The Science Based Arms Race For The Consumer’s Trust

Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure

Ask Your Doctor If Good Nutrition Is Right For You

Consumer Confusion Over Supplements Calls For Clarity

When the natural products industry began to mature and started using science based claims for their ingredients, formulations and products, they gave up a very big advantage they had.

That advantage was in the obvious connection between good food and good health. Food was cool back in 431 BC when Hippocrates allegedly admonished us to make food our medicine and medicine our food. This food as medicine connection has been deeply rooted throughout human history. Food and nutrition were the at the root so to speak, of ‘natural’ products. This was somewhat of a backlash against large scale processed foods that started taking on forms that were unrecognizable, yet immensely compelling from the standpoint of convenience and taste.

As the market grew, it became necessary to address convenience, efficacy and safety factors. Distinguishing natural remedies as ‘just as good as’ or ‘better’ than pharmaceuticals, the need for scientific validation for the claims to good health became more important than the common sense experiences traditionally associated or attributed to their use.

The results have been mixed. We have a treasure trove of existing and ongoing science supporting food as medicine. Yet we can’t say so for fear of running afoul of some Federal regulation or monopolistic protection.

Drug companies buy up nearly every inch of ad space in scientific journals, so the argument persists that there’s little scientific basis for natural product claims. If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it . . .

We have good manufacturing practices and we have dozens of third party certification organizations. The message to the consumer is that there must be a problem with food standards somewhere.

In the meantime, we’ve seen a proliferation of new ingredients, formulations and products clamoring for shelf space. Consumers have never had so many choices, yet confusion has never been greater.

They don’t understand the reason behind pricing for the same item from different manufacturers. The whole shopping experience can be overwhelming and intimidating.

Most of this confusion could have been avoided. If the industry had led with nature as the gold standard, we could have more easily validated our claims to efficacy and safety. Instead of copying big pharma’s model, we could have copied nature’s.

Many pharmaceuticals were derived from plants from nature. We could have framed big phama as copying  nature and following those of us with a food and nutrition based approach to health instead of playing the never-catch-up with their marketing and budgets game. .

Now we have an arms race to invent and patent more and more products designed for a specific effects. We pile on tons of scientific evidence and expect consumers to feel secure in their purchases.

We can’t say ‘ask your doctor’ if product ‘X’ is right for you because there are too few doctors who know what to answer. Based on the amount of nutrition education they were exposed to in medical school, most doctors look like a deer in the headlights when a patient asks a nutritional question.

It’s no wonder we’re in such a sorry state of health. Don’t despair. It’s not as difficult as it seems. Self education is the first step to understanding how food and nutrition are essential to optimal health. After all, they don’t call them “vitamins” for nothing.

Fortunately, consumer awareness about the medicinal benefits of knowing about food and how to best use it for our optimal health, is a secret that’s no longer so secret. Despite attempts to separate us from food’s full story, consumers are causing a major upheaval in the food and consumer packaged goods sector. This is good news for food and nutritional supplement manufacturers. There’s a pretty compelling story to tell about their products. The more the good food story is told and circulated, the faster new shelf space will appear. In the stores, on the web and ultimately on consumers pantry shelves.

 

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It’s Coming Up Coconuts

The Many Forms In Which To Consume Coconuts
Coconut's Secret Nutrition News Cover Image

Everything’s Coming Up Coconuts

There’s coconut everywhere. Consumers can’t get enough of  the tropical food. It’s in water, milk, flour, oil and snacks. Is coconut the latest kale or quinoa? Don’t bet on it. Versatile, healthy and delicious, what’s not to like? The Wall Street Journal went coconuts and interviewed many of your favorite coconut companies about their success in keeping up with our growing coconut appetites..

→  Read full article

Guess what? Some saturated fats are healthy! Until recently few researchers were familiar with the incredible health benefits of the unique saturated fats found in coconut oil. For several decades coconut oil was shunned because of misconceptions regarding dietary fat This situation is beginning to change as the amazing nutritional and therapeutic benefits of tropical oils become better known. As adapted from Jon J. Kabara, PhD, Foreword, The Coconut Oil Miracle, Bruce Fife, ND
What Do You Know About Coconut? What Are Its Health Benefits? How Does It Promote Weight Loss? How Does It Relate To Alzheimer’s? Why Is It A Perfect Sports Drink? You Can’t Imagine How Great This Food Is For Us.

Key House Panel Directs USDA to Consider Funding Multivitamins for Use in WIC Program

Women Infants Children Program Infographic
Nutrition News Change What You Kids Eat and Change Their Future

Key House Panel Directs USDA to Consider Funding Multivitamins for Use in WIC Program

A key House Panel directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Nutrition Services (FNS) to prepare a report assessing the benefits of allowing vitamins to be purchased through the supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children (WIC).

“Women, infants and children utilizing the WIC program deserve equal access to and should be allowed to purchase vitamins,” said Dan Fabricant, CEO and executive director of NPA (Natural Products Association).  “The Committee’s instructions are a step in the right direction towards addressing the crisis of undernourishment in America.”

Vitamins are proven to have many health benefits especially relevant to those the WIC program intends to help:
· Classic nutrient deficiency diseases (scurvy, pellagra, and iron deficiency anemia);

· Improve appetite and growth rates in low-income children;

· Prevent neural tube birth defects;

· Protect against heart disease and stroke; and

· Build bone mass in the young.

“We will continue to look for policy options to improve access and availability to products that support a healthy lifestyle for American consumers,” Fabricant said.

NPA also sent a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the House Committee on Appropriations expressing its strong view that the WIC program should be expanded to include the purchase of multivitamins and multiminerals.

Read more www.npainfo.org.

 

Big Fat Lies Fifteen Years Later

Nutrition News Big Fat Lies Cover Fifteen Years Ago
Nearly fifteen years ago to the date, we published an interview with Ann Louise Gittleman. Back then Ann Louise was the one calling a flag on the play about cutting fat from our diets. There was a frenzy about high cholesterol rates and fat became the focus. Almost overnight, processed foods manufacturers took out coconut and palm oil, butter, all the saturated fats. They substituted less nutritionally dense oils (safflower) and increased the amount of sugar to make the new formulations palatable. We all know where that got us. This month we’re revisiting the Big Fat Lies  conversation with another interview with Ann Louise. Watch for details.

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