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Under the Adverse Event Reporting (AER) bill before Congress, dietary supplements could eventually be taken off the over-the-counter status. In this day of offhand and frivolous lawsuits, Congress is poised to pass legislation that would allow private citizens to sue the supplement manufacturers, and possibly the marketplaces as well, for health related issues allegedly caused or aggravated by dietary supplements. Industry reporting of adverse events in a very formal way wo...

Supplement Regulating - Is It A Good Idea?

Supplement Regulating - Is It A Good Idea?Under the Adverse Event Reporting (AER) bill before Congress, dietary supplements could eventually be taken off the over-the-counter status. In this day of offhand and frivolous lawsuits, Congress is poised to pass legislation that would allow private citizens to sue the supplement manufacturers, and possibly the marketplaces as well, for health related issues allegedly caused or aggravated by dietary supplements. Industry reporting of adverse events in a very formal way would also be a part of this package, much more complicated and detailed than that of the present requirements. The industry and the distributor could be held responsible in a court of law for the use or abuse of these supplements. This is akin to suing the butcher because I choked on a piece of steak, or maybe suing my barber because Im not on the cover of G.Q. magazine. Ridiculous!Given the circumstances of the proposed legislation, it may be fair to say that the parties responsible in bringing this issue out into the public and legislator spotlight are misguided, misinformed and ignorant. They fail to see the big picture, and the big picture is that the nutritional supplement industry will possibly be decimated with the passage of this bill. Along with Congress arrogant bull in a china shop attitude toward protecting the private sector, they are on course to remove our freedom of choice in health-related matters. Another real danger here is that the legislators are apt to accept the currently proposed AER bill because certain entities (Senator Dick Durbin) have threatened to re-introduce the issue upon defeat and include increasingly damaging restrictions to affect the industry. This is not about our protection. It is really about obtaining votes from an uninformed public by politicizing a nonexistent danger.The AER bill before Congress is not a new issue. A very similar bill was defeated before the California Assembly in August of 2004. Many of the aforementioned reasons logically came into debate at that time. Wisely, the bill was seen for what it really is and was soundly turned away. The recent reasoning in Washington is that State-by-State regulating of nutritional supplements is practically non-existent, and when given the opportunity, as in California in 2004, small-time lawmakers from these States will completely botch the chance to adequately protect the average clueless consumer from this real danger.Despite the resistance from Robert Brackett, director of the Center for Food Safety and Nutrition (CFSAN) at the Food and Drug Administration, Washington presses on. Mr. Brackett stated, in so many words, that there is existing and sufficient regulatory authority already in place through the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). He further stated through testifying before Congress that the current administration has no plans to change current policy. He believes in the rights of the private citizen to make their own informed health choices when it comes to supplements.The general manager for NSF International, Kathleen Jordan, testified at the same hearing before Congressional lawmakers that the development of the Dietary Supplement Certification Program speaks volumes for informing and allowing consumers adequate protection from the unregulated sale of supplements. The non-profit and non-government organization is leading the way in sane and fair ideas like the recently developed NSF/ANSI Standard 173, which ensures proper nutrient count and identification of contents. On one point, everyone seems to be in agreement. That is, tighter control of anabolic steroids that were once contained in products marketed as sports supplements. The misuse of the term supplement in this case is one of the reasons that people are confused on the difference between dangerous substances like steroids and harmless nutrient supplements like vitamins, minerals and herbs.Most people who take vitamins and supplements are on their self-imposed schedule that is usually based on the recommended daily allowance (RDA). I take vitamins and supplements every day and the amounts I take are based on the RDA, and the recommendations of my physician. In other words, I have supplements in my system all the time, as I routinely stay on schedule with this. If I were to believe that RDAs of vitamins, minerals and herbs would adversely affect my health in any way, I would stop taking them immediately. Many people that hear of this bill before Congress are going to believe that a real danger does exist just because it is at issue. Others, who inevitably experience failing health in one form or another, will also remember that a dietary supplement debate raged on for years.If the outcome of the legislation is to allow frivolous lawsuits to ensue, they will surface, even if the supplements have absolutely nothing to do with their ills. The eventual outcome, sadly, is predictable. Every ailment known to man will be blamed on these harmless supplements, the industry will be forced to regulate in order to protect their bottom line, and you wont be able to get dietary supplements without a prescription from your MD. When you then drive to your local drug store and are forced to pay hundreds of dollars for mere dietary supplements, remember that you had this one chance to voice your opinion by writing, calling or emailing your Senator or Congressman.Fax Senator Dick Durbin at 202-228-0400, Fax Senators Tom Harkin at 202-224-9369 and Orrin Hatch at 202-224-6331Fax Senator Michael Enzi, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, at 202-228-0359. Tell them that you demand the freedom to make your own health related and nutritional supplements decisions. The truth is this: The AER bill is wrong! It is wrong for the private citizen and it is wrong to the dietary supplement industry. It is wrong for America!

The Importance of Vitamin B-12 Supplementation in a Vegetarian Diet

The Importance of Vitamin B-12 Supplementation in a Vegetarian Diet

It's something we read or hear about all the time: people, in general, do not eat healthy. The average diet contains too much saturated fat and simple carbohydrates, elements that can lead to heart disease, obesity and other serious conditions. While not all people who follow a vegetarian diet do so for health reasons, such a diet is beneficial to the health. There are three main types of vegetarians. Lacto vegetarians do not consume any meat, but instead live on fruits, vegetables and dairy. The lacto-ovo vegetarian diet is similar to the lacto vegetarian, with the exception that individuals who follow this diet consume eggs. As the name implies, fruitarians follow a diet restricted to fruits, but they may also eat nuts and seeds. Considered the most strict vegetarian diet, vegans do not eat meat, eggs, or dairy. The only negative aspect of the vegetarian lifestyle is the high probability of vitamin deficiency. Depending on the type of vegetarian diet followed, an individual may not obtain the proper nutrients their body needs to function properly. One vitamin that is absent in most vegetarian diets is B-12. Vitamin B-12, which exists in meat, dairy, eggs, and poultry and is essential in the development of red blood cells and a healthy central nervous system. The common symptoms of B-12 deficiency include dementia, fatigue, hallucinations, balance problems, and vision disturbances. People who have followed a vegetarian diet most of their life are more at risk of B-12 deficiency. Since B-12 can be reabsorbed, people who become a vegetarian later in life will typically do not display any symptoms of deficiency for as many as five years. It is a good idea to prevent deficiency from occurring because it is relatively difficult to reverse the effects of vitamin B-12 deficiency.Vitamin B-12 deficiency can also result in increased levels of homocysteine in the body. Homocysteine is an antioxidant that when in high levels can have a toxic effect on the body. This is an important issue because as many as 20% of the people diagnosed with heart disease have elevated levels of homocysteine in their blood. The recommended dosage of vitamin B-12 is 10 micrograms. If you follow a vegetarian lifestyle, it is recommended that you have your blood checked to check for deficiency. If your doctor detects that you have a B-12 deficiency, they will provide additional information about the amount of B-12 you should take.Why not check out our nutrition guide at http://www.nutritional-supplement-guides.com/nut-ebook.htmland also what supplement we personally use for our nutrition needs at http://www.nutritional-supplement-guides.com/what-we-use.html

Ginseng; Is It Really Beneficial or an Asian Myth?

Ginseng; Is It Really Beneficial or an Asian Myth?

For thousands of years, ginseng has been revered in the Orient as an almost magical natural supplement with amazing benefits for those who use it regularly. It is said that ginseng will boost the immune system, enhance vitality, increase physical endurance, increase mental alertness, and treat illnesses like colds, fevers, headaches, and vomiting. It is even believed to be an aphrodisiac. Lets face it, if ginseng actually had the properties to give all the benefits it is believed to give, people would be taking it with every meal. The fact is however, the benefits of ginseng fall a far sight short of its claims.Commercially, ginseng is taken as tea, in capsules, in liquid form from viles, or even by eating the root itself. Usually it is taken in doses of around 5 grams at a time. Ginseng is most commonly grown in Asia, particularly in China, Korea, and Japan, although it can also be found in wooded areas from Quebec to Missouri. Ginsenosides, which is the active substance in the root, has been shown to increase endurance and decrease fatigue in mice when given to them in large amounts. One study where large amounts were given to humans noted a small improvement in the endurance levels of those who took it. Also, Chinese herbal medicine, published by the US National Institute of Health, claims the use of ginseng can raise unusually low blood pressure and can help prevent shock after heart attacks. However, there is no good scientific evidence to support any of the claims made of these alleged benefits of consuming this root. It is also very likely that when you buy ginseng at the store, it will have a low concentration of ginsenosides in it. This means that even if ginseng does have some marginal benefit to offer, you will probably not receive any of them.The lancet, a British medical journal, published a study done in Sweden which showed that most commercially sold ginseng products contained only trace amounts of ginsenosides. These findings concluded that the amount of ginsenosides found in these products was too insignificant to be of any benefit. Some of the products, including two sold in the US (Siberian Ginseng and Up Your Gas), had almost none of this substance at all.For the most part, taking small to moderate amounts of ginseng will not be harmful to you, but you have to ask yourself if dollar for dollar it is worth taking something which is of no real value or benefit to you. We all can fall victim to hype made about a product, especially one that has been around for thousands of years, but when there is no good, proven science to support that products claims, save your money for a more useful purpose.

NO2 - Nitric Oxide Supplements for Bodybuilding

NO2 - Nitric Oxide Supplements for Bodybuilding

Nitric Oxide, a key molecule manufacturered by the body, causes vasodilation (an expansion of the internal diameter of blood vessels), which in turn leads to increased blood flow, oxygen transport, delivery of nutrients to skeletal muscle and a reduction in blood pressure. An amino acid compound called arginine alpha-ketoglutarate (A-AKG) and arginine-ketoisocaproate (A-KIC) can boost short term Nitric Oxide levels. Increased strength and markedly improved stamina can also be expected. In fact, the results may be classified into three categories: 1) the promotion of an extended pump; 2) signaling muscle growth and speeding recovery; 3) increasing strength and stamina.NO2 contains A-AKG and A-KIC, natural myodilators that may help boost nitric oxide levels in your body, thereby increasing blood flow, oxygen transport, and delivery of nutrients to skeletal muscle. NO2 contains A-AKG and A-KIC which may help your muscles experience an extended pump. NO2 contains A-AKG and A-KIC which may help your body signal muscle growth and speed recovery. NO2 contains A-AKG and A-KIC which may help improve your strength and stamina. NO2 utilizes the A-DS Advanced Delivery System which enhances absorption of the active compounds to insure uptake and help sustain powerful effects around the clock.Who needs it and what are some symptoms of deficiency?Everyone needs nitric oxide to carry out key physiological processes within the body. From a bodybuilder's perspective, nitric oxide supplementation may prove useful in increasing growth due to increases in blood flow to certain areas of the body. Further, men suffering from erectile dysfunction may also find supplementing with nitric oxide helpful.Signs of deficiency include the inability to achieve and sustain erections, physical weakness and extreme fatigue. Most "nitric oxide" supplements contain the amino acid Arginine-alpha-keto-glutarate.What are the side effects?With any amino acid containing product, overdose is a possibility. Dosing with too much arginine can lead to diarrhea, weakness and nausea. Clear dosing guidelines have not been established, so it is best to do what is known as "tolerance mapping". Take a small dosage for one week, note the benefits and the side effects, and increase the dosage until the benefits are maximized and the side effects minimized. Over time the two will converge and you will hit the optimal dose.Benefits improves strength and stamina increased muscle growth and recovery increases muscle pump

How to Make Tinctures From Herbs

The philosophy behind tincture is to capture the spiritual and physical essence of the plant. This is done by using the power of ethyl alcohol to dissolve and preserve the herb in question.The substance used to extract the herbs is known as the menstrum. The herbs you are tincturing are known as the mark. Tincturing will extract and preserve both the water-soluble and alcohol-soluble properties of an herb. In the interest of taking a more involved stance in their health, many people are turning to homemade tinctures made from fresh or dried herbs. Tinctures have proven to be more powerful and longer lasting than "dried herbs" . Dried herbs can get moldy or be eaten by insects, tinctures do not. Tinctures will keep up to two years and keep their potency if stored properly. Making your own tinctures will save you quite a bit of money. If you purchase tinctures in a retail store you will get a few ounces whereas if you make it yourself it will yield about a quart.When purchasing herbs, make sure you are buying from a reputable source. Better yet, grow your own herbs to be sure of the highest possible quality. When growing your own you can make any number of combinations to make up your tinctures. I have also found that when growing my own herbs I get the most enjoyment, knowing not only did I make the tincture but I grew the herbs. I become part of the process from beginning to end.There are several items that you will need to make your own tinctures. First you need either powdered herbs or fresh cut herbs. Vodka, brandy or rum, 80-100 proof to cover the herbs. Mason jars with lids. Muslin or Cheesecloth that is unbleached. Lastly, labels for the jars.You will need 7-10 ounces of chopped fresh herbs for every quart of vodka, brandy or rum. I prefer to use "fresh herbs" when making my tinctures. When using "powdered herbs" , I use 4 ounces of herbs to one pint of liquid. If you are making a tincture from bitter herbs it is best to use rum as it will mask the taste of the herbs. To make a non-alcoholic tincture use distilled water, glycerol or vinegar. Keep in mind that if you use vinegar the tincture will have to be refrigerated.Put your herbs in the mason jars and then pour the liquid over them so that it comes up to about an inch above the herbs. Seal tightly and label the jars then put them in a very dark, warm area. Keeping them in a paper bag has worked well for me. You will have to shake the jar everyday, several times a day if you can mange it.At first check the solution daily to make sure the vodka, brandy or rum still covers the herbs. Let the mixture steep for at least two weeks and up to three months. When you reach the allotted waiting period, line a sieve with the cheesecloth or muslin and pour the liquid thru the sieve into another bottle. Gather up the ends of the cheesecloth and squeeze to extract all of the liquid. You can now fill small bottles with droppers with the tincture for ease in use. Be sure to label the jar with the name and the date.The dose is one teaspoon tincture in a cup of tea, juice or water taken three times daily.There are no right formulas for making tinctures. Experiment with different combinations. Be sure you write down the formula so when you come up with a winning combination you will have it on file.Here are a few ideas for treating colds. Make tinctures from the following herbs:* echinacea (leaves, flowers) * elder (leaves, flowers, berries) * eyebright (leaves, flowers) * ginger (root) * peppermint (leaves) * yarrow (leaves, flowers) * catnip (leavesCopyright 2006 Mary Hanna All Rights Reserved.This article may be distributed freely on your website and in your ezines, as long as this entire article, copyright notice, links and the resource box are unchanged.

Antioxidant Vitamins

The antioxidant vitamins found in fruits, vegetables, teas and supplements are proving to be powerful agents in the fight against disease causing free radicals.The original concept was to take recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamins to a level that would prevent acute deficiency diseases like the Sailors disease scurvy. These are the standards by which RDAs were created.However, in recent years, research has shown that Vitamins taken in higher doses can prevent sever chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. A debate still rages, but there is a plethora of research being done on Vitamin A, C, E, the "antioxidant vitamins" .A National Institute of Health clinical trial involving people at high risk of developing advanced stages of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), showed that patients risk decreased by 25 percent when treated with high doses of antioxidant vitamins and zinc.Another study at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta showed that taking Vitamin E along with multivitamins reduced risk from stroke and heart illness. Among patients who took the combination, mortality risk decreased by 15 percent for these two diseases.This September, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) concluded a study investigating the relationship between Vitamin C and cancer, suggesting that Vitamin C may fight cancer. They found, in a laboratory setting, that high doses of Vitamin C injected directly into the bloodstream killed cancer cells.Though the current RDA for Vitamin C is stuck at 60 mg, many researchers suggest that raising the RDA to between 100 and 200 mg would be a great way for people to get the antioxidants that they need to maintain overall well being.Be careful when purchasing vitamins and supplements though. Research has shown that whole food vitamins, or vitamins with their co-factors, are much more effective than isolated nutrients. Nutrition is a complex process of thousands of chemical reactions within our bodies. Vitamins are always better in their natural state - in the foods we eat. Supplements should never be used in place of a poor diet.The smart choice is to look for whole food vitamins to supplement an already good diet for the times you can't get everything you need at meal time.

Summary

Under the Adverse Event Reporting (AER) bill before Congress, dietary supplements could eventually be taken off the over-the-counter status. In this day of offhand and frivolous lawsuits, Congress is poised to pass legislation that would allow private citizens to sue the supplement manufacturers, and possibly the marketplaces as well, for health related issues allegedly caused or aggravated by dietary supplements. Industry reporting of adverse events in a very formal way wo...