FDA’s New Supplement Label Rules

It is amazing to me that the FDA can routinely decide that it will change the daily amount of vitamins and minerals and how they are described with just a wave of the hand. With their new rules on labeling, they have effectively changed the amounts of vitamins and minerals that are suggested as needed for health. Of course these numbers did not mean much anyway because they are typically stated as what is required for an average weight person to prevent certain diseases while ignoring other possibility of disease. However, it is very confusing to the average consumer as well as me and I suspect the FDA. Proposed labeling changes:

Vitamins and Minerals of concern as reported by the Alliance for Natural Health are:

Vitamin B9 or folate: The FDA wants to stop the use of folate and only allow folic acid. Folic acid is a manmade molecule that was manufactured in the laboratory in the mid 1940’s. Folate is very significant in how the methylation cycle occurs. Methylation has been shown to be responsible for how your blueprint of DNA is read and new proteins duplicated. Diseases that are impacted are everything from neural tube defects, oxygen carrying capacity of the blood, mental disorders, and arthritis to colon, breast, and prostate cancer.

Vitamin A: The FDA’s suggested change is from IU to milligrams of RAE or retinol activity equivalents. This is suggesting that beta carotene is equivalent to all the other isomers of vitamin A and ignoring the value of the pro-vitamin A and other carotenoids. Depending an individual’s enzyme profile, not all beta carotene is converted equally. It also depends on whether the beta carotene is delivered as a supplement or from natural sources.

Vitamin E: Only alpha tocopherol is recognized as the active form totally ignoring the other seven isomers of vitamin E with gamma and delta being the most important. They also ignore the value of tocotrienols for neurodegenerative disease.

Changing the DV’s or daily value has impacted the following vitamins and minerals: Reducing the amounts: Vitamin B12, zinc, vitamin B6, riboflavin, selenium, copper, zinc, and pantothenic acid or B5. Slightly higher DV’s: Vitamin C, vitamin D, and calcium. These changes could have significant impact on health because of misstating the amount of needed nutrient.

The above is a brief summary from the article at Alliance for Natural Health. I highly recommend that you read the original article: FDA Needs a Lesson in Supplement Science  – Pandemic Survivor

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Popeye Ashamed of his Government

Popeye always saved Olive Oyl from the dastardly Bluto with the help of spinach.  It was thought at the time that the iron in spinach was the key to its ‘super properties’ and was promoted through the Popeye cartoons.  However, it is now known that the advantages of spinach are because of the large amounts of trimethylglycine and hydrofolate.  Both of these nutrients allows for the methylation cycle to occur for proper reading of your genetic map.

The FDA is now trying to keep the word folate, vitamin B9, off of labels for supplements.  Only folic acid, the synthetic form, is to be used.  This is an outrage on two fronts.  First, many people’s livers do not adequately process the synthetic form of folate, folic acid.  That is about thirty to forty percent of the population.  This increase of concentration of folic acid in the blood stream is thought to suppress the immune system and has caused an increase in lung, prostate, and colon cancer. Second, over sixty percent of the population has a mutation that reduces or prevents the enzyme, MTHFR, from being made.  This is the enzyme for completion of the conversion of hydrofolate into methyl folate.  Here is the complete story:  Alliance for Natural Health – ” Breaking News: FDA’s Sneak Attempt to Ban Another B Vitamin”

Poor Olive Oyl, what is she to do?  Will Popeye be strong enough to save her by supplementing with a man made molecule that was made in the laboratory in the 1940’s, folic acid?  Maybe a can of boiled spinach followed by a good punch in the eye of that dastardly FDA would do the trick.  Merck and FDA shaking hands to protect a market and create illness so that they can buy fast cars and appeal to Olive Oyl’s adventurous side is much worse than anything Bluto ever did.   “I’m through to the finish ‘cause I eats me spinach, I’m Popeye the sailor man.”  Ah, the days of super heroes when heroes were really super – Pandemic Survivor

Methylfolate Deficiency Disease and Testing

We have established that folic acid was developed in the laboratory in the 1940’s.  It is a man made and not a natural substance – the oxidized form of folate.  It has been fortified in our foods to reduce neural tube defects starting in 1998.  Suggested disease increase from folic acid fortification: – autism, depression, breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer (why didn’t our scientist and doctors recognize this as an issue before fortification of our foods?).  A large percentage of the population has genetic mutations which slows the conversion of food folates and folic acid to the needed form of the folate – methylfolate.  The mutation:  MTHFR or methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (confused yet? – yes it’s difficult).  Free folic acid circulating in our blood suppresses the immune system.  The free folic acid in combination of not enough methylfolate to complete the methylation cycle for genetic expression can result in many diseases: pulmonary embolisms, addictions, fibromyalgia, miscarriages, schizophrenia, severe depression, cancer, diarrhea and digestive disorders, and autism to name a few.

What should you do?

Avoid foods that have been fortified with folic acid.  Avoid supplements that have folic acid and not methylfolate.  Do not allow your medical professional to confuse folic acid with methylfolate – they are not equals!  If you decide to supplement, the amount required is less than 800 micrograms per day.  I suspect that with your food, 400 micrograms of methylfolate is adequate (other names metafolin or L-methylfolate – do not supplement with other folates they may not be biologically active or worse cause unnatural biology that may be toxic).

In having discussions with your doctor about what you suspect may be the cause of your illness may require you to challenge your doctor for the test of MTHFR mutations.  How do you determine if the test is required?  First your doctor is skeptical.  Second – if you have had chronic disease, particularly the ones listed above, and you have supplemented with the other nutrients in which you are deficient and tried all the prescriptions your doctor has described without relief, this may be the problem.  Third – As much as seventy percent of the population has some form of mutation and it is severe in ten percent of the population.  Remember, the practice of medicine is an art by definition.  Great art is only created after much study, trial, and error.  Of course you could just start supplementing with methylfolate and other methyl donors like betaine (trimethylglycine or TMG ) to see if you find relief.  In my research I have found the price for the test to range from $56 dollars to over $600 dollars.  I suspect the actual cost to the laboratory at $15 dollars – the rest is fully absorbed cost and mark-up for sampling and consultation.  One hundred to two hundred dollars should be the expected price to you.

The test for normal vitamin panels will just say folate.  In discussions with two different laboratory specialists, I could not get a definition of what folate was being tested in the blood.  Was it folic acid, methylfolate, or a total of all forms?  This sounds a lot like the confusion of what to test for with vitamin D and its many forms.  With something as critical as methyl donors for RNA/DNA expression, you would think there would be more clarity – art claiming to be science once again.

Here is a comment from one of my readers, Dr. Ros, and her experience with MTHFR:  “I asked my doctor to test me for MTHFR deficiency, an enzyme responsible for converting food folates to methylfolate, the form the body actually uses. (The body cannot convert folic acid to methylfolate with the mutation either) This enzyme is also required to detoxify the body.  I tested positive for two copies, mutations, homozygous. I am now taking methylfolate and I can tell this is something I needed. As I age, I was noticing that I had trouble healing from a cold and subsequent sinus infection (DNA and RNA replications issues) and even had surgery in an attempt to ameliorate my sinus issues. Vitamins and herbs have most important in my healing. Vitamin D and glycine have been essential. The genome project was responsible for bringing this issue to the light of day but many doctors are not informed. I am lucky I was educated enough to ask for the test. My family history was an indicator there was probable cause to test.”

Again, it is never just one nutrient or vitamin.  It is the combination of all nutrition, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that give us health from a food source and environment that has not been compromised by poor science and distasteful art.   Practice life with great love, peace, and joy – do not get this confused with art and science.  – Pandemic Survivor