Botanical Nutrition

by Rob Seeman official blogger of the health food movement

In defense of Dr Oz and DSHEA : Nutritional supplements save lives

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I’m sure you’ve heard by now about Dr Oz’s recent testimony to Congress.  I won’t ramble on and on about it like comedian John Oliver did (doing what is known in comedic acting circles as a ‘hatchet job’) skewering DSHEA by using Tryptophan scare-facts (even though the Tryptophan contamination was well before current laws or even most of the companies today were around) to allege once again that supplements are “unregulated”.

Dr. Mehmet Oz

You know who regulates supplements? The Food and Drug Administration.  And while some might disagree with me, they actually in my opinion do a fine job of regulating the dietary supplement industry to try and prevent adulteration by unscrupulous companies out to make a quick buck rather than to make your health better.

The truth is this : nutritional supplements save lives.  And while allopathic medicine (presciption pharmaceuticals) are the primary mode of care in this country, many of us would rather try a softer gentler approach of either upping our intake of key essential nutrients or using time-tested (and often, scientifically researched – in other parts of the world) natural remedies to try and support our bodies’ natural healing process.  Oh, and don’t forget food!  Under DSHEA all of these items are protected as something Americans have a right to access – even if they usually aren’t covered by health insurance, although some more progressive plans do allow for spending on supplements.

I’m not saying that every supplement Dr Oz recommends, or that everything he says, is a wise choice.  He is a television personality and his quest to describe to his audience various ‘life hacks’ which he describes as ‘magic’ are – to me, someone I consider fairly reasonable – to be taken with a grain of salt.  If something is clinically shown to increase your metabolism, should he describe the double-blind placebo-controlled research in overly scientific terms? Or, considering his audience, would saying it is ‘magic’ suffice?

David Copperfield Launches His Australian Tour In Sydney

Personally, I would never recommend a weight loss supplement without suggesting any individual address diet and exercise at the same time.  While some supplements do have a positive effect on metabolism vis a vis blood sugar balance, fat metabolism, etc. there is no doubt that especially in this arena diet and exercise will have the greatest impact.  This is what natural medicine should be all about, wholism.

So when someone attacks supplements by going after Dr Oz, I think we all have to take note. We’ve been here before, and before DSHEA, we all had to seriously worry about whether some kind of smear campaign would threaten access to natural medicines.

Certainly it is only realistic to consider that some in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry consider dietary supplements a threat to their business, particularly Monsanto. Interestingly, in case you missed it, last week the Natural News health ranger Mike Adams published a post titled  Senator who attacked Doctor Oz over dietary supplements received over $146,000 in campaign contributions from Big Pharma mega-retailer and Monsanto. Who is playing politics now?

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Author: Rob Seeman

I can't imagine anything more important than making sure everyone in the world has healthy food. Other than making sure they have the freedom to live a healthy life in general.

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