Globally, millions of people die each year from inadequate dietary intake of iron. In the USA tens of thousands of lives are lost annually from the same cause, which means that hundreds of thousands of lost years of life among US citizens result. Today my Supermyths blog reveals that the US Government and thousands of private sector organisations are erroneously promoting vitamin C as a miracle way for humans to absorb non heme iron from its home grown produce. This advice is wrong because the overall evidence, from the results of many properly conducted trials, is that there is a mixed bag of disconfirming and confirming research findings. In sum, evidence of the iron absorbing benefits of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in our diet is at best inconclusive.
Unfortunately, the websites promoting vitamin C in this way ignore all the disconfirming evidence.
If poor diet kills - then it seems reasonable to hypothesise that poor dietary advice from respected official sources may well be a significant cause. If so, then surely that should be a crime? We urgently need to conduct research into how officially published counterknowledge impacts behavior.