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Good News for Supplements

Good News for Supplements

Friday, August 1st 2003

Lets hear the good news

The events of the past month thrust dietary supplements into the headlines in a way that appears to have been designed to inflict most damage on the industry. As well, the media worked hard at creating confusion and disillusionment in consumer's minds. New Zealand was dragged into the Pan Pharmaceuticals Australian problem simply because so many New Zealand brands were all manufactured by the same company. The fact that the only product proven to be a danger to consumers was an over-the-counter pharmaceutical drug was ignored by the biased mainstream media.

The largest recall of Dietary Supplements in history occurred in Australia. The most regulated and draconian regime for supplements in the world failed.

How long had the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) - equivalent of our Ministry of Health - turned a blind eye to the deteriorating manufacturing standards in their own backyard?

New Zealand television and newspapers had their usual biased feeding frenzy on dietary supplements. They trundled out the two New Zealand 'Nutrition Professors' as though they are world class experts in supplements and herbs. Rather than focusing on the systemic failure of the TGA and its auditors who allowed standards to deteriorate to such a level as to endanger consumers, the New Zealand media decided to 'beat up' on dietary supplements instead.

The Australian manufacturing problems occurred early this year but the recall and the media emphasis on dietary supplements occurred in late April and May. This was during the New Zealand Parliamentary Health Select Committee hearing into whether New Zealand should join with Australia and form a joint agency to regulate dietary supplements in both countries as medicines. At the same time a British report was released on the 'dangers' of high dose dietary supplements. Coincidence? Unlikely.

So, here is the international 'good news' about supplements that the New Zealand media won't publish? This selection is just from the past month:

Harvard Health Report suggests Vitamin E inhibits inflammation and aids the proliferation of smooth muscle cells - traits which may help prevent narrowing of blood vessels and may have substantial cardiovascular benefits.

A Lancet study suggests probiotics given to pregnant women and babies around the time of childbirth could protect children from atopic eczema for up to four years.

One million vitamins donated to Vitamin Angel Alliance for Children of Iraq. "Journalists who question the health benefits of supplements may reconsider their views when they see that vitamins can mean the difference between life and death in the humanitarian crisis in post-war Iraq."

University of California at Berkeley's Wellness Letter. Researchers at the University of California at San Diego recently found that large doses of CoQ10 -- "along with Vitamin E" -- appeared to slow the progression of early-stage Parkinson's disease.

Selenium may inhibit progression toward oesophageal cancer among people with Barrett's oesophagus, a pre-cancerous condition. These findings by Rebecca Rudolph, M.D., M.P.H., and colleagues at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center will appear in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine also collaborated on the study, which was funded by the National Cancer Institute.

Antioxidant vitamins such as Vitamin E may protect eyes against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, according to a special health report from Harvard Medical School. The Harvard Health Letter said in its May issue that a recent government study finding that Vitamin E and other vitamins and minerals may slow progression of macular degeneration "was a success."

Editorial by Gary Mabey ND.

Reproduced from the July September 2003 issue of Health and Herbal News, with the kind permission of Health and Herbs International Ltd.

Footnote from Ideal Health:

The following products are all useful Antioxidants :

Advanced Antioxidant
Ageless Beauty
Age Defence Resveratrol
AstaSupreme
Enzogenol with ACE and Selenium
Enzogenol 120mg
Eye Health Pack
Formula VM 2000
L-Glutathione
Hi Strength Q10 Absorb
Resveratrol 250mg

Related health information can be found here:

Fish oils, garlic and antioxidants for the prevention & treatment of cardiovascular disease
Foods to help detoxification
Free radicals and antioxidants
Glutathione - the master antioxidant involved in disease prevention
Immunity
Pycnogenol - a powerful antioxidant from pine tree extract
Soy isoflavones for disease prevention
The benefits of fasting & detoxifying
Vitamin C is essential for fighting infections, wound healing and coping with stress
Vitis, a powerful antioxidant derived from grape seeds

Related articles can be found here:

Bilberry - a major antioxidant for the brain and eyes
Chlorophyll- nature's green wonder food
Detox your body - improve your energy
Pau d'Arco inner bark - anti-fungal, anti-cancer
Silica - anti aging mineral

If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.

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