News in the New Year 2015
by Tammera J. Karr, PhD
Yale University reported on January 5, 2015 that, The common cold virus can reproduce itself more efficiently in the cooler temperatures found inside the nose than at core body temperature, according to a new study. This finding may confirm the popular yet contested notion that people are more likely to catch a cold in cool-weather conditions. Researchers have long known the most frequent cause of the common cold, the rhinovirus, replicates readily in the slightly cooler environment of the nasal cavity than in the warmer lungs. However, the focus of prior studies has been on how body temperature influenced the virus as opposed to the immune system.
What nutrients have the best reported benefits in viral protection?
In my book #1 goes to the old fashioned vitamin C from whole foods. As humans are unable to manufacture vitamin C, and food processing destroys vitamin C found in foods, it makes since to supplement daily with a good whole food vitamin C between 500 and 2000mg daily.
#2 goes to herbs that help protect from viruses, including garlic, onions, rosemary, oregano, and thyme. Nutrient rich vegetables combined with these herbs make for healthier digestive systems as well.
#3 is all those fruits that are low glycemic and nutrient packed. Frozen blue berries for example have 85% more nutrients than dried. Cranberries add a zing to deserts, meat dishes, hot cereals, and teas. Cranberries and blueberries are loaded with anti-oxidants, flavonoids, and vitamin C. But maybe even better than berries for some are hot chilies. Hot chilies are far better sources of vitamin C than most fruits, and due to how they affect the circulatory system, chilies are highly beneficial for warming, reducing inflammation, improving digestion, and supporting the immune system.
#4 rich bone broths made from locally produced beef, lamb, chicken and other critters. This is a rich food loaded with minerals and essential fats needed for a healthy immune response, fueling the inner engine and repairing damages cells. We use bone broth for soup, grain dishes, steaming vegetables, and for gravies. There is a sense of economy to the old tradition, of using all the animal parts for our food as well. One chicken complete with skin, organs and bones can make a surprising amount of food.
What’s In Store for Natural Health? Maybe not such great news…
The outlook for natural health is mixed. On the upside, the notorious enemy of nutritional supplements, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), is gone. On the downside, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), who has long history of bias against dietary supplements, was re-elected. Senator Durbin’s efforts in his career-long attempt to give the FDA the power to sweep thousands of supplements off the shelves is likely to continue. So it is in your interest to know what is coming up and how it effects your rights to use nutritional supplements.
There are some of the important House committees that could benefit dietary supplements:
1. On the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over healthcare and dietary supplements, Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) will remain the chair, and the vacancy left by Rep. Waxman will be filled by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ). This is excellent news: Upton is leading an effort to draft and introduce an important reform bill, and Pallone is a co-chair of the dietary supplement caucus.
2. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), co-chair of the dietary supplement caucus, will chair the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. We hope that Rep. Chaffetz’s hearings will help expose the anti-natural health orientation of both the FDA and FTC.
3. The ranking member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Lamar Alexander (R-TN), is expected to become the new chair. Alexander has critically challenged FDA’s position on compounded medications and has supported greater access to personal health information; however, his positions on key issues such as supplements and GMOs remain uncertain.
4. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) has been a proponent of states’ right to pass and implement GMO labeling laws and has supported access to supplements in multiple informal but meaningful meetings. We hope this is indicative of what we can expect from her in her new, more powerful position.
Watch outs for consumers.
NDIs and INDs: The FDA is expected to release new guidance documents for both New Dietary Ingredients (a.k.a. new supplements) and Investigational New Drug applications.
Sen. Durbin will likely reintroduce his problematic supplement labeling bill, but happily, we expect it will gain little traction in the Republican-controlled Senate: in the last session of Congress, it had only one other co-sponsor, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).
Compounding: Work is being done to get Congress and the FDA to fix some of the unfortunate changes to the compounding law made when the Drug Quality and Security Act was enacted in the last Congress.
To Your Good Health and Information – Happy New Year.