To: National Desk, Health Reporter

Contact: Joe Giganti, 703-928-9695, for Project: FANS; e-mail: [email protected]; Web site:

WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The director of Project: FANS, one of America's largest grassroots pro-nutritional supplements groups, applauds a new study, "A Study on the Cost Effects of Multivitamins for Older Adults," that reports on the positive effects of supplement use for seniors, and urges Congress to protect Americans' access to all nutritional supplements. "This study should put to rest any debate about the importance and effectiveness that nutritional supplements have on the health of all Americans, especially our senior citizens," stated Beth Clay, director of Project: FANS. "Instead of being influenced by media-hyped crises and the lobbying efforts of the anti-supplement crowd, the U.S. Congress should base their legislative decisions on the science these studies have provided."

The soon-to-be-released study, conducted by the Lewin Group, echoes the results of a 2002 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) study that focused on the benefits of nutritional supplement and vitamin use. Both studies encourage all adults to take multivitamins to minimize their risk of chronic disease, and state that use of supplements by seniors will save more than $1.6 billion dollars in healthcare and taxpayer dollars over the next five years. Specifically, the Lewin study states, "the five-year estimate of potential savings (or cost offsets) resulting from improved immune functioning and a reduction in the relative risk of coronary artery disease through providing older adults with a daily multivitamin is approximately $1.6 billion...The evidence strongly indicates that daily use of multivitamins by the elderly is nearly risk-free and is potentially associated with significant health improvements...."

"This is the final nail in the coffin for the Durbin-Clinton bill (S.722) that would at best restrict access to the very supplements that this study says will improve the health of all Americans, especially our seniors," said Clay. "This study proves that S.722 is wrong for our health, wrong for our seniors and wrong for the American taxpayers' wallets.

"Seventy percent of Americans regularly use supplements and they do not want their access to them restricted, as most of this proposed new legislation would do," concluded Clay. Project: FANS opposes any new legislation that would overturn the existing regulatory framework. Bills like S.722 seek to replace the current law of the land-DSHEA, passed in 1994-and if passed, would have permanent detrimental effects on consumer rights and access to better health.