Healthy and Safe

October 25, 2007

There are over 480,000 published peer-reviewed research studies on food supplements or ingredients used in food supplements, and the vast majority of these show positive effects. There are only a small handful of studies that have shown negative effects, these generally being associated with high doses or synthetic forms of ingredients like vitamin A, beta-carotene and vitamin E.

In the case of vitamin A, there is no doubt that high doses of this fat soluble vitamin can be harmful and an upper safe level or maximum permitted level for this vitamin makes perfect sense.

There are three key studies showing negative effects of beta-carotene on diseased or high-risk patients, but these have all used synthetic beta-carotene, in the absence of natural carotenoid complexes found in natural carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables which have been found to be potent cancer-fighting nutrients. Ironically, these natural ‘mixed carotenoids’ are disallowed by the Food Supplements Directive.

Finally, there are four key negative studies on vitamin E, all of them conducted with synthetic vitamin E, which comprises only one of the eight vitamin E forms found in nature, but in its esterified form. This form, alpha-tocopherol, the only vitamin E form allowed by the Directive, actually reduces the body’s absorption of gamma-tocopherol which is the key antioxidant form of vitamin E found in food sources.

By: Robert Verkerk, The Alliance for Natural Health, United Kingdom

American Authorities Wish for Better Information and Reporting about Dietary Supplements

April 12, 2004

Since 1994 liberal legislation in the United States has secured the American population full access to safe dietary supplements. 2½ year ago FDA asked the Institute of Medicine (IoM) to investigate the extent of harmful effects of supplements. The FDA received this report from IoM last week.

The conclusion is, among other things, that there are very few safety data for the 29,000 different dietary supplements sold in the United States, and the concern seems to be that this market grows by 25% a year, and today amounts to about 18 billion. dollars annually.

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By: Vitality Council

Reference:
Special report: A health fad that’s hard to swallow, New Scientist Special Report, 12. April 2004.

Alternative Treatment of Osteoarthritis

September 16, 2003

The (Danish) Arthritis Association must get their proportions right:
The association recently published a questionnaire study showing that 86% of osteoarthritis patients use alternative medicine, even if several products do not seem to have a documented effect.

For example, fish oil, which 65% of the osteoarthritis patients report using, and 62% of them are satisfied with the effect. This information the Danish arthritis association “Gigtforeningen” find surprisingly “paradoxically.”

“It is correct that there are not yet well-established clinical trials on fish oil and osteoarthritis, but data from population surveys and other studies suggest that there may be an effect,” says the chairman of the Vitality Council – specialist physician Claus Hancke.

By: Vitality Council

(No references)

www.gigtforeningen.dk
www.iom.dk