Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

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July 05, 2006

The Tyranny Of Good Intentions - Cherries Are Good For You

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C.S. Lewis

Twice today, I was reminded of the good intentions that do find their way into deliberating bodies of interested scientists and policy makers. The first instance was an email from a friend in the UK, that described a significant if little noticed decision taken at the 59th World Health Assembly meeting held in May.


Image credit: Anne-Sophie Réaud

Integrating nutrition into the overall response to HIV/AIDS

"The World Health Assembly adopted a resolution requesting countries to include nutrition as an integral part of the overall response to HIV/AIDS by identifying nutrition interventions for immediate integration into HIV/AIDS programmes. Food and good nutrition are immediate and critical needs of people living with HIV/AIDS. The Health Assembly also supported WHO to develop a five-year-plan to help achieve universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment by 2010."

The actual quote, the key paragraph in the report of the meeting, says my friend, is this one:

- - -

Micronutrient deficiencies are a significant problem for people living with HIV. However, little is known about interactions between micronutrients and physiological status or the impact of micronutrient status on disease progression. People infected with, and affected by, HIV/AIDS need a diet that provides the full range of essential micronutrients. Current evidence is inconclusive about the effect of micronutrient supplementation on transmission and progression of HIV in the absence of a specific nutritional deficiency. After a scientific review of available data, WHO recommended that multiple micronutrient supplementation for people living with HIV should not exceed one recommended daily allowance.

Very interesting. Micronutrients - that's mainly vitamins and minerals for the rest of us - are important, but don't exaggerate! For heaven's sake don't take more of them than the absolute minimum necessary to not be developing a starvation-level deficiency disease. Pellagra, scurvy, that kind of stuff. But here we are talking about Aids - people fighting serious immune deficiencies. Consequently there is a need for orthomolecular dosages of nutrients - forget about recommended allowances.

American Heart Association - Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations Revision 2006

Second instance of good intentions: A friend in Sweden says to look at this site. It describes a newly worked out version of the Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations, brought to us in a "Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee". If you read the abstract, you can feel it's dripping with good intentions:

Improving diet and lifestyle is a critical component of the American Heart Association’s strategy for cardiovascular disease risk reduction in the general population. This document presents recommendations designed to meet this objective. Specific goals are to consume an overall healthy diet; aim for a healthy body weight; aim for recommended levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides; aim for normal blood pressure; aim for a normal blood glucose level; be physically active; and avoid use of and exposure to tobacco products. The recommendations are to balance caloric intake and physical activity to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight; consume a diet rich in vegetables and fruits; choose whole-grain, high-fiber foods; consume fish, especially oily fish, at least twice a week; limit intake of saturated fat to [less than]7% of energy, trans fat to [less than]1% of energy, and cholesterol to [less than]300 mg/day by choosing lean meats and vegetable alternatives, fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1% fat) dairy products and minimize intake of partially hydrogenated fats; minimize intake of beverages and foods with added sugars; choose and prepare foods with little or no salt; if you consume alcohol, do so in moderation; and when you eat food prepared outside of the home, follow these Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations. By adhering to these diet and lifestyle recommendations, Americans can substantially reduce their risk of developing cardiovascular disease, which remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States.

Some of those recommendations, like the limiting of dietary cholesterol, are not uncontested by any means. But even if the recommendations were perfect, how much of this will ever arrive where it should be - in the minds of people who are living their everyday lives? Are they going to read this? Are they going to understand the parroting repeats sure to issue forth from the press departments of well meaning health bureaucracies? I suspect they won't. It's too abstract.

And that brings us to the point.

You may have seen earlier articles - here is an example - on this site that detail the trouble nutrition is in, over a pharma/medical monopoly inspired legislation to practically prohibit any use of nutrition against disease, to keep a tight pharma/medical grip on everything to do with health and disease.

We have a 'clash of ideals' here. Good intentions - we know nutrition is important and we know we should tell people - versus the pharma/medical monopoly that insists the only "authorized" provider of information or products for health is ... the medical authority.


Cartoon by Emma Holister

We're told that yes, nutrients are important, but on the other hand, we see laws being made that restrict the number and the potencies of nutrients that a supplement may contain. We're told that we have to eat well, but to not exaggerate with those nutrients. It is quite well accepted that nutrition has a MAJOR influence on disease, but should we be allowed to talk about it? Should a food manufacturer be able to say that his wares are especially good against this or that disease? Hell no! The FDA is right there to prevent that.

You see? Do - no, don't. Go - no, stop. You can't eat this, but you MUST eat that. You can't have this drug, but you MUST take that one... It's all about top-down pronouncements. Expecting to make us behave like good little children. Now eat those five (or seven, or nine) servings of fruit and vegetables. But don't pay any attention to that there boogeyman telling you to take several grams of vitamin C. No no, that one not, but do eat those vegetables. They have loads of vitamin C.

What is happening?

We know that nutrition is important. But we can't talk about it. Only a medicine - and a registered one at that - may claim to prevent or cure disease. By golly foods can't be associated with such claims.

"But foods are effective in prevention and important for the sick. You said so."

"Yes, but it's illegal to say it. So we will just impose good nutrition."

Well, I suspect it just doesn't work that way. People are not little automatons with predictable reactions - you push a button and they jump. We like to make up our own mind. A bit difficult when the system itself is saying one thing in the morning and another in the afternoon.

The solution? Free nutrition for health from medical red tape!

There should be no laws or regulations that say you can't talk (or write) about health and nutrition, and about preventing or treating disease with nutrients. It is insane to insist that nutrition is important for health, to recommend that we eat those veggies to get our vitamins so we don't get cancer, but that consumers can't be told about the connection between vitamin B-1 and nerve pains, or between anti-oxidant nutrients and degenerative disease, or for that matter between magnesium and keeping that heart beating properly.

We can't muzzle the information and then expect people to somehow know it anyway and "eat well". People like to participate in decisions about their own health. They want to eat well. But they resent being told as if they were stupid. And it doesn't help, by the way, to see tv ads for all kinds of sugary junk while government officials pontificate about eating well.

If we are serious about health, we better get government restrictions on all health information lifted. Why allow the ads for sugary junk, but not the ones that say cherries are good for you?


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Wednesday July 5 2006
updated on Thursday November 18 2010

URL of this article:


Related Articles

Comprehensive Nutrient Review
..."as nutritional supplements are derived from nature and cannot be patented, the pharmaceutical industry has viewed them as a competitive threat to their patented drugs. Motivated by significant financial incentives, the pharmaceutical industry has sought to suppress the use of supplements, which cannot be patented, and limit their potencies. Much of their efforts have been focused on lobbying for legislation to limit the public's right to take supplements at... [read more]
May 19, 2004 - Chris Gupta

Codex Alimentarius: No Emphasis On Nutrients
Codex Vitamin and Mineral Supplement Guidelines adopted in the Codex Commission session in Rome this summer leave little doubt that nutrition - that is, sufficiency of nutrients for individual good health - is not one of the priorities of this international organisation charged with developing food standards and food hygiene rules. Yet, the Codex Nutrition and Special Foods Committee hosted by Germany has come up with a giudeline. Admittedly, it... [read more]
October 29, 2005 - Sepp Hasslberger

Codex Chairman Seeks to Thwart Pro Health Initiative
"Codex' restrictive "Vitamin and Mineral Guideline" treats nutrients as toxins to be regulated on the basis of "risk analysis" without regard for benefit. Incredibly, a US dominated* WHO Workshop on the Application of Risk Assessment to Nutrients expanded the concept from Vitamins and Minerals to all nutrients and offered further guidance which defines an adverse event related to any nutrient as "any change in a bio marker". This means that... [read more]
July 05, 2006 - Chris Gupta

Natural Antibiotic: Vitamin D Fights Severe Infections
Vitamin D has to do with absorption of calcium into the bones - it will even take the mineral out of the soft tissues to do its building job, if not enough is around from foods we eat. But vitamin D as an antibiotic? It might seem somewhat far fetched but the evidence is hard to overlook, says Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council, described as "a group... [read more]
June 12, 2006 - Sepp Hasslberger

Better Than A Flu Shot - Vitamin C Does The Trick
The flu season is upon us another time with a vengeance. This year, we have a special propaganda bonus - the bird flu - although it has very little to do with the flu that gives us the sniffles in any normal year. There is no vaccine for the bird flu because it is a bird virus that "has not yet mutated to be transmitted between humans" but we are... [read more]
November 14, 2005 - Sepp Hasslberger

Cancer And Micronutrients: A Connection Worth Exploring?
According to German doctor Ryke Geerd Hamer's iron-bound rules of cancer, the development of a tumoral growth invariably follows a highly traumatic experience that is too intense to have been fully "confronted" or looked at. Each different kind of trauma, according to Hamer, leads to corresponding brain edemas that can be detected by modern scanning methods and eventually to a tumorous growth or, in the case of bone cancer, to... [read more]
March 15, 2006 - Sepp Hasslberger




Readers' Comments

....Having mentioned ORTHOMOLECULAR DOSAGES for AIDS/HIV, perhaps one should add ortho. dosages for
auto-immune/ environmentally-caused diseases, as well.

Posted by: Steven Zakrzewski on July 24, 2006 08:56 PM


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The Individual Is Supreme And Finds Its Way Through Intuition


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These articles are brought to you strictly for educational and informational purposes. Be sure to consult your health practitioner of choice before utilizing any of the information to cure or mitigate disease. Any copyrighted material cited is used strictly in a non commercial way and in accordance with the "fair use" doctrine.



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