NHRI Chicago Symposium Heralds A New Era for Dietary Supplements

By James J. Gormley

The ballroom was packed at the Natural Health  Research Institute (NHRI) 6th Annual Scientific Symposium in Schaumburg, Illinois on October 28th, as well it should have been not only considering the event title, which was “Cutting Healthcare Costs Through Prevention: Measuring the Efficacy, Safety, and Cost Savings of Dietary Supplements,” but also given the stellar lineup of world-class experts.

The speakers were:
Meg Jordan, PhD, RN, Department Chair and Professor of Integrative Health Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and Director of Integrative Practice at the Health Medicine Institute;
Mark Blumenthal, Founder and Executive Director of the American Botanical Council (ABC) and Founding Member of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA)
Allen Dobson, PhD, Health Economist and President of Dobson DaVanzo and Associates;
Artemis Simopoulos, MD, Founder and President of the Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health; and
Russell Jaffe, MD, PhD, Fellow of the Health Studies Collegium and Founder of PERQUE.

Dr. Jordan, whose presentation was entitled “Let Sanity Reign: The Undeniable Health-Wealth Connection for a Happier, Healthier Society,” electrified the audience with what could have been an indictment of how unhealthy the U.S. is but, instead, pointed the ways we can build a well-being society that takes into account: spirituality, nutrition-food, physical health, social belonging, intimacy and love, financial well-being and occupation-livelihood.

Mark Blumenthal’s talk was entitled: “Review of Safety and Benefits of Numerous Herns and Phytomedicinal Dietary Supplements as Demonstrated by Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses of Controlled Clinical Trials.” Mr. Blumenthal stunned many attendees with the statement that over a 3-year period, the annual number of herbal medicine papers rose from 739 in 1977 to 6,364 in 2007, most of which were scientific reviews and randomized controlled trials. He compared thenumber of studies with the imbalanced, typicaly negative coverage of herbal studies by the mainstream press, especially noticeable in journals that have the highest ratio of pharmaceutical ads, and reviewed the worldwide research on a wide range of medicinal plants.

Dr. Dobson’s presentation, “Discussion of Methods Used to Study the Reduction in Health Care Cost Through Dietary Supplements,” reviewed the billions of dollars in healthcare savings that could be achieved by widespread public-health promotion of a number of nutrients (including: calcium with vitamin D; folic acid; omega-3 fats; and lutein with zeaxanthin). Of great interest to many in attendance, he punched a number of holes in the recent multivitamin and vitamin E studies that have achieved such infamy.

Dr. Simopoulos’ talk was entitled: “Economic and Health Implications of Changing America’s Oil: The Omega-3 Opportunity.” She outlines the many downsides of the dramatic decrease in omega-3 fat consumption over the past 150 years due to agribusiness and food processing and the reasons why it is utterly imperative that we, as a society, significantly increase our consumption of omega-3 fats and decrease our intake of omega-6 fats.

Dr. Jaffe closed out the presentations with a talk entitled, “Evidence of Savings Through Application of Supplements to Treat Dietary Deficiencies.” He explained how by our correcting essential nutrient deficits relating to diabetes alone could save $135 billion each year, and that supplements for other health areas can save America an additional $50-100 billion annually, all while improving quality of life.

With the event having been organized by the NHRI and the American Nutrition Association, the NHRI is an independent, non-profit organization that supports science-based research on natural health and wellness. It is “committed to informing consumers, scientists, the media, policymakers and legislators about scientific evidence on the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of diet, supplements and a healthy lifestyle in order to improve health and wellness, and reduce disease, around the world.”

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Comments (16)

At last! Real scientists are speaking the truth to power. I have been in the nutrition business for 45 yeats, and I have seen countless eldely people improve their health through diet and nutritional supplements. This saves Medicare thousands of dollars each year. The FDA does not care about America’s health or our economy – only about their pharmaceutical corporate masters.

At last! Real scientists are speaking out about the benefits of nutritional supplements. I have been in the nutrition business for 45 years, and I have seen countless elderly people improve their health through diet and nutritional supplements. This saves Medicare thousands of dollars each year and improves our economy, not to mention improving the quality of the lives of those people. Restricting their use would be a tragedy.

Are transcripts or videos available of these talks? — they sound great!

I have an autoimmune disease: Pustular Psoriasis. I use incredible nutritional products that taste good and make my immune system strong to fight this life threatening disease. All the medical industry had to offer: light therapy with some sort of medicine and z tar solution(6 mos. later was removed from the market for causing cancer) that had 20 potential dangerous efx..one, cancer. When that wears off they perscribe immuno suppressant drugs….I refused their treatments. For 4 years I suffered until I was rescued by my daughter who brought me these amazing products. My skin cleared and I’ve been clear ever since. I need these amazing products. And am very concerned by the way things are in such turmoil about the safety of our Health Freedom. It is clear to me the FDA and HHS and the Hill do not care about our health. They’d rather pay big pharma to keep us all unhealthy and unwealthy, rather than support our herbal and supplement industry so that we can thrive and grow a healthy Planet. And live in harmony with Nature.
Thank you, Great People, for being here at this insane time in human history. We shall overcome. I am one of the first few who started the amazing Wellness Industry. Studied from books, anything I could get my hands on. I knew. Also, my Daddy taught me some. He didn’t do pharma drugs. Didn’t even go to doctors actually.

I’m most definitely one of the “countless elderly people whose life and health improved with an organic diet and better nutritional supplements! My concern now is in what we can do to thwart how the
pharmaceutical/’medical’ -industrial complex- is killing elders before ‘their time’ but AFTER they’ve gotten their corporate profits from administering RX toxins into them to dull their remnant minds and ruin whatever quality of life they might have salvaged in the winters of their retirement, not to mention how
they have deceived and tempted the next generations to write them off as the mal-labeled “useless eaters”. I say it’s useless to eat what the ‘complex’ has done to the cheaper foods,
over the counter vitamins,and bottled drinks!

Only a continuing helpful updating of what is best to counter such cruel atrocities and tragedies so that those whose brains have not been destroyed by the corporations’ methodical deceptions and delusions can perhaps win to the end somehow.

Thank you!!! At age 50 I had many health problems and challenges. Now at age 61 my health is soaring due to diet, supplements and integrative medicine. After going back to school to study nutrition I now use my skills to feed our family and my mother who is 88 and doing very well.

My sister was on 5 prescription drugs, starting to develop congestive heart failure, was asthmatic, allergic, suffering from fibromyalgia and bipolar disorder. With the help of nutritional supplements, chi gong exercises, and a strong will to live, she managed (under medical supervision) to get off all drugs except for her thyroid, now bicycles all over the city and happily gardens. Her latest ultrasound shows no current heart problems. Her fibromyalgia symptoms are much reduced and she now seldom uses pain relief meds. She found a combination of essential fatty acids that so reduced her bipolar disorder that her doctor allowed her to go off her meds for that, too. I hate to think what would happen to her if the FDA succeeds in taking away our access to nutritional supplements!

Four years ago I suffered a major stroke in the right front parietal lobe. I was put on some strong medications that really made me sicker – I thought I was going to die!! I stopped the medications, changed my diet to conform to my blood type, and began working more with my chiropractor/nutritionalist, and a naturopathic doctor, as well as an herbalist. My blood is now normal and I have only improvement with my supplements and dietary changes.

I am 54 yrs. young and do not take any meds. and intend. to keep it that way. Supplements, exercise, stretching, organic raw produce help me stay healthy.

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This year I had a blood test to see if I was Lacking anything. To my Surprise I found out I was very low on vitamin D and B Plus a couple of other things. So I went to my local Vitamin store and picked up some High dose Multi Vitamins and D and B. One month Later, I got a new blood test done and everything was back to normal readings. Without having good vitamins I just would have gotten worse. Doug in Calif..

I don’t take supplements, but like to think that I can if I want to. I do drink raw milk and it is the same type of TERRIBLE FIGHT to have a basic right to natural food. This is shameful of our nation to make everything that should be basic to life into a FIGHT FOR OUR LIVES!!!

[…] Posted November 2, 2011 The ballroom was packed at the Natural Health  Research Institute (NHRI) 6th Annual Scientific Symposium, as well it should have been not only considering the event title, which was “Cutting Healthcare Costs Through Prevention: Measuring the Efficacy, Safety, and Cost Savings of Dietary Supplements,” but also given the stellar lineup of world-class experts.  Read more. […]

I am a 75 year old woman who has been on supplements the past 25 years. They were prescribed for me by a certified nutritionist, and I have been healthier since then than I was the 50 years of my life.I do not take prescription drugs, get a flu shot, never get colds, the flu, and, although I work around the public five days a week, I never catch whatever is “going around.” Unlike most other seniors I know, do not have a steady stream of doctor’s appointments for various problems that never get better, nor am I forced to take numerous prescription drugs for conditions that never seem to get better.
I tried the “traditional route” for the first 50 years of my life before I decided to make the change for something that at least “works.” I have never looked back.I truly resent this intrusion into my life and the attempt to take away my right to choose to take supplements. By now, I am “all grown up,” and can make up my own mind regarding my health. The last time I checked, this country is still a democracy, not a dictatorship.

Glenda Ramsey

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