undertake the
project at this time. Hard copies are available
for purchase through the foundation, however.
If I can be of any further assistance, you have my number and e–
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