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Health news and comment from around the world.

December 30, 2010

Research links rise in Falluja birth defects and cancers to US assault
A study examining the causes of a dramatic spike in birth defects in the Iraqi city of Falluja has for the first time concluded that genetic damage could have been caused by weaponry used in US assaults that took place six years ago. The research, which will be published next week, confirms earlier estimates revealed by the Guardian of a major, unexplained rise in cancers and chronic neural-tube, cardiac and skeletal defects in newborns. The authors found that malformations are close to 11 times higher than normal rates, and rose to unprecedented levels in the first half of this year – a period that had not been surveyed in earlier reports.
Read article in The Guardian (UK)

December 27, 2010

Lack of vitamin D at birth may increase respiratory infection risk
Here's more evidence to add to research from earlier this year that pregnant women need more vitamin D: A study led by Dr. Carlos Camargo, Jr., of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, finds that newborns with low levels of cord-blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D (a measure of overall vitamin D status) had a greater risk of respiratory infection than those who had higher levels.
Read article at cnn.com

December 21, 2010

European Commission reneges on assistance to European herbal practitioners
Pressure from European Union (EU) citizens forced a recent meeting between Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and the European Commission (EC) to discuss the impact of the EC’s directive on herbal medicines which will be fully implemented EU-wide as of 1 May 2011. Unfortunately, the meeting, held at the European Parliament on the 29th November 2010, showed how unwilling the EC is to follow through on a pledge it made back in 2008. The pledge was made in the Commission’s report (COM(2008) 584 final) on its first four years of experience with the herbal directive, known as the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive. In the report, the Commission specifically recognised that the directive was not suitable for holistic traditions, such as Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Crucially, it also indicated it would consider the feasibility of an entirely new regulatory framework for such traditions.
Read article on the Alliance for Natural Health (Europe) website
Comment: The Brussels EU “Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive,” passed in 2004, subjects natural herbal medicines to a prohibitively expensive registration procedure whereby all medicinal herbs not specifically granted a license are intended to be banned and removed from the European market. By trying to decimate the herbal sector in this way, the Brussels EU is aiming to eliminate a key threat to the financial interests of the multi-trillion dollar pharmaceutical investment business. To learn the revealing facts about the political origins of the Brussels EU, click here.

December 19, 2010

US water has large amounts of likely carcinogen: study
A US environmental group has found that drinking water in 35 American cities contains hexavalent chromium, a probable carcinogen, The Washington Post reported Sunday. The study by the Environmental Working Group -- the first nationwide analysis measuring the presence of the chemical in US water systems -- is to be made public on Monday, the daily reported. The group found hexavalent chromium in the tap water of 31 out of 35 cities sampled. Of those, 25 had levels that exceeded the goal proposed in California, which has been trying aggressively to reduce the chemical in its water supply.
Read AFP news report at yahoo.com

December 16, 2010

Global Vitamin D Maps In Development As Concern Increases Over Widespread Vitamin D Deficiency In Asia
Bone health experts attending the 1st Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting in Singapore this week have flagged vitamin D deficiency as a major concern in the region, particularly in South Asia where the problem is especially severe and widespread across the entire population. Dr. Nikhil Tandon, Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences of New Delhi, India highlighted the results of various studies which show severe deficiency across India and Pakistan in all age groups, as well as insufficiency in populations of South-East and East Asia.
Read article at medicalnewstoday.com

December 13, 2010

Children who don't like fruit and vegetables are 13 times more likely to be constipated
Primary school children who don't like eating fruit and vegetables are 13 times more likely to develop functional constipation than children who do, according to a study in the December issue of the Journal of Clinical Nursing. Drinking less than 400ml of fluid a day also significantly increases the risk.
Read article at physorg.com

December 13, 2010

Obama signs child nutrition bill, championed by the first lady
The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 is intended to provide more healthful school meals to a great number of students.
With his wife by his side, President Obama on Monday signed the child nutrition bill, strongly pushed by the first lady, who has made nutrition part of her campaign to help the young get healthy. Speaking at Harriet Tubman Elementary School, President Obama praised the bill as a rare example of bipartisan political cooperation as both parties backed the measure designed to provide better school meals to more students and to regulate those meals to make them more healthful.
Read article in the LA Times (USA)

December 13, 2010

Indian study reveals that three-quarters of hip fracture patients are vitamin D deficient
A study from New Delhi India has revealed high rates of vitamin D deficiency among hip fracture patients, confirming the conclusions of similar international studies which point to vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor for hip fracture. A group of 90 hip fracture patients was compared to a matched control group of similar age, sex and co-morbidity. Of the patients who had suffered hip fractures, 76.7% were shown to be vitamin D deficient as measured by serum 25(OH)D levels of less than 20 ng/ml.
Read article at physorg.com

December 2, 2010

Tests suggest dementia may be linked with pesticide use
People exposed to pesticides for many years may be at greater risk of dementia. The warning comes from a study of 614 French vineyard workers whose mental functioning was tested over a period of up to six years between 1997 and 2003. Pesticides are suspected of causing a range of conditions from autism to cancer, but epidemiological evidence of their long-term effects has been been lacking. The new study is claimed to be the first to provide prospective data on potential neurological damage.
Read article in The Independent (UK)

December 1, 2010

Age-related hearing loss and folate in the elderly
Age-related hearing loss (ARHL), one of the four most prevalent chronic conditions in the elderly, is associated with low serum levels of folic acid, according to new research published in the December 2010 issue of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.
Read article at physorg.com

December 1, 2010

Experts dismiss vitamin D overdose concerns
The lack of vitamin D in the Australian population is a greater health risk than melanoma, an expert said following reports of concerns about excessive supplementation. Integrative medicine specialist and Mosman GP Mark Donohoe told Pharmacy eNews the “unexplained population-wide deficiency” in vitamin D was linked with increased risks of osteoporosis and cancers.
Read article at pharmacynews.com.au (Australia)

November 30, 2010

Study finds low vitamin D levels in northern California residents with metabolic syndrome
Researchers from the UC Davis Health System have found that compared with healthy controls, blood levels of vitamin D are significantly reduced in patients in the Sacramento area with metabolic syndrome, a constellation of disease risk factors that affects about one in three U.S. adults and predisposes them to diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Read article at physorg.com

November 26, 2010

Low vitamin D levels linked to increased depression risk
The likelihood of having depression is significantly increased in people with deficient level of vitamin D, compared with people with adequate levels of the sunshine vitamin, says a new study. Data from the third US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey revealed that people with vitamin D deficiency were at a 85 percent increased risk of having current depressive episodes, compared with people with sufficient levels, according to findings published in the International Archives of Medicine.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.org

November 25, 2010

Germany Requires Doctor's Prescription for Common Herbs: EU Plans the Same
A common question about the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD) is what effect it will actually have. We need only look to Germany to see.
Read article at gaia-health.com
Comment: The Brussels EU “Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive,” passed in 2004, subjects natural herbal medicines to a prohibitively expensive registration procedure whereby all medicinal herbs not specifically granted a license are intended to be banned and removed from the European market. By trying to decimate the herbal sector in this way, the Brussels EU is aiming to eliminate a key threat to the financial interests of the multi-trillion dollar pharmaceutical investment business. As such, at a time when – based on dramatic advances in science-based natural health – the lives of millions of people suffering from cancer, heart disease and other common health conditions could be saved, the political stakeholders of the Drug Cartel are, once again, putting profit over life and threatening to become responsible for human suffering and death in genocidal proportions. If you live in Europe, please sign the 'Referendum for Natural Remedies' petition, which aims to guarantee all European citizens free access to scientifically based natural health remedies.

November 24, 2010

Exposure to Mercury From Dental Fillings Exceeds Safe Levels
– Millions at Risk Says New Report –
A new risk assessment report submitted by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology this month to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that mercury from dental fillings is estimated to cause 67.2 million Americans to exceed the Reference Exposure Level (REL) of 0.3 ug/m3 established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) in 1995. If the more protective REL of 0.03 ug/m3 established in 2008 by the California Environmental Protection Agency is used, then the current safe-dose is probably exceeded by 122.3 million Americans. Dental fillings referred to by dentists as "amalgam" or "silver" are actually 50% mercury. A 2006 Zogby poll indicated that 76% of Americans were not aware that silver fillings are half mercury.
Read news release at PRNewswire.com

November 23, 2010

Action Alert: Natural, Bioavailable Forms of B6 in Peril!
Everyone says, “Take your vitamins.” If only they’d let us! Vitamin B6 is something of a miracle worker. The FDA bans one of the most bioavailable forms of it so a drug company can monopolize it. Now even the form of B-6 we can’t live without is at risk of being banned for the same reason—because a drug company wants it! Pyridoxamine—one of only three natural and bioavailable forms of B6—inhibits aging and disease progression. Unfortunately, FDA banned pyridoxamine in 2008 in response to a petition from a drug company that wanted to use it in their own drug formulation. An alternative to pyridoxamine, and one that has similar anti-glycation properties, is one of the other forms of vitamin B6—a compound called pyridoxal-5′-phosphate, or P5P. It’s the only one that can be used directly by the body without conversion. But now even P5P is under threat! The FDA has a petition from Medicure Pharma to ban P5P.
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (USA)
Comment: Throughout the 20th century, the health benefits of vitamins and other natural health approaches have been strategically suppressed in the interest of the pharmaceutical investment business with patented drugs. In the United States, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994 fundamentally changed this and triggered an explosion of science-based natural health research and evidence. This expansion of knowledge and awareness was so massive that it became a threat to the continuation of the pharmaceutical investment business. In this situation, the pharmaceutical lobby is now launching unprecedented attacks on DSHEA and demanding that natural, non-patentable nutrients are banned. To learn more about these attacks, click here. To read Medicure Pharma’s petition to the US FDA to ban pyridoxal-5′-phosphate (P5P), click here. If you live in the United States, click here to contact your Senators and Representatives and send an email demanding that they act to protect vitamin freedom and optimum health.

November 23, 2010

The War for Nutrition Science Integrity
One nutrition organization looks to be in the pocket of Big Pharma and the worst of the junk food manufacturers. Another organization has been a more independent voice for nutrition. Guess which one is attempting to swallow the other? The American Society for Nutrition (ASN), the largest society for nutrition researchers in the US, openly receives support from pharmaceutical companies like Abbott Nutrition and Martek Biosciences, genetic engineering and pesticide giant Monstanto, food processor ConAgra, and junk food suppliers and producers Coca-Cola, Mars, Kraft, McDonald’s, General Mills, and Kellogg’s, not to mention the Sugar Association, Inc. (among many others). Think about that: an organization claiming “excellence in nutrition research and practice” receives major funding from companies making drugs, pesticides, and some of the most health-damaging foods on the planet. It must be greatly influenced by those companies’ worldviews.
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (USA)

November 15, 2010

Chinese medicine interests say EU Herbal Directive discriminates against non-European traditions and needs reform
At a poll held at a meeting of UK stakeholders representing non-European traditional medical systems, including traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda, the majority considered an EU directive on herbal medicine to be discriminatory of their tradition. In the same poll, 76% considered that the EU directive was unfair, unsuitable and in need of amendment. The attendees agreed to form a united working group to deal with changes resulting from the new legislation. Held at University College London’s Old Refectory on Friday 12 November, 2010, the meeting was organised by the UK Chinese Medicine Council (CMC) and chaired by Professor Man Fong Mei of the CMC and David Tredinnick MP, chairman of the UK Parliamentary Group for Complementary and Integrated Healthcare.
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (Europe)

November 14, 2010

Lack of vitamin D poses diabetes risk
Could lack of enough exposure to sunlight turning you a diabetic? In a first-of-its-kind study in India, doctors have found a clear link between Vitamin D deficiency — sunlight being its major source for humans — and a spurt in blood sugar levels. A team of doctors from Fortis Hospital in the Capital, headed by Dr Anoop Misra, conducted a study on 184 patients, who visited its OPDs. Among them, 92 were suffering from Type 2 diabetics, while the rest were found to be healthy. The health parameters of both these groups — matched for age, gender and body weight — were compared. Severe vitamin D deficiency was significantly more prevalent among diabetic patients (nearly 58%) than non-diabetic ones (33%).
Read article in The Times of India

November 13, 2010

'Naked' scanners at US airports may be dangerous: scientists
Some US scientists warned Friday that the full-body, graphic-image X-ray scanners now being used to screen passengers and airline crews at airports around the country may be unsafe. "They say the risk is minimal, but statistically someone is going to get skin cancer from these X-rays," Dr Michael Love, who runs an X-ray lab at the department of biophysics and biophysical chemistry at Johns Hopkins University school of medicine, told AFP. "No exposure to X-ray is considered beneficial. We know X-rays are hazardous but we have a situation at the airports where people are so eager to fly that they will risk their lives in this manner," he said.
Read article at physorg.com

November 12, 2010

Increase in rickets in Southampton astonishes doctors
More than 20% of children tested for bone problems in Southampton showed signs of the crippling disease rickets, a health trust has revealed. Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Prof Nicholas Clarke checked more than 200 of the city's children for bone problems caused by a lack of vitamin D. He was astonished by the results, which, he said, were "very reminiscent of 17th Century England". The disease can lead to deformities like bowed legs as well stunted growth. Prof Clarke, based at Southampton General Hospital, said vitamin D supplements should be more widely adopted to halt the rise in cases.
Read article on the BBC News website (UK)

November 11, 2010

Stepping over stray dogs
But watch out for the Codex mess
At last year’s CCNFSDU meeting in Germany, the National Health Federation (with help from the Indian and Iraqi delegations) was able to stop the advance of those Guidelines on Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs) that would have set low numerical values for vitamins and minerals. Some delegations, especially Australia, were strongly pushing for these “dumbed down” NRVs to go forward. Had they gone forward at that time – as they very nearly did – then we would now be looking at well-advanced Codex NRVs of, for example, 45 milligrams for Vitamin C and 200 IUs for Vitamin D as providing 100% of an adult’s daily nutritional needs. This week of November 1-5, 2010, the CCNFSDU met once again to debate this and other NRV texts.
Read article on the website of the National Health Federation (USA)
Comment: To download our PowerPoint presentation explaining how Codex is increasingly being used as a vehicle for shaping global food and nutrient regulations to reflect draconian Brussels EU laws, click here.

November 11, 2010

Vitamin C And The Law
A Personal Viewpoint by Thomas E. Levy, M.D., J.D.
As a patient, you have the right to any therapy that is not prohibitively expensive, established to be effective, and not prohibitively toxic. Any physician, or panel of hospital-based physicians, claiming that vitamin C is experimental, unapproved, and/or posing unwarranted risks to the health of the patient, is really only demonstrating a complete and total ignorance or denial of the scientific literature. A serious question as to what the real motivations might be in the withholding of such a therapy then arises. A doctor has the right to refuse to see you or treat you. A doctor does not have the right to deny you any therapy that is inexpensive and known to be effective and nontoxic; if there is toxicity involved, the patient can discharge his responsibility for such toxicity with proper informed consent. A doctor does not have the right to deny you consultation with another doctor that may have conflicting medical points of view. Just as ignorance of the law is no sound defense to legal charges brought against you, ignorance of medical fact is ultimately no sound defense for a doctor withholding valid treatment, especially when that information can be easily accessed.
Read news release at orthomolecular.org

November 9, 2010

EU urged to introduce nutrition risk screening
Slovenian MEP Alojz Peterle has called for mandatory nutrition risk screening to help tackle the problem of malnutrition. Speaking in parliament on Tuesday, the centre-right deputy said he plans to launch a resolution calling for pan-European screening for all hospital patients. Peterle, co-chairman of parliament's environment, public health and food safety committee's working group on health, hosted the Nutrition Day conference. He said, "Malnutrition is associated with a whole host of public health concerns and chronic conditions - including obesity, cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders, some cancers and certain rare diseases. All of these place a considerable economic burden on healthcare systems, particularly as society continues to age."
Read article at theparliament.com

November 8, 2010

Want some pesticides with that apple?
If new research holds true across the wider population, one mouthful out of five that children eat is tainted with pesticides. A new report has found that more than a fifth of the food eaten by two small groups of U.S. children was tainted with pesticides. Of the food containing pesticides, about one quarter contained more than one kind. All totaled, the researchers testing it found 14 varieties of pesticides.
Read article in the Miami Herald (Florida/USA)

November 2, 2010

Poor Diet May Make COPD Worse, Study Finds
Antioxidant deficiency tied to lower lung function, especially for men
Certain vitamin deficiencies may lead to decreased lung function in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, says a new study.
Read article at businessweek.com

October 28, 2010

Bisphenol-A now linked to male infertility
A controversial chemical used for decades in the mass production of food containers and baby bottles has been linked to male infertility for the first time. Bisphenol-A (BPA), known as the "gender bending" chemical because of its connection to male impotence, has now been shown to decrease sperm mobility and quality. The findings are likely to increase pressure on governments around the world to follow Canada and ban the substance from our shelves.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)

October 27, 2010

New research links soft drinks to type 2 diabetes
Regularly drinking even as little as one can of pop a day could raise your risk of type 2 diabetes, new research reveals. It's no secret that drinking too many soft drinks can lead to weight gain. But this study is the largest yet to look at the drinks' link to diabetes and a pre-diabetes condition called metabolic syndrome.
Researchers with the Harvard School of Public Health looked at 11 recent studies on the risk of diabetes and sugar-sweetened beverages -- which include soft drinks, but also bottled iced tea and fruit-flavoured drinks and flavoured waters. The studies involved more than 300,000 adults. The researchers found that regularly drinking just one 350-millilitre serving of a sugary drink a day increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 15 per cent, compared with those who consumed less than one sugary drink per month. Drinking one or two soft drinks a day boosted the risk by 26 per cent.
Read article on the CTV website (Canada)

October 26, 2010

ANH seeks €100k to battle EU herb laws
The Alliance for Natural Health International (ANH-Intl) and the European Benefyt Foundation (EBF) have issued a call for €100,000 in donations to fund a legal battle against the 2004 Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive. The ANH and EBF believe the THMPD will decimate the European Union herbal sector when it takes force on April 1, 2011, and want to take the battle to the European Court of Justice via UK courts.
Read article at nutringredients.com
Comment: To learn more about the proposed legal challenge to the ‘Brussels EU’ bans on traditional herbal medicines, click here.

October 20, 2010

Burn injuries rapidly deplete vitamin E
Severe burn injuries in children have been shown to rapidly deplete the levels of vitamin E in their body's adipose, or fat tissues, a new clinical study has found. Stored levels of this important antioxidant were reduced more in a few weeks than might normally be possible in years. An analysis of eight children with third-degree burns over much of their body found they lost almost half of their stored vitamin E in three weeks, even though they were being given about 150 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin E and other nutrients in a high-calorie diet.
Read article at physorg.com

October 19, 2010

Ontario considers curbing vitamin D testing
The much-hyped benefits of vitamin D have become so tantalizing that doctors in Ontario last year ordered nearly three-quarters of a million of the blood tests that determine a patient’s level of the sunshine vitamin. But the growing popularity has become a major issue. The provincial Ministry of Health is mulling over a proposal from its medical advisory committee to eliminate most of the discretion doctors have in asking for the $50 tests and have them paid by the province. The committee says most of the tests are not medically necessary, prompting an outcry from practitioners who have found that many patients have dramatic health improvements after taking megadoses of vitamin D and who believe that the proposal is based on financial considerations rather than patient health.
Read article in the Globe and Mail (Canada)
Comment: Studies show that vitamin D deficiency is now widespread in Canada. So much so, in fact, that two-thirds of the Canadian population now has vitamin D levels below the amounts research has associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases. As the New York Times recently pointed out, studies indicate that the effects of vitamin D deficiency include an elevated risk of developing (and dying from) cancers of the colon, breast and prostate; high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease; osteoarthritis; and immune-system abnormalities that can result in infections and autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. As such, by claiming that vitamin D tests are not medically necessary, and ignoring research showing that a countrywide program of raising blood levels of vitamin D could save the Canadian health-care system $14-billion a year, the medical advisory committee of Ontario’s Ministry of Health is acting not in the interests of patients, but in those of the pharmaceutical “business with disease.”

October 18, 2010

So, what's in a placebo, anyway?
Despite carrying monikers like 'fake' or 'dummy' or 'sham,' some placebo pills may be potent enough to taint medical research results, hints a new review of more than 150 clinical trials. This time researchers aren't just talking about a 'placebo effect' on the mind, but rather physiological effects of the pills' constituents on the body. What's more, they found that less than one out of every 10 studies published in four top medical journals actually divulged what ingredients were used in placebo pills. "We've been trained to associate placebos with being inert," lead researcher Dr. Beatrice Golomb of the University of California, San Diego, told Reuters Health. "But there isn't evidence that anything is truly physiologically inert." "This really does question the primary foundation on which medical care is based," added Golomb.
Read news report at reuters.com

October 18, 2010

Vitamin D deficiency puts IBD patients at greater risk of osteoporosis
Vitamin D deficiency puts patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) at greater risk of osteoporosis, osteopenia and an overall higher rate of abnormal bone density, according to the results of a new study unveiled today at the American College of Gastroenterology's (ACG) 75th Annual Scientific meeting in San Antonio, Texas. The study, "Vitamin D Deficiency and Abnormal DEXA Scans in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients," found that of the 161 IBD patients in the cohort, reduction in bone density with a diagnosis of osteoporosis or osteopenia was found in 22 percent of these patients, 50 percent of whom were under age 50.
Read article at physorg.com

October 12, 2010

About "Objections" to Vitamin C Therapy
In massive doses, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) stops a cold within hours, stops influenza in a day or two, and stops viral pneumonia (pain, fever, cough) in two or three days. It is a highly effective antihistamine, antiviral and antitoxin. It reduces inflammation and lowers fever. Administered intravenously, ascorbate kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. Many people therefore wonder, in the face of statements like these, why the medical professions have not embraced vitamin C therapy with open and grateful arms. Probably the main roadblock to widespread examination and utilization of this all-too-simple technology is the equally widespread belief that there must be unknown dangers to tens of thousands of milligrams of ascorbic acid. Yet, since the time megascorbate therapy was introduced in the late 1940's by Fred R. Klenner, M.D., there has been an especially safe, and extremely effective track record to follow.
Read news release at orthomolecular.org

October 6, 2010

Vitamin D deficiency rampant in patients undergoing orthopedic surgery, damaging patient recovery
Almost 50 percent of patients undergoing orthopedic surgery have vitamin D deficiency that should be corrected before surgery to improve patient outcomes, based on a study by researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City. Vitamin D is essential for bone healing and muscle function and is critical for a patient's recovery. The study appears in the October issue of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.
Read article at physorg.com

October 5, 2010

Putting to Rest Recent Codex Rumors
There’s nothing like a good conspiracy theory. But in the Internet age, conspiracies sometimes proliferate like weeds—and this one is false.
Read article on the Alliance for Natural Health (USA) website
Comment: The latest Codex rumor concerns U.S. President Barack Obama’s signing of Executive Order 13544, establishing “The National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council.” According to some, this Executive Order "mandates that the US is adopting Codex Alimentarius". However, this claim is absurd. Firstly, the text of this Executive Order doesn't make any mention of Codex whatsoever. In addition, the Codex Alimentarius already consists of over 300 official global food standards, some of which originate from as long ago as 1966. Moreover, over the past 40 years or so, many of these standards have already been implemented into US law. As such, one has to ask what, precisely, the people making these claims mean when they state that 13544 "mandates that the US is adopting Codex Alimentarius". At a guess, we can only presume that they are referring to potential bans on supplements. If so, again, we note that the text of 13544 makes no mention whatsoever of restrictions on supplements or of anything that could be construed as such. In short, therefore, we are happy to reassure U.S. citizens that there is no truth in this claim.

October 2, 2010

Vitamin D levels lower in African-Americans
African-American women had lower vitamin D levels than white women, and vitamin D deficiency was associated with a greater likelihood for aggressive breast cancer, according to data presented at the Third AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities.
Read article at physorg.com

October 1, 2010

More Americans taking vitamin D supplements, finds survey
The number of Americans taking vitamin D supplements has shot up over the past year, according to a new survey, suggesting that awareness of the vitamin has increased.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

October 1, 2010

Cancer threat in our houses
Millions of women face a greater risk of breast cancer because of man-made chemicals that are found in every home.
Read article in the Daily Express (UK)

September 27, 2010

Survey looking at vitamin D deficiency
Many New Zealanders may be blocking out the health benefits of sunshine and becoming vitamin D deficient, researchers say. Growing evidence of vitamin D deficiency, including the re-emergence of childhood rickets, has prompted two health researchers to conduct an online survey of mothers and health professionals to find out how much they know about the essential vitamin. "There is emerging evidence that sections of the New Zealand population, ranging from newborn babies to the elderly, are vitamin D deficient," Massey University Vitamin D Research Centre co-director Pamela von Hurst said.
Read article in The New Zealand Herald
Comment: Vitamin D deficiency is becoming a worldwide problem. In the United States, Canada, the UK and throughout the EU, for example, deficiencies of the vitamin are now widespread. Significantly, therefore, Anthony Norman, a distinguished professor emeritus of biochemistry and biomedical sciences and an international expert on vitamin D, notes that half the people in North America and Western Europe get insufficient amounts of vitamin D and that merely eating vitamin D-rich foods is not adequate to solve the problem. Elsewhere in the world, the problem is no less serious. Pregnant Arab women, for example, have an "extraordinarily high prevalence" of vitamin D deficiency, whilst India is also now home to a growing epidemic of vitamin D deficiency.

September 21, 2010

Scientific American Falls for Drug Company Propaganda
The editors of Scientific American say that the FDA should hold foods “to the same scientific standards as those for drugs.” This proves that even the smartest people can sometimes reach conclusions completely lacking in common sense. Big Pharma’s company line—that food and supplements should be treated like drugs—is often quoted by policy-makers and analysts. What they don’t realize is that it both defies logic and tramples free speech about science.
Read article on the Alliance for Natural Health (USA) website

September 21, 2010

EU Commission hearing exposes fatal flaws in water fluoridation
“VOICE, along with other environmental and health campaigners and international scientists, have presented detailed evidence of the adverse effects of adding fluoride to drinking water at an EU public hearing held in Brussels” said VOICE spokesperson Robert Pocock, who made a presentation to the public hearing in Brussels. “Its effects on bone and tooth enamel, the brain, kidney, thyroid function and the endocrine system regulating the body’s hormones were confirmed by reference to extensive scientific research” continued the spokesperson. Ireland and the UK are the only EU member states to deliberately fluoridate their citizens. The European Commission’s scientific committee on health and environmental risks (SCHER) is critically reviewing fluoride and fluoridation chemicals, following repeated questions from VOICE and other organisations, and Irish and UK MEPs. The committee’s preliminary opinion has already stated that water fluoridation is a crude and rather ineffective form of systemic fluoride treatment for which there is no detectable threshold for dental and bone damage.
Read press release on the Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment (VOICE) website (Ireland)

September 16, 2010

High levels of cholesterol said better for longevity
The Japan Society for Lipid Nutrition has drawn up new guidelines stating that high cholesterol levels are better for living longer, defying conventional wisdom.
Read article at physorg.com
Comment: Dr. Rath has long since shown that “conventional wisdom” regarding cholesterol is wrong. As he explains in his groundbreaking book, “Why Animals Don’t Get Heart Attacks … But People Do!”, elevated levels of cholesterol in the blood are not the primary cause of atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes. Instead, the primary cause of human cardiovascular disease is a deficiency of vitamin C. As such, rather than requiring the use of dangerous statin drugs, the fact is that high cholesterol levels can be eradicated naturally. So far as the Japan Society for Lipid Nutrition’s new guidelines are concerned, however, the knowledge that higher cholesterol levels are better for longevity has, in reality, been available for 20 years. Nevertheless, the further spreading of this important information will doubtless assist in the further widening of a crucial hole in the leaking ship of the cholesterol "business with disease". Damaged beyond repair, its eventual sinking – and replacement by a New Global Healthcare System, based on scientific breakthroughs in the areas of vitamin research and cellular health – is now inevitable.

September 16, 2010

Low vitamin D again linked to higher mortality in heart patients
Low levels of vitamin D have again been linked with reduced survival rates in patients with heart failure. The study, conducted at the University Medical Center, Groningen, in the Netherlands, also suggested that low levels of vitamin D are associated with activation of the Renin Angiotensin System (RAS – a pivotal regulatory system in heart failure) and an altered cytokine profile.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

September 15, 2010

Cancer and Vitamin C: Evidence-Based Censorship
The very first paper in the Puerto Rico Health Sciences Journal's special issue on cancer condemns vitamin C therapy for cancer. (1) Furthermore, that Journal has refused publication of a letter correcting the article's numerous errors. We have therefore decided to provide OMNS readers with that rebuttal letter, below: It is entirely false to assert that we do not know how much vitamin C is effective against cancer. Indeed, the opposite is true: we do know, and we are failing our duty to patients when we fail to recommend vitamin C as adjunctive cancer therapy. There are many controlled studies that demonstrate that vitamin C is indeed effective against cancer, improving length of life and quality of life.
Read news release at orthomolecular.org
Comment: As this news release points out, it has been reported since the 1950s that cancer patients invariably have abnormally low levels of vitamin C. Significantly, therefore, many studies have since demonstrated that vitamin C and other nutrients are effective against cancer. Dr. Rath’s research, in particular, has shown that a specific combination of natural substances (vitamins, amino acids, polyphenols and other micronutrients) working in biological synergy can successfully control critical aspects of malignancy in the body. To encourage the Rico Health Sciences Journal to publish the facts, you should write directly to Luis M. Vil, its Editor-in-Chief, and Zoila Figueroa, its Secretary.

September 10, 2010

Pharma game plan revealed?
Does the latest B vitamin study suggesting reduced risk of Alzheimers uncover pharma’s sinister plot to nail the health food trade?
Read article on the Alliance for Natural Health (Europe) website

September 10, 2010

Sunblock and computer games causing vitamin d deficiency
Paranoia about sun exposure and indoor lifestyles are causing life-threatening health problems for children due to vitamin D deficiency, a new study claims. Casualty departments are dealing with dozens of emergency cases where infants are having seizures as a direct result of not getting enough vitamin D, which is essential for healthy teeth and bones.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)

September 7, 2010

Wikipedia’s Anti-Natural Health Slant
Wikipedia is the largest and most popular reference site on the Internet. Yet the articles that are pro-health freedom or integrative medicine perspectives are consistently gutted, removed, or vandalized. Wikipedia’s 16 million articles (over 3.3 million in English) have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world, and almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site. But it is also an open platform, one prone to sabotage or editing by people with a particular bias, and natural health entries are often the ones bashed the most. Consequently, millions of people who search for alternative medicine cannot find information that isn’t heavily biased toward conventional medicine and the pharmaceutical industry.
Read article on the Alliance for Natural Health (USA) website
Comment: As we ourselves have been pointing out for a couple of years now, when you challenge the interests of the multi-billion dollar drug industry, the facts aren’t welcome on Wikipedia. Significantly, therefore, it turns out that the Wikimedia Foundation, of which Wikipedia is a project, is directly dependent upon support from super-wealthy benefactors with connections to the pharmaceutical investment business. One of the most notable of the Wikimedia Foundation’s supporters is the so-called “Open Society Institute”, founded by the multi-billionaire chairman of Soros Fund Management LLC, George Soros. As such, whilst we would certainly not dissuade anybody from attempting to edit and improve Wikipedia’s articles on natural medicine, our own experience suggests that they would be well advised not to expect its strong pro-pharmaceutical bias to change anytime soon.  

September 2, 2010

The berry healthiest: How organic strawberries 'are more nutritious'
Organic strawberries may cost more, but it's a price worth paying, scientists say. The fruit is both tastier and better for your health, research shows. The most detailed study of its kind has found that they contain higher levels of anti-cancer nutrients than fruit sprayed with chemical pesticides. Naturally-produced strawberries also have a longer shelf life and a richer, more fruity flavour, according to the researchers. Their findings add to a growing body of evidence that organic food is healthier than conventional fruit and vegetables.
Read article in the Daily Mail (UK)

September 1, 2010

Botanical groups gather in Brussels to challenge EU herb laws
The European Benefyt Foundation and the Alliance for Natural Health International (ANH-Intl) are set to mount a legal challenge in the European Court of Justice against EU herb laws, after meeting in Brussels this week. The groups believe the 2004 Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD) is damaging the botanicals sector, particularly Chinese and Indian herbal products that do not possess the kind of scientific backing the legislation requires for authorisation.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

August 30, 2010

China goes organic after scandal of cooking oil from sewers
Organic food sales have taken off in China after a series of safety scares, including the disclosure that one in 10 meals is cooked using oil dredged from the sewer. The Chinese now consume more than twice as much organic food as health-conscious Japan. The market is worth an annual 10billion yuan (£1billion) having quadrupled in the past five years. For comparison, the British organic market is worth roughly £2billion. Interest has been promoted by a series of scares including toxic beans, contaminated milk and pork, pesticide-laced dumplings, chemically-tainted chicken, and the growing presence of what is known as “sewage oil”. Night soil collectors typically visit the drains behind restaurants late at night to scoop up dregs of oil, which they filter and resell.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)

August 26, 2010

Government should recommend organic to cut chemical exposure — OTA
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is calling on the US Government to revise national dietary guidelines to encourage people seeking to minimize their exposure to toxic chemicals to choose organic. The call comes just weeks after a report from the influential President’s Cancer Panel said that eating foods grown without pesticides was one practical way to reduce environmental cancer risk. The report added that exposure to antibiotics and growth hormones could be similarly “minimized by eating free-range meat raised without these medications.”
Read article in Natural Products magazine (UK)

August 20, 2010

Common Sense Saves Life Says Health Freedom New Zealand
Health Freedom New Zealand would like to congratulate the Dairy Farming family featured on TV3’s 60 minutes last night for insisting that their family member, Allan Smith, be treated with intravenous Vitamin C therapy - rather than accepting the medical fraternities decision to turn off his life support and let him die. "Having been cured from Leukemia using natural products and high dose Vitamin C myself", says spokeswoman Nicola Grace, "I am excited that finally the truth is coming out about natural cures for infectious diseases and cancer. Now that this simple, cheap and effective treatment is implicated in the spontaneous remission of what a team of specialists were convinced was a terminally fatal case of swine flu, as well as hairy cell leukaemia, it would be negligent to ignore and criminal to deny high dose intravenous Vitamin C for future swine flu and/or hairy cell leukaemia admissions" she states. When the hospital interfered with the treatment, both by under-dosing and by withholding it altogether, they were unwittingly providing scientific evidence of the effectiveness of high dose intravenous Vitamin C therapy.
Read media release from Health Freedom New Zealand at scoop.co.nz
Comment: Allan Smith, a New Zealand Dairy Farmer, was referred to Auckland Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit when he was found to have contracted H1N1 Swine flu. He was put on 20 days ECMO life support but his condition kept deteriorating and he was additionally diagnosed as having leukaemia. At this point, his family were told he could not possibly survive. Smith’s doctors therefore wanted to remove him from life support and claimed that his death was inevitable. Undeterred, his family demanded that the doctors administer high doses of Vitamin C intravenously. Despite the doctors’ strong opposition to administering this treatment and their apparent intention to let the patient die, the family eventually won their battle and, to cut a long story short, Smith made a complete recovery. To watch the 60 minutes TV documentary, click here. To visit the Health Freedom New Zealand website, click here.

August 19, 2010

Pesticide exposure in the womb could cause attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Children whose mothers were exposed to certain types of pesticides while pregnant were more likely to have attention problems as they grew up, researchers claim. The study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, adds to evidence that some pesticides can affect the human brain.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)

August 16, 2010

Surprising Information on Vitamin C Deficiency
Scurvy is a condition that results from low levels or lack of vitamin C. Common symptoms of scurvy include general weakness, anemia, gum disease (gingivitis), and skin hemorrhages. Most people think of scurvy as a condition that afflicted sailors on long voyages during the 15th century. This was because fruits and vegetables (natural sources of vitamin C) would typically rot long before sailors reached their destination. Research is now showing that 1 in 7 modern day young adults are deficient in vitamin C, and elevated markers for chronic disease have been observed.
Read article at naturalhealthresearch.org
Comment: Research shows that approximately 14% of young adults in the United States and Canada are deficient in vitamin C. This worrying statistic is particularly significant given that Dr. Rath’s research has revealed that coronary heart disease occurs exactly for the same reason that clinical (early) scurvy does – a deficiency of vitamin C in the cells composing the artery wall. To learn how, in reality, atherosclerosis is nature’s plaster cast for weak and cracked arterial walls that are chronically deficient in vitamin C and other essential nutrients, click here.

August 6, 2010

Pesticides linked to bee decline, say green groups
Government and retailers are under pressure to impose a ban on sale of pesticides linked to bee population decline following new research which groups call a 'growing body of evidence'
Environmental groups including the Soil Association and Buglife are making a renewed call for an end to the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which are among the most commonly used pesticides worldwide, after a new study linked them to a decline in bee in bee populations. The study, published in the journal Toxicology, says the effects on bees of two particular neonicotinoid pesticides, known as imidacloprid and thiacloprid, have previously been underestimated and may explain the decline in bee populations. It says even low concentrations of the pesticides may be more deadly then previously thought due to their high persistence in soil and water, supporting claims for the role that pesticides may play in bee deaths.
Read article in The Guardian (UK)
Comment: Evidence from the United States and Europe suggests pesticides produced by Bayer CropScience are linked to the worldwide decline of the bee population.

August 2, 2010

Crops Absorb Pharmaceuticals From Treated Sewage
Environmental Pollutants: Soybeans can accumulate drugs and personal care products commonly found in wastewater and solid waste
Each year, U.S. farmers fertilize their fields with millions of tons of treated sewage and irrigate with billions of gallons of recycled water. Through this treated waste, an array of pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) make their way unregulated from consumers' homes into farm fields. Now researchers find that at least one crop, soybeans, can readily absorb these chemicals, which raises concerns about the possible effects on people and animals that consume the PPCP-containing plants (Environ. Sci. Technol., DOI: 10.1021/es1011115).
Read article on the Chemical & Engineering News website (United States)

July 28, 2010

Pesticide levels in NZ food unacceptable – lobbyists
The levels of pesticide residue present in New Zealand fruit and vegetables, shown in a study released yesterday, are the worst ever, say pro-organic food lobby groups.
Read article in the New Zealand Herald (New Zealand)
Comment: The recent New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) survey reported on in this article revealed that 94 per cent of fruit and vegetable samples contained traces of pesticides, with 11 out of 23 cucumber samples containing residues of the banned chemical endosulfan and 9 out of 24 bok choy samples containing illegal levels of chlorothalonil. Worryingly, therefore, studies carried out in other areas of the world have resulted in similar findings. A report published in the European Union (EU) in 2008, for example, found that fruits, vegetables and cereals sold in the EU now contain record levels of pesticides. Almost half of the fruits, vegetables and cereals examined were found to be contaminated with pesticides, with 23 pesticides being detected at levels high enough to present an acute risk to public health – according to the EU’s own risk calculations.

July 26, 2010

What Do You Lack? Probably Vitamin D
Vitamin D promises to be the most talked-about and written-about supplement of the decade. While studies continue to refine optimal blood levels and recommended dietary amounts, the fact remains that a huge part of the population — from robust newborns to the frail elderly, and many others in between — are deficient in this essential nutrient.
Read article in the New York Times (USA)
Comment: As this important New York Times article points out, studies indicate that the effects of vitamin D deficiency include an elevated risk of developing (and dying from) cancers of the colon, breast and prostate; high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease; osteoarthritis; and immune-system abnormalities that can result in infections and autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. In our opinion, therefore, the New York Times’ decision to publish this article marks a watershed event in the worldwide media’s gradual progression from decades of ambiguous reporting on the supposed 'dangers' of vitamins to open acknowledgement of their numerous health benefits.

July 21, 2010

Global Censorship of Health Information
“Around the world governments are policing speech in the market to arrest instances in which therapeutic claims (claims of disease risk reduction, prevention, and treatment) are made for foods and food elements. None of those governments considers it necessary to prove the falsity of the claims before they suppress them. It is enough to justify censorship, under the domestic laws of each nation, to prove that the claims have been made. Truth is no defense. The consequences for the offenders are not simply civil, they are criminal. To make a claim that a product treats a disease and not secure government pre-approval for sale of the product as a drug (an enterprise that from beginning to end costs on average about $600 million or more) is universally a crime. Offenders can be sentenced to prison (indeed for terms that can be the equivalent of a life sentence) and products can be enjoined from sale, seized, and destroyed.”
Read Elissa Meininger’s review of new book by Jonathan Emord at newswithview.com

July 16, 2010

Most people globally get insufficient Vit D
A health expert has said that more than half of the world’s population gets insufficient vitamin D.
Anthony Norman, a distinguished professor emeritus of biochemistry and biomedical sciences and an international expert on vitamin D, notes that half the people in North America and Western Europe get insufficient amounts of vitamin D. "Elsewhere, it is worse given that two-thirds of the people are vitamin D-insufficient or deficient. It is clear that merely eating vitamin D-rich foods is not adequate to solve the problem for most adults," said Norman.
Read article in The Times of India

July 13, 2010

EU urged to do more to cut chronic disease death toll
The EU has been urged to do more to help reduce "unnecessary" loss of life to chronic diseases. The demand, by an alliance of healthcare organisations, comes as new data shows the scale of the problem. The health professionals claim that chronic non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease, cancers, respiratory and liver diseases, account for 86 per cent of deaths in Europe.
Read article at theparliament.com
Comment: The shocking statistics in this article bear testimony to the fact that the biggest obstacle to improving the health of the European population is the pharmaceutical investment industry. With total drug sales in Europe valued at around a quarter of a trillion dollars during 2009, and chronic non-communicable diseases now accounting for 86 per cent of European deaths, the people of the world have to face the facts: It is not in the financial interests of the pharmaceutical industry to prevent common diseases. Instead, the maintenance and expansion of diseases is a precondition for its financial growth. To learn about safe, natural therapies for the prevention and treatment of common diseases, visit the online library on the World Health Alphabetization website and our Worldwide Studies and Research page.

July 12, 2010

Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of cognitive decline in the elderly
A research team from the Peninsula Medical School, University of Exeter, has established the first clear link between vitamin D deficiency and the development of cognitive problems that are a key feature of dementia. Findings from the study led by Dr. David J. Llewellyn are being published in the prestigious journal Archives of Internal Medicine, and are the result of an international collaboration involving researchers from the University of Michigan, the UK Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit, the Perugia University Hospital and Medical School in Italy, and the US National Institute on Aging.
Read article at physorg.com

July 11, 2010

Manipulative Politics at Codex – Where Form Reigns Over Function
The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) opened its 33rd session on Monday, July 5th, at the Centre International de Conferences in Geneva, with a full agenda of food-standard topics to be discussed. Except for those spells during which vice-chairmen ran the meeting for practice, the CAC Chairwoman Karen Hulebak steered the meeting down its bobsled course. First, though, she made her opening remarks to the assembled 200-plus delegates, admonishing them that they must remember that “we are here to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair trade in food.” She then bragged that “We are the most democratic and transparent food-standard setting body in the world.” But that was just the starting wind in her sails as she not only went on to quote Mother Theresa, but once again trundled out her theme that “Codex is always about science and about people and helping people.” Much to her displeasure, the National Health Federation would remind her of these words later.
Read article on the website of the National Health Federation (NHF) (USA)

July 7, 2010

Western food fuelling SE Asia diabetes boom: researchers
The growing popularity of Western junk food is fuelling a diabetes boom across Southeast Asia, Australian researchers warned on Wednesday.
Read article at physorg.com

July 7, 2010

The United States Needs 13 Million More Acres of Fruits and Vegetables to Meet the RDA
“We don’t produce enough fresh fruits and vegetables in the United States for everyone to eat a balanced and nutritious diet,” says Jon Scholl, President of American Farmland Trust (AFT). “In fact, it is estimated that we need at least another 13 million acres of farmland growing fruits and vegetables just for Americans to meet the minimum daily requirement of fruits and vegetables set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 2005 dietary guidelines.”
Read press release on the American Farmland Trust website (USA)
Comment: As Scholl points out in this press release, this thought-provoking statistic is made even more poignant with the release of the USDA’s new Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, which calls for Americans to include even more fruits and vegetables into their diet. When one factors in the fact that the nutrient content of our food has fallen substantially over the past few decades, both in the US and worldwide, it is becomes clearer than ever that national healthcare policies urgently need to be revised to promote widespread dietary supplementation.

July 2, 2010

Supplement dialogue strengthens on Capitol Hill
The importance of dietary supplements in preventative healthcare has once more been highlighted to US health policy staffers, just weeks after the government announced more funds for the prevention of chronic diseases. At a Congressional briefing held on Capitol Hill last week, members of Congress and nutrition experts stressed that as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, supplements can help maintain the health of Americans and reduce healthcare costs.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

July 2, 2010

Low vitamin D linked to metabolic syndrome in seniors
Insufficient and deficient levels of vitamin D may increase the risk of metabolic syndrome by about 40 percent, according to new findings.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

July 2, 2010

UK organic sector receives EU funds for promotions
The EU has agreed to match almost £1m funding raised by the UK organic sector to promote the benefits of organic food and farming to consumers over the next three years. The organic sector launched a campaign to draw pledges from organic groups and enterprises in the UK two years ago. The EU operates an annual scheme to match pledges from member states to promote the advantages of agricultural products hailing from the EU, and especially those with strong arguments for quality, hygiene, food safety, nutrition, labelling, animal welfare or environment-friendliness of their production. While other EU countries such as Italy, France and Denmark have received funding in the past, earlier bids from the UK, which were from individual organisations rather than industry-wide, were not accepted.
Read article at foodnavigator.com

June 25, 2010

Prince Charles to food industry: 'Your planet needs you'
Food manufacturers and retailers “simply must become stronger advocates of sustainable forms of fishing and of other agriculture” if we are to avert environmental Armageddon, Prince Charles has urged. In an impassioned speech at the global summit of the Consumer Goods Forum this week, the prince attempted to rally the troops – senior executives from the world’s leading consumer goods companies – into embracing more sustainable sourcing policies.
Read article at foodmanufacture.co.uk

June 24, 2010

Not enough folate may quicken hearing loss: Study
Low blood levels of folate are associated with a 35 per cent increased risk of hearing loss, says a new study from Australia that strengthens the link between B vitamins and hearing.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

June 22, 2010

Vitamin C and Cardiovascular Disease
A Personal Viewpoint by Alan Spencer and Andrew W. Saul
Linus Pauling was aware that studies of the animal kingdom showed that most animals have the ability to manufacture vitamin C in their bodies. Humans cannot. Furthermore, on average, mammals make 5,400mg daily when adjusted for body weight, and make more (often considerably more) when under stress or ill. This is about 100 times as much as the 50mg we get from a typical modern diet. It prompts the question, why do animals make so much vitamin C, and what purpose does it serve in the body? A small number of animals which are known to share our inability to make vitamin C include the apes, the guinea pig, the fruit bat, and some birds, all of which will normally get a lot of vitamin C from their food. If you deprive a guinea pig of vitamin C it soon develops a form of cardiovascular disease (damage to its arteries showing within a few weeks). Similarly, studies of genetically modified mice have shown that if you switch off the gene that enables a mouse to produce vitamin C it will also soon show signs of heart disease. Re-introduction of a high vitamin C diet enables the damage to be reversed.
Read news release at orthomolecular.org

June 22, 2010

Bee decline could be down to chemical cocktail interfering with brains
£10m Insect Pollinators Initiative will look at the multiple reasons thought to be behind devastation of bees, moths and hoverflies
A cocktail of chemicals from pesticides could be damaging the brains of British bees, according to scientists about to embark on a study into why the populations of the insects have dropped so rapidly in recent decades. By affecting the way bees' brains work, the pesticides might be affecting the ability of bees to find food or communicate with others in their colonies. Neuroscientists at Dundee University, Royal Holloway and University College London will investigate the hypothesis as part of a £10m research programme launched today aimed at finding ways to stop the decline in the numbers of bees and other insect pollinators in the UK.
Read article in the Guardian (UK)

June 21, 2010

Poor control of diabetes may be linked to low vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in patients with Type 2 diabetes and may be associated with poor blood sugar control, according to a new study.
Read article at physorg.com

June 18, 2010

Vitamin D deficiency confirmed as common across a range of rheumatic conditions
Two separate studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency is common in patients with a range of rheumatic diseases, with over half of all patients having below the 'normal' healthy levels of vitamin D (48-145 nmol/L) in their bodies.
Read article at physorg.com

June 14, 2010

EU Herb Laws
Robert Verkerk PhD discusses the discrimination against 4000-year-old medicinal traditions
The association between humans and plants goes back a very long way. In fact, the association existed long before the evolution of our own species, plants providing a key source of nutrients and phytochemicals for all animals, whether consumed directly or indirectly. When considering the history of herbal medicine, many view it as a tradition that spans some 4,000 or 5,000 years, but of course this time span reflects the earliest known documentation, rather than the earliest usage of plants as medicines.
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) Europe

June 10, 2010

US Army funds study on nutrition for neurotrauma
Omega-3, CoEnzyme Q10 and antioxidants are some of the ingredients to be studied by the US Institute of Medicine (IOM) in an examination of the benefits of nutrition on the effects of neurotrauma. The 20-month project, which is sponsored by the US Army, is designed to identify nutritional interventions that can help prevent, mitigate or treat traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spinal cord injury.
Read article at foodnavigator-usa.com

June 10, 2010

Clear association between obesity and vitamin D deficiency
A study conducted at Uppsala University has demonstrated that obese people often suffer from serious vitamin D deficiency and poor calcium metabolism. The findings have been published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. According to the researchers, the problem is underappreciated by the health care establishment.
Read article at physorg.com

June 2, 2010

Controlled Opposition : Twenty Questions You Never Dared to Ask
A controlled opposition group is one that claims to be fighting the multinational drug and chemical cartels but that is in fact controlled by the very industries it alleges to be fighting, usually via funding or shared board members from those same industries. Although the links can be obvious in many cases, in others they may be more deeply embedded, taking the more subtle form of 'common interests', be they ideological, political or legislative. Grassroots campaigns that could potentially achieve a profound and positive effect against the industrial giants are therefore diverted or derailed into actions that will either fail or be subsumed into the established channels in compliance with industry needs.
Read blog entry by Emma Holister on the Candida International website
Comment: This well-written and tongue-in-cheek blog entry from Emma Holister is a useful reminder that whenever there is a process of historic change underway, the status quo engages agents of disinformation and confusion in order to slow it down. The case of the liberation of human health from the monopoly of pharmaceutical drugs, and the incorporation of science based natural health approaches into public health policies, is no exception. Because the eradication of diseases is by its very nature incompatible with and diametrically opposed to the financial interests of the pharmaceutical investment industry, the survival of the drug cartel has, in part, become dependent on the undermining of the credibility of the natural health movement. Natural health advocates should therefore be wary of groups fronted by “instant experts” who report “miracles” and “stunning victories” that are not supported by the evidence.

June 2, 2010

EFSA confirm health claim nightmare at Parma meeting
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) held a technical meeting with stakeholders close to their home base in Parma, northern Italy on 1 June 2010. Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle opened the meeting taking about the importance of diet and physical activity in dealing with the major burdens on European health care systems, namely chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis—yet here we have a regulation (the EU’s Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation) that will give people less, not more, information about which foods and nutrients they can select to prevent or reduce disease. And while EFSA recognises the role of nutrition in disease prevention, the regulation explicitly prevents us from talking about it. That’s because it’s the sole domain of pharmaceutical drugs. Call it a stitch up if you like.
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) Europe

June 1, 2010

'Dirty dozen' produce carries more pesticide residue, group says
If you're eating non-organic celery today, you may be ingesting 67 pesticides with it, according to a new report from the Environmental Working Group. The group, a nonprofit focused on public health, scoured nearly 100,000 produce pesticide reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to determine what fruits and vegetables we eat have the highest, and lowest, amounts of chemical residue. Most alarming are the fruits and vegetables dubbed the "Dirty Dozen," which contain 47 to 67 pesticides per serving. These foods are believed to be most susceptible because they have soft skin that tends to absorb more pesticides.
Read article and watch video at cnn.com
Comment: The “dirty dozen” non-organic foods identified by the Environmental Working Group as containing the highest levels of pesticides are the following: celery; peaches; strawberries; apples; blueberries grown in the United States; nectarines; sweet bell peppers; spinach, kale and collard greens; cherries; potatoes; grapes imported into the United States from abroad; and lettuce. To visit the Environmental Working Group’s website, click here.

June 1, 2010

Millions of British women on danger diets
Millions of British women have potentially dangerous diets ranging from teenage girls missing out on healthy food to pensioners not getting their vitamins it is claimed. Health experts pulled together the results of 110 separate scientific and medical research studies to paint a worrying picture of what the UK's female population eats. Not only are women in the prime of their lives not getting the right amount of nutrition, which in turn can affect the weight of newborn babies too, but the poor diet extends across all age groups.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)
Comment: The studies cited in this report show that the nutrients deficient in British women’s diets include magnesium, zinc, potassium, iodine, iron, vitamin B2 and vitamin D. As if this were not bad enough, however, independent studies conducted in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and other countries have shown that the nutrient content of our food has fallen substantially over the past few decades as a result of our soils becoming depleted of minerals. In the Netherlands, for example, research shows that vegetables now contain so few essential minerals, such as selenium, that their levels can barely be recorded. To learn more, click here.

May 31, 2010

US Court Rules in Favour of Free Speech on Health Claims
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lost its bid to overturn a health claim for selenium-containing dietary supplements last Thursday in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle ruled unconstitutional the FDA’s censorship of selenium dietary supplement claims relating to the reduction of cancer risk. Jonathan Emord of Emord & Associates on behalf of the plaintiffs in the case (including lead plaintiff Alliance for Natural Health USA (ANH-USA); Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw; and the Coalition to End FDA and FTC Censorship). The verdict, unless reversed on appeal, protects the First Amendment right of dietary supplement manufacturers to provide “qualified health claims”, which accurately communicate the state of science concerning dietary supplements.
Read press release on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) Europe

May 27, 2010

‘Organic won’t feed the world’ mantra is “nonsense” — Prince Charles
The Prince of Wales has dismissed as “nonsense” the mantra that ‘organic won’t feed the world’. The Prince’s comment came in a speech he made at Elm Farm Organic Research Centre (ORC) last month. In his speech, part of ORC’s 30th birthday celebrations, he insisted “organic is the only truly sustainable form of agriculture and the one approach that has a real chance of mitigating the worst effects of climate change”. The Prince criticised the “wasteful” approach of intensive farming and the fragmented systems that props it up. He added: “Organic, on the other hand, recognises that Nature is finite and has to be respected.”
Read article in Natural Products Magazine (UK)

May 26, 2010

Vitamin E Research Ignored by Major News Media
If you think Medline and Wikipedia are biased, take a look through your newspapers and magazines. For example, have you noticed how the news media are quick to publish negative allegations about vitamin E, but slow to present the positive side?
Read news release at orthomolecular.org

May 24, 2010

Babies' DNA In Secret Vaults
Blood samples from millions of newborn babies are being stored without their parents’ knowledge, it emerged yesterday. The massive DNA files can be consulted by a range of organisations including the police, coroners and medical researchers, without having to ask the children’s families. In a sinister example of Britain’s slide into a Big Brother society, hospitals have admitted storing the blood samples of four million newborns during routine heel-prick tests.
Read article in the Daily Express (UK)

May 19, 2010

Pesticides linked to high risk of ADHD in children
Exposure to pesticides known as organophosphates may increase risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD in children, a new study suggests. Researchers tested urine samples from pediatric subjects and found that those with high levels of pesticides were about twice as likely to develop ADHD as those with undetected levels in their urine.
Read article at foodconsumer.org

May 19, 2010

'Naked' scanners may increase cancer risk
· Airport scanners may increase risk of cancer
· Radiation "dangerously underestimated"
· Skin around face, neck most at risk
US scientists are warning that radiation from controversial full-body airport scanners has been dangerously underestimated and could lead to an increased risk of skin cancer - particularly in children. University of California biochemist David Agard said that unlike other scanners, the radiation from these devices is delivered at low energy beam levels, with most of the dose concentrated in the skin and underlying tissue.
Read article at news.com.au (Australia)

May 19, 2010

Chinese traditional medicine interests express grave concerns over European legislation
Following ANH International's one week visit to China, strong expressions of interest from Government officials, trade groups and research institutions were made in relation to contesting European laws that will come into effect in April 2011.
Read press release on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) Europe

May 18, 2010

Older adults need higher remedial doses of vitamin D deficiency: Study
Older adults suffering vitamin D deficiency need higher remedial doses than younger adults, according to a new research review.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

May 18, 2010

Consensus and Melamine – A Tale of Two Codex Cities
The National Health Federation did not just attend the recent Codex Committee on Food Labelling meeting held earlier this month in Quebec City, Canada, it also attended the Codex Committee on General Principles (CCGP) meeting held in mid-April in Paris, France as well as the Codex Committee on Contaminants in Foods (CCCF) meeting held in late April in Izmir, Turkey. On the issues of concern to NHF, we were quite vocal at both meetings and definitely drove our points home.
Read press release on the website of the National Health Federation (NHF) (USA)

May 14, 2010

Not enough vitamin D may boost depression risk
They say sunshine can cheer you up, but insufficient levels of the sunshine vitamin may also increase your risk of developing depression, says a joint study from Italy and the US. Both men and women over the age of 65 have increased risk of depressive symptoms if they have low vitamin D levels, with the association stronger in women than men, according to findings published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

May 14, 2010

Vitamin D deficiency may raise caesarean risk
Women with insufficient vitamin D intake during pregnancy may be at increased risk for birth by caesarean section, study findings suggest. Of 253 women who gave birth in a Boston, Massachusetts hospital, those deficient in vitamin D were nearly 4-times more likely to deliver by caesarean section than women with higher levels of vitamin D, report Dr. Michael F. Holick and colleagues.
Read article in the Montreal Gazette (Canada)

May 11, 2010

Many pregnant women not getting enough vitamin D
Seven out of every ten pregnant women in the United States are not getting enough Vitamin D according to a study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. While prenatal vitamins do raise Vitamin D levels during pregnancy, the study shows that higher doses may be needed for many women.
Read article at physorg.com

May 11, 2010

Mainstream herbal sales soar, says report
US sales of herbal supplements in mainstream market channels last year saw the largest growth levels in recent memory, according to a new report from The American Botanical Council (ABC).
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

May 10, 2010

New vitamin D recommendations for older men and women
The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) has released a new position statement on Vitamin D for older adults which makes important recommendations for vitamin D nutrition from an evidence-based perspective.
Read article at physorg.com
Comment: The IOF’s new recommendations state that the estimated average vitamin D requirement of older adults to reach a serum 25OHD level of 75 nmol/l (30ng/ml) is 20 to 25 µg/day (800 to 1000 IU/day). Intakes may need to increase to as much as 50 µg(2000IU) per day in individuals who are obese, have osteoporosis, limited sun exposure (e.g. housebound or institutionalised), or have malabsorption.

May 6, 2010

President's Cancer Panel: Organic Foods Reduce Environmental Risks
The President's Cancer Panel Report released today exhorts consumers to choose food grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers, antibiotics, and growth hormones to help decrease their exposure to environmental chemicals that can increase their risk of contracting cancer. Organic products avoid the use of these chemicals. "Exposure to pesticides can be decreased by choosing, to the extent possible, food grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers... Similarly, exposure to antibiotics, growth hormones, and toxic run-off from livestock feed lots can be minimized by eating free-range meat raised without these medications," according to the landmark report, "Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now," submitted to President Obama by Dr. LaSalle Leffall, Jr., an oncologist and professor of surgery at Howard University, and Dr. Margaret L. Kripke, an immunologist at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Read article at foxbusiness.com (USA)
Comment: To download the President's Cancer Panel Report, click here.

May 6, 2010

'Mixed bag' ruling from European Court on French vitamin case
An important ruling was handed down by the European Court of Justice on 29th April 2010. The ruling relates to a case brought by the vitamin company, Solgar, and a range of other food supplement interests challenging decisions by France to set highly restrictive maximum levels for vitamins and minerals prior to the European Commission's planned EU-wide harmonisation of Maximum Permitted Levels (MPLs). In a nutshell, the European Court of Justice has further cemented a fundamentally flawed approach to risk management, which is in the process of being developed for EU-wide implementation by the European Commission. There is however, the glimmer of a silver lining, at least around parts of the Court's judgement. Probably the brightest light comes from the Court's decision to bar either national governments or, by inference, the European Commission, from implementing excessively low maximum levels without demonstrating any "genuine" or "real" risks to human health. We feel that this 'supreme view' from the highest court in Europe could pave the way for preventing disproportionate bans on particular molecular forms of nutrients that are known to be safe (and beneficial) at supplemental doses currently used.
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) Europe
Comment: The “government” of the Brussels EU – the unelected EU Commission – is soon expected to be making an announcement on proposed new maximum permitted levels for vitamins and minerals in food supplements. If you live in the EU, click here to visit the website of the European Referendum Initiative and sign the petition for a referendum on natural remedies, which aims to guarantee free access to scientifically based natural health remedies for all EU citizens via the holding of a referendum in all 27 EU Member States. To read the full ruling of the European Court of Justice on the French vitamin case, click here.

May 6, 2010

Good news at Codex this week
While you may be hearing “woe is me” information about the recent Codex Committee on Food Labelling (CCFL) meeting being held at the Quebec City Convention Centre here in Quebec City, Canada this week, the truth is actually quite different. Far from being a situation where the anti-genetically-modified (GM) food labeling forces (i.e., pro-GM foods) are advancing, they are in headlong retreat! And if we may say so, we should know because the National Health Federation has been in the thick of the fight on this issue, even in the special, closed Codex meetings, which we can attend due to our special accredited status with Codex. Our outspoken, strong stance that GM foods should be labeled as such so that the consumer can make an informed purchase must be hitting some raw nerves since I had a number of delegates scream at me during yesterday’s breakout session. But bottom-line: We are winning. It may seem glacially slow, even imperceptible to an outside observer; but NHF can tell you that the movement is steadily in our favor and direction.
Read press release by Codex delegate Scott Tips on the website of the National Health Federation (NHF) (USA)

May 3, 2010

Vitamin D deficiency in pregnant Arab women requires urgent attention
Pregnant Arab women have an "extraordinarily high prevalence" of vitamin D deficiency - a potential health issue for them and their babies, according to a new Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center study. The vitamin deficiency is largely due to how Arab women dress outdoors - preventing exposure of the skin to sunlight and subsequent vitamin D intake, according to Adekunle Dawodu, M.D., a physician in the Center for Global Child Health at Cincinnati Children's and lead author of the study. "Vitamin D deficiency is common in Arab women, and its deficiency in pregnancy is detrimental to the health of both mother and child," he says. "The problem can be addressed by either vitamin D supplementation or having expectant mothers expose their skin modestly to sunlight in private, such as the privacy of their own courtyards."
Read article at physorg.com

May 2, 2010

Fears for crops as shock figures from America show scale of bee catastrophe
The world may be on the brink of biological disaster after news that a third of US bee colonies did not survive the winter
Disturbing evidence that honeybees are in terminal decline has emerged from the United States where, for the fourth year in a row, more than a third of colonies have failed to survive the winter. The decline of the country's estimated 2.4 million beehives began in 2006, when a phenomenon dubbed colony collapse disorder (CCD) led to the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of colonies. Since then more than three million colonies in the US and billions of honeybees worldwide have died and scientists are no nearer to knowing what is causing the catastrophic fall in numbers.
Read article in the Guardian (UK)
Comment: Colony collapse disorder is now a serious worldwide problem. Significantly, therefore, evidence in the United States and Europe has linked pesticides produced by Bayer CropScience to the deaths of bees. In recognition of this, in the UK, a group of members of the British Bee Keepers Association has recently split from the organization and criticized the sponsorship deals it has with companies such as Bayer CropScience and Syngenta, from whom it receives around £17,500 pounds-a-year in funding.

April 30, 2010

Low folate levels in early pregnancy may lead to hyperactive kids
The development of a child’s brain in early pregnancy may be impaired by low folate levels in the mother, and lead to behavioural problems such as hyperactivity and inattention, says a new study. Low folate levels in early pregnancy were associated with increased rates of childhood hyperactivity and peer problems, according to a study with 100 mothers and their children followed for almost nine years. Scientists from the University of Southampton and University College London’s Institute of Child Health propose that the low folate levels impair the development of the brain in the foetus, and early pregnancy is a critical time for brain development.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

April 29, 2010

Don't Panic, Go Organic
Be not troubled by Robert Paarlberg's scaremongering. Organic practices can feed the world -- better, in fact, than wasteful industrial farming.
In May 2004, Catherine Badgley, an evolutionary biology professor at the University of Michigan, took her students on a research trip to an organic farm near their campus. Standing on the acre-and-a-half farm, Badgley asked the farmer, Rob MacKercher, how much food he produces annually. "Twenty-seven tons," he said. Badgley did the quick math: That's enough to provide 150 families one pound of produce every single day of the year. "If he can grow that quantity on this tiny parcel," Badgley wondered, "why can't organic agriculture feed the world?" That question was the genesis of a multi-year, multidisciplinary study to explore whether we could, indeed, feed the world with organic, sustainable methods of farming. The results? A resounding yes.
Read article at foreignpolicy.com (USA)

April 28, 2010

Low Vitamin D Levels Are Related to MS Brain Atrophy, Cognitive Function, Studies Show
Low vitamin D levels may be associated with more advanced physical disability and cognitive impairment in persons with multiple sclerosis, studies conducted by neurologists at the University at Buffalo have shown.
Read article at physorg.com

April 28, 2010

Vitamin D Deficiency Associated With Chronic Fatigue in Brain Injured Patients
New evidence presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology has shown that vitamin D deficiency is closely associated with the chronic fatigue that often follows post traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Read article at sciencedaily.com

April 28, 2010

Case not closed for high dose supplement campaign, ANH
The EU Parliament Petitions Committee have voted to keep open five petitions that question the European Commission’s proposal to limit maximum levels of vitamins and minerals in the EU bloc under the Food Supplements Directive. Robert Verkerk, scientific and executive director of Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) International, who argued the case for supporting the petitions said that Emma Mazzoni, chair of the Petitions Committee, has also referred the proposal back to the European Parliament's Committee on Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) for further scrutiny. The petitions were filed two years ago by the ANH, and also by the Irish Association of Health Stores, the Irish Health Trade Association, the Nutritional Therapists of Ireland and a Swedish association of practitioners. According to Verkerk, the models being utilised by European authorities to determine upper safe limits (USLs) for vitamin and minerals used in food supplements are flawed and should be subject to proper scientific validation.
Read article at foodnavigator.com

April 26, 2010

What's Going on at Wikipedia?
Do You Detect Any Bias Against Nutritional Medicine?
Wikipedia is a popular internet site for those seeking information on a very wide variety of subjects. What is unique about it is that anyone, it is said, can contribute to or edit its content. The Orthomolecular Medicine News Service has received complaints from readers who have tried, and failed, to correct what they think are a number of strongly biased declarations at the Wikipedia page on Orthomolecular Medicine http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthomolecular_medicine.
Read news release at orthomolecular.org
Comment: As we ourselves have stated previously, the facts aren’t welcome on Wikipedia when you challenge the interests of the multi-billion dollar drug industry. As such, Wikipedia’s articles on non-pharmaceutical forms of medicine tend to be written from a highly sceptical standpoint and are effectively “policed” by editors such as MastCell and Keepcalmandcarryon, who exhibit a strong and open bias towards pharmaceutical-based medicine. Moreover, whilst Jimmy Wales, the public figurehead of Wikipedia, tries to give the world the impression that his website is an independent entity, the reality is that the Wikimedia Foundation, of which Wikipedia is a project, is directly dependent upon support from super-wealthy benefactors with connections to the pharmaceutical investment business. One of the most notable of the Wikimedia Foundation’s supporters is the so-called “Open Society Institute”, founded by the multi-billionaire chairman of Soros Fund Management LLC, George Soros.

April 20, 2010

ANH-International Executive and Scientific Director Dr. Rob Verkerk Publishes Article In Respected Scientific Journal Explaining Why European Regulation Of Supplements Based On Bad Science
A study just published in a leading peer-reviewed journal argues that the European Commission’s proposal to limit the maximum legal doses of vitamins and minerals in food supplements is scientifically invalid. The study’s author, Robert Verkerk, Ph.D., executive and scientific director of the Alliance for Natural Health-Intl, wrote: “When you dig into the complexity of risk and benefit relationships for nutrients as I have in this study, proceeding with the kind of approaches the European Commission, the European Food Safety Authority and industry have been discussing over the last six or so years makes absolutely no scientific sense. The only rational way forward involves moving from the risk-only approach that has been considered up until now, to a risk-benefit approach. This means changing tracks.”
Read article on the Alliance for Natural Health - USA website

April 16, 2010

Indians get enough of sun, not sunshine vitamin
MUMBAI: It has traditionally been called the sunshine vitamin. Adequate exposure to sunshine means adequate vitamin D in the body, so went the old fundamental of health. But vitamin D is now symbolic of a great Indian paradox: India, the land of plenty sunshine, is now home to a growing epidemic of vitamin D deficiency. The reason, say doctors, is the growing pollution across the country. “The pollutants screen the UV rays that are needed to come in contact with the skin to create vitamin D,’’ says endocrinologist Dr H Chandalia. Concurs Dr Shashank Joshi, consultant endocrinologist at Lilavati Hospital, “Not only do the UV rays get filtered out by the pollutants, the melanin on Indian skin further acts as a block against vitamin D.’’
Read article in The Times of India

April 13, 2010

Bigger role in preventative medicine for dietary supplements
Dietary supplements took a step closer to playing a key role in preventative medicine following a recent meeting in Washington DC between the Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus, and the trade associations Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and Natural Products Association. Functional medicine, or personalized healthcare incorporating conventional and alternative therapies and dietary supplements, focuses on primary prevention and the underlying causes for serious illness. Andrew Shao, CRN’s senior vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, told NutraIngredientsUSA,com: “The preventive effects of certain dietary supplements are well documented, including strong evidence supporting the use of folic acid to prevent neural tube birth defects; omega-3 fatty acids to promote heart health; calcium and vitamin D to prevent osteoporosis; lutein to reduce the risk of macular degeneration; etc.”
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

April 13, 2010

Tell The FDA That Cherries—And Now Walnuts—Are NOT Illegal Drugs!
Has the FDA lost its mind–again?
In the latest volley of the US Food and Drug Administration’s bizarre war on scientific freedom of speech, the FDA has sent a Warning Letter to the president and CEO of Diamond Foods stating that the firm’s packages of shelled walnuts are “in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.” Why? As Bill Faloon, co-founder of the Life Extension Foundation, explains in a powerful new investigative article, Diamond Foods, a processor and distributor of nuts, dared to list some of the health benefits of walnuts on its website. The FDA says that the walnuts are being “promoted for conditions that cause them to be drugs because these products are intended for use in the prevention, mitigation, and treatment of disease.” In other words, if you say that a food is healthy and may help protect against heart disease, or ease arthritis or inflammation, your words have magically changed that food into a drug, and that’s illegal.
Read article on the Alliance for Natural Health - USA website

April 12, 2010

Low vitamin B6 may increase Parkinson’s disease risk
Insufficient levels of vitamin B6 may increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease by about 50 per cent, says a new study from Japan.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

April 9, 2010

Office for Dietary Supplements outlines five-year plan
Funding new research, supporting new research tools and maximizing supplements knowledge will form the cornerstone of US Office for Dietary Supplements (ODS) activity, the body has stated in a five-year mission statement.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

April 7, 2010

Study links rheumatoid arthritis to vitamin D deficiency
Women living in the northeastern United States are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis (RA), suggesting a link between the autoimmune disease and vitamin D deficiency, says a new study led by a Boston University School of Public Health researcher.
Read article at physorg.com

April 7, 2010

Petition urges action on vitamin B6 form ban
The Alliance for Natural Health USA (ANH-USA) is urging people to sign a petition against the market withdrawal of a natural form of vitamin B6 – Pyridoxamine – in dietary supplement form.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

April 6, 2010

Finland proposes a doubling of Vit D dose for elderly
In recommendations published by Finland’s National Nutrition Council last week, the intake level of vitamin D for people over 60 years of age should be 20 micrograms (mcg) per day, double the current levels of 10mcg daily for this age group.
Read news release at nutraingredients.com

March 31, 2010

Does READER'S DIGEST Shill for the Pharmaceutical Industry?
Or is it Only a Really Bad April Fool's Joke?
Reader's Digest's editors cannot possibly be as ignorant as their April 2010 article "5 Vitamin Truths and Lies" seems to indicate. Or can they? Surely their silly attempt at vitamin-bashing is merely an April Fool's joke. Isn't it? Read over "5 Vitamin Truths and Lies" and decide for yourself. It is online at http://www.rd.com/living-healthy/5-vitamin-truths-and-lies/article175625.html Be sure to note readers' comments following the article. You may wish to leave a comment or two of your own. Reader's Digest's circulation, by the way, is dropping rapidly. Once, it had a circulation of 18 million. Just a few years ago, it had a circulation of 8 million. It is now 5.5 million. The magazine is also no longer published every month, but is down to 10 issues a year. Furthermore, Reader's Digest posted a loss of $653 million in only nine months of last year, and the company is in debt for a whopping $2.1 billion. Perhaps they are getting desperate for cash. At least that might explain the 15 pages of pharmaceutical advertising in their April 2010 issue.
Read news release at orthomolecular.org
Comment: Hardly surprisingly, since the publication of Reader’s Digest’s highly misleading vitamin article, a number of physicians and researchers have publicly disagreed with its absurd claims. If you wish to add your voice to theirs and demand that Reader's Digest publishes the truth about vitamins, you can write to the magazine’s editors at this email address: RDEditorial_RDW@ReadersDigest.com

March 27, 2010

Why levels of Vitamin D are lower in the north
Living in the north of the UK may lead to low Vitamin D levels, according to new research. One in four post-menopausal Caucasian women in Scotland are Vitamin D deficient in the winter, compared to none in the south. The new research also shows that 60 per cent of Asian women living in the south of England were Vitamin D deficient in winter. ‘Results show clear differences in Vitamin D status between the north and south and marked ethnic differences,’ says the study.
Read article in the Daily Mail (UK)

March 26, 2010

New ANH study says EU vitamin laws must change track
Alliance for Natural Health study says risk-benefit approach needed for vitamin and mineral food supplements
A study just published in a leading peer reviewed journal explains how the European Commission’s proposed approach to limiting maximum doses of vitamins and minerals in food supplements across Europe is not scientifically rational. This is the second review study on the subject authored by Robert Verkerk PhD, executive and scientific director of international campaign organisation, the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH). The study has been published in the journal, Toxicology, the official journal of the British Toxicology Society and the German Toxicology Society. It is published in the same journal just two months after an in-depth review of the scientific methods being considered by European authorities, co-authored by Dr Verkerk, along with Dr Steve Hickey of Staffordshire University, UK. This latest study evaluates the relationships between the risks and benefits of two vitamins and two minerals and shows that the conversion of risk-based approaches being contemplated by European authorities into law will deny the majority of people from consuming beneficial quantities of vitamins and minerals.
Read press release on the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) website

March 25, 2010

Free vitamin pills for mothers and children in Cardiff
Vitamin pills could be free to all pregnant and breast-feeding women and young children across Wales, if a pilot scheme proves successful. Currently, low-income families across the UK get free vitamins and vouchers for milk, fruit and vegetables. Under the pilot scheme in Cardiff, vitamins will be free at health centres and given out by health visitors. First Minister Carwyn Jones said the aim was to "give children the best start in life."
Read article on the BBC News website (UK)

March 24, 2010

Statscan finds widespread vitamin D deficiency in Canadians
Survey says 2 out of 3 Canadians have less of the nutrient than the latest research suggests is necessary
The most comprehensive survey ever undertaken on vitamin D in Canadians has found widespread deficiencies of the sunshine vitamin, which is being promoted for everything from the prevention of cancer to reducing heart attack risk. The survey, conducted by Statistics Canada, found that two-thirds of the population has vitamin D levels below the amounts research is associating with reduced risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, while one in 10, or more than three million people, have such low readings that they don’t have enough for good bone health. About 4 per cent have so little that they’re at risk for rickets, a debilitating childhood bone disease.
Read article in The Globe and Mail (Canada)

March 23, 2010

New Bill Addresses Scientific Support for Supplement Sales
WASHINGTON—Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) introduced the Free Speech About Science Act (HR 4913) on March 23, seeking to amend federal regulations to allow marketers of healthy foods and dietary supplements to cite scientific studies on the health benefits of their products in sales and marketing materials, including packaging or Web sites.
Read article at naturalproductsinsider.com (USA)

March 23, 2010

EU urged to help tackle Vitamin D deficiency
A parliamentary hearing has been told the EU should adopt an "effective and efficient" strategy to tackle the growing problem of vitamin D deficiency. The workshop on Tuesday heard there is currently a "huge" shortfall in Europe in the recommended intake of vitamin D.
Read article at theparliament.com

March 22, 2010

ANH set to challenge EU herb law
Alliance for Natural Health International announces its intention to initiate a legal challenge to the European directive on traditional herbal medicines
An expert’s workshop in Budapest, sponsored by the Indian government and convened by the European Ayurvedic Association, provided the venue for the Alliance for Natural Health International to announce its intention to initiate legal proceedings against the European Directive on Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products (THMPD) (EC Directive 2004/24/EC). The directive poses a major obstacle for the continued use and practice of long-standing traditions of healthcare involving herbal products in Europe, including those of Ayurveda and Unani from the Indian sub-continent and that of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Many such products, including those from Western herbal traditions, have up until now been sold in the EU as botanicals under the food supplement regime. But most Member States are anticipating narrowing the regime when the directive’s 7-year transition phase expires on 31 March 2011.
Read press release on the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) website

March 19, 2010

EU meddling with health food stores puts 4,000 jobs at risk
New curbs on vitamin and mineral pills by Brussels are threatening to push hundreds of UK health food stores out of business with the loss of up to 4,000 jobs. Campaigners say the EU Commission’s plans will hit hundreds of their best-selling supplements, including vitamins A, C, and D, folic acid, calcium and iron.
Read article in the Daily Express (UK)
Comment: The “government” of the Brussels EU – the unelected EU Commission – is soon expected to be making an announcement on proposed new maximum permitted levels for vitamins and minerals in food supplements. If you live in the EU, click here to visit the website of the European Referendum Initiative and sign the petition for a referendum on natural remedies, which aims to guarantee free access to scientifically based natural health remedies for all EU citizens via the holding of a referendum in all 27 EU Member States.

March 18, 2010

Nutrition training for doctors 'must be improved'
Nutrition needs to be made a more important part of the doctor training system, a leading expert has said. Gastroenterologist Dr Penny Neild, who works at London's St George's Hospital, said training on how to spot and tackle malnutrition was "patchy". She said medical schools and junior doctor programmes were focusing too much on the science of being a doctor rather than basic care.
Read article on the BBC News website (UK)

March 17, 2010

The latest news on the S.510 and S.3002 attacks on health
There is much confusion and debate swirling around the pending, or near-pending, demise of Senator McCain’s so-called “Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010 (S.3002). After Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) issued their letter of March 10th, what is clear about the bill’s status is the following: 1. S.3002 will wither on the vine in the Senate. 2. Instead, when the so-called Food Safety Act (S.510) is brought up again in the Senate, there may be a McCain-Dorgan amendment offered to it, which Senators Hatch and Harkin will have to review first. 3. This amendment could be accepted and added by unanimous consent before S.510 is voted upon. 4. If it passes the Senate, then the House and Senate leadership would work out any differences and pass it on to Mr. Obama. The best estimates are that this would not happen until after Congress returns in mid-April 2010. 5. As of today, S.510 is still on the Senate calendar and not scheduled for a vote.
Read press release on the website of the National Health Federation (NHF) (USA)

March 17, 2010

Study: Low levels of vitamin D linked to higher rates of asthma in African-American kids
Researchers at Children's National Medical Center have discovered that African American children with asthma in metropolitan Washington, DC, are significantly more likely to have low levels of vitamin D than healthy African American children.
Read article at physorg.com

March 13, 2010

Judges uphold ban on Bayer pesticide
A federal appeals court refused to delay a ban on the sale of a pesticide that some environmental groups claim is killing honeybees. The decision prevents Bayer CropScience, from selling its pesticide, Spirotetramat, while the company appeals a lower court ruling that halted sales. "Bayer has demonstrated neither that it will suffer irreparable injury absent a stay, nor that it has a substantial possibility of success on the merits of its appeal," U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood and U.S. Circuit Judge Joseph McLaughlin said in the ruling this week.
Read article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (USA)
Comment: This is by no means the first time that a pesticide produced by Bayer CropScience has been implicated in the deaths of bees. In May 2008, Germany suspended sales of the company’s pesticide clothianidin after 700 beekeepers along the Rhine reported that two-thirds of their bees had died following its use. Tests on dead bees showed that 99% of those examined had a build-up of the chemical. In France, another Bayer CropScience pesticide, imidacloprid, has been banned on sunflowers since 1999 and as a sweetcorn treatment since 2003, after a third of honeybees were wiped out.

March 10, 2010

DSHEA Repeal Legislation Delayed, Not Dead
For the time being, on the Senate side of Congress, the bill has apparently been delayed. However, unless and until McCain formally pulls his bill, the DSSA bill is still alive in the Senate for the rest of this year. The Hatch-McCain understanding does not, under Senate procedures, preclude any other Senator like Dorgan, or the anti-supplement, DSHEA-hating Dick Durbin (the Assistant Senate Majority Leader), from filing a Motion to Discharge S.3002 from the Senate HELP committee, where it currently is. If this happens the bill can be sent directly to the full Senate for a passage vote.
Read press release on the website of the National Health Federation (NHF) (USA)

March 10, 2010

Nurse Practitioners to Patients: Can We Talk?
New Survey Shows NPs Want to Educate Patients About Dietary Supplement Usage
WASHINGTON -- Eighty-five percent of nurse practitioners agree that one of the roles of healthcare professionals is to provide their patients with information about dietary supplements, according to new research from the "Life...supplemented" 2009 Healthcare Professionals (HCP) Impact Study. "Supplements can be overlooked, but they shouldn't be," says Barbara Dehn, RN, MS, NP with Women's Physicians in Mountain View, Calif. and advisor to the "Life...supplemented" program. "Nurse practitioners are very interested in integrative healthcare options, looking at the overall wellness picture, and figuring out how we focus on health maintenance and preventive approaches. I recommend my patients start with the basics: eat right, incorporate vitamins and other supplements, and exercise regularly." Nurse Dehn is not alone. According to the study, nurse practitioners are personally incorporating the three pillars of health into their own lives: 84 percent said they try to eat a balanced diet, 95 percent take dietary supplements, and 64 percent exercise regularly. Ninety-six percent of nurse practitioners recommend supplements, and their reasons are varied—most often for bone health (63 percent recommend for this reason), overall health and wellness (47 percent) and to fill nutrition gaps (44 percent).
Read press release at prnewswire.com

March 9, 2010

Low vitamin D may mean fatter, weaker muscles: Study
Insufficient blood levels of vitamin D may be associated with the accumulation of fat in muscle tissue, leading to lower muscle strength, says a new study. A study with 90 young women aged between 16 and 22 found that almost 60 per cent were vitamin D insufficient, and that muscle fat levels were higher in these women, compared with women with normal vitamin D levels, according to findings published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

March 9, 2010

80,000 Children May Die of Vitamin A Deficiency
No fewer than 80,000 Nigerian children are prone to die annually from Vitamin A deficiency related ailments if concerted efforts are not made to control and prevent the deficiency amongst growing children in the country. Country Director of Helen Keller International, HKI, Dr. Omo Ohiokpehai, who said this in Makurdi during an advocacy visit on the Benue State Ministry of Health and Human Services noted that the World Health Organisation, WHO, had identified Nigeria as one of the Category One countries with the highest risk of Vitamin A deficiency in the world.
Read article at allafrica.com
Comment: Only around $300 million would be needed to eliminate vitamin A deficiency in the developing world. Vitamin A is essential for immune system function and can be provided by micronutrient supplementation or the enrichment of food. The cost of this project would represent a small fraction of the world pharma market – which in 2008 was worth $773 billion. Much of this money was made by selling ineffective drugs to poor nations whose people are suffering mostly from malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies. As such, the fact that the pharma industry does not act to eliminate vitamin A deficiency in the developing world tells us all we need to know about its motives.

March 5, 2010

Low levels of vitamin D linked to muscle fat, decreased strength in young people
There's an epidemic in progress, and it has nothing to do with the flu. A ground-breaking study published in the March 2010 Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found an astonishing 59 per cent of study subjects had too little Vitamin D in their blood. Nearly a quarter of the group had serious deficiencies (less than 20 ng/ml) of this important vitamin. Since Vitamin D insufficiency is linked to increased body fat, decreased muscle strength and a range of disorders, this is a serious health issue.
Read article at physorg.com

March 4, 2010

Traditional herbal medicines in the EU: an update
When the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive was passed in 2004, many herbal producers, including those producing herbs for the great and ancient traditions of Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, saw the Directive as a ‘godsend’. Here was a piece of law that would give these herbal products a proper medicinal classification, meaning they could actually be used to help make sick people healthier. The food supplements regime, under which most of these products have been sold in Europe, of course doesn’t allow any claim to be made about the treatment or protection against disease. In fact, food supplements are intended only for healthy persons (so they say)! We are now 6 years into the implementation of the Directive, and only there’s only a year before it’s all-important transition phase runs out.
Read update on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH)

February 26, 2010

EU scientific committee further compromised by conflict of interest on fluoride
Its competence already queried at inception in June 2009 by International Society of Doctors for Environment (ISDE), the EU’s Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER) which is investigating fluoridation chemicals, has now been accused of a conflict of interest. SCHER’s credibility is thus further compromised by one of its members having actively co-promoted fluoridation in Switzerland. Prof Ackermann-Liebrich was involved with others in needlessly prolonging fluoridation in Basel-city for several years until in 2003, the Swiss Canton stopped fluoridation because even after 40 years, no study could prove the caries-preventive effect of fluoridation.
Read press release on the Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment (VOICE) website (Ireland)

February 26, 2010

Vitamin D deficiency likely among some kidney disease patients starting dialysis
Vitamin D deficiency is almost universal among kidney disease patients who have low blood protein levels and who start dialysis during the winter, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (CJASN).
Read article at physorg.com

February 24, 2010

Senator McCain – Please Read Your Own Bill
On Monday, Senator McCain released a Senate Floor Statement defending his Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010. He lashed out at “opponents of the bill and their well-paid Washington lobbyists” who have “spread false statements and rumors about the legislation”. OK. So what are these alleged “false statements and rumors”? McCain again: “Opponents have stated that the legislation would seek to limit consumers’ ability to purchase dietary supplements, vitamins, or prescription drugs. That is completely false…. If you take a vitamin now, this bill will in no way restrict your ability to take that vitamin.” McCain clearly hasn’t read his own bill.
Read article on the Alliance for Natural Health - USA website
Comment: Under current United States law, the FDA cannot arbitrarily ban a supplement that was sold prior to October 15, 1994, the date that the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) was passed. McCain’s bill would wipe out that protection. The only supplements that would be legal to sell in the US if this bill passes are those “included on [a] list…prepared, published, and maintained by the [FDA]“. In this respect, McCain’s bill bears a close resemblance to the European Union’s restrictive Food Supplements Directive (FSD), which contains specific lists of the only types of vitamins and minerals that are permitted to be contained in supplements sold within the EU. In other words, unless a vitamin or mineral is included on the FSD’s lists, it cannot be sold within EU borders. If you live in the US, click here to contact your Senators and Representatives and demand that they help protect your right to unrestricted access to dietary supplements.

February 24, 2010

The Food, Inc. Horror Movie
A film that exposes how the corporate food industry sickens and enslaves the nation, but leaves many stones unturned.
It looks like a scene from Charlie Chaplin’s 1936 movie Modern Times, only worse. The assembly lines process factory-farmed chicken carcasses, hog carcasses, and gigantic extrusions of ground up cattle to feed the supermarket shelves and the fast-growing fast food industry. The workers are illegal immigrants bussed in from Mexico or elsewhere, paid inhuman wages, and then turned in to the police when surplus to requirement. Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Kenner’s documentary Food, Inc., nominated for the 82nd Academy Awards, is intent on exposing the graphic horrors of the food we eat, starting in the USA.
Read review by Dr. Mae-Wan Ho on the website of the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) (UK)

February 19, 2010

Official Recommended Intake for Vitamin D is Too Low
2,000 IU/Day or More Needed for Optimal Health
Vitamin D has been a natural part of man's experience forever, and 90% of vitamin D is derived from solar ultraviolet-B (UVB) irradiance. The health effects of vitamin D can be and have been determined from a variety of studies including ecological, observational (case-control and cohort), and cross-sectional studies. Vitamin D helps both to prevent and to treat chronic diseases including many types of cancer, cardiovascular disease (coronary heart disease, stroke, etc.), congestive heart failure, diabetes mellitus (types 1 and 2), osteoporosis, falls, and fractures. It is also effective against infectious diseases including both bacteria and viral infections: bacterial vaginosis, pneumonia, dental caries, periodontal disease, tuberculosis, sepsis/septicemia, Epstein-Barr virus, and influenza type A such as A/H1N1 influenza. The autoimmune diseases include asthma, type 1 diabetes mellitus, multiple sclerosis, and perhaps rheumatoid arthritis.
Read news release at orthomolecular.org

February 16, 2010

Dark-skinned immigrants urged to take vitamin D
Immigrants who come to Canada from sunnier parts of the world are at risk of health problems caused by a lack of vitamin D unless they take supplements, doctors and nutritionists warn.
Read article on the CBC News website (Canada)

February 9, 2010

Bruce Ames: Vitamin insufficiency boosting age-related diseases
It is literally all about living for today. By understanding that nature favours survival today over tomorrow, a theory that vitamin inadequacy is behind the rise in chronic diseases “makes sense… and it is almost certainly going to be right,” says world-renowned scientist Bruce Ames.
Read interview with Bruce Ames at nutraingredients.com

February 9, 2010

Schoolboy proud of vitamin D campaign
A schoolboy who petitioned the Scottish Parliament about possible links between vitamin D and multiple sclerosis has said he is proud of what he had achieved. Ryan McLaughlin, 14, took his case to Holyrood’s Public Petition Committee last summer. The petition called on ministers to produce new guidelines on vitamin D supplements for children and pregnant women, along with an awareness campaign about the issue. The Scottish Government has now agreed to support and host a summit in April on the role of vitamin D and to produce the guidance on supplements.
Read article in The Herald (Scotland/UK)

February 9, 2010

Research warns of risks of low potassium in heart failure patients with chronic kidney disease
New research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) says low potassium levels produce an increased risk of death or hospitalization in patients with heart failure and chronic kidney disease (CKD). In findings reported in January in Circulation: Heart Failure, a journal of the American Heart Association, the researchers say that even a mild decrease in serum potassium level increased the risk of death in this patient group.
Read article at physorg.com

February 4, 2010

RDA for Vitamin C is 10% of USDA Standard for Guinea Pigs
Are You Healthier than a Lab Animal?
The US RDA for vitamin C for humans is only 10% of the government's vitamin C standards for Guinea pigs. Wait a minute; that cannot possibly be true. Can it? The US Department of Agriculture states that "the Guinea pig's vitamin C requirement is 10-15 mg per day under normal conditions and 15-25 mg per day if pregnant, lactating, or growing." Well, that sounds reasonable. But how much is that compared to humans? An adult guinea pig weighs about one kilogram (2.2 pounds). Guinea pigs therefore need between 10 and 25 milligrams of C per kilogram. In the US, an average human weighs (at least) 82 kg (180 lbs). That means the USDA's standards, if fairly applied to us, would set our vitamin C requirement somewhere between 820 mg and 2,000 mg vitamin C per day.
Read news release at orthomolecular.org

February 4, 2010

Don't Let McCain & Dorgan Gut DSHEA
They are at it again! This time, it is Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) who are trying to gut the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 by introducing a new bill (as yet unnumbered) with the misleading title of the “Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010.” This bill has as much to do with safety as pigs with space travel.
Read article on the website of the National Health Federation (NHF) (USA)
Comment: If you live in the United States, click here to contact your Senators and Representatives and demand that they help protect your right to unrestricted access to dietary supplements. To read McCain and Dorgan’s bill, click here.

February 2, 2010

Vitamin B6 may affect heart disease risk: Study
Low levels of vitamin B6 may increase the risk of inflammation and metabolic conditions, and subsequently cardiovascular disease risk, says a new study. A cross-sectional study with 1,205 people found that higher levels of pyridoxal-5'-phosphate (PLP), the active form of vitamin B6, were linked to lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation, as well as lower levels of 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), a marker for oxidative stress, both of which are related to heart disease risk.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

February 2, 2010

Safety of Radiation Questioned
An expert on uranium and plutonium, Dr. John William Gofman — professor emeritus of molecular and cell biology, at the University of California, Berkeley —is also on the faculty at the University of California Medical School in San Francisco. In the early 1960s, the Atomic Energy Commission asked Gofman to establish a biomedical research division at the AEC’s Livermore National Laboratory, for the purpose of evaluating the health consequences of all types of nuclear activities. In 1990 Gofman declared that “by any reasonable standard of biomedical proof,” there is no threshold level (i.e., no harmless dose) of ionizing radiation with respect to radiation mutagenesis and carcinogenesis, a conclusion supported in 1995 by a government-funded committee studying radiation. Also in 1995, Gofman provided evidence that medical radiation is a necessary co-actor in about 75 percent of recent cases of breast cancer in the United States.
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health USA

February 2, 2010

How Hard is it to Spell ‘D’?
Each week brings new studies confirming the benefits of vitamin D, and yet there is widespread vitamin-D deficiency in industrialized nations. So why are public-health officials not jumping on the crisis and its remedy?
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health USA

January 28, 2010

Want to be a MEDLINE Information Censor? The National Library of Medicine Needs You!
Would you like to dictate what nutritional research people may or may not access? Why not join the NLM's Literature Selection Technical Review Committee? We think a good preparatory step is to take the Medline Censorship Aptitude Test (MED-CENT). Not to worry; it's multiple choice.
Read news release at orthomolecular.org
Comment: Joking aside, the serious point here is that Medline – a free service funded by U.S. taxpayer dollars and run by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health – actively censors nutritional research. If you live in the United States, we encourage you to complain to Medline about this flagrant misuse of your taxes. To do so, you can contact Ms Betsy Humphreys, the Deputy Director of the National Library of Medicine, by emailing her at betsy.humphreys@nih.gov or betsy_humphreys@nlm.nih.gov. You can also phone her on 301-496-6661.

January 28, 2010

UK consumers embrace alternative medicines
Sales of complementary therapies such as traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines are booming in the UK as increasing numbers of people turn away from prescription drugs, according to Mintel. The market researcher noted the market had grown 18 per cent since 2007 to be worth £213m (€247m) in 2009. By 2013 it would be worth £282m (€328m) – a 33 per cent increase. Mintel attributed the market growth to the increasing acceptance of alternative medicines with many of them being recommended through official channels such as the National Health Service. With increasing numbers suffering from mental ailments such as stress and depression, herbal treatments such as St John's Wort were being used more frequently and by greater numbers of people.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

January 26, 2010

Vitamins and Teenagers: A Personal Statement by Stephen H. Brown, PhD
In our house, vitamin supplements sit on the counter in open bowls like nuts, dried fruits, or jelly beans. Colds, respiratory illnesses, intestinal viruses, mono, and other infectious diseases are constantly present in American schools. In response, my teenage kids have placed four bowls on the kitchen counter - a large one in the middle full of vitamin C surrounded by three smaller bowls of niacin, vitamin D, and thiamine tablets. They help themselves to the vitamins when they feel the need, and many of their friends have adopted the idea as well. Regularly, the kids report that the vitamins actually work. The most frequent comments are, "Wow, I can breath through my nose again!", and "I was sure I was getting sick yesterday but I feel fine today."
Read news release at orthomolecular.org

January 22, 2010

FDA has a month to respond to health claim contempt of court allegations
The parties suing the FDA over its qualified health claims system have filed opposition to the FDA’s own opposition to their suit that accuses the regulator of health claim censorship and distortion of scientific data. The Food and Drug Administration has one month to respond to the statement filed by the Alliance for Natural Health USA (ANH-USA) and others that accuses the FDA of ignoring four court orders dating back to 1999 and thereby breaching constitutional First Amendment freedom of speech tenets. The parties, represented by Virgina-based attorney, Jonathan Emord, assert that the four cases including Pearson v Shalala direct the FDA to allow commercial messaging about nutrient-health benefit relations even when the science is supportive but not conclusive. They accuse the FDA of stubbornly refusing to respect the will of the courts.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

January 22, 2010

50% of UK Vitamin D deficient
Spending too long indoors, applying excessive sun screen and the changing ethnic population is causing precariously low levels of Vitamin D in parts of the UK, warn Professor Simon Pearce and Dr Tim Cheetham at Newcastle University. "More than 50% of the adult population have insufficient levels of vitamin D and 16% have severe deficiency during winter and spring," they say.
Read article at publicservice.co.uk

January 22, 2010

EFSA GMO regulatory chief takes EU ‘secrets’ to biotech industry
Once again, we find that the ‘independence’ of a European regulatory body is being called into question, this time the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). It transpires that the former head of the GMO panel at EFSA, Suzy Renckens, has been allowed by the food safety authority to move directly to a job in the genetic engineering industry. Such a move is not permitted according to EFSA’s own procedures, which are designed to prevent ‘conflict of interest’. The Testbiotech Institute, Germany, who promote independent research and public debate on the impacts of biotechnology, made the information about the move public, and have reported that, only at that point, did the EFSA executive management acknowledge and communicate about the controversial move.
Read article on the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) website

January 21, 2010

Low Vitamin D Levels Associated With Greater Risk of Relapse in Childhood-Onset Multiple Sclerosis
Low vitamin D blood levels are associated with a significantly higher risk of relapse attacks in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) who develop the disease during childhood, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco.
Read news release at sciencedaily.com

January 19, 2010

No Deaths from Vitamins, Minerals, Amino Acids or Herbs
Poison Control Statistics Prove Supplements' Safety
There was not even one death caused by a dietary supplement in 2008, according to the most recent information collected by the U.S. National Poison Data System. The new 174-page annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers, published in the journal Clinical Toxicology, shows zero deaths from multiple vitamins; zero deaths from any of the B vitamins; zero deaths from vitamins A, C, D, or E; and zero deaths from any other vitamin. Additionally, there were no deaths whatsoever from any amino acid or herbal product.
Read news release at orthomolecular.org

January 15, 2010

NLM Censors Nutritional Research
Medline is Biased, and Taxpayers Pay for It
Did you know that there are "good" medical journals, and that there are "naughty" medical journals? No kidding. The good journals are easy to access on the internet through a huge electronic database called Medline. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed) This wonderful, free service is brought to you by the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. In other words, by you. By your tax dollars. Generally it is money well spent, until you go searching for megavitamin therapy research papers. Then you will find that you can't find all of them. That is because of selective indexing. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) proudly describes itself as "the largest medical library in the world. The goal of the NLM is to collect, organize and make available biomedical literature to advance medical science and improve public health." Hmm. Collect. Organize. Make available. Improve public health. So, after over 40 continuous years of publication, why is the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine NOT indexed by Medline?
Read news release at orthomolecular.org

January 15, 2010

Grapefruit juice may boost CoQ10 uptake: Study
A glass of grapefruit juice may improve intestinal absorption of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) by almost 50 per cent, says a new study from Japan.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

January 14, 2010

Vitamin D levels not enough for winter: Study
Current recommended intake for vitamin D during winter months and need to be at increased by five, says a new study from California. Recommended intakes for people with darker skins should be increased to a whopping 2100 to 3100 International Units per day all year-round, up from the current adequate intakes set at 5 micrograms per day (200 International Units). Researchers from University of California, Davis report their findings in the Journal of Nutrition. The study, led by Laura Hill, represents the latest in a long line of studies calling for increases in the recommended levels for vitamin D.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com
Comment: According to the study, people of European ancestry with a high sun exposure need 1300 IU per day of the vitamin during the winter, whilst people of African ancestry with low sun exposure would require much higher intakes, from 2100 to 3100 IU per day throughout the year. In adults, evidence suggests that vitamin D deficiency may precipitate or exacerbate osteopenia, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, fractures, common cancers, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases. There is also evidence that the vitamin may reduce the incidence of several types of cancer and type-1 diabetes.

January 13, 2010

Proposed dose limits on vitamin supplements in Europe found to be scientifically flawed
New study reveals extensive scientific weaknesses in methods being proposed to limit supplement dosages across Europe
A critical study published in the scientific journal Toxicology casts serious doubts over the methods being considered by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Commission to limit dosages of vitamin and mineral food supplements across the European Union (EU). Lead author of the Toxicology article, Robert Verkerk PhD, scientific and executive director of Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) International, considers the proposed methods for determining ‘maximum permitted levels’ as “fatally flawed”. Dr Verkerk and colleagues have made extensive representations concerning nutrient risk analysis to European and international authorities in the past, however, the Toxicology paper represents the most thorough scientific critique undertaken to-date. Dr Verkerk claims that outputs from the models most favoured by European authorities have never been subject to proper scientific validation. The paper reveals that proposed maximum amounts for some vitamins and minerals are so low they may even be exceeded in a single junk meal.
Read press release on the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) website

January 9, 2010

Chemical in plastic bottles 'poisoning us'
A leading toxicology scientist believes tighter regulations are needed to prevent chemicals leaking into the human body from common plastic drink bottles and packaging. University of Canterbury professor of toxicology Professor Ian Shaw says it is crucially important to decrease the amount of the chemical BPA from New Zealanders' diets. BPA, which leaches from food and drink containers into the body, has consistently been found in overseas tests in blood, urine and even the amniotic fluid protecting a foetus. Such chemicals are linked to health problems that can include reduced sperm count in men, early puberty in girls and increased incidence of breast and testicular cancers - and countries such as the US, the UK and Canada have become alert to potential risks.
Read article in the New Zealand Herald

January 9, 2010

Vitamin D deficiency increasingly common
Today, research suggests that vitamin D does much more than help build strong bones, and the findings come at a time when a high number of people are no longer getting enough of the nutrient, doctors say. "We've become a culture that shuns the sunshine and doesn't drink milk," said Dr. Donald Abrams, chief of hematology-oncology at San Francisco General Hospital. As a result, doctors are seeing a small resurgence of rickets and are concerned about osteoporosis in adults over age 50, especially as Baby Boomers get older. Known for causing bowed legs, fractured bones and poor growth primarily in children, rickets all but disappeared in the United States decades ago as diets improved and vitamin D was added to certain dairy products like milk. To remedy the low vitamin D levels they are seeing, doctors are beginning to recommend supplements to their patients, and more of the vitamin than recommended by national guidelines. That is largely because research over the past decade has increasingly suggested that vitamin D plays a far bigger role in overall health than previously believed.
Read article in the San Francisco Chronicle (USA)

January 8, 2010

US health claims regime under Euro-threat
A powerful, pro-food safety lobby group, known as the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is pushing hard to eliminate the structure/function and qualified health claims regimes that many Americans see as being central to informed consumer choice in the natural health sector.
Read article on the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) website
Comment: The legislation that enabled dietary supplements to include the use of structure/function and qualified health claims in the United States – the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994 – is now under attack from the pharmaceutical investment business. If you live in the United States, click here to visit the Save Vitamin Freedom! website and send a petition to your Member of Congress.

January 8, 2010

Don’t destroy hard-won health claim freedom, says ANH
The Alliance for Natural Health says a recent missive sent to the FDA by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) calling for the abolishment of structure-function and qualified health claims, would favor large companies and decimate the natural products industry. In a statement published today ANH executive and scientific director, Dr Robert Verkerk, responded to the 158-page CSPI document which highlighted examples of claims abuse, by highlighting the devastating effect revoking the claims would have on smaller players in the industry. “It is the hundreds of much smaller companies that will feel the pinch if CSPI gets its way,” Verkerk wrote. “The US health food industry has for many years enjoyed one of the least restrictive claims environments in the world. This regulatory environment hasn’t come by accident. It’s been hard won,” he said, noting the passage of the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994. Without it, small and medium-sized companies would have been decimated by drug laws, “leaving only a sprinkling of very large corporations as players in the market.”
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

January 4, 2010

Use of potentially harmful chemicals kept secret under law
Of the 84,000 chemicals in commercial use in the United States -- from flame retardants in furniture to household cleaners -- nearly 20 percent are secret, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, their names and physical properties guarded from consumers and virtually all public officials under a little-known federal provision. The policy was designed 33 years ago to protect trade secrets in a highly competitive industry. But critics -- including the Obama administration -- say the secrecy has grown out of control, making it impossible for regulators to control potential dangers or for consumers to know which toxic substances they might be exposed to. At a time of increasing public demand for more information about chemical exposure, pressure is building on lawmakers to make it more difficult for manufacturers to cloak their products in secrecy. Congress is set to rewrite chemical regulations this year for the first time in a generation.
Read article in the Washington Post (USA)

January 4, 2010

December 31, 2009 – Where were you when the Earth ended?
Many of you kept hearing the message for these many months now, “Codex is coming into effect as of December 31, 2009.” Depending on the source, the message either stated directly or implied that your dietary supplements were in danger after that date. And how many of you fell for that false siren cry? Be honest. Raise your hand if you did, and many will, because that false cry of alarm was circulated on the internet for so long by persons who should have known better, who still hold themselves out as “experts” on Codex, and who constantly tap you for donations so that their “expertise” and “important messages” can be spread far and wide. What expertise? What important messages? It’s nonsense; and too many people fell for and bought that nonsense hook, line, and sinker.
Read press release on the website of the National Health Federation (NHF) (USA)
Comment: To learn the identities of the disinformation agents who started the “Codex will go into global effect on December 31, 2009” hoax, click here.