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Old Fri, Jun-15-01, 20:01
tamarian's Avatar
tamarian tamarian is offline
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Default Vitamin C Study Premature and Inconclusive

Friday June 15, 5:49 pm Eastern Time

Press Release

SOURCE: National Nutritional Foods Association

Vitamin C Study Premature and Inconclusive, Says the National Nutritional Foods Association

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., June 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Numerous studies over the past 30 years have demonstrated a preponderance of scientific evidence about vitamin C's positive effects, including its cancer-preventing properties. A report published yesterday in the journal Science suggests vitamin C may have carcinogenic properties -- a claim that has been presented in media reports as fact. This is a dangerous and questionable leap based on a single survey compared with substantial amounts of scientific literature that indicates otherwise.

``The vast majority of all published studies on vitamin C supplementation show an overwhelmingly positive effect on health, said Phil Harvey, Ph.D., NNFA's director of science and quality assurance. ''Yet this study, which was performed in a test tube -- not on humans -- is being represented as evidence that vitamin C is potentially harmful. Even the study's lead researcher is quoted as saying, 'Absolutely, for God's sake, don't say vitamin C causes cancer.' Yet that is exactly what is occurring.``

``We are extremely concerned that consumers may hear only a portion of these reports and change their vitamin C supplementation, a change that may put their health at risk because of all the demonstrable benefits of this vitamin,'' Harvey said.

The study, conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, involved adding vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, to test-tubes containing solutions of fatty acids found in the blood. According to researchers, adding vitamin C triggered mutation-causing agents identified with the development of cancer.

According to the NNFA, mutations continually occur in cells and to conclude that high doses of vitamin C cause this to happen is pure speculation and reckless.

The researchers tested lipid peroxidation (lipid hydroperoxide) from dietary fat. While it is possible that these lipids may be converted to genotoxins, which in turn may damage DNA, it is far from conclusive that this is a cancer-causing mechanism. Humans have complex biochemical mechanisms to deal with lipid peroxidations and other nutrients. For instance, vitamin E protects and augments the effect of vitamin C. Because other antioxidants were not present in the laboratory tests, the synergistic effect that would normally occur in the human body was prevented.

Many previous studies and recommendations by government agencies contradict the findings of this study, including:


* Research by the National Cancer Institute that supports vitamin C's
beneficial effects on reducing the risk of cancer
* A health claim authorized by the Food and Drug Administration that
fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C can reduce the risks of some
cancers
* The recent recommendation by the Institute of Medicine that daily
vitamin C intake be increased because of its disease-prevention
properties
* Evidence that vitamin C enhances the effects of certain chemotherapy
drugs, reduces toxicity of chemotherapeutic agents and may actually
prevent cancer


NNFA recommends that consumers eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and other natural sources of vitamin C and other antioxidants. In addition, NNFA recommends supplementation with vitamin C to further realize the benefits of vitamin C contained in food.

``People should not stop taking vitamin C based on the premature conclusions from a single, contradictory study,'' said Harvey. ``The real danger here is not from vitamin C, but from sensationalized reports that will cause consumers to stop using a supplement that is clearly beneficial to their health.''

The National Nutritional Foods Association (http://www.nnfa.org ) is the nation's largest and oldest non-profit organization dedicated to the natural products industry. The organization is comprised of nearly 4,000 retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements and health and beauty aids. NNFA is headquartered in Newport Beach, California, has eight regional offices throughout the United States and is governed by a 22-member board of directors representing all segments of the industry.

SOURCE: National Nutritional Foods Association

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/010615/dcf044.html
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  #2   ^
Old Fri, Jun-15-01, 20:06
tamarian's Avatar
tamarian tamarian is offline
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Plan: Atkins/PP/BFL
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Default Test-Tube Science Plus Irresponsible Journalism Equals Consumer Confusion

Friday June 15, 12:23 pm Eastern Time

Press Release

SOURCE: Council for Responsible Nutrition

Council for Responsible Nutrition; Test-Tube Science Plus Irresponsible Journalism Equals Consumer Confusion

WASHINGTON, June 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The media response to today's report by University of Pennsylvania researchers in the journal Science illustrates how a very narrow scientific study can be wildly over-interpreted in irresponsible, sensationalized news stories, creating consumer confusion.

Just last year the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, completed a comprehensive review of the benefits and safety of vitamin C. They considered all available studies, including many similar to the one reported today, and concluded that vitamin C is safe in intakes up to 2,000 milligrams (mg) per day. The Food and Nutrition Board considered all types of studies and concluded that (1) there is no evidence of vitamin C causing DNA damage or other oxidative harm in humans, although (2) under artificial conditions it can accelerate certain reactions that might be harmful if they occurred under practical conditions in living cells. Also, as a result of this review, the Food and Nutrition Board increased the Recommended Dietary Allowance for vitamin C for all adults.

The lead researcher in the University of Pennsylvania study, Dr. Ian Blair, is quoted in the press as having said, ``Absolutely for God's sake don't say vitamin C causes cancer.'' Many of the media reports, however, proceed to do exactly that.

The study reported today used very artificial conditions and not any biological system. The researchers added vitamin C, a well-established antioxidant, directly to the chemical byproducts that had been previously produced by oxidation of polyunsaturated fats. This ``test-tube'' system did not have any of the protective mechanisms provided by living cells, such as cell membranes and cooperative antioxidant systems. As Blair said in media interviews, ``Just because you damage DNA doesn't mean you'll get cancer. The cell has an exquisite repair mechanism for lesions in the DNA.''

We agree with the researcher that everyone should eat a diet with generous amounts of fruits and vegetables, natural sources of a wide variety of antioxidants. Further, we believe that vitamin C supplements may boost the benefits and certainly are safe.

Dr. John Hathcock, vice president, nutrition and regulatory science for the Council for Responsible Nutrition emphasizes, ``The media should do its homework and put new scientific findings in their proper context. That kind of responsible journalism would help consumers, rather than cause confusion.''

For more information on the Council for Responsible Nutrition, visit http://www.crnusa.org .

CRN is a trade association representing the dietary supplement industry. It was founded in 1973 and currently has over 100 member companies.

SOURCE: Council for Responsible Nutrition

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/010615/dcf022.html
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