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Lack of appropriate DNA in supplements

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by MeSci, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    From Physician's First Watch. I expect that the Alliance for Natural Health will comment on this at some point, but it made me wonder - what supplements actually should contain DNA? Don't processing methods often kill/inactivate/remove DNA but still preserve active ingredients?

    I would agree broadly that DNA from plants not listed on the label is worrying, but might this not sometimes be very minor contamination in carrier substances like oils, gums, resins, etc.? I also note that one of the unlisted herbs was daisy. Echinacea is in the daisy family, so could the DNA evidence be wrong?

     
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  2. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

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    Someone else started a thread on this when the NY Times story came out.

    DNA is a molecule. It can't be killed. It's in the nucleus of nearly every cell. DNA tests can distinguish between species.

    They are using DNA tests to identify the components of herbal supplements, comparing what they find to what's on the label. A ginseng supplement should contain ginseng, if that's on the label, not ginseng extract.

    What is more disturbing is that some of the supplements contained potential allergens that weren't on the label.
     
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  3. Alea Ishikawa

    Alea Ishikawa

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    Wow. Fillers like rice, wheat, and houseplants. Awesome. :bang-head:

    The only thing that really seems to be doing well in terms of testing is garlic!
     
  4. JPV

    JPV ɹǝqɯǝɯ ɹoıuǝs

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    I'm sure they are made by Chinese manufactures that have no regulations whatsoever and could care less about quality.
     
  5. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

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    Even if the herbs are sourced offshore, the sellers in this country have a responsibility to do quality assurance. This isn't like selling fake designer clothing or even mislabeled fish.
     
  6. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

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    Garlic is cheap.
     
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  7. Alea Ishikawa

    Alea Ishikawa

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    Yes, I was thinking similarly. Garlic might be more expensive to "mimic" than to sell in its original form. This is so sad.
     
  8. JPV

    JPV ɹǝqɯǝɯ ɹoıuǝs

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    Seems that our government is about as concerned with consumer protection as the Chinese are. All they really care about is making their wealthy campaign donors even richer. I'm sure the recent investigations are going to be used as a justification to enact new laws and regulations that will make it more difficult and costly to obtain supplements.

    I think it has little to do with any concern for the public's safety and wellbeing and everything to do with increasing Big Pharma's bottom line.

    I wouldn't be surprised that, a few years from now, you will need a Doctor's prescription in order to buy vitamins and supplements and they will cost 10 times as much as they do now.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2015
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  9. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    DNA and other molecules are broken down by enzymes and various mechanisms that may occur in food and supplement processing. There is info here for example. All molecules can be broken down. Otherwise we wouldn't be able to extract minerals and produce our own essential molecules.

    I agree about unlisted allergens. I always try to avoid gluten, for example.
     
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  10. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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  11. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    Pharmaceutical companies are getting more and more involved making supplements.

    I will only take prescription supplements as they make a bit more effort with quality control. I don't take them unless I have a deficiency or there is credible evidence for needing them such as folate during pregnancy.

    More and more studies are coming out that show some vitamins can be harmful. I will be glad to post them here or maybe start a thread about this.

    The story about Big Supplement and how Orrin Hatch, who has vested connections with supplement companys, some run by his family members was the one who wrote the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA).

    I put this in the other thread as I I think it makes an important point.

    Barb

    ETA

    The supplements I get by prescription are cheaper than OTC supplements as my health insurance covers them.
     
  12. JPV

    JPV ɹǝqɯǝɯ ɹoıuǝs

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    Foods have all manner of nutrients and can be curative too. The wrong types can also cause serious physical harm. With this sort of logic, the next step will be to require people to secure a doctor's prescription in order to purchase food.

    The 3rd leading cause of death in the US these days is the medical profession. I don't care to have a degenerate and corrupt industry, that has proven time and time again that they have more concern for their shareholder's interests than that of the public welfare, preside over my nutritional needs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2015
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  13. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    I highly doubt making supplements prescription based has anything to do with consumer safety.
     
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  14. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    The FDA have dozens of drug recalls every year. I have struggled to navigate their site but this page and this page list recent ones (select 'Drugs' in the 'Filter by Recall Type' box for the 2nd one).

    Don't forget - in most cases the drugs will have already been used by the time the problem has been identified, so people are likely to have been harmed.

    Prescribed tablets and capsules in the UK almost always contain animal products (usually gelatine and/or lactose) and I do not wish to consume these. When I have requested a vegan form I am liable to end up with a sickly syrup full of sugar and possibly artificial sweeteners and colourings as well. :vomit:
     
  15. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    As I have said before, the claim that all supplements are unsafe because they are not prescription based is simply false. There are supplement manufacturers that submit the quality of their products to testing voluntarily. An example of this is Thorne Research:

    Of course, this doesn't negate the problem that some substances sold as supplements can be harmful if used incorrectly. However, in this dilemma of free choice vs harm, I do prefer free choice. Having all supplements require a prescription would drastically reduce access and ramp up prices.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2015
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  16. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    It should be made a serious criminal offense and companies who do not have proper quality controls in place should find their directors facing criminal prosecution.
     
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  17. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Many of the most useful would disappear, and the population would be sicker.
     
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  18. boohealth

    boohealth Senior Member

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    These supplements did not contain enzymes and DNA was not broken down. I've seen the attorney general's letter. There was garlic in the garlic supplements, and one saw palmetto supplement had the herb. All the rest did not have the herbs listed. PERIOD.

     
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  19. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    I wouldn't expect them to contain enzymes. I'm talking about processes that may be involved during manufacture. Others that can break down DNA include heat and pH extremes.

    I am just trying to get the scientific facts behind the analytical methods and whether they were completely sound. It's important to question scientific claims. This does not mean that one is saying that they are false. Hopefully there will be responses to this report to to answer these necessary questions.
     
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  20. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    In my opinion, this same problem, at least in the US, is even worse with supplements.

    Companies who make supplements, do not have to report adverse events. They do not have to show that their product might have side effects. At least pharmaceutical medications go through a fairly rigorous process and are studied before marketed, which gives a bit more assurance when it comes to future problems. No, it is not a perfect system but it's certainly more extensive than the process supplements have to go through

    Big Pharma has a lot of room for improvement. However, Big Supplement also has a lot of worrisome practices. There's no transparency, there's no mandated quality control unless problems are found later such as this case. Supplement companies don't even have to show any credible evidence that their product works before being marketed.

    Like big pharma, the supplemental industry is big business to the tune of 32 billion dollars per year. Like Big Pharma, they have lobbyists who wield a lot of influence over special interest groups, possibly to the consumer's detriment.

    It puzzles me that we criticize medications for having side effects or turn out to be potentially dangerous, yet when it comes to Big Supplement, we lower the bar for these same expectations.

    For me, it's not about curbing freedom of choice, making supplements prescription only but has everything to do with quality control.

    Whether supplements work or not is a separate issue.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/12/21/how-lobbyists-will-keep-you-hooked-on-vitamins.html

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2001/0109.mencimer2.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/21/us/politics/21hatch.html?_r=0

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/06/22/orrin-hatch-the-supplement-industrys-lap/

    Barb
     

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