Dietary Supplement Access Poll – 01/15/2007

January 17, 2007

Dear California Academy of Health customer:
Dietary Supplement Access Poll – 01/15/2007 results and my response to the CBS Nightly News piece on dietary supplements which aired in two parts, January 15th and 16th.

On January 15th I alerted CAOH.COM customers to a CBS Nightly News piece bashing dietary supplements and I also asked five simple questions. The response was immediate and overwhelming. Within two hours I received over 100 E-mails and by the morning of the 17th I had received well over 200. I am proud of those who took the time to show support for their right to access dietary supplements. A high level of responsibility is a personal attribute I value in those I call friend, and you have shown that today.

A preliminary review of the responses are as follows: 98% answered YES to questions 1, 2 and 3, while 99% answered NO to question 4. I have printed all responses and will be posting selected responses in the comment section below. I have also sent copies of my response to CBS, FDA, NPA, and many other interested parties.



The Five Questions:
1. Do you think dietary supplements are safe? Yes or no?
2. Do you think dietary supplements work? Please explain.
3. Did you know that the government regulates dietary supplements? Yes or no?
4. Would you like to see government control or even eliminate your right to use dietary supplements? Yes or no?
5. Any additional comments are greatly appreciated.


Fact - Mrs. Sue Gilliatt, the woman whose nose, supposedly, fell off because of a dietary supplement dropped her 80-million-dollar lawsuit against Dan Raber. Why? Follow this link to find out (Go Here)
Dan Hurley is the author of Natural Causes: Death, Lies and Politics in America’s Vitamin and Herbal Supplement Industry, and the impetus for the CBS news piece. Below is just one sentence from his book and a perfect example of how to not be fair and balanced.

“Over 60 percent of Americans buy and take herbal and dietary supplements for all sorts of reasons – to prevent illness (vitamin C), to ease depression (St. John’s wort), to aid weight loss (ephedra), to boost the memory (ginkgo biloba), and even to cure cancer (shark cartilage, bloodroot) – despite the fact that few of these ‘natural’ supplements have been proven to be safe or effective.”

Fact - Linus Pauling M.D. devoted the latter part of his life to promote vitamin C and it’s preventative and curative powers. Doctor Pauling is the only two-time, unshared, Nobel Prize recipient. Who would you trust, Dr. Pauling or Mr. Hurley?

Fact – The Ginkgo tree dates back some 270 million years. It has been used medicinally for at least 1000 years and is the source of over 1900 research abstracts listed on PubMed (Ginko – PubMed link). Do you believe Mr. Hurley or the scientists contributing to these 1900 research papers?

Fact – The FDA does regulate dietary supplements and medications. When found not to be safe, the FDA will remove them from the market-place. (Yes I know they don’t always but they are supposed to and yes I know they are prejudiced against supplements). Here is a direct quote from the U.S. FDA website, “The choice to use a dietary supplement can be a wise decision that provides health benefits.” This is a tough one. Who do you believe the FDA or Mr. Hurley?

Fact – Mr. Hurley claims dietary supplements are unregulated and potentially deadly. Checking poisoning death figures from the American Association of Poison Control Centers, I see that supplements are safer than most other products: there were only 5 accidental deaths linked (reported as possibly due) to dietary supplements over a 3-year period.

In the same 3-year reporting period, there were 67 deaths from plain aspirin, 50 from aspirin combinations, 48 from pesticides, 7 from cosmetics, 66 from household cleaners, 171 from plain acetaminophen, and 446 from acetaminophen combinations. The medical journal JAMA reports that there are over 100,000 deaths a year from pharmaceutical drugs that are used as directed, and many more from improperly prescribed drugs.

How many died from the FDA-approved drug Vioxx? How many from mood-altering and cholesterol-lowering drugs? How many from cardiovascular disease aggravated by synthetic hormone replacement therapy?

Fact – 60% of Americans, according to Mr. Hurley, take dietary supplements. That’s just shy of 180,000,000 people taking supplements. Let’s just assume that 50% of all supplement users are being conned, duped, or forced under threat of death into taking them (just humor me here). That leaves 90,000,000 of us that Mr. Hurley thinks are idiots, and if it wasn’t for the grace of god that he was able to have the foresight and vision to write this book, we would all be damned to an eternity in dietary supplement hell.

Here is a quote from the book’s publisher, “As Hurley shows, the dietary supplement craze may be one of the greatest swindles ever perpetrated on the American public.”

Even the publisher, Broadway, thinks we are all stupid. Statistically speaking, how many people out of this 180,000,000 do you think are really misinformed or just plain naive when it comes to dietary supplements; maybe 180,000 or .01%? I personally feel I am being generous with that number. The majority of supplement takers, from my experience, are knowledgeable and informed.

Due to the launching of our new 100% goji juice (Absolute Goji) in the next few days and all it entails, I will not be able to post the selected responses till this weekend. From all of us at California Academy of Health, Thank you for your support.


Marcus Ettinger DC, BSc.
Chief Science Officer (CSO)
California Academy of Health

P.S. Please feel free to E-mail me, anytime, with your thoughts or comments.

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