Nutritional Supplements Under Attack
Larry A. Law
Tolerable Upper Limits
Senator Durbin's efforts are endorsed by the Council for Responsible Nutrition, Pew Charitable Trusts, Environment America and U.S. PIRG, the American Medical Association, and U.S. Pharmacopeia. All of these organizations lobby on behalf of Big Pharma's war on real food and nature's health solutions. Senator Durbin's efforts mirror what has happened in Europe. European countries are setting maximum limits on the amount of nutrient that a supplement can offer. European regulators have done this with vitamin B6. Germany has done this with magnesium. Germany enforces the European Food Safety Authority's (their equivalent to the US FDA) "tolerable upper limit" for magnesium at 250 mg. The tolerable upper limit means the level which doesn't cause diarrhea. Diarrhea is how the body gets rid of too much magnesium. Consumers have the right to decide what food and nutrients they wants to put into their bodies--it is not a government perogative to legislate and remove their freedom to decide for themselves.
If Senator Durbin's efforts become law, it will be much easier for the FDA to implement these types of upper limits. Magnesium is an essential mineral that 85% of the population are not getting enough of. Magnesium improves heart health, muscle cramps, and sleep. Studies show that people with insomnia (50% of older people) get more restful sleep patterns when supplemented with adequate amounts of magnesium. People have the right to determine for themselves what their bodies need for optimal health. Guidelines are one thing, but restrictions and limits are quite another.
Natural Sources or Laxatives
Speaking of magnesium, I want to make you aware of another issue. Some people make use of commercial products to help with occasional constipation. They are often based on magnesium hydroxide. The problem with such laxatives is that they can become habit forming. There is a better, more natural way. A recent review published in Gastroenterology estimates that 33 percent of those over 60 years of age suffer from chronic constipation. A study by Texas A & M published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research gives the mango top billing for constipation relief. Two cups of fresh mango "significantly improved" the frequency of bowel movements and were far more effective than supplements of powdered soluble fiber. The authors credited polyphenols in the mango for their bioactive effect. Mangoes lowered markers of intestinal inflammation--something pharmaceutical laxatives could not provide. Mangoes contain digestive enzymes (amylases) that help break down complex carbohydrates and support gut health. In addition, they are full of antioxidants like vitamin C. One mango contains 67% of the recommended daily amount for vitamin C and is only 99 calories. Mangoes even contain a "super-antioxidant" more powerful than vitamin C--mangiferin--which is antiviral, anti-allergic, and anti-inflammatory as well as boosting the immune system.
Another benefit, besides fighting constipation, comes from the brilliant yellow carotenoids in the mangoes that help ward off macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in older adults. In addition, mangoes are a good source of magnesium and potassium. So, this lowly fruit contains an entire arsenal of natural disease-fighting abilities. For more information on ways you can support your immune system, see my book, There's An Elephant in the Room--Exposing Hidden Truths in the Science of Health.
Two Recent News Items
I wanted to make you aware of two important videos that just came out. The first one is a short trailer to a documentary titled Died Suddenly. It documents what embalmers are finding in the blood of healthy people who have died recently. The second video is a short clip about people suffering from strange hallucinations. I will follow up in the new year with articles documenting these disconcerting things.
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