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Special Updates Archives

Free AHHA monthly eReports

The monthly Special Updates from the AHHA are eReports with items of interest to those actively enhancing their health and well-being. Each eReport features a health or health freedom issue. It also features a research item and an AHHA resource.

These free eReports are sent out to subscribers. You can have these AHHA Special Updates sent to you personally by signing up online.

The Archives of these AHHA Special Reports are maintained here for those who have not yet signed up to receive them by email and those who wish to review past issues.


November 11, 2016

FEATURED RESEARCH
Vitamin D likes a bit of fat
“The sunshine vitamin just found a new friend—dietary fat.” from a healthnotes® NEWSWIRE research article “Dietary Fat Helps Boost Vitamin D Absorption.”

For more conditions check out the Evidence-based Research Articles database.

FEATURED ISSUE
Tax dollars to promote GMO safety?
There is a new layer of controversy this year surrounding genetic modified/engineered organisms (GMOs), also known as agricultural biotechnology. Those against GMOs and the application of biotechnology to food production are upset that lobbyists for GMOs keep proposing the federal expenditure of $3 million of taxpayers’ money to promote the “understanding and acceptance of agricultural biotechnology” to the American public.

ISSUE: Is it appropriate for the U.S. federal government to use taxpayers’ funds to promote safety of GMOs?

AHHA strives to maintain a neutral position on issues. For those interested in this issue, the following articles will get you started on your own research.

PRO
Text of October letter to Chairmen Cochran and Rogers & Ranking Members Mikulski and Lowey (10/5/16)
American Soybean Association
“to better inform the public about the application of biotechnology to food and agricultural production.”

H.R. Report 114 (4/11/16) proposed bill
U.S. House of Representatives
“promote understanding and acceptance of agricultural biotechnology”

Biotechnology Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
United States Department of Agriculture

CON
Corrupt federal government now using your taxpayer dollars to fund GMO propaganda campaigns that enrich Monsanto (5/22/16)
by Isabelle Z.
Natural News

Taxpayer Money Used to Promote Biotech Propaganda (5/3/16)
by Dr. Mercola
Mercola.com

GMO: The Truth about the Science (10/18/16)
Alliance for Natural Health USA

We encourage you to go to our blog at ahha.org/blog and post your comments. You are invited to share additional resources you have found relating to this issue.

To review past ISSUES, visit the Special Update eReport Archives.

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE
Holiday gifts can include health tips
Are you looking for a special holiday gift to motivate a loved one to get more involved in his/her quality of wellness? AHHA members have written books and created CDs and DVDs that are filled with tips for improving our health. You can learn more at Health-related Books, CDs, DVDs… and the Books/ Other Media section of the AHHA Organizational Member list.


October 21, 2016

FEATURED RESEARCH
Fight childhood obesity
“Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.” from a healthnotes® research article “To Combat Diabetes in the Future, Fight Childhood Obesity Now.”

For more conditions check out the Evidence-based Research Articles database.

FEATURED ISSUE
Influence of soft-drink manufacturers
A just published university study has generated quite a stir in the news this month. On the one hand there is the concern about the rise in obesity in the American public linked to consumption of sugared beverages. Suggested solutions include educating consumers about nutrition and taxes on soft drinks. On the other hand there are the generous donations from major corporations with significant market share of the soft-drink industry funding consumer health programs and lobbying efforts fighting the taxation of sugared beverages. Is this smart PR or a serious conflict of interest?

ISSUE: Is the influence of soft-drink manufacturers appropriate for setting and encouraging health guidelines?

AHHA strives to maintain a neutral position on issues. For those interested in this issue, the following articles will get you started on your own research.

PRO
Alliance for a Healthier Generation and America’s Beverage Companies Start Work in the Mississippi Delta as part of Community Initiative to Help Reduce Beverage Calories Consumed (10/10/16)
American Beverage Association

Six Cities Share $445,000 In Grants To Support Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs (1/21/16)
American Beverage Association

Beverage Companies Respond To FDA Announcement On Nutrition Facts Panel (5/20/16)
American Beverage Association

CON
Sponsorship of National Health Organizations by Two Major Soda Companies (10/10/16)
by Daniel G. Aaron BS & Michael B. Siegel, MD MPH
American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Coke, Pepsi fund health groups… but fight them too: study (10/13/16)
Medical Xpress

Soda Giants Are Likened to Big Tobacco in Report on Lobbying (10/10/16)
by Jennifer Kaplan
Bloomberg

We encourage you to go to our blog at ahha.org/blog and post your comments. You are invited to share additional resources you have found relating to this issue.

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE
Special educational opportunities
Check out the AHHA website under Self-Help Tools, where you will find listings for AHHA Organizational Members that offer health-related products, services, and educational opportunities you can use to enhance your health and well-being.

Any of these intrigue you?

FOLLOW UP
In response to extensive industry requests on the matter in the AHHA September 2016 Featured Issue, the FDA has extended the deadline for comments to December 12, 2016. This is a 60-day extension over the previous deadline. Click here if you wish to review our information on the issue “AHHA Overview of the FDA NDI 2016 Guidance Document”


September 15, 2016

FEATURED RESEARCH

Fewer colds for your college student
“College can be one of the most exciting times in a young person’s life, but the experience can expose young adults to a host of viruses.” from a healthnotes® research article “Sending Kids Off to College? Consider Packing Probiotics.”

For more conditions check out the Evidence-based Research Articles database.

FEATURED ISSUE

Dietary supplement regulations
While the rest of the civilized world has restrictive regulations of and limited access to dietary supplements, those who live in the U.S. have been confident that their access to supplements is protected by the 1994 federal law, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA).  But the confidence of many was shaken in 2011, when the U.S. Food and Drug Association (FDA) published Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues. The supplement industry and the general public responded so strongly and negatively to the proposed definitions of a Dietary Ingredient (DI) and regulations for New Dietary Ingredients (NDI), that the document was withdrawn for revisions. The new version was published by the FDA August 12, 2016, with the same title.

Anticipating upcoming major discussion about the 2016 version of the NDI guidance document, the AHHA leadership decided it was important to do a read-through of the full 102-page document. From our variety of perspectives, we were looking for things that appear to need clarification and things that we expect will generate debate.

First we reviewed the notice document issued by the FDA. This explains a number of things, including how to submit comments on the new NDI 2016 guidance document through 10/11/16 and what changes to the 2011 document appear in the 2016 version of the document.

There is a separate but related document, the Dietary Supplements Guidance Documents & Regulatory Information  that lists nine categories with links to 52 documents that the FDA uses to govern the dietary supplement industry. These categories include manufacturing practice, health claims, accurate labeling, etc. You can find the new 2016 NDI guidance document under the Current Good Manufacturing Practice category. For anyone with a concern about regulation of the dietary supplement industry, this list will help you identify what has regulatory assignment for a specific aspect of the industry. Note that the NDI guidance appears to be about documenting dietary ingredient safety.

Here is a link to the full contents of the new NDI guidance document issued by U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues (August 2016)

In its read-through of the 2016 NDI guidance document, AHHA looked for answers to the three following questions:
1. What appears to be the key motivation for the government’s being involved in this specific regulation of dietary supplements?
2. What appears to be the government’s key target for change?
3. What appears to be the government’s key method for achieving this change?

As we read the document, we pulled quotes regarding issues that caught our eye, particularly those that seemed related to our three questions.

Below, we share our observations related to these three questions:

1. What appears to be the key motivation for the government’s being involved in this specific regulation of dietary supplements?
Our review of the new NDI guidance document gives us the impression that the key motivation for government involvement appears to be concern for public health risks from dietary supplement products.

On page 12, it states concern “that consumers are not exposed to unnecessary public health risks in the form of new ingredients with unknown safety profiles.”

Under Definitions section on pages 95-98, we were unable to locate specific definitions of safety or public risks.

Two definitions of interest appear on page 97:
1) “Margin of safety: A measure of how close the estimated daily intake (EDI) is to the level that has been shown to have no adverse effect in animal or human studies (the NOAEL). It is calculated as the ratio of the NOAEL to the highest total daily intake level (EDI) of the NDI or dietary supplement, as determined from the proposed conditions of use in the NDI notification, and is usually expressed in terms of fold change (e.g., a ten-fold margin of safety).”
2) Maximum tolerated dose (MTD): The highest dose that causes no more than a 10 percent reduction in body weight and does not produce mortality, clinical signs of toxicity, or pathologic lesions that would be predicted to shorten the natural life span of an experimental animal for any reason other than the induction of neoplasms.”

We were unable to find any background or documentation in the NDI guidance document that justifies the government’s concern for public safety. Nor were any statistics given that indicate that the public was impacted by mortality or a shortened natural life span caused by dietary supplements.

So it seemed important to do an online search for statistics on deaths and adverse reactions caused by using dietary supplements. We found the data in the media articles very confusing, as the same information was presented with contradictory interpretations. It appears that the actual deaths caused by dietary supplements are at zero, with emergency room/hospital visits very low. We finally located an actual percentage for the latter: “…the number of hospital visits suggested to relate to dietary supplements would represent 0.0001687 percent of the 136.3 million hospital visits each year, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).” We anticipate that the ongoing review and discussion of the NDI guidance document will include safety statistics.

2. What appears to be the government’s key target for change?
Our review of the new NDI document shows that the key targeted change appears to be stricter enforcement by the FDA so that all dietary supplement product ingredients must have pre-market safety notification to the FDA.

On page 10, it states that the requirement for notification of a dietary ingredient with the FDA. “…requires the manufacturer or distributor of an NDI, or of the dietary supplement that contains the NDI, to submit a premarket notification to FDA at least 75 days before introducing the product into interstate commerce or delivering it for introduction into interstate commerce, unless the NDI and any other dietary ingredients in the dietary supplement ‘have been present in the food supply as an article used for food in a form in which the food has not been chemically altered.’”

On page 12, it clearly states that “One key goal of this guidance is to improve the rate of compliance with the NDI notification requirement.”

On page 98, under Definitions for NDI, it states “New dietary ingredient: A dietary ingredient that was not marketed in the U.S. before October 15, 1994.”

Initially, this document appears to simplistically assert that all dietary supplement product ingredients are either qualified to be grandfathered in as dietary ingredients (DI) because they were marketed prior to October 1994 or must be submitted to the FDA as a new dietary ingredient (NDI). The stated purpose of this new NDI document appears to be to explain how to do this notification process.

On page 14, it states “We recognize that the present definitions of ‘dietary supplement’ and ‘dietary ingredient’ were not added to the FD&C Act until after October 15, 1994…”

On page 19, note this question and answer: “Is there an authoritative list of dietary ingredients that were marketed prior to October 15, 1994 (a so-called ‘grandfathered list’ or ‘old dietary ingredient list’)? Not currently. Some trade associations and other industry groups have compiled lists of ‘old dietary ingredients,’ though FDA is unable to verify the accuracy of these lists because we have not seen documentation showing that the ingredients on such lists were marketed as dietary ingredients prior to October 15, 1994.”

On page 42, note another question and answer: “May I use an ingredient in a dietary supplement if it has been clinically tested as a drug but has not been approved as a drug in the U.S.? “The general rule is that an article that was authorized for investigation as a new drug or as a biologic before being marketed as a food or as a dietary supplement cannot be marketed as a dietary supplement if substantial clinical investigations of the article have begun and the existence of such investigations has been made public.”

This seemed to be an unusual item to include in this document, so we searched online to learn whether this has ever happened. We found that the FDA has approved a drug company’s request for a form of natural vitamin B6 to be in a drug research trial (and was thus banned from use in dietary supplements) because the FDA ruled it did not qualify for the pre-1994 DI exemption. “Even when an IND [Investigational New Drug] is rescinded, or when it does not lead to a new drug, the supplement form is still banned.

On page 54 it outlines FDA responses to receiving a NDI notification submittal: “What type of response may I expect to receive from FDA, and when?”

It appears that within the 75-day period the company receives either an acknowledgement of receipt of the submittal or receives a letter listing missing information or explaining why the request does not qualify. We also noticed an industry reaction that some companies were expecting more: “If a company actually goes through the hoops and does everything required under the NDI guidance guidelines notification submittal process, they receive no approval, no certification, and no authorization.

Our review of the document so far gives us the impression that qualifying for the pre-1994 grandfathered DI exemption for a dietary ingredient is not so simple after all. Might all dietary supplement manufacturers feel required to get defensive rulings on all of the ingredients in their pre-1994 marketed products?

3. What appears to be the government’s key method for achieving this change?
The key method proposed in the new NDI document appears to enable the FDA (for the federal government) to better protect the consumer from dietary supplement risk by requiring a higher required level of proof of safety to get NDI status for use in dietary supplement products sold through interstate commerce.

On page 28, it states “…safety data up to and including the highest dose and daily intake level, but indicate any lower daily intake levels at which the NDI may be marketed and include research that evaluates statistically relevant data points, such as a range of daily intake levels, to strengthen the safety analysis.”

On page 29, note this question and answer: “If a dietary supplement manufacturer or distributor has submitted an NDI notification prior to marketing a dietary supplement with the NDI, and I intend to market a dietary supplement containing the same NDI, should I also submit an NDI notification? Yes. Section 413(a)(2) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 350b(a)(2)) states that a dietary supplement that contains an NDI is deemed adulterated unless, among other things, the manufacturer or distributor of the dietary ingredient or the dietary supplement submits an NDI notification at least 75 days before introducing it into interstate commerce…”

This appears to required that each company using a specific dietary ingredient must separately submit the NDI notification to the FDA for that ingredient.

On page 49, it states “Your notification should include a dietary supplement safety narrative containing your objective evaluation of the history of use or other evidence of safety cited in the notification, along with an explanation of how the evidence of safety provides a basis to conclude that the dietary supplement containing the new dietary ingredient, when used under the conditions described in the notification, will reasonably be expected to be safe.”

On pages 67-87, under the title “History of Use or Other Evidence of Safety,” there are 42 items related to safety requirements to be addressed in the notification process.

Item 9 on page 71 states that the “FDA considers 25 years of widespread use to be the minimum to establish a history of safe use.”

Item 20 on page 77 gives a sampling of the suggested tests. There are seven such tests:
(1) A three-study genetox battery
(2) 14-day range-finding oral studies to establish an MTD in at least two appropriate species, at least one of which is non-rodent;
(3) Two 90-day subchronic oral studies (one for each species for which there is a range-finding study) to establish an MTD and a NOAEL for use in calculating the margin of safety (4) A repeat-dose tolerability study in humans and/or an ADME study in animals, humans, or both (30-90 day duration);
(5) A one-year chronic toxicity study or a two-year carcinogenesis study in at least two animal species, if the proposed use is either intermittent or daily chronic;
(6) A multi-generation rodent reproductive study (minimum of two generations)
(7) A teratology study (rodent or non-rodent)

Item 21 on page 80 states that “The NDI safety standard is different than the standard for food additives, drugs, and other FDA- regulated products.” “You should compile scientific evidence that provides a basis to conclude that the NDI that is the subject of your notification will reasonably be expected to be safe when used under the conditions recommended or suggested in the labeling of the dietary supplement described in the notification.”

On pages 88-95, under the title “Summary of the Basis for Your Conclusion of Safety,” ten items related to safety requirements to be addressed in the notification process are given.

Item 1 on page 88 under states “FDA recommends that the discussion of history of use and other evidence of safety in your notification should include two separate safety profiles: first, a comprehensive safety profile evaluating the safety of the NDI, and second, a dietary supplement safety narrative explaining why the information in the notification provides a basis to conclude that the dietary supplement that contains the NDI will reasonably be expected to be safe when used under the conditions recommended or suggested in the dietary supplement’s labeling.”

The FDA testing requirements to prove dietary ingredient safety appear to be excessive and expensive.  We searched online and found the industry does not agree with the FDA’s estimate about what it will cost per NDI notification submittal. “Trade groups such as the Natural Products Association (NPA) are concerned about the economic impact of NDI notifications which, based on research from its member companies, typically costs between $178,000–$328,000 for toxicology studies, $162,500 for FTE & consultants for preparing the NDI submission and $27,500 for analytical & physical properties. This conflicts with what FDA reported was the burden of reporting NDIs. According to the agency, the burden amounted to 20 hours per notification…

Might the costs to comply with all of these requirements impose an unnecessary financial barrier for dietary supplement manufacturers, thus impacting their ability to provide consumers with an affordable product?

It will be interesting to see what statistics come out in the ongoing review and discussion of this 2016 NDI guidance document.

ISSUE: 2016 Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related issues.

AHHA strives to maintain a neutral position on issues. For this month’s issue, in addition to our review of the document, we looked for online articles to see what others are saying about it. We were also curious to see if other authors or agencies mentioned any of the possible concerns we noted. It is early in the discussion, but the following articles will get you started on your own research.

PRO
Revised NDI draft guidance is good, but more clarification needed, NPA says (8/11/16)

by Ingrid Mezo
Food Chemical News

FDA Revises Draft Guidance on New Dietary Ingredient Notifications (8/12/16)
FDS Compliance Simplified

How optimistic are you about the FDA’s new NDI draft guidance? (9/2/16)
by Todd Runestad
New Hope Network

FDA Guidance: What New Regulations Mean for You (9/29/16)
by Molly Powers
Natural Healthy Concepts

FDA’s NDI Guidance and GRAS Rule: Stop Fighting, and Move Forward (8/23/16)
by Steve Mister
Nutritional Outlook

CON
UNPA on the NDI draft guidance: ‘The economic cost to industry could be billions of dollars’ (8/22/16)

by Stephen Daniels
Nutra Ingredients-USA 

FDA: Massive Attack on Supplements (8/15/16)
Alliance for Natural Health USA

FDA Issues Revised Draft New Dietary Ingredient Guidance for Supplements (8/16/16)
by Scott C. Tips
National Health Federation

Copycat Corruption: FDA’s Sneak Attack on Supplements Industry (8/21/16)
by Matt Rowland
Vapes

FDA Releases Draft Guidance for NDI Notification (8/11/16)
Whole Foods

We encourage you to go to our blog at ahha.org/blog and post your comments. You are invited to share additional resources you have found relating to this issue. You can also further spread awareness of this issue by sharing the URL for just the ISSUE above with your friends and colleagues.

To review past ISSUES, visit the Special Update eReport Archives.

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE

Your personal healthcare team
Whether your team is one individual or a diverse group of practitioners, the ideal healthcare team is one in which you and your physicians and other healthcare professionals function as partners and everyone espouses a holistic (whole person) approach to creating optimal wellness for you. If this isn’t happening in your case, consider making some changes. A great place to start your search is the AHHA Practitioner Member list.


August 12, 2016

FEATURED RESEARCH

Vitamin D for hives
“Adding vitamin D to the treatment regimen of people with hives—technically called chronic urticaria—decreases symptom severity, according to the Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology” from a healthnotes® research article “New Hope for People with Hives.”

For more conditions check out the Evidence-based Research Articles database.

FEATURED ISSUE

Vaccine safety
The controversy about vaccine safety was escalated by the new California law that eliminates all personal and religious exemptions to vaccinations for children attending any public or private school. The most recent challenges question research methodology and conflicts of interest. Those affected by this new law might want to review related articles while being careful to take these two factors into consideration.

ISSUE: Vaccine validating research

AHHA strives to maintain a neutral position on issues. For those interested in learning more about this month’s issue, the following online articles have been compiled to get you started on your research.

PRO
Vaccine Studies: Examine the Evidence
HealthyChildren.org

Childhood vaccines: Tough questions, straight answers
Mayo Clinic

Combining childhood vaccines at one visit is not safe? Wrong, wrong, wrong! (6/16/16)
Orac aka David Gorski

CON
Vaccine Studies Debunked (8/2/16)
Alliance for Natural Health USA

Can Measles Vaccine Cause Injury & Death?
National Vaccine Information Center

French Medical Experts Question Vaccine Safety After CDC Whistleblower William Thompson Confesses To MMR Vaccine Research Fraud (1/13/16)
by Greg White
Vaccines News

We also encourage you to go to our blog at ahha.org/blog and post your comments. Use this opportunity to share additional resources you have found relating to this health-related issue.

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE

Have any treatment questions?
Perhaps the most important resource ever created by AHHA is the Treatment Researchers list, which was formerly called Health Information Search Services. This unique list includes organizations whose experts can research treatment options for any health condition. They also answer other questions about health. You can specify conventional medicine and/or alternative approaches. If you know of someone dealing with a life threatening or debilitating diagnosis, it is vital for you to let him or her know about this valuable support option.


July 8, 2016

FEATURED RESEARCH

Glucose control
“On the surface, the numbers on type 2 diabetes may appear discouraging: 350 million people worldwide are affected.” from a healthnotes® research article “Ginger: A New Diabetes-Management Strategy?

For more conditions check out the Evidence-based Research Articles database.

FEATURED ISSUE

Drug side effects dilemma
Consumer groups that have been hounding the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to admit the dangers of fluoroquinolone antibiotics must be cheering over a recent, if minor, victory. The FDA issued an advisory on May 12 that “the serious side effects associated with fluoroquinolone antibacterial drugs generally outweigh the benefits for patients with acute sinusitis, acute bronchitis, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections who have other treatment options.” Note the varying degrees of caution in news stories cited below regarding the potential degrees of danger associated with Levaquin (levofloxacin), Cipro (ciprofloxacin) and Avelox (moxifloxacin), medications that are taken by more than 26 million Americans each year.

ISSUE: Are you fully aware of the side effects of the prescription drugs in your medicine cabinet?

AHHA strives to maintain a neutral position on issues. For those interested in learning more about this month’s issue, the following online articles have been compiled to get you started on your research. You will note that this month we have not categorized articles as “Pros” and “Cons.” Instead, we present articles on a variety of aspects related to this issue.

FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA advises restricting fluoroquinolone antibiotic use for certain uncomplicated infections; warns about disabling side effects that can occur together (5/12/16)
U.S. Food and Drug Administration

FDA Says Risks May Outweigh Benefits for Antibiotics Levaquin, Cipro (5/16/16)
by Michelle Llamas
DrugWatch

Fluoroquinolones Are Too Risky for Common Infections (5/16/16)
by Teresa Carr
ConsumerReports

Think Twice About That Fluoroquinolone Prescription (6/3/16)
Stanford Healthcare

FDA Finally Admits Popular Antibiotic May Be Dangerous & Deadly. What To Watch Out For (6/25/16)
by Robert Oliva
Collective Evolution

New FDA Warning For Popular Cipro and Levaquin Antibiotics! (5/12/16)
by Joe Graedon
The People’s Pharmacy

We also encourage you to go to our blog at ahha.org/blog and post your comments. Use this opportunity to share additional resources you have found relating to this health-related issue.

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE

Resource menu
The newly updated AHHA website (ahha.org) has a horizontal photo menu in the page footer under the heading DISCOVER ALL OF THE RESOURCES IN THIS WEBSITE. There are four menu items visible at a time. By clicking on the triangle at the end of the row, you can access five more sets of four. We invite you to enjoy using this menu to explore the 24 resources available for you on our website.


June 10, 2016

FEATURED RESEARCH

Nuts for longevity
“Being a nut or a peanut must be a tricky business: on one hand, you are the cause of some serious food allergies, and on the other hand, according to a new study, you may save lives.” from a healthnotes® research article, Are Nuts and Peanuts the Secret to a Longer Life?

FEATURED ISSUE

Our medical records are being hacked
Because they contain a wealth of personal information, personal medical records are considerably more valuable to hackers than your credit card numbers. It is thus not surprising that medical cybersecurity breaches are anticipated to continue to be a major problem in 2016 and beyond. Consider how may health and medical-related organizations have some or all of your medical records in their files. Whether it is a large hospital or a small private practice, any medical facility can be vulnerable to cybertheft.

ISSUE: Cybersecurity and your medical records

AHHA strives to maintain a neutral position on issues. For those interested in learning more about this month’s issue, the following online articles have been compiled to get you started on your research. You will note that this month we have not categorized articles as “Pros” and “Cons.” Instead, we present articles on a variety of aspects related to this issue.

Physicians Must Improve Cybersecurity in 2016 (1/8/16)
by Dan Klein
The Doctors’ Advocate

Has Health Care Hacking Become an Epidemic? (3/23/16)
by Nsikan Akapan
PBS NEWSHOUR

Why You Shouldn’t Store Electronic Medical Records in the Public Cloud (5/20/16)
US Cyber Vault

Balancing Privacy and Security with Health Records (4/13/16)
by Joshua Bleiberg and Niam Yaraghi
Brookings

Creating Guidance for an Invisible Threat (3/10/16)
by Joel Dankwa
REG Blog

Patient Records Hijacked in New Mexico Clinics’ Bankruptcy (6/1/16)
by Joseph Conn
Modern Healthcare

We also encourage you to go to our blog at ahhablog.org and post your comments. Use this opportunity to share additional resources you have found relating to this health-related issue.

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE

Healthcare career?
More and more people are contacting AHHA to gain information about a healthcare career that includes the holistic health approach. In response to these queries, AHHA has compiled a special section of our website, Career Research, with considerations and resources to support those researching their career options. You can share this resource with those friends who may be contemplating a career change to healthcare.


May 13, 2016

FEATURED RESEARCH

Eye health
“People with age-related macular degeneration may protect their eyes by taking a supplement containing lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids, according to a study in JAMA Ophthalmology” from a healthnotes® research article “Antioxidants and Omega-3s Team Up for Eye Health.”

FEATURED ISSUE

Pesticide levels
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and other pesticides, is back in the news again. This time because one federal agency, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), is reprimanding the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for not testing the levels of glyphosate in the food supply. As you review news articles published this year, you will notice conflicting facts. As part of your critical evaluation of the information, you may want to pay particular attention as to whether or not the article…
• Acknowledges or denies the existence of glyphosate in the food supply
• Identifies glyphosate as a dangerous toxin or is of no danger
• Indicates what level of glyphosate in food is safe
• Documents the science behind the scientific facts offered
• Indicates who stands to benefit from that article’s facts

ISSUE: What are the true levels of glyphosate in the food supply, and are there valid concerns?

AHHA strives to maintain a neutral position on issues. For those interested in learning more about this month’s issue, the following online articles have been compiled to get you started on your research. You will note that this month we have not categorized articles as “Pros” and “Cons.” Instead, we present articles on a variety of aspects related to this issue.

U.S. FDA Finally Shamed Into Testing For Monsanto’s Glyphosate Herbicide In Food (2/19/16)
by Christina Sarich
Natural Society

Experts call on feds to re-evaluate the world’s most heavily used herbicide (2/17/16)
by Brian Bienkowski
Environmental Health News

USDA says pesticide levels in produce, other foods not a threat (1/13/16)
by Dan Flynn
Food Safety News

EPA pulls report saying herbicide glyphosate is safe (5/3/16)
by Christopher Doering
The Des Moines Register

How safe are “safe” levels of glyphosate?
The Detox Project

Glyphosate persistence raises questions (2/25/16)
by Rebecca Trager
ChemistryWorld

ANH Releases Study of Glyphosate in Breakfast Foods (4/19/16)
Alliance for Natural Health – USA

Monsanto Is Inside Everything (3/22/16)
by Dr. Mercola
Mercola.com

Glyphosate and cancer: Read how this deadly weed killer promotes multiple myeloma, leukemia, sperm damage, infertility, kidney damage, autism, endocrine disruption, DNA damage and birth defects (5/3/16)
by Mike Adams
Natural News

We also encourage you to go to our blog at ahhablog.org and post your comments. Use this opportunity to share additional resources you have found relating to this health issue.

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE

Uplifting messages
AHHA offers a unique opportunity to send Get Well(ness) messages to someone you care about. You can find special messages on attractive backgrounds from the Get Well(ness) Messages section of the AHHA website. Pick the one you like and email the URL to your loved one.


April 15, 2016

FEATURED RESEARCH

Curcumin over Prozac
“While most antidepressant medications are believed to work by changing the levels of chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters, many scientists now think that chronic inflammation may contribute to depression.” from a healthnotes® research article “A Yellow Spice for a Sunny Mood.”

FEATURED ISSUE

Thyroid medications
Are you one of the many people who need a supplemental thyroid hormone? If so, you will want to pay attention to the changes in what products will be available to you in upcoming years. There are currently both synthetic and natural formulations. Synthetic compounds (e.g., “Synthroid”) are chemically engineered and contain only one form of thyroid hormone found in the body. Natural preparations (e.g., “Armour Thyroid”) are purified preparations of two or more forms of thyroid hormone from biologic sources. While the synthetic versions appear to have a strong future, the natural versions appear to be facing obstacles. #1: The Armour brand was taken over by a pharmaceutical company that modified the formula. Unfortunately, many longtime users found it no longer worked for them. They are switching to another natural brand or to using custom compounded products. #2: Those continuing to use Armour brand have found that the government’s Medicare program has discontinued covering the Armour brand. #3: Those switching to custom compounded products are watching the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s recent actions regarding the outlawing of compounded hormone options. Some are viewing these changes as a campaign to discourage use of natural thyroid and encourage use of FDA-approved synthetic thyroid.

ISSUE: Natural vs. synthetic thyroid hormone options

AHHA strives to maintain a neutral position on issues. For those interested in learning more about this month’s issue, the following online articles have been compiled to get you started on your research.

PRO SYNTHETIC OPTIONS
Update on medical and regulatory issues pertaining to compounded and FDA-approved drugs, including hormone therapy. (2/23/16)
by J.V. Pinkerton and J.H. Pickar
PubMed

Endocrine Society Advises Against Compounded Hormone Use (4/5/16)
American Pharmacists Association

Untested, unapproved compounded hormone prescriptions reach 26 to 33 million a year (12/18/15)
ScienceDaily

Armour Thyroid vs. Synthroid (Comparison) (1/29/16)
Mental Health Blog
PRO NATURAL OPTIONS
Natural Thyroid Medications at Risk (3/22/16)
Alliance for Natural Health USA

NAMS Claims that Compounded Hormones are Unregulated and Unsafe: NAMS is a Liar (1/27/16)
by Magnolia
The Perimenopause Blog

Oh Jolly. Guess What the Endocrine Society Has Spouted This Time? (4/5/16)
Stop the Thyroid Madness

Natural Thyroid 101
Stop the Thyroid Madness
We also encourage you to go to our blog at ahhablog.org and post your comments. Use this opportunity to share additional resources you have found relating to this health issue.

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE

How do YOU define “holistic”? 
Have you discovered that others are not defining the term “holistic” the same way you are? AHHA has always recommended that when you’re talking about holistic concepts, it’s wise to define terms and make sure you and the person you are talking to are on the same page. AHHA offers articles on this important topic. See the What is Holistic? article category in our Self-Help Articles Collection. Perhaps these articles will help you clarify your own thinking about defining “holistic.”


March 11, 2016

FEATURED RESEARCH

Artificially sweet, not so sweet
“If you want to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, replacing sugar sweetened drinks with artificially sweetened ones might sound like a good place to start.” from a healthnotes® research article “Artificially Sweetened Drinks: Not So Sweet for Diabetes Risk.”

FEATURED ISSUE

GMO labeling options
Last summer, the House of Representatives passed a bill (H.R.1599 – the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015) that would pre-empt any state law regarding the labeling of products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and establish a national voluntary labeling standard. Recently, the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee voted in favor of a similar Senate bill. This Senate bill is being fast-tracked to be approved by the full Senate. One of the key arguments of this bill is that there needs to be a national standard for all fifty states. Opposing senators have introduced an alternative bill, the Biotechnology Food Labeling and Uniformity Act, that offers a national regulation, but makes it mandatory for manufacturers to disclose the presence of GMOs on a product’s label. Have you considered the impact on the food supply depending on which bill becomes the law of the land?

ISSUE: National GMO labeling—voluntary or mandatory?

AHHA strives to maintain a neutral position on issues. For those interested in learning more about this month’s issue, the following online articles have been compiled to get you started on your research.

Voluntary labeling
H.R.1599 – Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015
Congress.gov

Senate committee passes GMO labeling bill (3/1/16)
by Jeremy Gerrard
FoodEngineering

Mandatory labeling
Senate Dems offer rival bill on GMO food labels (3/2/16)
by Lydia Wheeler
The Hill

Merkley co-sponsors GMO food labeling bill (3/2/16)
KTVZ.com

We also encourage you to go to our blog at ahhablog.org and post your comments. Use this opportunity to share additional resources you have found relating to this health issue.

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE

Discover new wellness options
AHHA Organizational Member companies offer you innovative wellness-enhancing products and services to support your journey to a higher level of wellness. Check out the PRODUCTS and SERVICES categories of the AHHA Self-Help Tools searchable database.


February 12, 2016

FEATURED RESEARCH

Loving gift
“Increasing evidence points to a relationship between heart health and stress, according to the American Heart Association.” from a healthnotes NEWSWIRE research article “Give Your Valentine Heart-Healthy Stress Relief.”

FEATURED ISSUE

Is the HPV vaccine a threat?
Discussions about vaccine safety are frequently polarized, with both sides’ arguments fueled by fact and emotion. In recent media articles the safety of the HPV vaccine is being presented with very extreme positions, both for and against. The U.S. government, through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), stands firm that the HPV vaccine is safe. At the same time, the validity of the safety claims is being called into question with strong documentation. Parents are faced with difficult decisions about whether or not to give their children the HPV vaccine, and at what age.

AHHA strives to maintain a neutral position on issues. For those interested in learning more about this month’s issue, the following online articles have been compiled to get you started on your research.
ISSUE: HPV vaccine safety

AHHA strives to maintain a neutral position on issues. For those interested in learning more about this month’s issue, the following online articles have been compiled to get you started on your research.

PRO
CDC Endorses a More Effective HPV Vaccine to Prevent Cancer (2/1/16)
NPR

Frequently Asked Questions about HPV Vaccine Safety
Centers for Disease Control

Gardasil HPV Vaccine Safety Assessed In Most Comprehensive Study To Date (7/15/15)
by Tara Haelle
Forbes

CON
Flawed HPV Vaccine Safety Statement Triggers Butterfly Effect (1/29/16)
by Claire Dwoskin
Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute

Massive Vaccine Cover-Up (1/26/16)
Alliance for Natural Health USA

American College of Pediatricians Latest to Warn of Gardasil HPV Vaccine Dangers (2/1/16)
by Jefferey Jaxen
Health Impact News

We also encourage you to go to our blog at ahhablog.org and post your comments. Use this opportunity to share additional resources you have found relating to this health issue.

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE

Your spiritual self
The whole of you is an integrated union of your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual selves. AHHA offers a list of books that can support you in developing a richer connection with your spiritual self. Take a look at the books on the Connecting to Your Spirituality list, and then visit your local library or bookstore to find the books that speak to you.


January 22, 2016

FEATURED RESEARCH

More vitamin E
“A recent review of current research on vitamin E shows that vitamin E deficiency can contribute to a wide range of health problems.” from a healthnotes NEWSWIRE research article “Review Highlights Importance of Getting Enough Vitamin E.”

FEATURED ISSUE

Who’s in control of your stem cells?
A growing branch of medicine is the harvesting of an individual’s cells (blood, adipose, stem cells, etc.), processing them, and then using them to treat that same individual for various conditions. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Association (FDA) is proposing regulations for the “use of human cells, tissues, and cellular and tissue-based products.” These upcoming FDA regulations appear to be defining which cell therapies will be considered “practice of medicine” and subject to minimal regulation and which therapies will be considered to be “unapproved biological drugs” and subject to much more stringent regulations, such as requiring pre-authorization as a new drug. This latter entails a prohibitively expensive and lengthy application process. Some argue that the proposed FDA regulations are important safeguards needed to protect patients. Others claim that the regulations are unnecessary, regulate the use of “our own bodies,” and serve to block competing pharmaceutical drug treatment options. Note that the FDA has already notified several clinics to cease their stem cell therapy.

FDA PROPOSED REGULATIONS
Here is a list of proposed regulations:

ISSUE: Regulating your stem cells

AHHA strives to maintain a neutral position on issues. For those interested in learning more about this month’s issue, the following online articles have been compiled to get you started on your research.

PRO
FDA controls urged for unregulated stem cell treatments (9/21/15)
by Paul Waldron
BioNews

FDA to Put Mushrooming Fat Stem Cell Clinics on Crash Diet? (1/5/15)
The Niche

CON
FDA: Your Own Cells Are a Drug! (1/12/16)
Alliance for Natural Health USA

Stem Cell Treatment Centers Receive FDA Warning for Not Following cGMP Procedures (1/14/16)
BioPharm

We also encourage you to go to our blog at ahha.org/blog and post your comments. Use this opportunity to share additional resources you have found relating to this health issue.

FEATURED AHHA RESOURCE

Our website, ahha.org, has been transformed!
Have you explored the totally revamped ahha.org website for the American Holistic Health Association?

  • Global Keyword Search field in page header searches 14 resources
  • 4 portals in center of home page offer preselected resources for common areas of interest
  • Footer pictorial menu presents links to 16 resources
  • 12 searchable databases with custom search options for each
  • SITEMAP button in footer for handy list of all site materials
    and so much more. Enjoy!

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