Supplementation is good for us

Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 10,698 adults, researchers have found that use of multivitamin/multi-mineral supplements (MVMS) is associated with an improved nutrient status. ANH-Intl have advocated the use of vitamin supplements from its inception. However, it’s not just vitamins and minerals that we may need to supplement. In an ideal world, we would have access to nutrient-dense foods, but for many reasons, this is not always possible. That’s where good quality supplements can support a healthy diet given that they offer an additional delivery system for concentrated sources of nutrients. For more information on maximising your nutrient intake from food take a look at the ANH-Intl Food4Health Guidelines.

The vaccine juggernaut keeps rolling

Get ready for more new vaccines! Merck and Baylor College of Medicine are working on a vaccine for schistosomiasis, which affects millions of people in developing countries. The difference with this particular disease is that it is caused by parasitic infection rather than a virus. Researchers have been talking about creating GM vaccineslike the HPV vaccine — to address parasitic diseases for several years. The increasing number of reports of health issues affecting young girls who have received the HPV vaccine are alarming and raises serious questions about the safety of vaccines using recombinant DNA technology. In reality, because this particular vaccine is being aimed at developing countries, it is unlikely that adverse effects will be recorded in the same way, or attributed to the vaccine. Only time will tell.

In other vaccine news, Pfizer is developing a vaccine aimed at protecting newborn babies from possible infection by Group B Streptococcus (GBS) infection during birth, despite only an estimated 10-30% of women carrying the virus. Once again, the vaccine is aimed at developing and emerging economies, where large numbers of vulnerable people can be targeted.

It’s not a coincidence that the release of all these new vaccines coincides with the time when Big Pharma’s cash-cow drug patents have all expired. It’s not easy to compete with the generic drugs market out of India and China, so vaccines are the new focus. Unfortunately these vaccines mostly involve GM technology and there appears little or no regard for long-term safety. If you believe health authorities should be stopped from claiming that vaccines are ‘safe’ please consider signing our petition.

The UK takes another stab at curbing childhood obesity

Following extensive criticism of its childhood obesity plan (published in August 2016), Public Health England (PHE) has announced further plans to combat childhood obesity. Having focused their attention on lowering levels of sugar in processed foods, PHE are now planning to concentrate on calorie reduction from sources other than sugar. Plans include reducing portion sizes and calorie content of foods such as pizzas and ready meals. From a health perspective, it’s unfortunate that focus is still on the reformulation of processed foods rather than educating families on better food choices, how to eat healthily on a budget and how to cook from scratch as per our Food4Health Guidelines.