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Will the Government Ever Get Nutrition Right?

Will the Government Ever Get Nutrition Right?
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A massive government initiative to address hunger and diet-related disease is forming—why does it ignore some of the most obvious solutions? Action Alert!

The Biden Administration is laying out its plan to end hunger, increase healthy eating, and combat diet-related disease in the US. It’s a multi-faceted plan that includes improving food access and affordability, improving nutrition research, and more. What stuck out to us is what was missing, which was any inclusion of dietary supplements anywhere in the plan. Any coherent and comprehensive approach to reducing diet-related disease must include sensible advice on supplements that we know can help prevent and treat chronic diseases. Yet what we see is the opposite: the government actively suppressing information on how supplements can support our health. Ignorance of supplement benefits can no longer be an excuse. Once again, Big Pharma profits are prioritized over public health.

Look no further for evidence of this last point than the one and only mention of dietary supplements in the Biden Administration’s plan. Under the bullet point titled “Address marketing of unhealthy food and beverages” that discusses sugary drinks, fast food, and candy, the report says, out of the blue: “The FTC has indicated that it will pursue targeted law enforcement actions to prevent the deceptive advertising of foods and dietary supplements, including deceptive advertising that might be targeted to youth.” Why are dietary supplements lumped in with fast food, soda, and candy? What is the government thinking?

Trying to address the chronic disease epidemic without educating Americans about how dietary supplements can help is like fighting with one arm tied behind your back. By now, the scientific evidence is irrefutable. We reported recently on research describing the incredible health benefits that can be achieved if certain populations took targeted supplements.

For example, a review of the medical literature shows that supplementing with preventive levels of fish oil leads to a risk reduction of 10 percent for coronary artery disease (CAD) events. If people at risk for CAD events supplement with fish oil, the report estimates that 174,811 CAD events could be avoided. The clinical literature indicates that the relative risk reduction of a CAD event with the use of magnesium supplements is 5.34 percent. This means that magnesium supplementation could prevent 93,349 CAD. Vitamin K2 was found to reduce the risk for CAD events by 15.7 percent, meaning an estimated 274,933 CAD events could be avoided.

Supplementing with vitamin D and calcium at preventive levels was found to reduce the risk of osteoporotic fractures by 14 percent, meaning 335,518 fractures can be avoided with these supplements. We could go on, but there isn’t time or space enough to describe all the supplements that can help with disease.

Part of the reason why supplements are so effective is that, according to the government’s own figures, millions of Americans are deficient in a variety of key nutrients. Research shows that micronutrient inadequacies may impact long-term health, increasing risk for diseases like cancercardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and COVID.

The infuriating fact is that, not only does the government ignore these incredible benefits, it actively suppresses the dissemination of this information. We saw this in stark relief during COVID as the FDA and FTC launched a massive censorship campaign targeting doctors and clinics that informed the public about natural medicines that could plausibly help with COVID.

Perhaps even more egregiously, the FDA recently blocked a qualified health claim for magnesium’s ability to help with hypertension. Hypertension is one of the top risk factors for heart disease, the leading cause of death both worldwide and in the US; nearly half of American adults have high blood pressure. In our coverage at the time, we detailed the compelling scientific evidence supporting magnesium’s benefits to heart health. Yet, according to the FDA, the evidence is “inconsistent and inconclusive.”

Why does the government ignore the obvious benefits of supplements? To continue with the example of magnesium and hypertension, it may be relevant to state that the global market for antihypertensive drugs will grow to nearly $26.3 billion. Ex-FDA officials have stated that the FDA sees the drug industry as its client and represents its interests. This means that the government sees supplements as an adversary threatening the profits of its Big Pharma benefactors. Until we address this broken system, we will continue to pay skyrocketing costs for healthcare that is expensive, dangerous, and often doesn’t work.

We need to speak with one, powerful voice to the government: if they are serious about fighting chronic disease, include advice about how Americans can use supplements to stay healthy.

Action Alert! Write to Congress and President Biden, urging them to include supplements in the strategy to address diet-related diseases. Please send your message immediately.

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