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Then again, maybe the glass is still less than half full, and water might start leaking out

Then again, maybe the glass is still less than half full, and water might start leaking out


Well I tried to transform myself into a half-full kind of a guy by talking about how much access we have to dietary supplements here in the U.S. compared to the rest of the world. But my new found optimism was short-lived:

The FDA just released its revised draft guidelines on New Dietary Ingredients which will have a profoundly negative effect on access to supplements, and not necessarily just new dietary supplements, as my friends at the Alliance for Natural Health have so cogently explained below. Kudos to Gretchen and the rest of the group for such a trenchant analysis.

Time now for a ground-swell of opposition to send the FDA back to the drawing board and come back with guidelines that respect the public’s right to access to dietary supplements which we’re supposed to have under the 1994 dietary supplement act.  Onwards!


FDA: Massive Attack on Supplements


A glass half empty guy sees it’s really mostly full

A glass half empty guy sees it’s really mostly full

I just gave alittle talk at the Certified Clinical Nutritionist Conference in Jacksonville, Florida. Up until  the last few years, I had been attending their annual conferences for the better part of twenty years, usually giving a talk about what’s going on in the CAM field (complementary and alternative medicine, now called integrative medicine).

As I look back at all those speeches, and others I have given to other CAM groups, it struck me that most of the content of these speeches was about how practitioners and companies can or did get into trouble with the feds or state regulatory authorities, and bringing forth the many examples of the unfortunate victims. In a word, doom and gloom. But in my defense, I spend most of my waking hours dealing with practitioners and companies who are attacked by the government or concerned that they will be, which causes a certain amount of regulatory paranoia. Consistent with my jaded, glass is half empty, view from the trenches perspective, that’s what I talked about in Jacksonville, witness the title of my talk, “(not so) Fun 2016 CAM Facts.”  It was all about who’s being targeted by the regulators and what they’re being targeted for. I may have buried the lead in my talk because it was only as an afterthought that I mentioned that most nutritionists wouldn’t be affected by the recent spate of regulatory action, but that just shows you how perspective influences things.

Because I hadn’t been there for a couple years, and perhaps because the past insane litigation docket has become more manageable, at the conference, I had the space to really listen to some of the lectures and talk to some of the speakers and vendors. Some of what I heard was pretty exciting and probably revolutionary. Of course, the Microbiome was a hot topic (as it’s been for a couple years now) and the therapeutic implications are huge for a wide variety of disease including and especially autism and age related cognitive conditions.

One of the new big things for me was Nitric Oxide. Like many exercise fanatics, I’ve tried L-Arginine pre- work-outs but, I do it mostly on faith because I never really felt any benefit. But after listening to Nathan Bryan’s lecture and reading his book “The Nitric Oxide (NO) Solution,” I have an understanding of why L-Arginine isn’t doing it for me. More importantly, I’ve come away with some dietary and supplement alternative solutions, and a simple test to monitor results. I can’t wait to hit the gym and test it out. I’m thinking that this new NO approach is going be very huge in the near future.

Collagen is something else I’ve tried in the past but I didn’t stick with it. After hearing a lecture about it, I’m going to try again. After walking the exhibit floor with one of my nutrition buddies (thanks Sunny), I’ve made some supplement vendor changes and added a few new things (I’m also a supplement fanatic which I got from my health-nut father and my 30 years in the CAM field.)

In walking the Exhibit Hall, listening and asking questions to try to figure it out, I recalled a snippet of this guy Bryan’s lecture, something about that in his travel in Dubai or some other Arab country the docs were demanding literature support for his NO theory because as he said, supplements were mostly prescribed by medical docs, and there had to be adequate literature support because they were prescriptions.  Then I recalled all the past angst with Codex and what’s going on in the rest of the world.  Despite all the past concern, it’s still not here (and in my view, Codex isn’t coming here anytime soon, perhaps in part due to Scott Tipps who basically lives at Codex and hold their feet to the fire).

I then looked around and saw some of the same non MD nutritionist folks I’ve seeing for a couple decades, and it hit me. Wow. I’m a lucky guy. I can walk around talk to all these knowledgeable people and buy stuff that has or might have a profoundly beneficial effect on my health and wellbeing. And that there’s not too many places in the world where I could do that.  Sure the supplement companies are sort of muzzled, and legally, their free speech is impaired, but the information is out there, on line, at conferences for MD and non-MD practitioners, and to laymen at the big health expos.  More importantly, it’s all available to anyone who wants to try it.  And that freedom and control over one’s body is pretty special, if not unique in this world.

So thank you Keith, Radhia, Sunny, Marty, Theresa, Seth, and Nathan (great lecture and wonderful book), Luke, Lisa and Debra, and the rest of you guys for helping me look beyond the trenches and see how many good and exciting things there are going on in the nutrition and health field, and reminding me of how interesting and fun the ride has been for me.


Rick Jaffe