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December 24, 2009

Another 'bad' cholesterol linked to heart disease found
Scientists say they have found proof that another "bad" type of cholesterol contributes to heart disease. Unlike the well-known LDL cholesterol, lipoprotein(a) or Lp(a) cannot be controlled by cutting down on dietary fats or taking a statin drug.
Read article on the BBC News website (UK)
Comment: Not only can this story hardly be described as “new”, it omits to mention crucial scientific facts about lipoprotein(a) that have been known for almost twenty years. As long ago as 1991, a scientific paper published by Dr. Rath and two-time Nobel laureate Linus Pauling described how the primary cause of cardiovascular disease is a deficiency in vitamin C, which leads to the deposition of lipoprotein(a) in the vascular wall. Since then, the pharmaceutical industry’s efforts to cover-up this information have cost literally millions of lives. To read further early scientific papers by Dr. Rath – published between 1989 and 1993 and describing the relationship between vitamin C deficiency, lipoprotein(a) and cardiovascular disease – click here.

December 23, 2009

EPA announces plan to require disclosure of secret pesticide ingredients
Reversing a decade-old decision, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday that it plans to require pesticide manufacturers to disclose to the public the inert ingredients in their products. An inert ingredient is anything added to a pesticide that does not kill or control a pest. In some cases, those ingredients are toxic, but companies do not identify them on pesticide labels. For 11 years, EPA denied petitions seeking disclosure of the chemicals but now the new administration says it plans to draft a rule that will increase transparency and encourage companies to replace toxic substances.
Read article at environmentalhealthnews.org (USA)

December 18, 2009

United we are stronger’: ANH announces merger
Two leading natural health campaign organisations are formally merging as of today. The Alliance for Natural Health (ANH), based in Dorking, UK, and the American Association for Health Freedom (AAHF), of Washington DC, have merged to form the Alliance for Natural Health International (ANH International).
Read press release on the ANH Europe website (UK)

December 16, 2009

That Tap Water Is Legal but May Be Unhealthy
The 35-year-old federal law regulating tap water is so out of date that the water Americans drink can pose what scientists say are serious health risks — and still be legal. Only 91 contaminants are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act, yet more than 60,000 chemicals are used within the United States, according to Environmental Protection Agency estimates. Government and independent scientists have scrutinized thousands of those chemicals in recent decades, and identified hundreds associated with a risk of cancer and other diseases at small concentrations in drinking water, according to an analysis of government records by The New York Times. But not one chemical has been added to the list of those regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act since 2000. Other recent studies have found that even some chemicals regulated by that law pose risks at much smaller concentrations than previously known. However, many of the act’s standards for those chemicals have not been updated since the 1980s, and some remain essentially unchanged since the law was passed in 1974.
Read article in the New York Times (USA)

December 14, 2009

Lawyer cites 'free speech' as basis for legal action on claims
Legal action to challenge the strict claims assessment process enshrined in the EU health claims Regulation could be pursued on the grounds of free speech, according to a leading US lawyer. European food and drink companies could “lift the yoke of censorship” if they could prove that the EU health claims Regulation denied them the right to freedom of expression, according to Jonathan Emord, from Emord & Associates – experts in US constitutional and administrative law. In considering possible grounds for legal action to challenge the way the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was assessing health claims, Emord argued that food and drink companies should consider presenting EFSA with qualified claims for approval that overtly informed the public of the inconclusiveness of the science – similar to the qualified claims system operating in some other markets.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

December 14, 2009

Europe enters a nutrition science dark age
As the clock strikes 12:01AM on January 1, 2010, Europe will enter a nutrition science Dark Age. The stultifying effects of that backward movement will hit food and dietary supplement companies hard all around the world. The movement toward replacing private choice with government fiat proceeds apace internationally. Europe’s condemnation of food supplements and claims about them is among the latest examples of that movement.
Read article by Attorney Jonathan Emord at newswithviews.com

December 10, 2009

Supplements can fill health gaps, say dietitians
More than 80 per cent of registered dietitians consider most Americans have gaps in their diets that can be filled with vitamins and other dietary supplements, according to new research from the Life...supplemented 2009 Healthcare Professionals (HCP) Impact Study. Pledging a personal commitment to supplementation, 76 per cent of those surveyed said that supplements can address their own diet gaps. In fact, 96 per cent confirmed that they take supplements and 87 per cent acknowledged recommending them to their clients.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

December 10, 2009

Supplements best to boost vitamin D, Harvard
Supplements are the safest, easiest way to boost vitamin D levels, says Harvard Heart Letter, which is spreading the word about the vitamin’s multifaceted benefits: It is good for the heart and overall health, not just bones.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

December 4, 2009

UK high dose supplement campaign seeks PM intervention
The campaign to ensure higher potency food supplements can remain on the UK market is stepping up a gear with a motion tabled in the UK Parliament seeking the prime minister to intervene directly. Conservative MP Mike Pennings, in a parliamentary motion this week, called on UK prime minister Gordon Brown to intervene with the European Commission president, José Manuel Barroso, to ensure that the right of UK manufacturers to produce, specialist retailers to sell, and informed consumers to choose to buy ‘safe and popular supplements is not unacceptably curtailed through an unnecessarily restrictive interpretation of the legislation.’
Read article at nutraingredients.com
Comment: The European Commission’s proposals for maximum permitted levels for vitamins and minerals in food supplements sold within the European Union (EU) are expected to be published in early 2010. If you live in the EU, click here to sign the ‘Referendum for Natural Remedies’ petition, 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.

December 3, 2009

Couple's son, 2, taken into care by social workers after they 'refused to feed him junk food’
A two year-old boy was taken away by social services and put into foster care after his parents, Paul and Lisa Hessey, refused to follow doctors’ orders and feed him junk food, they have claimed. The Derbyshire couple, both 48, had been concerned about heath of their son, Zak as he was not eating properly. Mrs Hessey and her lorry driver husband, took their son, who weighed just 17 lbs, to Chesterfield Royal Hospital in July. The couple rejected the medical advice to feed Zak a diet of junk food, to fatten him up.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)
Comment: If ever one needed proof that the orthodox medical profession attaches insufficient importance to proper nutrition, this story, from the UK, provides it. When a system of medicine resorts to forcibly removing a child from its parents with the stated intention of feeding it junk food against the parents’ wishes, there can be no doubt that we are living under a dangerous medical dictatorship. Moreover, given the extent to which drug company money is tainting medical education, it’s not difficult to see where the fault lies…

November 30, 2010

Report claims Wikipedia losing editors in droves
The findings of a Spanish study claiming that Wikipedia's editors are leaving at an alarming rate have been refuted by the Wikimedia Foundation and by Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales. The report by Dr Felipe Ortega, a research scientist with Madrid's Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, was published in the Wall Street Journal on 26 November. It reported a ten-fold increase in the number of editors leaving Wikipedia at the beginning of 2009 compared to the number in the equivalent period of 2008.
Read article at physorg.com
Comment: Following our ongoing worldwide exposure of the fact that an elite group of deeply-biased pro-pharmaceutical editors – including MastCell and Keepcalmandcarryon – have essentially taken control of Wikipedia’s natural healthcare-related articles, the fact that the website’s regular editors are leaving in droves is hardly surprising. Moreover, given the inaccuracy of its content, it is particularly noteworthy that the official exams watchdog in the UK, Ofqual, has recently stated that schoolchildren should avoid Wikipedia as it is not “authoritative or accurate” and in some cases “may be completely untrue”.

November 26, 2009

Yellow card shown to European Commission over fluoride risks to Irish children
The formal dialogue session on Risk Assessment between stakeholders and the EU’s scientific committees on Nov 20th in Brussels heard criticism of the Commission, as the risk manager, for failing to protect children from fluoride risks. Only in Ireland and parts of the UK are fluoridation chemicals allowed in drinking water, where there is now an epidemic of dental fluorosis in children. “It’s a sad day for European science” said VOICE’s campaigner against fluoridation, Robert Pocock, “when the EU’s Scientific Committee on the Environment and Health (SCHER) is accused of being unqualified for its task. Yet the 20,000 member International Society of Doctors for Environment (ISDE) made just such a claim, when the Commission asked SCHER for scientific risk assessment of fluoridation chemicals.” ISDE declared that since fluoride chemicals act pharmacologically, SCHER’s lack of expertise in assessing medicinal substances is a serious impediment. In light of this major defect, the VOICE spokesman told the meeting, SCHER members should re-consider their role in this whole affair.
Read press release on the Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment (VOICE) website (Ireland)

November 25, 2009

TGA moves to legislate food as medicine!
Hippocrates said "let food be thy medicine". This did not mean that our food should be regulated as dangerous drugs that need to be treated as potentially life threatening! Hundreds of years later the observation of Hippocrates still stands, yet the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) want to go one step further and class our food as a hazardous medicine similar to dangerous synthetic pharmaceutical drugs? The TGA wants to do this by changing legislation that makes our food in capsule or tablet form a drug! Does this mean that Kellogg's Special-K or shredded wheat cereals in a capsule could soon be a drug here in Australia? Certainly such health products like Chlorella, Wheat grass, Barley grass and Spirulina will be soon classified as a drug if the TGA has its way!
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Health Freedom Australia (AHFA)

November 20, 2009

S.510 Food Safety – Partial But Important Victory
Offers Some Protection Against Codex
The Senate HELP Committee unanimously approved an amended version of S.510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization legislation. On the Codex issue, a partial but important victory was achieved. NHF member's concerns, and the concerns of others in the health-freedom community, were heard, as the statutory language on Codex harmonization was changed to direct the Food and Drug Administration to report to Congress on "whether and how to harmonize requirements under the Codex Alimentarius" on the issue of foreign conventional food processing standards. This is an important but partial victory.
Read press release on the website of the National Health Federation (NHF) (USA)

November 17, 2009

Genetic link to vitamin A deficiency
Almost half of UK women may be lacking an important source of vitamin A due to a previously undiscovered genetic variation, scientists at Newcastle University have found. The team, led by Dr Georg Lietz, has shown that almost 50 per cent of women have a genetic variation which reduces their ability to produce sufficient amounts of vitamin A from beta-carotene.
Read article at physorg.com

November 16, 2009

Heart patients lacking vitamin D more likely to be depressed
People with heart disease and similar conditions who don't have enough vitamin D are more likely to be depressed than their counterparts with adequate levels of the "sunshine vitamin," according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Orlando. This link seems to be even stronger in the winter.
Read article at cnn.com

November 12, 2009

Food supplement ban in 2010 may contravene EU law
The Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) has informed the UK’s food regulator, the Food Standards Agency (FSA), that the proposed ban on particular vitamin and mineral food supplements from 1 January 2010 flies in the face of the European Court of Justice ruling on the ANH’s case in 2005. In a recent consultation, the ANH, an international campaign organisation representing sectors of the natural products trade, practitioners and consumers, has raised major concerns over the FSA’s proposed approach to ‘rubber stamping’ the European Commission’s proposed draft Regulation on food supplements. The natural products industry in the UK, as well as in other EU Member States, has been asked to approve changes even before the draft Regulation amending the EU Food Supplements Directive of 2002 has been ratified in Europe. The reason given for the rush is the desire to stick to the date given in the 2002 Directive, which states that the derogation phase expires on 31 December 2009. This means that any vitamin or mineral forms not complying with the new list of approved forms, as given in the draft Regulation as proposed by the European Commission, will be banned as of 1 January 2010. The draft Regulation adds just 69 additional vitamin and mineral forms to the previous list of 112 forms. All other vitamin and minerals forms will be banned, this affecting hundreds of products that have been selling freely, under the derogation, in more liberal Member States such as the UK.
Read press release on the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) website (UK)

November 9, 2009

Life in a European health claims wasteland
Ka-CHING! Hear that? No it’s not the sound of overflowing cash registers as consumers throw endless wads of euros at scientifically-backed, healthy foods in greater numbers than ever before. Rather, it’s the metallic snap of padlocks chaining the doors of food research laboratories across western Europe. No need for them any more. Maybe they can be sold to the pharma industry – they may well need them as there’ll probably be a huge increase in demand for drugs now that a vast majority of nutrient and health relationships have turned out to be bogus. Zut! Say what you like about the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) scientific methods – misguided, methodical, harsh, not-harsh-enough, unfathomable – but their effects are being felt right here, right now in the EU’s 27-member states. And that means reduced spending on supposedly healthy foods. Not to mention drastically reduced innovation.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

November 9, 2009

Stop selling out science to commerce
Do commercial pressures have a negative impact on science? This debate has been raging for so long that it usually raises little more than a shrug of indifference. That is no longer a defensible response. A new report from our organisation, Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR), exposes problems so serious that we can no longer afford to be indifferent to them.
Read article at newscientist.com

November 7, 2009

Child scurvy cases rising
Scurvy is on the rise among children in England, according to official figures. Figures show that in 2004/05, 61 children were admitted to hospital with scurvy in England. But in 2007/08, the figure had risen to 94, a rise of more than 50 per cent in the last three years. Scurvy, the scourge of pirates and sailors in the 18th century, occurs if people do not eat enough vitamin C. It can lead to spots on the skin, particularly the legs, cracking and bleeding of the lips, nostrils and ears, and teeth can fall out. In extreme cases, it can lead to internal haemorrhaging which can result in death.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)
Comment: Research has shown that in some countries, such as Canada, as many as one in seven young adults may be deficient in vitamin C. This finding is of particularly serious concern due to Dr. Rath’s research having revealed that coronary heart disease, like scurvy, occurs due to a deficiency of vitamin C. To learn more about Dr. Rath’s scientific discovery in heart disease, click here.

November 7, 2009

Chemicals in Our Food, and Bodies
Your body is probably home to a chemical called bisphenol A, or BPA. It’s a synthetic estrogen that United States factories now use in everything from plastics to epoxies — to the tune of six pounds per American per year. That’s a lot of estrogen. More than 92 percent of Americans have BPA in their urine, and scientists have linked it — though not conclusively — to everything from breast cancer to obesity, from attention deficit disorder to genital abnormalities in boys and girls alike. Now it turns out it’s in our food.
Read article in the New York Times (USA)

November 6, 2009

Anti-Supplement NRV Document Held Back Because of NHF
This week of November 2-6, 2009, the 31st Session of the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) met in Dusseldorf, Germany to continue its work in developing standards for global nutrition. The CCNFSDU was all prepared to rubber-stamp its approval on the “Proposed Draft Additional or Revised Nutrient Reference Values for Labelling Purposes in the Codex Guidelines on Nutrition Labelling,” which had been pushed by the delegation of the Republic of Korea and others. Over a one-hour period, the NHF took the floor repeatedly to lambast the document and to insist that its adoption would be a public-relations nightmare and make Codex the laughingstock of the World. If anything, NHF said, these numbers must be drastically raised. But for the National Health Federation, India, and also Costa Rica and Iraq, this document would have advanced towards a more final, fixed form.
Read press release on the website of the National Health Federation (NHF) (USA)

November 6, 2009

Threat of EU health claims legal challenge grows
Three of Europe’s largest food supplement and healthy product trade groups have issued a 17-page paper that lays out its many concerns with the scientific approach being taken by EFSA in regard to health claims. While not explicit in the document itself, industry sources have told NutraIngredients that if their concerns are not addressed by the European Commission and EU member states, as well as EFSA, legal teams are preparing for the possibility of challenging the controversial regulation in EU courts.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

November 3, 2009

Low vitamin D again linked to higher mortality
Low blood levels of vitamin D have again been linked to lower survival in the elderly – a study which strengthens calls to confirm if vitamin D supplements could offer protection. Writing in the journal Clinical Endocrinology, scientists from the Netherlands, Austria, and the US report that low blood levels of the sunshine vitamin are associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality, and mortality from heart disease.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

November 2, 2009

Depression link to processed food
Eating a diet high in processed food increases the risk of depression, research suggests. What is more, people who ate plenty of vegetables, fruit and fish actually had a lower risk of depression, the University College London team found.
Read article on the BBC News website (UK)

November 1, 2009

Codex meeting in Germany begins amid disputes over nutrient reference values for consumers around the world
The US-based National Health Federation (NHF), the World’s oldest international health-freedom organization, yesterday began a week of meetings at the 31st session of the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) in Dusseldorf, Germany. Expected to be attended by hundreds of delegates, observers, and advisors, representing numerous member countries and international organizations, the Committee, sponsored by the Food & Agriculture Organization and World Health Organization, and hosted by the German government, is part of the World’s highest international body setting global standards and guidelines on nutrition. The regular session of CCNFSDU begins on Monday morning, November 2nd; however, the Physical Working Group on the Development of NRVs Associated with Increased or Decreased Risk of Non-Communicable Diseases (an offspring of CCNSFDU) held its one-day session on Saturday, October 31st, with the NHF’s president Scott Tips in attendance.
Read press release on the website of the National Health Federation (NHF) (USA)

October 31, 2009

FDA urged to ban feeding of chicken feces to cattle
Food and consumer groups say the practice increases the risk of cattle becoming infected with mad cow disease.
A fight is brewing over the practice of feeding chicken feces and other poultry farm waste to cattle. A coalition of food and consumer groups that includes Consumers Union and the Center for Science in the Public Interest has asked the Food and Drug Administration to ban the practice.
Read article in the Los Angeles Times (USA)

October 29, 2009

Waiting game continues in high dose supplement battle
A further delay in the publication of the EU draft amendment of the maximum permitted levels (MPLs) for nutrients in food supplements leaves the UK and other member states' high dose supplements industry with still all to play for. The figures on dose levels under the EU Food Supplements Directive were expected this month from the Commission but UK industry group, the Health Food Manufacturers Association (HFMA), said that, based on information they had received, the limits would be set in January of next year.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

October 29, 2009

EU doctors back elderly vitamin D fortification
A coalition of European doctors has recommended vitamin D be given to over-75s at 600-800IU per day, after meeting in England over the weekend. The Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) said vitamin D deficiency was a “huge problem” that affected 50 per cent of Europeans, and so fortification measures were necessary. “CPME calls on the EU Institutions to include vitamin D deficiency in the health agenda,” it said. “Several possible strategies exist to improve the vitamin D status in the major target groups but in some cases, vitamin D supplements or enriched food products are the only viable option. There is evidence that Vitamin D supplementation (600-800 IU D3) and a good calcium intake (about or above 1 g/d) would significantly reduce the risk of fractures and falls.” They agreed a statement that read: "Vitamin D supplementation (600-800 IU D3) plus calcium should be considered for elderly people (older than 75 years) with an increased fracture and/or fall risk, in particular people living in nursing homes."
Read article at nutraingredients.com

October 28, 2009

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity problems associated with low folate levels in pregnant women
It has long been suggested that healthy folate (the natural form of folic acid) levels in expectant mothers goes hand in hand with healthy nervous system development in their children. A study published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry finds that low maternal folate levels is linked to the development of attention-deficit/hyperactivity problems in children at age seven to nine years.
Read article at physorg.com

October 27, 2009

Truehope Challenges Health Canada in Federal Courts Claiming Constitutional Breach
A small Alberta vitamin and mineral company called Truehope will finally have its day in court beginning Monday, November 2 when the Federal Court in Calgary will determine the legality and constitutionality of Health Canada's 2003 seizure of a vitamin and mineral combination (EMPowerplus) being used by thousands of Canadians for the prevention of bipolar symptoms. Years of court battles over the seizure that left hundreds of desperate Canadians caught in the middle of a regulatory battle have, thus far, amounted to nothing but a huge waste of tax payer dollars. In 2004 Health Canada charged Truehope owners with the illegal sale of a drug, but the courts found them innocent of all wrong doing and demanded the Truehope vitamin and mineral supplements continue to be made available to Canadians. Furthermore, in his final judgment, Judge G.M. Meagher concluded that even as Health Canada agents were denying access to the supplement they were fully aware that their actions would result in harm or danger to those who depended on the product for their health.
Read press release at earthtimes.org

October 26, 2009

Latest analysis confirms suboptimal vitamin D levels in millions of US children
Millions of children in the United States between the ages of 1 and 11 may suffer from suboptimal levels of vitamin D, according to a large nationally representative study published in the November issue of Pediatrics, accompanied by an editorial.
Read article at physorg.com
Comment: Previous research has shown that fully 70 percent of American kids aren't getting enough vitamin D, and that such youngsters tend to have higher blood pressure and lower levels of good cholesterol than their peers. In Canada, meanwhile, researchers have found that more than 80 per cent of the children tested didn't have enough of the vitamin and that nearly a third had such low amounts that doctors classified them as deficient.

October 26, 2009

Weekly and biweekly vitamin D2 prevents vitamin D deficiency
Boston University School of Medicine researchers (BUSM) have found that 50,000 International Units (IU) of vitamin D2, given weekly for eight weeks, effectively treats vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D2 is a mainstay for the prevention and treatment of vitamin D deficiency in children and adults. Continued treatment with the same dose of vitamin D2 every other week for up to six years after the initial eight-week period prevents vitamin D deficiency from recurring with no toxicity. The BUSM study appears online in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.
Read article at physorg.com

October 26, 2009

EU doctors deciding on elderly vitamin D levels
A group of European doctors is moving toward a vitamin D recommended level for the elderly, something that, if implemented, may influence vitamin D levels across the European Union for all age groups. The Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) met recently at a vitamin D conference that drew several hundred scientists in Bruges in Belgium, and constructed a vitamin D recommended statement for the over75s at 600-800IU per day.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

October 23, 2009

Supplements find converts in the recessionary gloom
Fresh data suggests that use of dietary supplements is on an even keel despite the wobbly economy. The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) reached this conclusion following the publication of an annual survey it commissions to gauge the health of the supplements market. According to the results of the 2,043-strong poll, 65 percent of Americans take dietary supplements.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

October 20, 2009

No Deaths From Vitamins or Minerals
Poison Control Statistics Prove Supplements' Safety
There was not even one death caused by a vitamin or dietary mineral in 2007, according to the most recent statistics available from the U.S. National Poison Data System. The 132-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. Furthermore, there were zero deaths in 2007 from any dietary mineral supplement. This means there were no fatalities from calcium, chromium, zinc, colloidal silver, selenium, iron, or multimineral supplements. There was one death from chronic overdose of magnesium hydroxide, commonly known as the laxative/antacid milk of magnesia, and it was inappropriately listed in the "dietary supplement" reporting category. Nutritional supplements do not contain magnesium hydroxide.
Read news release at orthomolecular.org

October 19, 2009

Health claim rules gag freedom of speech, says EU lobby group
Pan-European better nutrition advocate, the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH), says the European Union health claims system is going way beyond its remit to protect consumer interests and is curtailing freedom of speech. The ANH statement comes soon after the October 1 publication of about 500 health claim opinions by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) which stunned industry with a 70 per cent failure rate. Not a single botanical or probiotic claim drew a positive opinion, a situation that has industry groups reeling, so much so that none of the major bodies has yet produced an official response while they process the fall-out.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

October 9, 2009

Women with breast cancer have low vitamin D levels
Women with breast cancer should be given high doses of vitamin D because a majority of them are likely to have low levels of vitamin D, which could contribute to decreased bone mass and greater risk of fractures, according to scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Read article at physorg.com

October 4, 2009

Beekeepers tell pesticide firm to buzz off
One of the world’s biggest pesticide companies, Syngenta, has been accused of a “howling conflict of interest” for funding research into the disappearance of honeybees – a problem which some people claim it may have helped cause. Syngenta, based in Basel, Switzerland, last year clocked up £7.3 billion worth of sales in more than 90 countries. Among the products it markets to farmers are insecticides which have been blamed for harming honeybees. It now also co-funds a £1m project in the UK, announced last week, to research the decline of the bees.
Read article in The Sunday Herald (Scotland/UK)
Comment: Evidence suggests that a group of widely-used nicotine-based insecticides known as neonicotinoids could be inflicting neural damage on bees, and contributing to their demise. Syngenta sells two products containing neonicotinoids, Actara and Cruiser. To protect bee populations, some such insecticides have been banned or restricted in France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia. But they can still be used in other countries, including the UK and the United States.

October 6, 2009

Depression linked to vitamin deficit on the rise in city
MUMBAI: If you thought depression was only about the mind, think again. Many a time, the genesis of the world’s most common mental illness lies in your food plate, say doctors. They call it the vitamin theory of depression: skip taking vitamin B12 and increase your risk of depression, or so goes the new psychiatric advice on the occasion of the World Mental Health Week, which ends on October 10. Studies in medical journals have already linked low levels of vitamin B12 to depression. “The link is known, but not widely recognised,’’ says city psychiatrist Harish Shetty. But a dose of vitamin B12 supplements or injectables can brighten up the lives of those with the blues.
Read article in The Times of India

October 2, 2009

Half of babies 'will live to 100'
More than half of babies now born in the UK and other wealthy nations will live to 100 years, researchers say. The study, published in The Lancet journal, also says the extra years are spent with less serious disability. Data from more than 30 developed countries shows that since 1950 the probability of surviving past 80 years of age has doubled for both sexes. One expert said healthy behaviours for all ages was the key to enjoying living a long life.
Read article on the BBC News website (UK)
Comment: The “expert” quoted above is of course correct. Healthy behaviours - including regular exercise, a prudent diet rich in plant nutrition and high in fiber and vitamins, and dietary supplementation – are the key to optimum health. Moreover, the available scientific and clinical evidence leaves no doubt that the preventive and therapeutic use of essential nutrients and the implementation of this knowledge into public health policies will significantly reduce the death rate from cardiovascular disease, cancer, AIDS and other common diseases. Based on scientific breakthroughs in the areas of vitamin research and cellular health, it is already possible that these diseases will be largely unknown in future generations.

September 30, 2009

New film blames drug firm for plight of honey bees
It's a question that has baffled the worlds of agriculture and science – what is it that has caused the mysterious deaths of honey bees all over the world in the last five years? A new film may have the answer. Vanishing of the Bees, which will be released in Britain next month, claims the cause is the use of a new generation of pesticides that weakens the bees and makes them more susceptible to other diseases. Narrated by the British actress Emilia Fox, the 90-minute film tells the story of what has become known as colony collapse disorder. The problem first appeared in America in the winter of 2004, when many beekeepers across the country found that their bees had suddenly vanished, leaving behind empty hives. Since then scientists have failed to find a single cause for it. The film goes on to suggest that neonicotinoid pesticides, some of them made by Bayer, one of the world's biggest chemical companies, may be behind the disappearances.
Read article in the Independent (UK)

September 25, 2009

Low vitamin D levels again linked to higher death risk
Low levels of vitamin D may increase the risk of dying from all causes by 150 per cent, suggests a study with over 700 elderly women. Women with blood levels of the vitamin lower than 15.3 nanograms per millilitre were more likely to die from causes such as heart disease and cancer, than women with higher levels (above 27 ng/ml), according to findings published in Nutrition Research.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

September 24, 2009

A4M Sues Wikipedia
On August 19th, 2009 the American Association of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) filed suit in a New York State Supreme Court against the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., (solely as a nominal Defendant) and John or Jane Does 1-10. The Complaint Number is 09111917. This is a very important case to the anyone involved in health care anywhere in the world.. Why? Because Wikipedia articles about health care have turned Wikipedia into a propaganda machine - with the full knowledge, and cooperation, of the management of both the Wikipedia Project, and the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikipedia is the fourth ranked website on Planet Earth.
Read article by Tim Bolen at bolenreport.net (USA)
Comment: To learn how the facts aren’t welcome on Wikipedia when you challenge the interests of the multi-billion dollar drug industry, click here.

September 24, 2009

Vitamin D deficiency in younger women increases risk of high blood pressure
Vitamin D deficiency in premenopausal women may increase the risk of developing systolic hypertension 15 years later, according to research reported at the American Heart Association's 63rd High Blood Pressure Research Conference.
Read article at physorg.com

September 24, 2009

Doctors debate vitamin D levels
The Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) is preparing a vitamin D policy paper it hopes can influence European national associations considering vitamin D medical recommendations. European Union vitamin D level and recommendations typically vary between five and 15mg per day, depending on lifestage, but there is a need for work in this area, and studies indicate deficiencies are widespread.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

September 24, 2009

Low vitamin D may be deadly for older adults
Low levels of vitamin D appear to increase the risk of death in older adults, researchers report in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Skin produces vitamin D when directly exposed to the sun. But older people, particularly those living in northern regions, rarely obtain sufficient sun exposure for adequate vitamin D production and need supplements to achieve healthy vitamin D levels. Increasingly, evidence points to health risks from inadequate vitamin D.
Read news report at reuters.com

September 23, 2009

Phys Ed: Can Vitamin D Improve Your Athletic Performance?
When scientists at the Australian Institute of Sport recently decided to check the Vitamin D status of some of that country’s elite female gymnasts, their findings were fairly alarming. Of the 18 gymnasts tested, 15 had levels that were “below current recommended guidelines for optimal bone health,” the study’s authors report. Six of these had Vitamin D levels that would qualify as medically deficient.
Read article in the New York Times (USA)

September 21, 2009

Insufficient levels of vitamin D puts elderly at increased risk of dying from heart disease
A new study by researchers at the University of Colorado Denver and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) shows vitamin D plays a vital role in reducing the risk of death associated with older age. The research, just published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, evaluated the association between vitamin D levels in the blood and the death rates of those 65 and older. The study found that older adults with insufficient levels of vitamin D die from heart disease at greater rates that those with adequate levels of the vitamin.
Read article at physorg.com

September 18, 2009

Vitamin insufficiency may accelerate age-related diseases
Current recommendations for vitamin K are not being met, placing people at increased risk of age-related diseases such as cancer and heart disease, says a new analysis. A new analysis of data from hundreds of published articles dating back to the 1970's by Joyce McCann, PhD, and Bruce Ames, PhD, from Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute also suggests that current recommendations for vitamin K intakes need to be increased to ensure optimal health.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

September 17, 2009

Zinc Deficiences A Global Concern
Other vitamins and nutrients may get more headlines, but experts say as many as two billion people around the world have diets deficient in zinc – and studies at Oregon State University and elsewhere are raising concerns about the health implications this holds for infectious disease, immune function, DNA damage and cancer. One new study has found DNA damage in humans caused by only minor zinc deficiency.
Read article at sciencedaily.com

September 16, 2009

Current vitamin D doses insufficient for mothers-to-be
Many mothers to be are not getting enough vitamin D, even those taking supplements at the recommended doses, says a new study from Northern Ireland. Almost all of the women in the study had blood levels of the vitamin below 80 nmol/l, a level which is widely considered to be the cut-off for vitamin D sufficiency, showing that current recommendations may be insufficient.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

September 16, 2009

Swimming pool chlorine linked to child asthma
Children who spend a lot of time swimming in chlorinated pools could be up to eight times as likely to develop asthma and other allergies. And the chemical can increase the risk even more than second hand smoke, researchers found. Scientists compared the health of 733 teenagers who swam in pools disinfected with chlorine with 114 who swam in pools treated with a copper-silver mix. They found that among those susceptible to developing allergies – about half of all children – those who spent 100 hours or more in chlorinated pools were up to six times as likely to develop asthma than others.
Read article in the Daily Express (UK)

September 14, 2009

On-the-job pesticide exposure associated with Parkinson's disease
Individuals whose occupation involves contact with pesticides appear to have an increased risk of having Parkinson's disease, according to a report in the September issue of Archives of Neurology.
Read article at physorg.com

September 10, 2009

Supplement defender Harkin takes US health chair
Long-time friend of the supplements industry Senator Tom Harkin will replace the late Edward Kennedy as head of the US Senate health committee. Iowa Democratic Senator Harkin was yesterday named chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP), which is key to the passage of health care reform.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

September 3, 2009

Organic is more nutritious according to the French
A new report by the French Agency for Food Safety (AFSSA) has found that organic foods are better for you and contain less pesticides and nitrates, which have been linked to a range of health problems including diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Andre Leu, Chairman of the Organic Federation of Australia, says the up-to-date exhaustive and critical evaluation of the nutritional quality of organic food and has found organic foods have higher levels of minerals and antioxidants. "The AFSSA study has been published in the peer reviewed scientific journal Agronomy for Sustainable Development ensuring that it has met rigorous scientific standards," Leu said.
Read article in Food magazine (Australia)

August 31, 2009

1 in 7 young Canadians deficient in vitamin C: Study
As many as one in seven young Canadian adults may be deficient in vitamin C, which could place them at increased risk for chronic health problems, according to new research. Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy, of the University of Toronto, and his team found that 33 per cent of nearly 1,000 Canadian adults they tested had suboptimal levels, and the remaining 14 per cent, one in seven, had deficient levels.
Read article at canada.com
Comment: This study provides us with further evidence that so-called “normal” diets cannot even be depended upon to provide sufficient amounts of nutrients to avoid overt deficiencies, let alone provide optimal amounts of nutrients. As such, with evidence building that deficiencies in vitamin D, Omega-3, calcium, vitamin B12, vitamin K and other nutrients are also now widespread, the argument that we are getting all the vitamins we need in our food is clearly not being backed up by the science. To make matters worse, independent studies conducted in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and other countries show that the nutrient content of our food has fallen substantially over the past few decades. To learn more, click here.

August 27, 2009

Kids, grown-ups missing vitamin D
Parents can't win. Dermatologists tell them to keep their kids out of the sun or slather them with sunscreen to prevent skin cancer later in life. But now scientists say that an astonishing number of children are deficient in vitamin D, in part because they are not getting enough sunshine on their skin. A new study in Pediatrics (online, Aug. 3, 2009) shows that 9 percent ofthe 6,275 children tested had vitamin D deficiency. That translates to more than 7 million American youngsters. Equally alarming, the researchers project that roughly 50 million children have inadequate levels of vitamin D. The consequences could be devastating.
Read article in the San Bernardino County Sun (California, USA)

August 25, 2009

Fifth of bees perished last winter
The British Beekeepers Association has said that a fifth of UK honeybees died last winter – emphasising the plight of these vital pollinators and implications for agriculture.
Read news report at foodnavigator.com

August 17, 2009

Supplements tested in space
Astronauts on recent space missions have tested the use of specially formulated dietary supplements designed to meet the nutritional needs of long-duration spaceflight.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

August 14, 2009

FDA sued over antioxidant health claim 'censorship'
The FDA is being sued for the third time in three weeks, this time over its “censorship” of 13 antioxidant qualified health claims, which the attorney mounting the case says amounts to “contempt of federal court orders” dating from 1999. The action, lodged in a Washington DC District Court by Jonathan W Emord of Virginia-based law firm, Emord & Associates, seeks “declaratory and injunctive relief” from the Food and Drug Administration for withdrawing on June 19, 13 vitamin C and E cancer-related claims, and qualifying four others to the point where they are commercially unusable. In particular, six claims are challenged relating vitamin C and lung, colon and gastric cancer; and vitamin E and bladder, gastric and lung cancer. As with a similar action - lodged by Emord against the FDA over its approach to qualified selenium health claims - the antioxidant action lodged today cites Federal Court decisions that the FDA is accused of acting in contempt of.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

August 13, 2009

Monsanto named in 50 cancer lawsuits
Fifty recently filed lawsuits allege Monsanto and related companies are responsible for causing cancer. Each of the complaints, filed Aug. 3 in Putnam Circuit Court, say Monsanto and its successor companies caused cancer by exposing the plaintiffs to dioxins/furans contamination of the air and property in and around Nitro. The cases mention the "negligent and otherwise unlawful release of dioxin from defendants' waste disposal practices on properties … located in and about Nitro, West Virginia."
Read article in the West Virginia Record (USA)

August 10, 2009

Canada examines vitamin D for swine flu protection
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has confirmed that it will be investigating the role of vitamin D in protection against swine flu, NutraIngredients-USA.com has learned. The agency started a study last year on the role of vitamin D in severe seasonal influenza, which it said it will now adapt to the H1N1 swine flu virus. “Researchers in PHAC are working with colleagues at McMaster University and with partners at other universities and hospitals to determine whether there is a correlation between severe disease and low vitamin D levels and/or a person's genetic make up. This line of research in seasonal influenza will be adapted to H1N1,” wrote the agency in an e-mail to NutraIngredients-USA.com.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

August 10, 2009

Chemical companies, US authorities knew dangers of Agent Orange
Those responsible for exposing Vietnamese citizens and US troops to toxic defoliants kept silent about known health implications, a review of documents finds. US chemical companies that made Agent Orange and the government and military authorities who ordered its spraying on Vietnam knew the human health toll it could take, according to official and unofficial documents detailing the history of the deadly defoliant. A review of the documents related to the use of Agent Orange – a dioxin-laden herbicide – in Vietnam, including decades-old declassified papers from the companies that manufactured it and the government and military that used it, provides compelling evidence that those in charge also concealed evidence of the devastating effects it could have on people.
Read article in the Thanh Nien Daily (Vietnam)

August 9, 2009

Sun exposure cancer warnings 'lead to Vitamin D deficiencies'
Public health warnings about skin cancer have led to a rise in Vitamin D deficiency through lack of sunlight, according to a controversial study into the effects of ultraviolet exposure.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)

August 8, 2009

Organic food movement grows in China
China's organic produce movement is growing steadily amid recurring health scares and a desire for a return to natural food, some growers say.
Read news report on the United Press International (UPI) website

August 5, 2009

Bill seeks to subsidize health claim-backed dietary supplements
Two Congressmen from either side of the mainstream political spectrum have introduced a Bill into Congress calling for dietary supplements such as selenium and omega-3s that are backed by official health claims to receive tax breaks. The ‘Tax Equity for Meal Replacements and Supplements Act of 2009’, introduced by House of Representatives members, Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat, and Ginny Brown-Waite, a Republican out of Florida, seeks to exempt the purchase of certain supplements from gross personal incomes. “Nutritional supplements can significantly improve health, and by making vitamins and supplements more affordable, we can help people stay healthy while reducing medical costs,” said Blumenauer.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

August 3, 2009

A cancerous conspiracy to poison your faith in organic food
Despite its obvious benefits for our health and for the environment, organic food continues to be denigrated by the political and corporate establishment in Britain. The food industry, in alliance with pharmaceutical and big biotechnology companies, has waged a long, often cynical campaign to convince the public that mass-produced, chemically-assisted and intensively-farmed products are just as good as organic foods, despite mounting evidence to the contrary. The latest assault in this propaganda exercise comes from the Food Standards Agency, the government's so-called independent watchdog, which has just published a report claiming that there is no nutritional benefit to be gained from eating organic produce.
Read article in the Daily Mail (UK)

August 3, 2009

Vitamin D deficiency common in U.S. children
A whopping 70 percent of American kids aren't getting enough vitamin D, and such youngsters tend to have higher blood pressure and lower levels of good cholesterol than their peers, according to two new studies published this week in the journal Pediatrics. Low vitamin D levels also may increase a child's risk of developing heart disease later in life, experts say. "We were astounded at how common it was," says study author Dr. Michal Melamed, an assistant professor of medicine, epidemiology, and population health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in the Bronx, New York. "There is a lot of data that suggests adults with low vitamin-D levels are at risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and a lot of cancers, and if kids start out with low levels and never increase them, they may be putting themselves at risk for developing all of these diseases at a much earlier age."
Read article at cnn.com (USA)

July 30, 2009

Alternative Medicine Spending Soars
The amount of money that Americans are shelling out for herbal supplements, meditation, acupuncture and other forms of "alternative" medical care is continuing to skyrocket, according to a new government data out today. Americans spent $33.9 billion out-of-pocket on "complementary and alternative" or CAM therapies in 2007, according to the nationally representative survey of nearly 24,000 adults conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics. About $22 billion of that was for products, including classes, materials and non-vitamin, non-mineral natural products such as fish oil, glucosamine and Echinacea. Most of that -- $14.8 billion -- was for the supplements, according to the results, which were released by the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Read article in the Washington Post (USA)
Comment: Despite what the pharmaceutical industry and so-called “critics” would have us believe, an abundance of knowledge and scientific data on the importance of micronutrients and nutrition in maintaining optimum health has been available for well over half of a century. Clearly, therefore, based upon this latest US government data, it would appear that American consumers are increasingly availing themselves of this information.

July 30, 2009

Organic Foods Provide More Vitamin C and Cancer-Fighting Antioxidants Than Conventional, Plus Essential Protections Against Pesticides and Chemical Additives
New 'Study' Based on Crops No Longer Grown, Twists Its Own Results, and Fails to Analyze Other Key Health Benefits of Organic Food
A report from a group of English researchers who claim to have conducted "the most extensive systematic review of the available published literature on nutrient content of organic food ever conducted," downplayed their own results that favored organic food, and failed to consider the use of toxic pesticides or chemical additives when forming their conclusions. The study, "Nutritional quality of organic foods: a systematic review," prepared by individuals at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, examined thirteen different nutrients. The authors found a significant difference in three of thirteen that favored organic, none that favored conventionally grown produce, yet they reported that there were no differences between the two types of food. The London team also included studies from the 1950's, 60's, and 70's that analyzed crop varieties that are no longer grown, and failed to include 15 studies published since 2008 that all found important nutritional advantages for organic food. The study also failed to examine differences in total anti-oxidant content.
Read article at newswire.ascribe.org

July 28, 2009

Common household pesticides linked to childhood cancer cases in Washington area
A new study by researchers at the Georgetown's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center finds a higher level of common household pesticides in the urine of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a cancer that develops most commonly between three and seven years of age. The findings are published in the August issue of the journal Therapeutic Drug Monitoring.
Read article at physorg.com

July 28, 2009

Trade liberalization linked to obesity in Central America
Since trade liberalization between Central and North America, imports and availability of processed, high-fat and high-sugar foods have increased dramatically. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Globalization and Health link this influx of American junk food to a 'nutrition transition' in Central American countries, with a growing burden diet-related chronic disease.
Read article at physorg.com

July 24, 2009

Senators seek coverage for alternative therapies
Naturopathic doctors, herbal healers, mind-body specialists, and acupuncturists often have been scorned by the US medical establishment, but growing numbers of Americans are seeking such care, and now an influential group of US senators believes the time has come to embrace an array of alternative therapies. Senator Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat who is a longtime supporter of nontraditional medicine, is at the forefront of the effort to win insurance coverage for such providers as part of national healthcare legislation. “It’s time to end the discrimination against alternative healthcare practices,’’ Harkin said at a congressional hearing. Harkin is the cosponsor of an amendment that says healthcare plans will not be allowed to “discriminate’’ against any healthcare provider who has a license issued by a state, an amendment Senate aides said was designed to provide coverage for alternative medicine.
Read article in the Boston Globe (USA)

July 16, 2009

Study breaks down supplement use by physicians
The majority of physicians and nurses in the US recommend supplements to their patients but also use them personally, finds a new study. Commissioned by the supplement trade group Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and published in the peer-reviewed Nutrition Journal, the study surveyed 900 physicians and 277 nurses.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

July 16, 2009

Be aware of vitamin D insufficiency, says US Dermatology Academy
In an update to its position statement on Vitamin D, the American Academy of Dermatology has cautioned that some individuals may be at risk of “insufficiency”, and may therefore need to consume higher doses of the vitamin.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

July 13, 2009

Pesticide levels in blood linked to Parkinson's disease
People with Parkinson's disease have significantly higher blood levels of a particular pesticide than healthy people or those with Alzheimer's disease, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found. In a study appearing in the July issue of Archives of Neurology, researchers found the pesticide beta-HCH (hexachlorocyclohexane) in 76 percent of people with Parkinson's, compared with 40 percent of healthy controls and 30 percent of those with Alzheimer's.
Read article at physorg.com

July 10, 2009

Do You Want To Feel Good, Or Do You Want The Truth?
See The Bullies For What They Really Are
It began with an e-mail from out of the blue. From someone I had known – or thought I had known – for 40 years. “I heard you on the Gary Null Show,” it essentially began, innocently enough, “and you were saying that the National Health Federation is the only voice of health freedom at Codex.” So far, so good. “But we cannot get our own seat at Codex and the Chairman told us that you had to let us sit with you, so we are demanding that you give us a place with you or else we will do whatever we can to take away your Codex seat.”
Read press release on the website of the National Health Federation (NHF) (USA)

July 7, 2009

New Bill (HR2749) Gives FDA Unheard-of Power over Small Farmers, Food and Supplement Producers
A new, long-awaited food safety bill is now before the US House of Representatives. It is the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009, or FSEA. Introduced by Reps. Henry Waxman (D–CA) and John Dingell (D–MI), the FSEA is meant to address food safety concerns. But as you will see, much of it is not about food safety at all. Food safety issues have arisen from large agricultural operations. But this bill places its harshest burdens on small food producers and supplement producers.
Read article on the American Association for Health Freedom (AAHF) website (USA)

June 30, 2009

National Health Federation Extorted!!!
Recently, the National Health Federation – the World’s oldest health-freedom organization, the only health-freedom organization accredited by Codex to attend and speak out at its meetings and which has been diligently following and attending Codex meetings since the mid-1990s – received an extortionist e-mail from one of the newest organizations to arrive on the health-freedom scene. In it, these upstarts clumsily demand that the Federation put them on the Federation’s Codex delegation or else they will try to take away our accredited status!
Read press release on the website of the National Health Federation (NHF) (USA)

June 30, 2009

Vitamin D deficiency is widespread and on the increase
A new report issued by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) and published in the scientific journal Osteoporosis International, shows that populations across the globe are suffering from the impact of low levels of vitamin D. The problem is widespread and on the increase, with potentially severe repercussions for overall health and fracture rates.
Read article at physorg.com
Comment: For further details, visit the IOF website by clicking here.

June 29, 2009

Americans' Right to Access Natural Health Alternatives in Peril, Says Natural Health Freedom Movement
The Natural Health Freedom Movement, a new coalition under the leadership of Matthias Rath, MD, is spearheading an online grass roots movement to protect the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) and defend the rights of Americans to access safe, science-based, natural health alternatives.
Read press release at prweb.com
Comment: If you live in the United States and would like to learn more about this important campaign, click here.

June 26, 2009

Movie, 'Food, Inc.' Chews Up Monsanto, Agribusiness Cousins
The movie "Food, Inc." begins in the aisles of a grocery store, then eventually makes its way through Southern chicken coops, western feedlots and Indiana cornfields. The film ventures into hog slaughterhouses, through the hallways of Congress and to a celebrated farm in Virginia, exploring how food makes its way to American dining tables and skewering the industrialized food system along the way. It's not a scenic drive. The documentary attempts to demonstrate that the food Americans eat is largely controlled by a handful of corporations -- and all at the expense of the environment, human health and the economic well-being of farmers.
Read article at soyatech.com
Comment: To watch a trailer for the movie, click here.

June 26, 2009

Omega-3 deficiency causes 96,000 US deaths per year, say researchers
Omega-3 deficiency is the sixth biggest killer of Americans and more deadly than excess trans fat intake, according to a new study. The Harvard University researchers looked at 12 dietary, lifestyle and metabolic risk factors such as tobacco smoking and high blood pressure and used a mathematical model to determine how many fatalities could have been prevented if better practices had been observed. The study, jointly funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the Association of Schools of Public Health, drew on 2005 data from the US National Health Center for Health Statistics. They determined that there were 72,000-96,000 preventable deaths each year due to omega-3 deficiency, compared to 63,000-97,000 for high trans fat intake.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

June 26, 2009

SEQWater slammed for fluoride overdose
A mix of mechanical and human error combined to overdose hundreds of southeast Queensland households with fluoride, a government report says. The Queensland government will apologise to about 400 households in the Brisbane suburb of Joyner after it piped drinking water containing around 13 times the maximum recommended dosage of fluoride in April.
Read article at finda.com.au (Australia)
Comment: The primary error here stems from neither mechanical nor human error, but from the decision to fluoridate Queensland’s water in the first place. In most cases, the chemical used to fluoridate water is hexafluorosilicic acid – a hazardous toxic waste by-product of the phosphate fertiliser industry. Given the numerous absurdities and known dangers of fluoridation, it should have been banned worldwide long ago.

June 25, 2009

Chemicals in shampoos and toys 'could lead to low birth weight'
Chemicals widely used in shampoos, toys, hairspray and cosmetics could harm the growth of unborn babies, a new study suggests. Scientists found that the compounds were linked to a low birth weight, which can increase the chance that a child will die in the first few weeks of life and lead to long-term health problems such as heart disease. Researchers believe that exposure to the chemicals in the womb could inhibit the children's growth.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)

June 23, 2009

Longer life linked to specific foods in Mediterranean diet
Some food groups in the Mediterranean diet are more important than others in promoting health and longer life according to new research published on bmj.com today. Eating more vegetables, fruits, nuts, pulses and olive oil, and drinking moderate amounts of alcohol, while not consuming a lot of meat or excessive amounts of alcohol is linked to people living longer. However, the study also claims, that following a Mediterranean diet high in fish, seafood and cereals and low in dairy products were not indicators of longevity. While several studies have concluded that the Mediterranean diet improves chances of living longer, this is the first to investigate the importance of individual components of the diet.
Read article at physorg.com

June 23, 2009

Vitamin B12 deficiency linked to birth defects
Women with low levels of vitamin B12 have up to five times the normal risk of having a baby with a major birth defect, new research shows. It's long been known that another nutrient, folic acid, lowers the risk of neural tube defects -- devastating malformations of the brain and spine, including spina bifida. Now researchers are reporting that women who have low vitamin B12 levels shortly before and after they get pregnant are at significantly greater risk of delivering a child with a neural-tube defect.
Read article in the Vancouver Sun (Canada)

June 19, 2009

More evidence links pesticides to Parkinson's
A new study confirms the link between on-the-job pesticide exposure and Parkinson's disease, and suggests that certain insecticides may be particularly risky.
Read article at reutershealth.com

June 18, 2009

Artificial Sweeteners May Contaminate Water Downstream Of Sewage Treatment Plants And Even Drinking Water
Sewage treatment plants fail to remove artificial sweeteners completely from waste water. What’s more, these pollutants contaminate waters downstream and may still be present in our drinking water. Thanks to their new robust analytical method, which simultaneously extracts and analyses seven commonly used artificial sweeteners, Marco Scheurer, Heinz-Jürgen Brauch and Frank Thomas Lange from the Water Technology Center in Karlsruhe, Germany, were able to demonstrate the presence of several artificial sweeteners in waste water.
Read article at sciencedaily.com
Comment: In their tests, the scientists found four artificial sweeteners in water: acesulfame, saccharin, cyclamate, and sucralose. To read an abstract of the study, click here.

June 16, 2009

MS march to shine light on need for vitamin supplement
Campaigners were set to go on the march in Edinburgh today calling for the widespread introduction of a vitamin D supplement in a move they saw could save thousands of Scottish lives. Up to 1000 people were set to walk from the Castle down the Royal Mile towards parliament to demand more action to reduce cases of multiple sclerosis. Scientists have suggested if more people in this country – who are deprived of natural vitamin D from sunlight – were to be given the boost, the high rates of MS could be cut by 80 per cent. The march has been organised by 14-year-old Ryan McLaughlin, from Glasgow, whose mother has been crippled by the illness.
Read article at scotsman.com (Scotland/UK)

June 16, 2009

Cancer boost from whole carrots
The anti-cancer properties of carrots are more potent if the vegetable is not cut up before cooking, research shows. Scientists found "boiled before cut" carrots contained 25% more of the anti-cancer compound falcarinol than those chopped up first.
Read article on the BBC News website (UK)
Comment: Lead researcher Dr Kirsten Brandt, from Newcastle University's School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, explained: "Chopping up your carrots increases the surface area so more of the nutrients leach out into the water while they are cooked. "By keeping them whole and chopping them up afterwards you are locking in nutrients and the taste, so the carrot is better for you all round." Logically, therefore, it would seem that this same principle may also apply to the cooking of other vegetables as well.

June 16, 2009

Congressional briefing positions supplements as preventative healthcare
Dietary supplements are key to the prevention of a number of health conditions, and as such they would form a cost-effective approach to healthcare reform, Congress heard in a recent briefing.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

June 12, 2009

Venezuela Orders End to Coca-Cola Zero Production
On Wednesday the Venezuelan Ministry for Health ordered the Coca-Cola Company to remove its product Coca-Cola Zero from sale for containing a cancerous ingredient, sodium cyclamate, an ingredient not included in the US version of the drink. Jesus Mantilla, the health minister, said, "The product should stop circulating in order to protect the health of Venezuelans." He said the product contains sodium cyclamate, which in large amounts can be harmful, and then announced that the product should be recalled, destroyed, and not produced anymore.
Read article at venezuelanalysis.com

June 12, 2009

Individuals who apply pesticides are found to have double the risk of blood disorder
A study involving 678 individuals who apply pesticides, culled from a U.S. Agricultural Health Study of over 50,000 farmers, recently found that exposure to certain pesticides doubles one's risk of developing an abnormal blood condition called MGUS (monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance) compared with individuals in the general population. The disorder, characterized by an abnormal level of a plasma protein, requires lifelong monitoring as it is a pre-cancerous condition that can lead to multiple myeloma, a painful cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow.
Read article at physorg.com

June 10, 2009

Hampshire MPs pledge to put water fluoridation on hold in Southampton
Yesterday, opponents of fluoridation met in Westminster to discuss the South Central Strategic Health Authority’s decision to fluoridate the water supplies of nearly 200,000 people in the Southampton and South West Hampshire area. Campaigners from Hampshire Against Fluoride were able to cite 15,348 objections to the fluoridation plan from the local area. Lone pro-fluoridation proponent, Alan Whitehead, surprised the meeting, saying that he agrees with fellow pro-fluoride Southampton Labour MP John Denham that the decision to fluoridate should be put on hold until public confidence has been restored.
Read press release on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) (UK)
Comment: After the meeting, three UK/Irish non-governmental organizations - the Alliance for Natural Health, the National Pure Water Association and Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment (VOICE) - committed themselves to collaborating with a view to exploring the potential of a legal challenge as a means of halting deliberate fluoridation of the public water supply in both the UK and Ireland.

June 10, 2009

OA publisher accepts fake paper
An open access journal has agreed to publish a nonsensical article written by a computer program, claiming that the manuscript was peer reviewed and requesting that the "authors" pay $800 in "open access fees." Philip Davis, a PhD student in scientific communications at Cornell University, and Kent Anderson, executive director of international business and product development at the New England Journal of Medicine, submitted the fake manuscript to The Open Information Science Journal (TOISCIJ) at the end of January.
Read NewsBlog entry at the-scientist.com
Comment: Davis and Anderson say this episode points out potentially serious flaws in the open-access, author-pay model being adopted by an increasing number of publishers. Open access journals generally charge authors fees to publish research papers. With institutional libraries, including Cornell's, and granting institutions, such as the Wellcome Trust and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, offering to pay open access publication fees for faculty authors and grantees, the potential for abuse may be increasing.

June 9, 2009

Toddlers not getting enough vitamin D, study finds
Deficiency can lead to risk of health problems as adults
One-third of Canadian toddlers have too little vitamin D, a new Toronto test found -- a deficiency that puts them at risk of a wide range of diseases later in life.
Read article in the Vancouver Sun (Canada)

June 8, 2009

EFSA defends controversial sweetener aspartame (again)
ANH's Rob Verkerk PhD and Sophie Middleton investigate the European Food Safety Authority's second clearance of aspartame, in the wake of long-term studies on developing rats by a prestigious European research institute which showed that aspartame causes cancer.
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) (UK)

June 2, 2009

Semen quality depends upon antioxidants
A possible relationship between men's diets and the quality of their semen has long been a discussion point. Spanish researchers have now confirmed that antioxidants, molecules which are found mainly in fruit and vegetables and can delay and prevent the oxidation of other molecules, play a key role. Low antioxidant intake is associated with low reproductive capacity in semen. This is the finding of a new study carried out in two infertility centres in Alicante and Murcia, and which has been published online in the journal Fertility and Sterility.
Read article at physorg.com

May 26, 2009

Is vitamin D deficiency linked to Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia?
There are several risk factors for the development of Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. Based on an increasing number of studies linking these risk factors with Vitamin D deficiency, an article in the current issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (May 2009) by William B. Grant, PhD of the Sunlight, Nutrition, and Health Research Center (SUNARC) suggests that further investigation of possible direct or indirect linkages between Vitamin D and these dementias is needed.
Read article at physorg.com

May 22, 2009

UK parliament motion calls for Food Supplements Directive amendment
A Westminster motion is calling on Brussels to extend deadlines for enforcing maximum permitted levels of vitamins and minerals under the provisions of the EU Food Supplements Directive (FSD) and stop it applying to other nutrients such as glucosamine and creatine. The motion, submitted yesterday, noted the House of Commons had, “enduring concerns about the setting of maximum permitted levels of vitamins and minerals under the provisions of the EU Food Supplements Directive” and its potential damaging effect on more than 700 independent retailers. The House was “gravely alarmed” a European Commission meeting in late April had indicated the FSD would be extended to other nutrients and set “unacceptable MPLs”.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

May 20, 2009

European Parliament considers supplements petition
The Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) has had a petition questioning scientific methods being used by European Union authorities to establish maximum permitted levels for nutrients in food supplements accepted by the European Parliament.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

May 16, 2009

Elderly need more 'sun vitamin'
Spending more time in the sun could help older people cut their risk of heart disease and diabetes say experts. Sun exposure helps the skin make vitamin D - a vitamin older people are generally deficient in due to their lifestyles and ageing processes.
Read article on the BBC News website (UK)

May 15, 2009

Chiropractic critic loses first round in libel fight
If you have ever been tempted to call alternative medicine "bogus", choose your words with care. You could be sued for defamation. That's the message from a ruling in the High Court in London that censured science writer Simon Singh for claiming that the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) promoted "bogus" treatments.
Read article at newscientist.com

May 15, 2009

Bacterial Vaginosis Early in Pregnancy Linked to Low Vitamin D
Low vitamin D levels may increase risk of bacterial vaginosis in the first trimester of pregnancy, researchers found. Prevalence of the vaginal infection was linked to serum vitamin D concentration, Lisa M. Bodnar, of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues reported in the June Journal of Nutrition. In the cohort study, women with vitamin D deficiency before the fourth month of pregnancy were 26% to 65% more likely to have bacterial vaginosis than those with sufficient vitamin D.
Read article at medpagetoday.com (USA)

May 10, 2009

Researchers see link between vitamin D, flu immunity
If the current strain of H1N1 swine flu is like flu strains of years past, it likely will mysteriously subside in the coming weeks. For whatever reason, in temperate areas such as North America, flu largely is a fall and winter phenomenon. A couple of theories have tried to explain that seasonality, but in recent years an intriguing new idea has emerged: Levels of flu-fighting vitamin D reach their lowest point in the winter when ultraviolet light disappears.
Read article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Online (USA)

May 9, 2009

Nine dangerous chemicals added to global banned list
Nine dangerous chemicals used in farming and industry will be added to a list of banned substances whose presence in the environment causes serious health risks, more than 160 government agreed on Saturday. The nine pesticides and industrial chemicals join 12 substances targeted for elimination under the 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). Trade in some of the chemicals can amount to billions of dollars a year, but countries at the United Nations conference agreed they are so dangerous that alternatives must be found.
Read news report at reuters.com

May 7, 2009

Codex committee continues work on GM labeling
The 37th Session of the Codex Committee on Food Labelling (CCFL) just today finished its work considering various food-labeling issues, including the most contentious one – the Labeling of Foods and Food Ingredients Obtained through Certain Techniques of Genetic Modification / Genetic Engineering. Once again, the food-exporting countries of Canada, the United States, Argentina, New Zealand, and Australia comprised the “consumer is too stupid to understand” camp that wishes to see the GM-food labeling disappear into a black hole.
Read press release on the website of the National Health Federation (NHF) (USA)

May 4, 2009

Iron deficiency in womb may delay brain maturation in preemies
Iron plays a large role in brain development in the womb, and new University of Rochester Medical Center research shows an iron deficiency may delay the development of auditory nervous system in preemies. This delay could affect babies ability to process sound which is critical for later language development in early childhood.
Read article at physorg.com

May 4, 2009

Lack of Vitamin D in kids linked to risks later in life
The first Canadian study to investigate vitamin D levels in toddlers has found that more than 80 per cent of the children tested didn't have enough of the sunshine vitamin and nearly a third had such low amounts that doctors classified them as deficient. The finding, based on blood tests of two-year olds from the Toronto area, suggests that shortfalls in vitamin D may be widespread in young children across the country, potentially placing them at an elevated risk of developing a wide range of diseases later in life, including multiple sclerosis, cancer and juvenile diabetes.
Read article on the website of the Globe and Mail (Canada)

May 4, 2009

Mushrooms may yield vitamin D bonanza
A burst of ultraviolet light can make mushrooms a major source of vitamin D, Australian researchers report. Dr Gerald Pang and colleagues from the University of Western Sydney report their findings in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Mushrooms naturally contain a high level of ergosterol, the precursor for vitamin D. But the standard practice of producing mushrooms indoors means they are not exposed to sunlight and so the ergosterol is not converted to vitamin D. North American researchers have developed technology that uses UV light to increase the amount of vitamin D in mushrooms, which have been available in the US since last year, says Pang. Now, research by Pang and colleagues, funded by the Australian Mushroom Growers' Association and Horticulture Australia Ltd, has confirmed Australian mushrooms also respond to UV light.
Read article on the website of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Australia)

May 1, 2009

Biomonitoring campaign finds 48 toxins in blood of five US women environmental justice leaders
A biomonitoring study by US NGO the Environmental Working Group found 48 out of 75 chemicals tested for in the blood of five prominent women each fighting for pollution clean up in their communities which are many thousands of miles apart. The biomonitoring campaign has parallels with a similar initative run by WWF in Europe during negotiations of the REACH Regulation. EWG comments: "Even now, the findings could well mark a turning point in the increasingly heated debate unfolding in Washington over the reform of the nation's 33-year-old chemical safety law that, in a recent shift, even the chemical and plastics industries concede must be modernized."
Read article at chemicalwatch.com
Comment: For further details of this study, click here.

May 1, 2009

Organic apples higher in antioxidants
A new study by scientists in Germany shows that organically grown apples have a 15% higher antioxidant capacity than conventionally produced apples, reports FoodNavigator.com. The findings of the new survey are published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry and build on evidence from a number of studies showing significant nutritional differences between organic and non-organic food.
Read article on the Natural Products online website (UK)

April 30, 2009

Low vitamin D causes problems for acutely ill patients
A group of endocrinologists in Sydney have observed that very sick patients tend to have very low levels of Vitamin D. The sicker they are, the lower the levels. Dr Paul Lee, Professor John Eisman and Associate Professor Jackie Center, researchers at Sydney's Garvan Institute of Medical Research, examined a cohort of 42 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients. Forty-five percent turned out to be Vitamin D deficient.
Read article at physorg.com

April 30, 2009

Insufficient vitamin D may boost asthma risk
Children with insufficient vitamin D levels may be at higher risk of developing asthma, suggests a new study from equatorial Costa Rica. Vitamin D levels were also associated with increased frequency of hospitalization, according to a study with 616 Costa Rican children with asthma published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

April 29, 2009

Low vitamin D linked to female infections: Study
Low vitamin D levels may increase the risk of bacterial vaginosis, a common vaginal infection linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes, suggests a new study from the US. In a study with 469 women participating in a pregnancy cohort study, vitamin D levels below 20 nmol/L were associated with a 34 per cent increase in the prevalence of bacterial vaginosis compared to women with vitamin D levels over 80 nmol/L.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

April 27, 2009

Together, two common pesticides may increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease
The risk of Parkinson's disease increases in people who live near farm fields sprayed with a combination of pesticides. A recent study conducted in California’s Central Valley found that people who lived near fields sprayed with a combination of pesticides used on crops such as potatoes, dry beans and tomatoes had an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. This is the first study to evaluate associations between exposure to a combination of pesticides and the risk of Parkinson’s disease. These results add to the growing literature suggesting that exposure to multiple chemicals may be more harmful than exposure to individual chemicals and contribute to the debate of evaluating chemical safety one at a time rather than in combination.
Read article at environmentalhealthnews.org (USA)

April 22, 2009

Low magnesium levels may increase stroke risk
Low blood levels of magnesium may increase the risk of stroke by 25 per cent, suggest findings from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. According to findings published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, increasing levels of the mineral could decrease the risk of ischemic stroke, with the effects related to magnesium’s benefits on blood pressure and for diabetics.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

April 19, 2009

Shock Corridor!!
Did you know that in America, the land of human rights, you can legally be given repeated electric shock treatments, for no reason, for years and years, and no one can help prevent that from happening? Ray Sandford, 54, lives in a group home in Minneapolis. He has not been charged with any crime, and his mental problems subsided long ago. However, against his will, Ray has received over 40 court ordered shock treatments.
Read blog entry at pharmalittle.blogspot.com

April 17, 2009

Vitamin D deficiency may raise cesarean risk
Women with insufficient vitamin D intake during pregnancy may be at increased risk for birth by cesarean 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 cesarean section than women with higher levels of vitamin D, report Dr. Michael F. Holick and colleagues.
Read news report at reuters.com

April 17, 2009

Low vitamin A and C levels may boost asthma risk
Low dietary intakes of vitamins A and C may increase the risk of developing asthma, suggests a review of 40 studies and 30 years of research. Low blood levels of vitamin C and lower dietary intake of vitamin C-containing foods were associated with a 12 per cent heightened risk of asthma, say findings published online in Thorax.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

April 8, 2009

UK Petition to Support Herbal Medicine
We the undersigned strongly object to the [UK] Government's proposals to statutorily regulate herbalists and change section 12(1) of the 1968 Medicines Act. We also oppose the abolishing of section 12(2) of the 1968 Medicines Act to be replaced by The Traditional Medicines Registration Scheme by 2011. These proposals have been heavily influenced by the pharmaceutical industry, which stand to gain by the proposals. Any new state regulation requires that a sufficient risk can be demonstrated to prove the need for regulation, there is not any evidence to prove that herbalists or herbal medicine present a significant risk to the public under previous and present legislation, when policed properly. These proposals will reduce access, increase costs, decrease patient choice, encourage a black market and send experienced herbalists underground, crucify our indigenous tradition and diversity of available healthcare. At a time when we face urgent environmental problems, herbal medicine provides some of the answers only if it remains a ‘people’s medicine’, simple and freely accessible. Herbal medicine does not belong to herbalists or pharmaceutical companies, the public should be educated and encouraged to use traditional herbal medicines for minor health problems, not immobilised by a state of fear.
Read and sign the petition at gopetition.co.uk (UK)
Comment: The British Government wishes to further regulate herbalists by bringing them under state control. In addition, it wants to change the herbal medicine laws to prevent anyone, other than a state regulated herbalist (or possibly other health professional), from prescribing herbs. This, coupled with a previous change to the UK’s herbal medicine laws, will take herbal medicine away from the people and result in state regulated herbalists and pharmaceutical companies claiming herbal medicine as their own. Not surprisingly, therefore, the pharmaceutical industry is heavily involved in influencing the regulation of herbalists and herbal medicine, which it sees as a threat to its multi-billion dollar business with disease.

April 8, 2009

Hospital hunger a 'growing problem'
At least 240 people die in English hospitals every year from malnutrition, latest figures show. The official figures for 2007 also show another 19 died in private or publicly run care homes. Almost 140,000 were discharged from hospital with this easily-preventable condition - more than the 130,000 who were malnourished when admitted.
Read article on the ITV News website (UK)

April 8, 2009

Pesticides not a threat to honey bees – Benn
Hilary Benn, Defra Secretary, has rejected calls from the organic lobby to ban insecticides they say damage the health of honey bees. The Soil Association, the UK’s biggest organic certifiers, wrote to Mr Benn asking him to prohibit the use of a group of pesticides, called neonicotinoids, which have already been withdrawn in France, Germany and Italy. The Co-op supermarket has also banned the use of neonicotinoid sprays arguing they damage the neurological and immune system of honey bees. However, in a letter to the Soil Association this week, Mr Benn said there was no evidence the use of those pesticides caused the decline in bee numbers.
Read article in the Farmers Guardian newspaper (UK)
Comment: Benn, head of the British government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, is totally incorrect in claiming that there is no evidence that the use of neonicotinoid pesticides is causing a decline in bee numbers. In Germany, sales of these pesticides were banned in May 2008 after 700 beekeepers along the Rhine reported that two-thirds of their bees had died following the application of a neonicotinoid pesticide known as clothianidin. Tests on the dead bees showed that 99% of those examined had a build-up of clothianidin. In France, a neonicotinoid pesticide known as imidacloprid has been banned on sunflowers since 1999 and as a sweetcorn treatment since 2003, after a third of honeybees were wiped out. As such, given that the UK is one of the world’s biggest exporters of pharmaceutical drugs, we find it particularly significant to note that both imidacloprid and clothianidin are produced by a division of the pharmaceutical manufacturer Bayer. In the light of this information, consumers might well now be wondering who, exactly, Benn is protecting when he claims that there was no evidence the use of those pesticides caused the decline in bee numbers?

April 7, 2009

Pesticides blamed for some childhood brain cancers
A new study finds that children who live in homes where their parents use pesticides are twice as likely to develop brain cancer versus those that live in residences in which no pesticides are used. Herbicide use appeared to cause a particularly elevated risk for a certain type of cancer. It is well established that many pesticides cause cancer in animals. This study highlights a new and compelling reason to avoid or limit pesticide use and take necessary precautions during exposure. It also adds to a growing body of research that finds that pesticide exposure -- especially with farm life and pesticide use -- might be contributing significantly to this deadly disease.
Read article on the Environmental Health News website (USA)
Comment: To read the abstract of the study, click here.

April 6, 2009

Vitamin D Deficiency Related to Increased Inflammation in Healthy Women
According to a recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, 75 percent of Americans do not get enough Vitamin D. Researchers have found that the deficiency may negatively impact immune function and cardiovascular health and increase cancer risk. Now, a University of Missouri nutritional sciences researcher has found that vitamin D deficiency is associated with inflammation, a negative response of the immune system, in healthy women.
Read article at physorg.com

April 3, 2009

ECJ blurs news-PR line in landmark case
Those that write about food supplements that in some countries are classified as pharmaceuticals risk having their missives interpreted as illegal marketing materials, according to a European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling yesterday. The ECJ found any information that promotes unauthorised medicinal claims can be construed as product marketing, after a Danish journalist, Frede Damgaard, was found to have illegally disseminated information about a banned rosehip powder-based, multi-benefit product called Hyben Total. The ruling could apply to independent articles written by journalists as well as content provided on online social networks and product review sites by the likes of consumers, bloggers and twitterers, said defence counsel in the case, Susie S. Ekstrand, of the Danish law firm, Lett.
Read article at nutraingredients.com
Comment: The ‘Brussels EU’ is desperate to control freedom of speech in order to eliminate the threat that non-patentable natural therapies pose to the multi-trillion dollar pharmaceutical investment business. To help stop the ‘Brussels EU’, please support the Petition for a Europe for the People – by the People and reject the Lisbon Treaty.

April 1, 2009

New vitamin E form extracted from kiwifruit: Scientists
Italian scientists have identified a new member of the vitamin E family, extracted from kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa 'Hayward'), according to results of a new study. Writing in the journal Food Chemistry, researchers from the two Neapolitan universities report the identification and characterisation of a compound called delta-tocomonoenol, which is an analogue of tocopherol.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

April 1, 2009

European Commission to investigate hazardous fluoride chemical in Irish drinking water
The EU Commission has reacted to appeals by VOICE of Irish Concern for the Environment to investigate the hazardous chemical fluorosilicic acid added to most Irish drinking water. The Commission has now issued a ‘working mandate’ calling for information to be submitted on ‘the hazard profile, health effects and human exposure to fluoride and health risks associated with the most common fluoridation agents like fluorosilicic acid’. VOICE campaigner Robert Pocock said: “ We welcome this call because it reflects the concerns we brought last year to senior officials of DG SANCO in a series of meetings involving international experts in toxicology."
Read press release on the Voice Of Irish Concern for the Environment (VOICE) website (Ireland)

March 30, 2009

Rotterdam - the Codex Committee on Contaminants in Foods Meeting – Mum’s the Word
The 3rd Session of the Codex Committee on Contaminants in Foods (CCCF) began its week-long meeting at the Beurs - World Trade Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on Monday morning, March 23, 2009. This particular meeting was important because “acceptable” levels of contaminants of acrylamide, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), aflatoxins, and melamine, among others, were being discussed and developed.
Read press release on the website of the National Health Federation (NHF) (USA)

March 29, 2009

Agricultural chemical industry shudders at organic White House garden
Here's an interesting twist in what appeared to be a piece of all-around good news: when officials at the Mid America Croplife Association discovered that the new White House kitchen garden was to be managed organically, they sent a letter to First Lady Michelle Obama asking her to consider managing the garden "conventionally."
Read article on the NY Gardening Examiner website (USA)
Comment: Perhaps not surprisingly, the authors of the letter to Michelle Obama make and distribute agricultural chemicals (it's a requirement for Mid America Croplife Association membership) and include representatives from giants of the pesticide, herbicide, and genetically modified food industries such as Monsanto, Dow AgroSciences, Syngenta, BASF Corporation, and Bayer CropScience.

March 27, 2009

EU health claims system may be illegal, say trade groups
Several influential pan-European industry groups will consider mounting a legal challenge against the European Union nutrition and health claims regulation if, as expected, thousands of article 13.1 generic ‘health maintenance’ claims are forbidden across the bloc. At a recent meeting in Brussels, members of the European Federation of Associations of Health Product Manufacturers (EHPM), the European Botanical Forum (EBF) and the European Responsible Nutrition Alliance (ERNA) discussed the possibility of challenging the controversial law in the European Court of Justice (ECJ), for breaching free trade principles written into the European Union Treaty.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

March 24, 2009

Whose quack is louder?
ANH evaluates recent attacks on Prince Charles
I am moved to put pen to paper, or more correctly, finger to keyboard, in response to recent attacks against the heir to the British throne, HRH The Prince of Wales. The attacks, which have been ongoing for several years, have been instigated by a member of a small group of UK-based sceptical scientists who are seemingly opposed to anything that comes out of the ‘natural medicine’ cabinet. On 11th March, Professor Ernst, professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University and—ironically—one of the biggest and most influential detractors against complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)—initiated his most recent public assault on Prince Charles. The assault was prompted by the recent release of several tinctures produced by Duchy Originals. a company with which Prince Charles is closely associated. The products included one containing extracts of globe artichoke and dandelion which Professor Ernst claimed was based on quackery.
Read article by Robert Verkerk on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) (UK)

March 24, 2009

Diabetics on high-fiber diets might need extra calcium
The amount of calcium your body absorbs might depend, in part, on the amount of dietary fiber you consume. Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center report that patients with noninsulin-dependent diabetes (type 2) excreted less calcium through their urine when they consumed 50 grams of fiber a day than when they ate 24 grams a day. Excreting less calcium indicates that they absorbed less of the mineral. "We already know that fiber helps improve your cholesterol and glucose control and improves your bowel regularity. Our new findings suggest that dietary fiber reduces the body's capacity to absorb calcium," said Dr. Abhimanyu Garg, professor of internal medicine and an investigator in the Center for Human Nutrition at UT Southwestern.
Read article at physorg.com

March 24, 2009

European Commission agree to investigate health risks of fluoridated water
The European Commission has just opened a public consultation process to investigate the health risks of adding fluoride to public water supplies. The Irish health authorities, through the local councils, have added hydrofluorosilicic acid to public water supplies since 1960. However, unlike sodium and calcium fluoride used in toothpaste, Hydrofluorosilicic acid is an industrial waste by-product and a very unstable chemical which over time, accumulates in our bones and organs. There is a large and growing body of long term epidemiological evidence that links swallowed fluoride to osteoporosis, thyroid malfunctions, cancer, lower IQ in babies and many other side effects. MEP for Munster, Kathy Sinnott, welcomed the consultation saying "In my election campaign five years ago, I promised to challenge the fluoridation of our drinking water. It has taken us several years of lobbying to get the Commission to agree to this step but I am delighted that they have finally decided to take the issue seriously."
Read press release from Kathy Sinnott, MEP, on the Fluoride Action Network website

March 23, 2009

Increasing number of Americans have insufficient levels of vitamin D
Average blood levels of vitamin D appear to have decreased in the United States between 1994 and 2004, according to a report in the March 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. Clinicians previously believed the major health problems associated with vitamin D deficiency were rickets in children and reduced bone mineral content in adults, conditions reduced by fortifying foods with vitamin D, according to background information in the article. More recently, insufficient vitamin D levels have been associated with cancer, heart disease, infection and suboptimal health overall. Evidence suggests that levels of 30 nanograms per milliliter to 40 nanograms per milliliter may be needed for optimum health.
Read article at physorg.com

March 19, 2009

Obamas to Plant Vegetable Garden at White House
WASHINGTON — Michelle Obama will begin digging up a patch of the South Lawn on Friday to plant a vegetable garden, the first at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden in World War II. There will be no beets — the president does not like them — but arugula will make the cut. While the organic garden will provide food for the first family’s meals and formal dinners, its most important role, Mrs. Obama said, will be to educate children about healthful, locally grown fruit and vegetables at a time when obesity and diabetes have become a national concern.
Read article in the New York Times (USA)

March 17, 2009

Help Save P5P (the Natural and Bio-available Form of Vitamin B-6)
We reported last month that the FDA has banned a natural form of the B6 vitamin called pyradoxamine (pyridoxamine dihydrochloride)—even though fish and chicken contain pyridoxamine, as does brewer’s yeast. No one can argue that pyradoxamine isn’t a natural food substance. It’s a very useful one too, with many health benefits, which is why drug companies want to monopolize it, and have succeeded thanks to the FDA. Another natural and bioidentical form of the vitamin—pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (P5P), is also at risk from FDA action. This one is arguably even more important than pyradoxamine. All forms of the B-6 vitamin must be converted into P5P in order to be used by the body. As with pyradoxamine, the Agency is considering a petition filed by a drug manufacturer which fears that the natural supplement could cut into its drug profits. While everyone needs B6 to live, some people have difficulty converting synthetic B6 to P5P, so the elimination of P5P could make them entirely dependent on drugs—and thus the drug manufacturers—for their survival. Please contact the FDA and express your opposition to the FDA banning P5P!
Read article on the American Association for Health Freedom (AAHF) website (USA)
Comment: To contact the FDA and express your opposition to the drug company Medicure Pharma’s request for a ban on dietary supplements containing the natural form of vitamin B6, pyridoxal 5’-phosphate (P5P), click here.

March 17, 2009

Low Fruit, Vegetable Intake Is a Worldwide Problem
A new study that looks at the fruit and vegetable consumption of nearly 200,000 people in developing countries finds that the prevalence of inadequate diet is “remarkably high” across the globe. Overall, 77.6 percent of men and 78.4 percent of women consumed less than the suggested five daily servings of produce.
Read article at physorg.com

March 16, 2009

Lack of vitamin D could lead to fatter teens: Study
Adolescents with high intakes of vitamin D may have lower overall body fat and lower amounts of abdominal fat, says a new study from the Medical College of Georgia, US.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

March 11, 2009

One in seven US teens is vitamin D deficient
One in seven American adolescents is vitamin D deficient, according to a new study by researchers in the Department of Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College. The findings are published in the March issue of the journal Pediatrics and were presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies' Annual Meeting in May 2008.
Read article at physorg.com

March 11, 2009

Low vitamin D levels associated with several risk factors in teenagers
Low levels of vitamin D were associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure, high blood sugar and metabolic syndrome in teenagers, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's 49th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention.
Read article at physorg.com

March 9, 2009

Four times current vitamin D doses needed for winter levels: Study
Maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D during winter months requires a daily dose of 20 micrograms, four times the current recommended dose, says a new study. The study, led by Susan Sullivan from the University of Maine, has important implications for ongoing consultations on vitamin D recommendations, with the current level of five micrograms (200 International Units) seen by many as insufficient.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

March 9, 2009

ANH online petition on unfair EU restrictions on vitamins and minerals
The ANH has launched the first of its Online Petitions via the ANH homepage. The first petition aims to positively influence the approach the European Commission is taking in its efforts to limit the maximum available dosages of vitamin and mineral food supplements across the 27 Member States of Europe.
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) (UK)

March 6, 2009

One million patients at risk in NHS, official figures find
One million patients a year are put at risk by hospital blunders and near misses, official figures have revealed. However experts warned many more are being swept under the carpet as healthcare staff and managers fail to report incidents. Data on the number of incidents relating to patient safety, the type and the level of harm occurring in each NHS organisation in England and Wales has been published for the first time.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)
Comment: In a truly Orwellian use of spin, Martin Fletcher, chief executive of the UK’s National Patient Safety Agency, claims that “a high number of incidents should be regarded as a good thing because it shows [the NHS] is taking safety seriously and is identifying and reporting cases.”

March 6, 2009

Middle age 'key for exercising'
Increasing activity levels in middle age can prolong life as much as giving up smoking, a study suggests. Swedish researchers from Uppsala University monitored more than 2,200 men from the age of 50. They found those who increased activity levels from 50 to 60 ended up living as long as those who were already exercising regularly by middle age.
Read article on the BBC News website (UK)

March 4, 2009

More evidence of B12 requirement for women
Dr Mary Flynn from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, the key authority on nutrition for the Irish government, has repeatedly upheld that the maximum level of supplements required by the Irish people is the Recommended Daily Allowance. Three papers emerged last week in the Archives of Internal Medicine that disproved this. A rash of papers on vitamin D over the last 5 years have disproven this. And now a study from Ireland’s own Trinity College has disproven this.
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) (UK)

March 2, 2009

Low levels of vitamin B12 may increase risk for neural tube defects
Children born to women who have low blood levels of vitamin B12 shortly before and after conception may have an increased risk of a neural tube defect, according to an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health, Trinity College Dublin, and the Health Research Board of Ireland. Women with the lowest B12 levels had 5 times the risk of having a child with a neural tube defect compared to women with the highest B12 levels.
Read article at physorg.com

March 2, 2009

Three-in-one: three positive studies in one scientific journal!
It’s not often you pick up a single edition of a mainstream scientific journal—the places where scientists so often validate drugs while canning nutrients—that you find three positive studies concerning nutrients. Well, Volume 169 (no. 4) of the Archives of Internal Medicine, issued on 23 February, is one such journal. The big message coming out of all three studies is that the dose of the nutrient is all-important. The part that lots of zealous regulators, doctors and Pharma reps won't want to hear is: high doses deliver results, low doses don't.
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) (UK)

March 1, 2009

Many middle-aged and older Americans not getting adequate nutrition
Micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C play essential roles in maintaining health. As older adults tend to reduce their food intake as they age, there is concern that deficits in these micronutrients lead to medical problems. In a study published in the March 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers examined how well different ethnic groups met the recommended daily allowances (RDAs) through food intake and supplement consumption. The study determined that many middle-aged and older Americans are not getting adequate nutrition.
Read article at physorg.com

March 1, 2009

The 'consultation' with only one answer
Why ask people what they think if you then do the opposite, wonders Philip Johnston.
When a public body says it is to carry out a consultation exercise, what does that suggest to you? Naively, I once believed that it involved asking people what they thought about a particular policy, setting out all the facts in an objective fashion, and if those likely to be affected did not like what they saw to drop or modify the original plan. It turns out, however, to mean nothing of the sort. Ask the people of Southampton and its environs in south-west Hampshire. They have just been the subject of a "consultation" on whether to add fluoride to their water supply. There were 10,000 responses, 78 per cent of which were opposed. The local health authority carried out a telephone poll, which also showed a majority against. But it is going ahead anyway.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)

February 24, 2009

Get your State Senators to sponsor a bill to ban aspartame
Hawaii & New Mexico are leading the way
NHF member, Dr. Betty Martini, Founder of Mission Impossible International, and Stephen Fox, Editor of the New Mexico Sun News, are currently working with people in the States of New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Illinois to accomplish just this. The bill is now written and Dr. Martini and Stephen Fox have written the resolution. Stephen Fox wrote the important legislation to ban aspartame for both the Hawaii and New Mexico Senate.
Read press release on the website of the National Health Federation (NHF) (USA)

February 22, 2009

Food Supplements Directive - Head of Irish Nutrition Institute warns of Health Harm
In accordance with the requirements of a European directive, the European Commission is about to pass restrictions on formulating food supplements that contain vitamins and minerals integrating daily nutrient intake. Richard Burton, the head of the Irish Institute of Nutrition and Health has written to members of the European Parliament that approved a directive mandating such restrictions, to warn that the directive, if implemented as planned, will harm the health of Europe's citizens.
Read letter from Richard Burton on the La Leva website (Italy)

February 20, 2009

Global organic supply grows to match demand
The amount of land dedicated to organic produce is growing due to government backing and market forces, opening up opportunities particularly in developing countries, according to a new report. The latest statistics show that worldwide, 32.2m hectares were certified according to organic standards in 2007, which was 1.5m hectares more than the previous year, said the report from the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL). The study called: “The World of Organic Agriculture: Statistics and Emerging Trends 2009” showed that by geographical region, growth was strongest in Latin America and Africa.
Read article at foodnavigator.com

February 19, 2009

Vitamin Deficiency Underlies Tooth Decay
Malnutrition Causes Much More than Dental Disease
Cavities and gum diseases are not often regarded as serious diseases, yet they are epidemic throughout our society, from the youngest of children to the oldest of senior citizens. Research more than suggests that the same good nutrition that prevents cavities and gum diseases may also prevent other illnesses.
Read news release from the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service at orthomolecular.org

February 16, 2009

Arab-American women need supplement to boost dangerously low vitamin D levels
Arab-American women living in southeast Detroit whose conservative dress limits their exposure to sun should be taking a vitamin D supplement to boost their dangerously low serum levels, according to a study published by Henry Ford Hospital researchers. Researchers found that all 87 women involved in a small study showed vitamin D levels averaging 8.5 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter) for those who wore western dress to 4 ng/mL for those who wore the hijab, modest dress with a headscarf. A healthy vitamin D level is 30 ng/mL or higher.
Read article at physorg.com
Comment: There is good evidence that not only dress code but also many other factors such as age, sex, contraceptive use, race, geographical location, regular blood donation, medicinal drug use, genetic mutations and biochemical individuality can affect a person's nutrient needs and/or status, sometimes dramatically so.

February 14, 2009

Ignorance over diet cancer risk
Four out of 10 people are unaware eating a poor diet increases the risk of cancer, a new study suggests. The poll of almost 2,000 people found 41% were unaware of the link between their diet and the disease. And only one in three people knew processed meat increased cancer risks, while 44% did not know being overweight was another risk factor.
Read article on the BBC News website (UK)
Comment: The survey also found less than half of those surveyed - 44% - knew that exercise and an active lifestyle also cut the risk of cancer.

February 12, 2009

Codex misinformation creates public confusion
Are you confused over what impact Codex will have on food and dietary supplements? If so, we're not surprised, given the rampant misinformation about Codex that abounds on the internet.
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) (UK)
Comment: Much of the misinformation appears to originate from the US-based Natural Solutions Foundation (NSF). For more about the NSF and its founders, click here.

February 12, 2009

Women’s Multivitamin Study
Another study designed to fail? We think so.
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) (UK)

February 11, 2009

Give omega-3 to the poor, says UK researcher
A paper published in a British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) journal has called for omega-3 supplements to be made available to lower socio-economic groups because low income earners have the most to gain from using them. The paper also called for greater education about the role of omega-3 in the diet of a nation that is blatantly “not an ‘oily fish-loving’” country. “Making high-quality supplements more available to those subgroups of the population who may not normally be able to afford them, and may be likely to benefit most from them, could help individuals to achieve optimal health,” wrote Igennus nutrition scientist, Dr Nina Bailey.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

February 10, 2009

When is a Vitamin Not a Vitamin? When the FDA Says So!
In September of 2005, Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) senior vice president of scientific and international affairs, John Hathcock, PhD, wrote a letter to the FDA stating that “Pyridoxamine is unequivocally a dietary ingredient because it is one of the three primary natural forms of vitamin B6, and it is one of the two predominant forms in animal products used as human foods.” But now, thanks to a petition filed with the FDA by Biostratum, the North Carolina-based manufacturer of a pyridoxamine-based drug called Pyridorin, which is designed to prevent the progression of diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease), on January 12 the FDA announced that pyridoxamine dihydrochloride was a “new drug.” This means that the FDA has now effectively prevented any substance containing pyridoxamine from being marketed as a dietary supplement. Never mind that the fish on your lunch salad and the chicken on your dinner table both contain pyridoxamine, as does brewer’s yeast!
Read action alert on the website of the American Association for Health Freedom (AAHF) (USA)

February 10, 2009

Malnutrition affecting '3m in UK'
People suffering from malnutrition - or at risk of it - in the UK stands at three million, experts believe. It is the clearest idea yet of the scale of the problem after those in the community as well as hospitals and care homes were included in the count. The British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition said the problem was costing £13bn a year to treat and urged GPs to do more.
Read article on the BBC News website (UK)

February 9, 2009

Vitamin D deficiency may harm brain function: study
NEW YORK - Low levels of vitamin D increase the risk of cognitive impairment in the elderly, according to findings from the nationally representative, population-based Health Survey for England 2000. Despite the theoretical support for the role of vitamin D in maintaining brain function in old age, clinical data are lacking, the researchers note. Therefore, Dr. David J. Llewellyn and his associates studied 1766 adults, aged 65 or older, from whom blood samples were obtained to measure circulating vitamin D levels. Cognitive function was measured using the Abbreviated Mental Test, which includes 10 questions to assess attention, orientation in time and space, and memory. Based on scores of 70 percent or less, 212 subjects (12 percent) were deemed to be cognitively impaired. The researchers found a significant association between lower levels of vitamin D and cognitive impairment.
Read article on the China Daily website

February 6, 2009

EFSA attacked for lack of transparency
The Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) has continued its assault on the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) with a litany of criticisms and questions in an open letter to the assessor’s executive director, Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle. ANH, which lobbies for better food laws in Europe, said EFSA failed to demonstrate transparency in its methods, was dismissive of criticism and in denial about “substantive scientific or legal issues”. The open letter was sent to EFSA on February 3 and was prompted, ANH said, by EFSA’s response (published here) to previous ANH criticism of the manner in which the Parma-based assessor had conducted a review of a fluoride source.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

February 3, 2009

The EU regulatory pressure pot: a major threat to our future health
The regulatory pressure pot that aims to stop 500 million Europeans accessing therapeutically useful natural health products is approaching bursting point. Within two months we should see what vitamin and mineral dosages the European Commission aims to set as maximums across the EU. January 2010 then signals the delayed ban of a host of vitamin and mineral forms that won't have been ‘proven’ safe or bioavailable.
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) (UK)

February 3, 2009

Institute of Medicine Has Announced the Next Vit D Food and Nutrition Board. Guess Who is Left Out?
A quiet announcement by the government’s Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently announced the members of the next Vitamin D Food and Nutrition Board (FNB). This committee will set recommendations for both adequate intake and upper limits for the next decade. According to the founder of the Vitamin D Council, John J. Cannell, MD, “Unfortunately, the scientists who have led the vitamin D revolution for the last ten years are all excluded.”
Read article on the website of the American Association for Health Freedom (AAHF) (USA)

February 3, 2009

Vitamin D tied to muscle power in adolescent girls
Vitamin D is significantly associated with muscle power and force in adolescent girls, according to a new study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).
Read article at physorg.com

February 3, 2009

ANH Open Letter to the European Food Safety Authority
RE TRANSPARENT SCIENTIFIC DISCUSSION ABOUT EFSA’S OPINION ON THE USE OF SODIUM MONOFLUOROPHOSPHATE IN FOOD SUPPLEMENTS
We are writing this as an open letter to help ensure that interested parties and stakeholders are kept informed over EFSA’s crucial work on risk assessment. We were stimulated to write to you in response to your organisation’s reaction, as published by Nutraingredients.com on 29 January, to our critique of EFSA’s risk assessment methodologies on the use of sodium monofluorophosphate in food supplements. Two days earlier, we had issued a press release publicising our own critique, and another by Professor Vyvyan Howard. Your organisation’s response, given by an unnamed spokesperson, was dismissive and failed to deal with any of the substantive scientific or legal issues raised.
Read open letter to Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, EFSA's Executive Director, on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) (UK)

February 2, 2009

EU Food Authority double standard: Fluoride source approved for use in Supplements
According to an article in Nutraingredients.com, the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) expressed a positive opinion regarding calcium fluoride as a source of fluoride in food supplements. That same day, another fluoride compound was approved - sodium monofluorophosphate - but this one was not mentioned in the Nutraingredients report. These opinions appear to be in stark contrast with the over-cautious evaluation of vital nutrients (vitamins and minerals) in progress. A scientific dossier proving the safety of those nutrient sources is required before EFSA will consent to their use in supplements, and limiting dosages are being considered to make sure there is not a shadow of a possibility of an 'adverse effect'.
Read post by Sepp Hasslberger at healthfreedomnet.ning.com

February 2, 2009

Time to update vitamin D and calcium DRIs: CRN
The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) has submitted comments to an ongoing review of calcium and vitamin D being conducted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). The Canadian and US government-sponsored review is seeking to find out if daily recommended intakes (DRIs) established in 1997 require updating, and now CRN has put its knowledge and opinion on the table with the IOM’s Food and Nutrition Board (FNB). In regard to vitamin D the Washington DC-based dietary supplements trade group’s vice predident of regulatory and scientific affairs, Andrew Shao, PhD, was forthright in stating: “It is now widely recognized in both the US and Canada, that the last iteration of recommendations for vitamin D published back in 1997, the first in a series of publications on nutrient DRIs, are woefully outdated.”
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

January 29, 2009

Fluoride: Now it can be added to our food
Fluoride can now be added to foods manufactured and supplied in Europe. It’s been classified as a safe supplement, according to Europe’s highest authority on food standards. The decision means that food manufacturers can include sodium monofluorophosphate, the common form of fluoride found in toothpaste and mouth washes, to their products. The decision, by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), has angered the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH), the consumer pressure group, which is calling for an immediate enquiry.
Read article on the What Doctors Don't Tell You (WDDTY) website (UK)

January 29, 2009

Chemicals 'may reduce fertility'
Chemicals commonly found in food packaging, upholstery and carpets may be damaging women's fertility, say US scientists. A study published in the journal Human Reproduction measured levels of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in the blood of 1,240 women. Those with higher levels were more likely to take longer to become pregnant.
Read article on the BBC News website (UK)

January 28, 2009

'Vitamin wars' debate rages in Ireland
Joint Press Release by: The Alliance for Natural Health and the Irish Association of Health Stores
Irish government hosts ‘vitamin wars’ debate and is criticised for equating RDAs with optimum intake levels.
Read press release on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) (UK)

January 26, 2009

ANH calls for urgent independent inquiry into the work of Europe’s food safety authority after it clears toothpaste toxin for use in food supplements
The Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) calls today for an urgent independent inquiry into the scientific methods used by Europe’s highest authority on food safety, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). This call comes on the back of the ANH’s highly critical analysis, published on its website today, of EFSA’s decision to approve for food supplement use the chemical sodium monofluorophosphate, the same chemical commonly added to toothpaste and mouth washes to prevent or treat tooth decay.
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) (UK)

January 25, 2009

Child shock therapy
CHILDREN younger than four who are considered mentally disturbed are being treated with controversial electric shock treatment.
Read article in the Herald Sun (Australia)
Comment: A report confirms that altogether more than 18,000 of these brutal treatments were conducted in a single Australian state, Victoria, in 2007-2008.

January 23, 2009

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can no longer be labelled psychosomatic
Breakthrough for chronic fatigue sufferers
As a result of the pioneering work of Dr John McLaren Howard, a breakthrough has occurred for chronic fatigue sufferers. It can now be shown that the extreme fatigue experienced by CFS/ME sufferers is a direct result of mitochondrial dysfunction (i.e. dysfunction in the energy production mechanism of our bodies' cells). British medical doctor, Sarah Myhill MB BS, a specialist in nutritional and environmental medicine, has issued a press release announcing the publication in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine of an original article entitled ''Chronic fatigue syndrome and mitochondrial dysfunction''. It gives details of a biochemical test that has been developed, which can measure energy supply to cells and therefore fatigue levels in people with CFS/ME.
Read article on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) (UK)

January 22, 2009

Low Levels Of Vitamin D Link To Cognitive Problems In Older People
Researchers from the Peninsula Medical School, the University of Cambridge and the University of Michigan, have for the first time identified a relationship between Vitamin D, the "sunshine vitamin", and cognitive impairment in a large-scale study of older people. The importance of these findings lies in the connection between cognitive function and dementia: people who have impaired cognitive function are more likely to develop dementia. The study was based on data on almost 2000 adults aged 65 and over who participated in the Health Survey for England in 2000 and whose levels of cognitive function were assessed. The study found that as levels of Vitamin D went down, levels of cognitive impairment went up. Compared to those with optimum levels of Vitamin D, those with the lowest levels were more than twice as likely to be cognitively impaired.
Read article at sciencedaily.com

January 22, 2009

Georgian seniors need nutrient supplementation, finds study
Researchers at the University of Georgia (UGA) report that elderly people across the state are largely deficient in vitamin D, calcium and B12, and should consider dietary supplementation. The new study conducted by nutrition researchers at the university noted that nutrient deficiencies are making the elderly more vulnerable to chronic health problems such as osteoporosis, anemia and cognitive impairment.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com

January 21, 2009

EC registers vitamin upper limit concerns
The Irish Association of Health Stores (IAHS) has come away from a European Parliament Petitions Committee meeting confident its concerns about appropriate maximum permitted levels (MPLs) for food supplements are being listened to at European Union level. The meeting was attended by four Irish MEPs, one UK MEP as well as EU delegates, with the Petitions Committee chairman insisting a 60,000-strong, IAHS-backed petition submitted to the European Parliament in December, 2007, be kept open.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

January 21, 2009

EU reviews vitamin limits after Irish petition
Restrictive vitamin supplement standards due to be set by the EU are to be re-examined following an Irish petition. The standards, introduced by EU directive, would restrict doses of vitamin D to the equivalent of that produced by 25 seconds of sunlight and prevent the sale of high-dose vitamin C products without prescription. The EU food supplements directive was given the go-ahead in 2005. However, the maximum permitted levels of ingredients to be contained in supplements has not yet been set. The standards currently being considered would restrict the sale of vitamins and minerals to very low doses. It would become illegal to sell vitamin A in a dose that can be found in more than half a carrot or to sell selenium, an important mineral, in doses larger than in a quarter of a Brazil nut.
Read article in the Irish Times (Ireland)

January 21, 2009

Ray of sunlight from ANH/Irish efforts in Brussels
On Monday, the Irish Association of Health Stores (IAHS) defended its petition in the European Parliament against the European Commission’s planned setting of EU-wide maximum limits for dosages of vitamins and minerals in food supplements. The petition, submitted originally in December 2007 with the support of 60,000 Irish citizens, claims that measures to harmonise maximum levels of vitamin and mineral food supplements under the Food Supplements Directive (2002/46/EC)—soon to be implemented by the European Commission—will unduly impact consumers, health stores and practitioners in Ireland. Instead of being closed down, the apparent goal of the European Commission, the European Parliament’s Petitions Committee chairman insisted that the petition be kept open.
Read press release on the website of the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) (UK)

January 15, 2009

Government bans all use of mercury in Sweden
The Government today decided to introduce a blanket ban on mercury. The ban means that the use of dental amalgam in fillings will cease and that it will no longer be permitted to place products containing mercury on the Swedish market.
Read press release from the Swedish Ministry of the Environment

January 14, 2009

Low selenium levels may increase anaemia risk in the elderly
Low levels of the mineral selenium may increase the risk of anaemia in older people, according to a new study from the United States. Writing in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and the National Institute on Aging report that people with the lowest selenium levels were 11.4 per cent more likely to have anaemia, compared to people with the highest levels.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

January 13, 2009

Herbals are mainstream - change needed, says WSJ opinion
Health academics from leading US universities have published an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal maintaining that alternative medicine, including herbals, must be part of President-elect Barack Obama’s health plan. The authors argue that changes in lifestyle and diet would save lives and dollars in a nation increasingly affected by chronic diseases and crippling healthcare costs.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com
Comment: To read the Wall Street Journal opinion piece, click here.

January 13, 2009

Toxic pesticides banned in Europe
Sharp restrictions on the use of pesticides, passed by the European Parliament on Tuesday (13 January), will see the use of a number of highly toxic chemicals within pesticides banned and pesticide use severely reduced.
Read article at euobserver.com
Comment: Although these restrictions are clearly an important step in the right direction, some of the most dangerous pesticides – and methods of administering them – have not yet been banned completely. For example, if plants are deemed to be “at serious risk”, the use of substances that cause cancer, endanger reproduction or our genes, or that negatively affect our nervous, immune or hormonal systems, may still be approved for up to five years. Similarly, aerial crop spraying will still be permitted under some circumstances. Bear in mind too that the use of numerous other pesticides not affected by these restrictions will continue to be permitted.

January 12, 2009

Top 11 compounds in US drinking water
A comprehensive survey of the drinking water for more than 28 million Americans has detected the widespread but low-level presence of pharmaceuticals and hormonally active chemicals.
Read article at newscientist.com
Comment: The drugs found include beta-blockers; drugs used to treat bipolar disorder; anti-cholesterol drugs; tranquilisers; painkiller and anti-inflammatory drugs; anticonvulsants; antibiotics; and others. Similar findings have been made in other countries. In the UK, for example, powerful cancer and psychiatric drugs have been found in tap water, leading doctors to express concern about exposing pregnant women to drugs that could harm an unborn child. For further information about how pharmaceutical drugs contaminate drinking water, click here.

January 11, 2009

Fat linked to vitamin deficiency
Teenage girls and young women who are overweight have a higher chance of being deficient in vitamin D, scientists have found in research that strengthens the case for wider use of supplements. The research shows that even in a sunshine-rich climate similar to Sydney's it is possible for young people to lack the essential vitamin, which the body usually produces from sun exposure.
Read article in the Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

January 5, 2009

Folic acid survey of Spanish-speaking women finds most are missing benefits
Only 17 percent of Spanish-speaking women of childbearing age in the United States are taking a multivitamin containing folic acid daily, according to the first- nationally representative folic acid awareness survey to focus on this population.
Read article at physorg.com

January 2, 2009

Government 'fixing health consultations' with taxpayer-funded groups
The Government has been accused of fixing the outcome of public consultations on health policy after it emerged that reviews were flooded with block votes from groups funded entirely by the taxpayer.
Read article in the Daily Telegraph (UK)
Comment: In one UK consultation, only a handful of the 96,000 respondents came from individuals submitting their personal views whilst almost 70,000 came from those collected by pressure groups entirely funded by the UK ’s Department for Health.

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