New evidence on a key nutrient offers hope to cancer patients; will the FDA snuff it out? Action Alert!
A new study on annatto-sourced delta-tocotrienol (one of the compounds contained in vitamin E) has shown incredible results for extending the life of ovarian cancer patients. It is a stunning finding that should be hailed as a major breakthrough, but don’t expect to hear much about it from the crony medical establishment, which does everything it can to prevent you from learning about the benefits of natural products.
The study found that delta-tocotrienol, used in combination with Avastin, an FDA-approved drug, was able to stabilize and control ovarian cancer after surgery by 50% at six months; Avastin alone was only able to control the disease by 25%. Delta-tocotrienol used in combination with Avastin nearly doubled survival of ovarian cancer patients after surgery.
It’s hard to over emphasize how ground-breaking this study is. There have been studies on the anti-cancer effect of certain nutrients, but these are generally smaller in scale and use animal or in vitro models; never before has the ability of a nutrient to significantly prolong survival in cancer patients been demonstrated in a study of drug-level quality.
Further, the authors of the study don’t explicitly say it, but implicit in the study’s results is that Avastin might not be required. Overall survival in patients on just Avastin was 5-7 months; for Avastin plus delta-tocotrienol, it was 11 months. This could mean that delta-tocotrienol is just as effective, if not more so, than Avastin—but more study would be required to establish this.
These are astonishing results and great news for women with ovarian cancer. If it were a drug, delta-tocotrienol would be celebrated as the next breakthrough and sold for tens of thousands of dollars a year. But because natural medicines generally cannot be patented—meaning the drug industry can’t make mega-profits from them—the government suppresses what the public can know about their benefits, lest drug companies lose some market share. The feds don’t tell us, for example, about the promising cancer research on vitamin C. In fact, the agency will try to block you from knowing about the benefits of these nutrients because they aren’t FDA-approved drugs, and only drugs can make claims to treat or prevent a disease. The FDA wouldn’t want to upset the cancer drug industry’s more than $100 billion market.
The FDA has in fact shown that it is willing to go to absurd lengths to protect the drug industry from natural products. The agency went after walnut growers for daring to list some of the scientifically proven benefits of walnuts. Similarly, the FDA attacked cherry growers for citing Harvard research indicating cherries can reduce inflammation and pain. For these “crimes,” the FDA threatened jail time.
The FDA even bans many legal structure function claims, arguing that some are “implied disease claims,” a fabricated term meant to further restrict what can be said about supplements and other natural products. For example, a legal claim can describe the role of a nutrient on the structure or function of the body, such as “calcium builds strong bones.” But if the FDA thinks that the structure or function referenced in a claim indicates a disease state, it will ban the claim. The truthful claim that magnesium lowers blood pressure is banned by the FDA because they think it implies that magnesium is a treatment for hypertension, and only FDA-approved drugs can claim to treat hypertension.
When the FDA fails to censure free speech, the FTC picks up the baton. We saw this in the FTC’s case against POM Wonderful, the pomegranate juice company that spent millions on research only to be told by the FTC that it wasn’t the right research, so the claims were illegal. POM even had qualifying language in their claims so as not to mislead consumers, but the FTC wasn’t satisfied, outrageously demanding that POM conduct two randomized clinical trials to substantiate their claims.
These overt attacks on free speech subvert Americans’ ability to take charge of their health by learning about the established benefits of natural products. This isn’t good for anyone but the drug industry monopoly. If the FDA actually cared about cancer patients, they would be shouting from the rooftop about the benefits of delta-tocotrienol. But in our crony medical system, not only will we not hear a peep—the FDA will actively block companies that try to inform the public about its benefits, even though the companies are in the best position to tell us about the science since they are the entities performing the applicable studies.
The FDA’s conduct in this arena is truly shocking. Scientists continue to understand more about the many benefits of natural products, from fish oil to coconut oil, from CoQ10 to vitamin D, but rather than trumpeting these discoveries, the federal government is doing everything in its power to throttle the industry and protect Big Pharma profits. We must stop them.
Action Alert! Send a message to the FDA telling them to permit free speech about natural products, in particular to revise their position on implied disease claims. Please send your message immediately.