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The supplement crack-down has crossed the Atlantic

Friday, October 28, 2011

This is from an e-mail health newsletter that originates in the UK where supplements have already been regulated.
I'm posting the article by request, and am unable to provide a link to the source because it was received via e-mail.
If you take vitamin and/or herbal supplements, or use natural "medicinal" preparations, you should act as soon as possible to keep them unregulated and available to the general public.

When the article mentions the link to contact your elected officials, use this one here:
There are links at the bottom to send an automated e-mail to your local politicians (just in case you're phone shy), and a direct link to a brief, informative article about Sen. Durbin's bill.

Here's a slightly edited version of the e-mail:
We've seen it happen in the UK and the rest of Europe, and now it appears these draconian measures are crossing the Atlantic... nutritional supplements are under siege!
This alert is extremely important, especially for our US readers. So, I'm asking you, before I start, to forward this email to everyone you know (especially any friends you have in the US), after you've finished reading it.

Let's look at some key facts first:

Pathogens like E. coli in food kill at least 2,000 people each year.
Acetaminophen in drugs like Tylenol kills 450 people every year.
The prescription drug Vioxx likely killed over 26,000 people before the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally took it off the market!

Statistically supplements are much safer than prescription drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, and even food! Unlike pharmaceuticals, according to the US Poison Control Centres, there were zero deaths due to supplements in 2008. In 2009, there was one. Need I add that millions of people have benefitted from taking supplements? They've found relief from joint pain... protected their hearts and arteries... boosted their memory... and much more. Most supplements are also side-effect free.

Despite their impeccable safety record, the FDA has issued new rules called The New Dietary Ingredients. These stringent regulations will see to it that some of the most effective nutrients, like resveratrol, CoQ10 ubiquinol... bacopa... strontium... and many more, will be pulled from the market... supplements and natural remedies will be regulated and tested like they were pharmaceuticals!

In the early 1990s, the FDA tried a similar stunt. In a massive revolt, alarmed consumers managed to stop the FDA's bullying and the US Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) a law that protected supplements from the FDA unless they could prove a supplement wasn't safe. For 17 years, the FDA took no action, gave no guidance, and launched no enforcement. The dietary supplement industry was safe and flourished, and came forward with tremendous innovations.

BUT... and there's always a but... There was a loophole in the DSHEA: The FDA still had the authority to regulate new ingredients introduced after 15 October 1994... Now, the time has come for the FDA to hit back with a vengeance... After 17 years of doing nothing!

Under the proposed guidelines, the FDA can define almost anything as a "new" dietary ingredient. For example:

Let's say a supplement includes more of an ingredient than was used 17 years ago even something like vitamin C it's "new."
If an ingredient uses a different extraction process like baking or fermentation it's "new."
If a supplement uses an ingredient at a different "life stage" such as using ripe rather than non-ripe apples it's "new."

The list of ludicrous regulations goes on and on... If a supplement is regarded as a "new" ingredient, manufacturers will have to remove it from store shelves until they can prove the ingredients are safe even if those ingredients have been used safely for the past 17 years!

This is nothing short of a blatant and vindictive abuse of power! Not only is the FDA making it near impossible for manufactures to comply with these regulations, but it's also an underhand tactic to slowly suffocate the supplement industry.

Firstly, the cost of a one year study (a requirement under the new rules), comes to round about $100,000-$200,000 per study, per ingredient a product with six ingredients will effectively cost $3.6 and $7.2 million to test. Secondly, many companies would have to conduct animal studies using a dosage that's 1,000 times the typical dose... to prove that it's safe! So, animals will be force-fed the human equivalent of 240,000 milligrams of a particular ingredient each and every day. This will almost certainly harm them. Voila! The FDA would then have their reason to outlaw the product... If only dangerous and side-effect ridden drugs like statins were tested under the same guidelines, the world would be a much safer and better place!

These measures mean that most of the nutrients you buy today will be pulled from the market and never return. Those that do return will be a lot more expensive or may only be available as prescription drugs!

The FDA is clearly following suit with what has happened across Europe. In April 2011, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) implemented the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD). The THMPD is similar to the New Dietary Ingredients and has had a massive impact on the supplement industry. Our health food stores are running empty over here and when you eventually manage to lay your hands on a high quality supplement, it costs an arm and a leg.

But there is still hope for the US. The FDA's proposed guidelines have not yet been finalized. The public still has the opportunity to comment on this draft before it is made final. In this case, the public has until December 1st to comment on the draft. It's a small window of opportunity but you can still voice your disapproval.

I'll repeat that date: 1 December 2011!

The best way to defeat the New Dietary Ingredients is to talk to the people you've elected your congressman and your two US senators. They have the power to reign in the FDA and they have done so in the past when enough voters complained. So, make your voice heard.

Here's what you need to do:

Go to the website [the link is above] and look up the phone numbers of your US Senators and your Representative (congressman). Then give them a call... here's some pointers of what to say:

Hello, my name is [name] and I am a constituent of [name of Senator or Representative].

I am very concerned about the new FDA draft guidance on dietary supplements and new dietary ingredients.

Feel free to tell them about the supplements you take and/or the benefits you get from those supplements. Then feel free to make as many of the following points as you like:

1. Supplements have an unrivaled safety record. Statistics show they're safer than drugs, safer than medical devices, safer than cosmetics, and even safer than food.

2. The FDA cannot define New Dietary Ingredients so broadly. According to these guidelines, almost everything is a New Dietary Ingredient. This will strangle innovation and deprive consumers of the supplements they depend on for their health.

3. The FDA did nothing about new dietary ingredients for 17 years. Now they want to wipe out 17 years' worth of innovation and 17 years' worth of benefits to the consumer.

4. When the Dietary Health Supplement Education Act was passed, Congress intended a simple notification process for new dietary ingredients. The FDA is turning this into a pre-approval scheme, which goes against the intent of the law.

5. The FDA already has ample regulatory authority to take action against a product if it's unsafe. They don't need to have this pre-approval power, too.

6. These could be disastrous to public health. At a time when preventative measures are even more important to health care costs, the FDA is limiting access to preventative health care.

7. The cost of complying with these guidelines would be astronomical. Experts estimate that the studies required would cost between $100,000 and $200,000 per ingredient notification. That adds up to millions of dollars per supplement company. Smaller companies would not be able to afford this and would go out of business.

The economy is already hurting and we have high unemployment. Experts estimate that this could cost the economy tens of billions of dollars and result in the loss of tens of thousands of jobs.

8. The government's resources are already stretched. We have record budget deficits and record debt. Why enact more regulations when there are no safety issues here?

I request that Congress direct the FDA to carefully review their draft guidance. If they do not amend the guidance to reflect my concerns, I request that Congress call hearings at the end of the review process. I also call on Congress to write legislation that would "grandfather" all supplements currently on the market.

Thank you for your time.

Remember, the job of those answering the phone is to listen politely and to relay what you say to their boss. So please do call. Don't be shy.

After the phone call, send a letter to your senators and reps, making the same points. Make sure the letter is in your own words (form letters tend not to work as well). You can find the e-mail and physical addresses at the same website.

Then send the same letter to President Obama. (His address and phone number are on the website, too.)

Here is a direct link to an article from Alliance for Natural Health that explains Sen Durbin's bill:

Which has a link in the first paragraph to send an automated e-mail to your local politicians.
A direct link to the automated e-mail is here:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GEMINIAN1 11/15/2011 5:14PM

    "This is nothing short of a blatant and vindictive abuse of power!"

Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.

I'm not happy to hear about the animal testing ... :-(
emoticonfor posting this newsletter.
I hope that you're going good ... :-)

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BOHEMIANCAT 10/30/2011 10:43AM

    They are getting closer it seems. The FDA has tried this before and must have won over Durbin.
Thanks for the information and I will send it out.

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EJHEINRICH1 10/29/2011 11:41PM

    Thanks Kurt! Great Blog and super information to spread around.

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DJ4HEALTH 10/29/2011 11:33PM

    Thank you for the info but the bottom link does not work.

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JULIAMOONCHILD 10/28/2011 8:52PM

    Thanks Kurt for this info! This is definitely something that is worth fighting for - Well, actually, "something worth fighting against", and I am a fighter when it comes to my natural remedies.

It truly makes me want to scream, as I do not use ANY type of prescription drugs and find nearly all of my remedies through the very things that could soon be under FDA assault. In the past, my regard for the FDA, at best, would have been described in a language that would not be suitable for a comment here at SP. Today my regard for them has lowered.

On another note - GOOD TO SEE YA!

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Healthful Alternatives to Combat Prostrate Cancer -- Part 3

Thursday, February 24, 2011

This is Part 3 of three parts. The following information is from an NHD Health Watch article by Ian Robinson (received via e-mail) --

PSA screenings do not effectively test for prostate cancer. But that doesn't mean you can stop worrying about prostate cancer. In fact, it means you are entirely responsible for your own health. That's a scary idea. But it doesn't have to be. Knowing how to prevent prostate cancer is more empowering than a medical test.

...This is your wake up call to change your lifestyle and your diet....

Here are 10 foods that can significantly cut a man's risk of prostate cancer:

Tomatoes: This red fruit is a rich source of lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant. Studies show that antioxidants protect against prostate cancer. The National Prostate Cancer Foundation recognizes its protective power and recommends that men stock up on lycopene-rich foods.

Green Tea: Study after study shows the health benefits of drinking green tea. Now two recent studies show that green tea also delivers a powerful protective punch against prostate cancer. So brew up a cup and toast to good health.

Cruciferous Vegetables: You probably won't be surprised that super-food broccoli battles prostate cancer. It's not alone: other cruciferous vegetables include cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, and Brussels sprouts. Three or more servings per week may reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 50 percent.

Garlic: The ancient Egyptians believed Garlic could prevent brain tumors. More recent studies suggest it cuts the risk of prostate cancer tumors by over half. That's possibly because it contains selenium. Selenium is an essential antioxidant that fights cancer. According to Dr. Al Sears, studies show selenium supplements lead to a 50-percent drop in prostate cancer risk.

Brazil Nuts: Another great source of selenium. A daily handful of Brazil nuts offers enough selenium to lower your risk by 50 percent.

Fish: Dr. Al Sears has also conducted exciting research on combining vitamin E with selenium. The two taken together forge an effective shield against prostate cancer. Vitamin E is found in significant quantities in fish. Best sources: Sardines, tuna, and salmon.

Flaxseeds: Flaxseeds are another rich source of vitamin E. Research conducted on mice shows that flaxseeds may slow the spread of prostate cancer.

Pomegranate Juice: Pomegranate juice also slows the growth of prostate cancer, according to research on mice.

Scallions: One study showed that eating just a tenth of an ounce of scallions each day reduces the risk of prostate cancer by 70 percent.

In addition to vitamin E and selenium, the herbal supplement saw palmetto also boosts prostate health. Saw palmetto alleviates the symptoms of prostate gland enlargement.
The herbal extract is the initial treatment for urinary tract problems in several European countries.
[NOTE: Saw Palmetto reportedly lowers testosterone, which goes against the recommendation to increase testosterone levels, which was mentioned in Part 1.]

There's plenty more research about prostate disease. And how you can keep your prostate healthy. Did you know that a hormone your own body produces may be the key to protecting your prostate?
[NOTE: The free e-mail newsletter stops there -- the premium members get more info. However, I'm sure the info can be Googled.]

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMMERJESSE 2/28/2011 4:46PM

    You always have such informational blogs. Thanks so much.

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    Kurt, this 3-part blog has been really fascinating. Thank you for passing it on. I am going to copy this and keep it in my files. Hopefully, I can hand it out to anyone who might express concern for this particular ailment.

Comment edited on: 2/24/2011 1:17:08 PM

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The Truth About Prostate Cancer Detection -- Part 2

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

This is Part 2 of three parts (the third part will discuss healthful alternatives).
The information in quotes has been condensed from an NHD Health Watch article by Ian Robinson (received via e-mail) --

PSA Screenings: a Money-Making Scam
"...prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screenings [are] more about making money than your health ... And most of the players in the medical community know it. The feds know it. The American Cancer Society knows it. Even the guy who discovered PSAs knows it. In fact, the only group that doesn't know it is the public, who's out there blindly taking the tests!"

"Simply put: PSA testing can't detect cancer; it can't even distinguish between malignant and benign prostate cancers. ...[but] it's become a big money-making industry; generating $3 billion per year."

"What Is PSA Screening?
PSA is a protein created by the prostate gland. It is found in small amounts in the blood of healthy men. Men with prostate cancer may show elevated levels. However, so too do men with benign prostate enlargement."
"The PSA test was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1994. It is now the most popular tool for detecting prostate cancer."

"But do PSA screenings save lives? The answer is a resounding 'no.' Most statistics suggest they don't even lengthen life. In fact, many experts suggest they don't make any difference at all."

"Supporters argue that PSA screenings allow for early detection of prostate cancer. ...However, in the case of prostate cancer, early detection does not necessarily save lives. Why? Because most prostate cancers are slow growing: those 'survivors' would likely have enjoyed the same lifespan with or without treatment."

"The man who discovered PSA is Dr. Richard J. Ablin. He recently spoke out against PSA screenings."

"'American men have a 16 percent lifetime chance of receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer, but only a three percent chance of dying from it,' he said. 'That's because the majority of prostate cancers grow slowly. In other words, men lucky enough to reach old age are much more likely to die with prostate cancer than to die of it.'"

"This theory was supported by a wide-ranging study published in 2008. The study revealed that screening did not reduce the death rate in men 55 and over. In other words, early detection usually offers little benefit. What's worse, it can lead to unnecessary personal harm."

"According to Dr. Ablin, PSA screenings 'can't detect cancer.' They only diagnose how much prostate antigen men have in their blood. However, ...Everyday factors can significantly affect those levels."

"Three common factors that elevate men's PSA levels include:
-- Infections
-- Over-the-counter drugs
-- Benign swelling of the prostate"

"A man with high levels of PSA does not necessarily have cancer...And the reverse is also true. Men with low levels may have prostate cancer."

"Dr. Ablin is not alone in speaking out against the tests. Dr. Otis W. Bramley, MD [the chief medical officer for the Cancer Society], also opposes them...."
"'I'm against telling people that [PSA testing] works,' said Dr. Bramley. 'That it saves lives when the evidence that supports those statements simply does not exist.'"

"An in-depth study published by the British Medical Journal last year provided further testimony that PSA screenings are flawed. The study was led by Jennifer Stark, research fellow at Harvard School of Public Health, Boston."
"'PSA cannot differentiate between indolent and lethal prostate cancer,' said Stark. 'Before PSA testing is performed, men should be... informed that the test cannot tell whether they have a life-threatening cancer.'"

"PSA screenings immediately impact the patient in a negative way. [including] adverse psychological effects, [and] financial expense. ...False readings leading to unnecessary biopsies. ...A positive PSA test starts the ball rolling on a painful and often unnecessary personal nightmare."

"Having tested positive, the doctor then calls for a biopsy. ...Biopsies are associated with many negative consequences, including: psychological stress, pain, and fever.
If the biopsy shows any signs of cancer, the doctor then pushes for treatment. Treatment options include anything from prostate surgery to radiation therapy. The conventional treatments may vary, but the results are all damaging."

"Three damaging side effects of prostate surgery or radiation therapy include:
-- Depression
-- Urinary incontinence
-- Erectile dysfunction"

"Now consider this: 70 percent of diagnosed men have cancers that will cause them no harm whatsoever if left untreated."

"A European study revealed further shocking findings in 2009. ...'People who were never going to get a dangerous cancer get treated and suffer the ill effects of needless treatment,' said study co-author Dr. H. Gilbert Welch. ...The study showed that just one out of almost 50 men would be saved through PSA screenings. The other 49 men would receive surgery with no benefit whatsoever. What's worse, they'd suffer impotence or incontinence because of the treatments."

"Alternatively, men who chose to practice 'watchful waiting' often lived out their lives unimpaired ... according to research presented by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. The study was conducted by Dr. Martin Sanda."

"'Men diagnosed with low-risk tumors who deferred treatment were still doing fine an average of eight years - and up to 20 years - following their diagnosis,' said Dr. Sanda."

"Study after study is discrediting PSA screenings. ...Earlier this year the American Cancer Society urged greater caution using PSA screenings. The American College of Preventive Medicine refuses to recommend routine screening. Even the Preventive Services Task Force, a federal panel evaluating screenings, ...recommended against screenings for men 75 years and older. The panel has yet to issue guidance for younger men."

"The industry experts and organizations know the truth. So why are 30 million men still taking the screenings?
...The answer is simple: because there are huge profits to be made out of screenings. PSA testing is a long-established source of revenue. Drug companies push the tests. ..."
"'Several of the leading prostate cancer survivor organizations that do a lot of the pushing of screening are funded by the makers of the PSA screening kits,' said Dr. Brawley."

"Likewise, the man who discovered PSA knows that PSA screenings are a money-making scam."
"'I never dreamed that my discovery four decades ago would lead to such a profit-driven public health disaster,' said Dr. Ablin. 'The medical community must confront reality and stop the inappropriate use of PSA screening. Doing so would save billions of dollars and rescue millions of men from unnecessary, debilitating treatments.'"

Part 3 will have healthful alternatives for those who wish to avoid drugs and conventional medical procedures.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROCKNSULTAN 8/1/2011 11:19AM

    My PSA level was at 31. After a month of antibiotics, it reduced to 30.4. Had a biopsy that shows a Gleason rating of 3+4=7. Doc says next stop is surgery or radiation. I'm 67 years old. After reading your blog, I'm very confused about what to do. I've talked to several friends whose advise is all over the map. This has had a psychological affect on me and my wife. If I don't have treatment, I worry. If I have treatment, my quality of life is reduced. Just venting here.

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DJ4HEALTH 2/26/2011 12:04AM

    Did you know that they can also find that same protein in pregnant woman and they don't have a prostate. So the real question is what are they really finding that men and pregnant woman have that shows up in that test?

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New Approach to Prostate Cancer Treatment -- Part 1

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The information in quotes has been condensed from an article by Ian Robinson of "Natural Health Dossier Health Watch" (via e-mail):

"...most doctors believe that elevated testosterone levels cause prostate cancer cells to grow. ...But emerging research says the exact opposite is true. ... In fact, higher levels can actually reverse the growth of cancer cells. ..."

"The study comes from Dr. Abraham Morgantaler...a Clinical Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School...And a practicing urologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. During his career he also founded Men's Health Boston. Which focuses on male sexual health."

"Dr. Morgentaler has just ... unveiled [his findings] to the American Urology Association (AUA) in San Francisco. His peers are now calling him a 'visionary.' ...he says his theory is simple logic. ...Prostate cancer is an older man's problem. And younger men have much more testosterone than older men."

"'Prostate cancer becomes prevalent exactly at the time of a man's life when testosterone levels decline,' says Dr. Morgentaler. ...[Therefore] too little testosterone is the problem."

"Dr. Morgentaler's breakthrough began in 2004. ... an 84-year-old man came in with untreated prostate cancer. Doctor and patient began talking about [the doctor's theory]. ...By the end of the conversation, his patient ... asked to be treated with testosterone. So together they began testing out the treatment."

"They couldn't believe the results. Dr. Morgentaler watched his 'special' patient closely over two years. And during that time his PSA levels declined. More and more each month. The cancer stopped growing. In fact, it went into remission..."

"Eager to get the word out there, Dr. Morgentaler wrote up his findings in the Harvard Medical Gazette. ...There was still plenty of resistance to his radical approach. But that didn't stop Dr. Morgentaler. And even though it's taken another seven years... his peers are beginning to support his findings."

The newsletter has promised a Part 2.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Wow! A very interesting read. I will read the other parts, as well.

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MRRON46 2/23/2011 5:58AM

    This is very interesting, thanks for posting it.

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Fructose Fuels Cancer Cells

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The following information in quotes was condensed from Dr. Jonathan V. Wright's Nutrition & Healing e-mail newsletter:

"...fructose is more or less the absolute favourite food of cancer cells. ,,,"
"It's...gobbled up by countless people in large amounts by in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFC). ..."
"US researchers at the University of California Los Angeles found that pancreatic cancer cells use fructose to divide and multiply. It's basically a superfood for cancer cells..."
"Cancer cells use fructose and glucose in two different ways. They can live off regular sugar (glucose), but fructose is what fuels their division."
"The research team responsible for this work now hopes to develop a drug that can stop cancer cells from using fructose."
"Is it just me, or does that sound totally insane? How about we just stick with getting rid of the stuff?..."

In addition:
HFC isn't the only dangerous sweetener in commercial products.
If you're unaware of the dangers of artificial sweeteners, there is a "No Artificial Sweeteners!" team here at SparkPeople, run by Carols_Journey.
The team messageboard is actually a library of information arranged in categories.
If you're already aware of the dangers, you can join the team just to display the No Artificial Sweeteners logo on your SparkPage so others will get the message.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BILBY4 2/17/2011 4:25AM

    Refined sugar in general is nasty. There's nothing particularly 'natural' about sucrose in its isolated form. This article is a great resource for the 'why' of added sugar being bad for you. HFCS is certainly part of the problem (though less of a problem in Australia because we don't have a massive corn industry propped up by massive government subsidies):
Dr. Martin classified refined sugar as a poison because it has been depleted of its life forces, vitamins and minerals. "What is left consists of pure, refined carbohydrates. The body cannot utilize this refined starch and carbohydrate unless the depleted proteins, vitamins and minerals are present. Nature supplies these elements in each plant in quantities sufficient to metabolize the carbohydrate in that particular plant. There is no excess for other added carbohydrates. Incomplete carbohydrate metabolism results in the formation of 'toxic metabolite' such as pyruvic acid and abnormal sugars containing five carbon atoms. Pyruvic acid accumulates in the brain and nervous system and the abnormal sugars in the red blood cells. These toxic metabolites interfere with the respiration of the cells. They cannot get sufficient oxygen to survive and function normally. In time, some of the cells die. This interferes with the function of a part of the body and is the beginning of degenerative disease."

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DJ4HEALTH 2/16/2011 11:04PM

    Wish I could get my husband to stop using them, emoticon

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KARIRDH3 2/16/2011 9:23PM

    WOW! Thanks for sharing that information!!! (Kinda scary...)

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