Well, it’s about time. The FDA has finally set new manufacturing standardsfor the vitamin and supplement industry. Makers of vitamin and herbal supplements will now have to meet government standards to show that their products are free from contamination and contain exactly what the label says, U.S. health officials said on Friday.Some supplements have been recalled in the past, like the contaminated L-tryptophan that killed or injured hundreds of people in 1989. Other companies are selling supplements that contain undisclosed drug ingredients while still others sell products with less than advertised levels of vitamins A, C and folic acid.

I’ll say it again – it’s about time. The vitamin and supplement industry has for too long escaped regulation, opening it up to scheisters and crooks to scam the public. I applaud the FDA for seeing the need to step in and do something. Granted it’s taken thirteen years to finally implement the rule set forth by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), but any action in this area is welcomed.

Take it from a health care practitioner who is inundated by advertisements touting one miraculous supplement after another. I sometimes scan through these marketing materials just to see what the latest gimmick is – it really is quite amusing. And I especially love that every company says they have the research data, all of which was compiled by – their own labs! Har har har…does that one really still slip by consumers?

Here’s what I want as a clinician recommending supplements to my clients – high quality vitamins offered singly (as in vitamin C or E), in a complex (as in vitamin B complex) or with a few other ingredients that are known to enhance absorption, assimilation or function (as in vitamin C with bioflavanoids) – that’s it. I don’t want the heart function formula, or the women’s formula, or the male enhancement formula – just the isolated vitamin, mineral or multivitamin that has, well…vitamins. I don’t need rhinoceros horn or bovine adrenals or magic mushroom tops from Belize (um…no, no I don’t want those either) or Chinese herbal mixes. No thank you. Just the vitamins, please.

If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: vitamin supplementation is absolutely necessary if you want to live in Optimal Health. But we need some group to watch the rats who’ll sell us ground oregano and tell us it’s as good as eating a whole week’s worth of vegetables.

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