Cancer, Vitamins, and Supplements -- How Much Should We Know?

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H.R. 4282 -- the Health Freedom Protection Act would provide supplement companies with the opportunity to cite relevant medical evidence for their products. If passed into law, this Bill would vastly expand the type of health information supplement companies could share with its customers including cancer patients.

The March edition of CancerWire focuses on the Health Freedom Protection Act. If passed, this Bill would provide cancer patients with more information about what vitamins, minerals, herbs and other supplements can do in enhancing their quality of life and helping them manage their cancer. It would do this by stopping the Food and Drug Administration's practice of banning all nutrient-disease treatment claims and allowing companies to cite relevant medical evidence for their products.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) prosecute vitamin and supplement companies that make “medical claims.” For example, if a company distributes a brand of vitamin C and states that it can prevent or cure scurvy (a disease known to be caused by a vitamin C deficiency) then that company can be prosecuted by the FDA and/or FTC. Governmental raids, warnings, and lawsuits are actually quite common against supplement companies and such actions create a chilling effect for these organizations. For good reason, supplement companies are fearful to tell their cancer customers that a particular herb, vitamin, mineral or other supplement has been effective in treating or preventing their disease.

For example, there are over 500 scientific articles about curcumin and cancer. Curcumin (also called Tumeric) is a yellow powder ground from the root of a plant (Curcuma longa) of the ginger family, which is found wild in the Himalayas and grown across South Asia. In lab and animal studies, it has been shown to be effective in protecting against colo-rectal tumors. A curcumin manufacturer or distributor, however, can run afoul of the law by citing this information to a customer who is fighting colon cancer.

One person trying to change this is attorney Jonathan Emord who practices food and drug law, deceptive advertising law, and libel law. Mr. Emord has recently been supporting a Bill called H.R. 4282 - the Health Freedom Protection Act. This Bill also has the support of 15 members of Congress. It would provide supplement companies with the opportunity to cite relevant medical evidence for their products. If passed into law, this Bill would vastly expand the type of health information supplement companies could share with its customers. We recently talked with Mr. Emord about this important Bill. To read the entire interview go to: http://www.cancermonthly.com

Below are excerpts from the interview:

“Right now FDA censors EVERY nutrient-disease treatment claim… FDA now prohibits companies from giving to consumers peer-reviewed articles by independent scientists and institutions if they concern the role of a nutrient in treating a disease…FDA now prohibits companies from giving to consumers the government's own scientific publications on the role of nutrients in treating disease.

“The FDA and the FTC violations of the Constitution are egregious because they keep from the market nutrient-disease information that can reduce the incidence of disease, reduce pain and suffering, and save lives. Federal censorship of the claim that fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids) reduces the risk of sudden death heart attack contributes to a preventable 110,000 sudden death heart attacks. Federal censorship of the claim that calcium reduces bone fractures contributes to preventable bone fractures year after year. Federal censorship of the claim that glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate reduce the pain and joint stiffness associated with osteoarthritis contributes to pain and suffering in twenty million Americans…(FDA) censorship contributed to 2,500 preventable neural tube defect births and countless NTD related abortions each of those four years.”

“Dr. David Graham, the senior FDA drug safety officer explains that on dozens of occasions, FDA allowed into the market unsafe drugs, knowing that deaths would result -- all because it aimed to protect the economic interests of the drug companies that sponsored the drugs.”

More information:

Of course, none of this information in CancerWire is a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis or treatment and you should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before starting any new treatment or making any changes to an existing treatment. No information contained in Cancer Monthly or CancerWire including the information above, should be used to diagnose, treat cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of a medical doctor.

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Michael Horwin
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