*FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*
*Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, August 13, 2012*
Does Anybody Still Believe Slam Pieces On Dietary Supplements?
*Personal Opinion by Bill Sardi*
(OMNS Aug 13, 2012) The news media is operating in lock step with the FDA
to create a groundswell of public opinion that dietary supplements are
deadly and must be regulated beyond existing law. The goal is to demonize
dietary supplements to the point where they become over-priced drugs,
captured by pharmaceutical companies to profiteer from. It's all part of
the modern American marketplace, that un-free enterprise system where
industry buys off government to do its bidding. The impetus for
guillotining dietary supplements is that patents on blockbuster
prescription drugs are expiring and the supplement industry is a growing
market in a dying economy. A major takeover of the supplement industry by
pharmaceutical companies is underway.
The latest attempt to slander the dietary supplement industry is the
September 2012 issue of *Consumer Reports* entitled "10 Surprising Dangers
of Vitamins and Supplements." 
Good with the bad
I favor dietary supplements over the really deadly FDA-approved
prescription drugs, but I'm not a bought-off announcer for the home team.
Some criticism of the dietary supplement industry is justified on
scientific grounds, but no new legislation is going to make food
supplements much safer than they already are (safer than table salt,
aspirin and even tap water). What criticism is justified will be described
One has to be careful in blaming either supplements or drugs for deaths or
serious side effects based solely upon associations. That is, for example,
it might be found that most of the consumers who experienced side effects
from dietary supplements were wearing tennis shoes at the time of
consumption. But tennis shoes are only associated with the side effects;
they obviously didn't cause adverse reactions. And that is a major
criticism of the evidence *Consumer Reports* (CR) uses to prop up its
contention that supplements are unsafe.
Raw numbers don't explain if consumers overdosed on these products and
failed to take the recommended dose or just happened to choke on them as
they swallowed them down, a problem *Consumer Reports* says is surprisingly
common. Obviously, horse-sized pills could pose problems, but the most
likely cause of choking is dry mouth induced by commonly used drugs such as
antihistamines, antidepressants, sedatives and decongestants. CR is pinning
the tail on the wrong donkey.
For comparison, some years ago a study was published in the *Journal of the
American Medical Association* showing that properly prescribed drugs,
ordered by a physician and administered by a nurse in hospitals result in
over 100,000 needless deaths per year.  That kind of data suggests drugs
are causal, not just associated with mortality.
Of course, there are bad players in every industry. There seem to be many
pretenders on the internet who violate every regulation the Food & Drug
Administration and the Federal Trade Commission have outlined for Good
Manufacturing Practices and advertising guidelines. You can find them
easily by browsing the internet. Some of these renegade outfits are
brazenly advertising their products bearing home-made labels, failing to
provide a "supplement facts" panel, and shipping them from who knows where.
Even phony dietary supplement rating websites can be found on the internet.
CR says the Federal Trade Commission has taken action in more than 100
instances against false advertising claims made by supplement makers over
the past decade. That amounts to only about 10 a year. This certainly
sounds like regulatory agencies are dragging their feet, allowing outlaw
supplement companies to exist so as to perpetuate the myth that the dietary
supplement industry cannot be trusted. Like the banking industry whose
regulators have overlooked the wrongdoing of lenders, the FDA and FTC are
intentionally allowing renegade supplement makers to exist to exemplify the
idea that the entire supplement industry needs to be cleaned up.
Does the diet alone provide sufficient nutrients to maintain health?
Critics of dietary supplements, particularly old-school dieticians who
typically promote foods over supplements and doctors who typically
prescribe drugs, launch into their tired claim that a varied diet provides
all the nutrients needed to maintain health. However, the only Americans
who are year-round sufficient in vitamin C, omega-3 oils, vitamin D,
magnesium, vitamin B1, and vitamin E are those who take supplements. The
best diet couldn't possibly meet the need for essential nutrients,
particularly among the elderly who have absorption problems, and smokers,
alcohol imbibers and prescription drug users who typically suffer from
substance-related nutrient depletion.
But CR said "many people can get enough omega-3s by eating fatty fish
(salmon, cod, tuna) at least twice a week." CR appears ignorant of the fact
most fresh fish sold in grocery stores today is farm raised and provides
very little omega-3 oil.  Fish from cold northern waters eat
phytoplankton that results in their rich omega-3 content. The simple fact
is, until fish oil supplements became popular in the U.S., most Americans
were deficient in this essential nutrient.
Readers of the CR report on supplements are shown a photo of a doctor
talking to a patient, with the caption below: "Doctor with a patient who
had a heart attack while on supplements." Here again, about 65% of
Americans take supplements.  This is guilt by sensationalism. It would
never be admissible evidence in a court of law, or even a high-school
And while it has recently been disclosed that a baby aspirin does not
prevent mortal heart attacks as first believed,  leaving no proven
medicine to prevent sudden-death heart attacks, the FDA says nothing about
the red wine molecule resveratrol which has been shown to prevent mortal
heart attacks in laboratory animals. The FDA rules say resveratrol pills
can't be advertised they prevent heart attacks until they undergo human
trials. Such a study would require half the patients at high-risk for a
mortal heart attack to take, at least for a while, an inactive placebo
tablet, which would be unethical. You can't let half the patients die to
prove resveratrol pills are effective.
Supplements don't cure diseases: really?
Another unfair criticism of dietary supplements floated by CR and others is
that "none are proven to cure major diseases." If a dietary supplement is
proven to cure a disease then FDA declares it a drug. So by definition,
supplements can never cure a disease, when in fact almost everyone
acknowledges that they do cure many diseases: scurvy, rickets, pellagra,
beriberi and anemia, just to name a traditional few. Furthermore, the
biological action of most prescription drugs can be duplicated with dietary
supplements at far less cost and side effects, a fact the FDA doesn't want
the public to know. CR goes on to say: "When healthy consumers use
supplements, there's rarely, if ever, a powerful life- saving effect." But
the FDA approved cholesterol-lowering statin drugs which are pandered as a
life saver but have never been shown to reduce mortality rates from
coronary artery disease. There's nothing like the pot trying to call the
Supplement industry doesn't have completely clean hands
So what does the dietary supplement industry do wrong? Come on, there has
to be some dirt I can dig up in order to maintain my integrity.
OK, CR correctly offers criticism of iron and calcium supplements.
Ironically, these are the very supplements that doctors prescribe most. And
CR asks its readers to consult with your "health care provider" when they
have questions about supplements as if they are knowledgeable and unbiased.
Everyone knows that most doctors know very little about nutritional
therapeutics. It is not surprising to find many patients who know
considerably more than their doctors about dietary supplements.
The problem with iron supplements is that toddlers, or others who might
unintentionally or intentionally overdose, might suffer mortal consequences
from taking iron pills. Primarily due to child-resistant caps, this happens
rarely, once or twice per year, and usually not at all.  The safest form
of iron is carbonyl iron, which has never been reported to cause a death
even after overdose.  This is an example of supplement companies not
following the best science.
Another topic CR got right was that women are overloading on calcium
supplements. While over $1 billion of calcium pills are sold annually, the
supplement industry has come to their defense in light of multiple studies
showing they increase the risk for heart attacks among postmenopausal women
who commonly take them.  Confusion over calcium lies in the false
assumption that postmenopausal women losing bone are deficient in calcium.
Actually, they are deficient in estrogen which sends the signal to hold
calcium in bone, and deficient in vitamin D that is well established as
necessary to put calcium into bone.
Many products on store shelves are simply outdated scientifically. Some
recent studies have reported that as the supplemental intake of vitamin E
rose, health benefits seemed to decline. The common form of vitamin E in
dietary supplements (mostly multivitamins) is alpha tocopherol, and not the
more potent family of vitamin E molecules: tocotrienols. Tocotrienols have
hundreds of times better antioxidant power compared to tocopherols, and
work more effectively in laboratory studies.  Research now suggests
including tocotrienols in supplements, something the industry has largely
ignored so far.
What about "too much"?
As for dietary supplements that exceed the recommended daily intake levels
and even the so-called "safe upper limit", thank heavens they do.
Supplement makers ignore covert efforts by the Food and Nutrition Board to
limit nutrients in fortified foods and supplements. For example, the
recommended daily intake level of vitamin C for adults is 75-90 milligrams.
The so-called "safe upper limit" is 2,000 mg per day. But 75-90 mg will not
raise a person's blood level of vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin that is
rapidly excreted. Fortunately, at least in the USA, it is difficult to find
a vitamin C supplement today that *doesn't* provide 500 mg per pill.
The 2,000 mg "safe-upper limit" has been parlayed into a "toxic upper
limit." Actually, 2,000 mg is perfectly safe and may be on the low side.
Vitamin C expert Dr. Steve Hickey says taking 500 mg of vitamin C five
times a day at equal intervals would produce optimal blood levels of this
essential vitamin.  The RDA won't.
The "safe upper limit" for vitamin D is 4,000 international units (IU; 100
micrograms), which is the amount required to even measure an appreciable
rise in blood concentration. The newly increased RDA for vitamin D is 600
IU, ridiculously low.
*Consumer Reports*, do your homework. You are supposed to be on the side of
the consumer, not government agencies and drug companies.
*(Bill Sardi is a prolific and popular nutritional medicine journalist. An
expanded version of this article originally appeared at his website,
Used with permission.) *
*Alternate Health Digest
From Natural News
FDA drug reviewer: 'one manager threatened my children'
U.S. banks told to prepare for financial collapse
Total assault on medical free speech as British authorities threaten
vaccine-autism website over its content
Oregon man convicted of collecting rainwater on his own property surrenders
and begins serving 30-day jail sentence
Mainstream media pushes malicious fluoride lie: Fluoride-free bottled water
is harming children, they claim!
Carbonated sodas cause devastating damage to the human body, say scientists:
Watch out! Prescription drugs cause nutrient depletion which promotes even
more disease symptoms:
Natural brands betray consumers over GMO labeling: NaturalNews issues
boycott of Kashi, Silk, Larabar and more
From Dr Mercola::
War on Health: The FDA's Cult of Tyranny
Will Congress Grant Biotech Companies Immunity from Federal Law?
Harvard Study Confirms Fluoride Reduces Children's IQ
Do YOU Take Any of These 11 Dangerous Cholesterol Drugs?
From Alliance for Natural Health:
Pro-GMO Propaganda in California Dismantled by New Cost Study
Agent Orange Soy: Just Another Day at USDA
Private Companies Are Trying to Patent Your Genes!
From Easy Health Digest:
The Raw Truth About The Raw Food Diet
Hydrochloric Acid: God's Natural Antiseptic
http://easyhealthoptions.com/ alternative-medicine/ hydrochloric-acid-gods-
Keep Psychological Distress From Killing You
From Dr Bate:
Solving Herpes Problems
Thar's it for this week. I hope you like this Monday publication of this
"Digest" Newsletter of Alternate Health articles for the past week.
Please feel free to pass it on to friends and relatives (or enemies for
that matter). The more we know, the more we can protect ourselves from Big
Pharma and the FDA.
Phil Bate PhD - Orthomolecular Psychologist (30 plus years)
Inventor of NT Therapy - An inexpensive, effective approach &
"at home" therapy for ADD- autism, insomnia, depression etc
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