By Freddie Ulan, DC, CCN
On the subject of regulation of the health industry, especially in the area of nutritional supplements, we have a very interesting problem here. First of all, there’s a serious confusion between what nutrition is and what a nutraceutical is. Per the FDA, they’re all the same. They think a nutraceutical is the same as nutrition. It’s not. Nutrition actually provides genuine replacement parts to a body that the body can actually use to repair itself.
A nutraceutical, more often than not, is a synthesized concentration of isolated, incomplete nutritional substances that have been identified in a lab which have a pharmaceutical effect. In other words, taken long enough in a big enough dose, they will produce a pharmaceutical effect. That means it will suppress or alter a symptom. Nutraceuticals are safer than most of the pharmaceuticals out there because, from a side effect viewpoint, the pharmaceutical is the most toxic. Pharmaceuticals used for short term: wonderful miracles. Pharmaceuticals used for long term: disaster.
So, what do you do? The person needs support, they start taking nutraceuticals, which are also produced by the same pharmaceutical companies, by the way. Almost all synthetic vitamins are produced now by the pharmaceutical companies. They do not do the job of providing actual genuine replacement parts. The balances are totally out, they don’t work.
Where I think regulation needs to be is in the area of nutraceuticals. Where I think that regulation needs to not be is in the area of whole foods concentrates. Because whole food concentrates, by definition, consist of food.
As an example, the Standard Process products are whole foods, absent of water and fiber. This is as close to nature as you can get in a concentrated form to help a body, to give a body the nutrients it needs. And you’re not practicing medicine here. Because you don’t use food to attack a disease.
Nutraceuticals can be used to attack a disease. If you’re attacking a disease, it should be under regulation. If all you’re doing is supporting a body to increase wellness, that’s not the business of the FDA. That’s not the business of the state. The individual should have the right to eat and consume whatever foods and food-derived products that he can possibly find to his own benefit. That’s my viewpoint.
I’m a free market guy. Here’s what I think: I think that if you’re producing a food product and it helps people, they will buy it and they will thrive or not. If they do, they’ll buy more, if they don’t, they won’t.
Here’s where regulation needs to occur: products that cause harm. Statistically one of the top causes of death in this country today is correctly-prescribed pharmaceuticals. I hear different statistics from time to time. Either it’s the number 4 cause of death or the number 3 cause of death in the United States: correctly taken pharmaceuticals. These are things that need heavy regulation.
On the other hand, there hasn’t been a death caused by a vitamin that I’ve ever seen, and I’m in the industry. There hasn’t been a death caused by a whole food concentrate. We don’t need regulation of things that aren’t causing harm. We need more regulation of things that have proven statistics of causing harm. And that regulation should include full, informed consent when you’re talking about drugs.
The drug companies are pushing for fast-track approval of their drugs while they’re continuously working at limiting the availability of natural, safe substances. What we’re dealing with is a machine that doesn’t want any competition.
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