HEALTH

CRN challenges folic acid/lung cancer link

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK For all the good that associations like the Council for Responsible Nutrition and the Natural Products Association have done in rooting any discussion around supplements in sound science, there always seems to be these somewhat faulty meta-analyses that serve as an undercurrent to that sound science.

 

There have been numerous studies supporting the use of folic acid in the prevention of certain birth defects. There also have been numerous studies establishing a link between smoking and lung cancer. So it’s not necessarily reasonable to draw the conclusion that folic acid may increase lung cancer risk without excluding known lung-cancer risks from that analysis. It may even border on irresponsible, in effect scaring mongering consumers away from a supplement that may, in fact, be a benefit.

 

Make no mistake, the people at CRN and NPA are very much into vetting the supplement industry as a responsible group interested in marketing products that improve America’s health through science. Both groups actively have worked toward implementing supplement-specific Good Manufacturing Practices and including supplements, along with over-the-counter medicines, in the FDA mandate on serious adverse event reports.

So it would be reasonable to conclude, that if there were a possible scientifically proven link between any dietary supplement and an increased health risk, groups like CRN and NPA would support appropriate actions to curb those risks.

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Report finds influenza incidence rates lower among those immunized last year

BY Michael Johnsen

SILVER SPRING, Md. According to a report prepared in October by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center, those individuals who received their flu shots last year may be better protected against the novel H1N1 influenza virus as compared with those who did not get inoculated.

The study was presented Thursday at the 58th annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in Washington.

By the beginning of 2009, influenza-like illness and pneumonia and influenza incidence rates were lower among immunized service members compared to those unimmunized, the agency stated. The difference in these rates increased greatly after week 20, corresponding to the emergence of the novel H1N1 virus.

According to published reports, last year’s seasonal flu vaccine made it 62% less likely that a service-member would be hospitalized because of H1N1 virus this year; and 42% less likely to have consulted a doctor for an ILI or P&I.

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NADDI cracks down on methamphetamine with new initiative

BY Michael Johnsen

LOUISVILLE, Ky. The National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators on Friday announced a new initiative in the war on methamphetamine: the National Precursor Log Exchange, a multistate electronic tracking program that enforces purchase limitations of the decongestant pseudoephedrine in real time at the point of sale.

NADDI, along with Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, introduced the program here during an early-morning press conference. Joining Kentucky in adopting NPLEx were Illinois and Louisiana.

“Rarely are states able to easily work together to tackle a problem that crosses state lines,” stated Charlie Cichon, director of NADDI. “We believe dozens of states will adopt NPLEx over the next several years, making it more difficult for these common medicines to be used illegally.”

The NPLEx system is being offered as an alternative to introducing legislation requiring a prescription for the sale of PSE. “If states are wanting to make this a prescription drug, we are coming in and saying, ‘Here is a tool [being offered to] law enforcement at no cost.’”

The program is being entirely funded by cough-cold manufacturers and accordingly will be offered to states with critical meth lab problems nationwide at no cost.

“CHPA recognizes that home meth labs are dangerous and toxic for communities, as well as a burden for law enforcement, and is pleased to lend its support to aggressive measures to stop domestic meth production,” the association stated Friday morning. “We believe that electronic tracking is the only solution that allows for real-time, stop sale of these medicines illegally diverted to manufacture meth while maintaining consumer access to safe and effective cold and allergy medicines.”

The technology for NPLEx is based on a system that was developed and tested in Kentucky in 2005, and the program was expanded statewide in Kentucky in late 2007.

NPLEx provides law enforcement agencies across the country with free access to the multi-state electronic log of cold and allergy medicine purchases. The system helps retailers stay in compliance with state and federal laws that place restrictions on these medicines.

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