Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Nutrition labeling changes may affect your supplements

Lurking within the 108 pages of the FDA’s proposed rule changes for food labels are some deeply concerning issues.
  • The FDA wants to prevent the term ‘folate’ being applied on the labels of any supplements. This presumably means that reduced folate forms will no longer be eligible – only the synthetic and oxidised form, folic acid, will be permitted on labels. Is this because the FDA means to reserve calcium methylfolate – the stabilized form of folate manufactured by Merck – for use as a medical food or drug?
  • The FDA incorrectly assumes that all supplements and fortified foods currently contain only the synthetic, oxidized form of folate, folic acid, which many of us don’t metabolize fully.
  • The FDA is proposing big changes to the way in which dietary reference intakes (DRIs) are calculated – reducing them, in many cases, below the already very low levels. The FDA wants to reduce the existing DRI of 14 out of 27 essential vitamins, one of them by 10 times (biotin, from 300 mcg to 30 mcg). Despite increasing evidence of the effects of deficiency of vitamin B12 (and other B vitamins) on Alzheimer's disease risk, the FDA sees fit to reduce the DRI of vitamin B12 to 40% of its existing level (from 6 mcg to tiny 2.4 mcg, just below the EU’s 2.5 mcg Recommended Daily Allowance).
  • The FDA claims there are no benefits for supplements when taking levels greater than the Tolerable Upper Level – something any nutritionist or functional medicine practitioner will tell you is false.

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