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Dietary supplements have an important role to play for those of us who seek to regain health or maintain it. At the Annie Appleseed Project we like to refer to 'evidence' but sometimes it is not there. Some reasons for that are discussed here:
From AICR 3/00 Science News:
"Recent single-agent studies have failed to find a link between supplements of individual nutrients (such as fiber, vitamin E or beta-carotene) and risk for heart disease or cancer. Dr. Mariette Gerber of France's National Institute for Medical Research believes that such research methods, which attempt to isolate and examine the effects of a specific nutrient, are too narrowly focused.
In particular, single-agent studies may miss the synergistic effects whereby different nutrients interact to lend increased disease fighting benefits."
In common with The Annie Appleseed Project, Dr. Gerber "believes that the current 'reductionist' trend in science is inherently unable to reflect the complexity of real world diets."
Our belief is that a truly valuable study would look at the whole diet of person, their entire intake.
It is important for us to remember that there are companies producing supplements who are NOT doing the right thing.
Calling products 'natural' is easy, it does not mean anything, that is it has no (regulatory) required meaning
We need to make sure the companies whose products we buy, are using good manufacturing practices (GMP). How can this be done?
By asking FDA to do the right thing and make companies follow these practices. See the study on this page about Mfg Practices.
FDA pretends it has no power over supplements because an act of Congress (DHSEA) allowed dietary supplements to be handled differently than patented pharmaceutical medicines. But it did not tell FDA not to enforce basic GMP.
Here is the FDA statement page on dietary supplements, with their advice for the public. (It has taken almost 7 years for FDA to prepare their thoughts on how to handle dietary supplements).
Food & Drug Administration on Dietary Supplements
A quote from Leonardo Da Vinci (ODE Magazine November 2007)
" Nature is so delightful and abundant in its variations that among trees of the same kind there would not be found one plant that resembles another nearby, and this is so not only of the plant as a whole but among the branches, the leaves and the fruit, not one will be found that looks precisely like another ".
FREE GIFT - Handout Natural Methods to Reduce Toxicities (PDF) Please download and use as needed.
MORE information on dietary supplements (vitamins, etc.) can be found in our Archives (see lower right side for the link).