The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak in January has caused worldwide fear, panic, and confusion. Fueled by non-stop media accounts of infection and death rates, quarantines of entire cities, and misleading propaganda to “get your ’flu shots” as a way of fighting the outbreak, the hysteria is building with each passing day.
People are walking around wearing useless surgical face masks as if this offers some degree of protection. It does not (but could be of some value in preventing cameras from discovering your identity). Viruses are too small to be prevented from spreading by the surgical face masks that many folks are using.
Medical authorities are urging us to wash our hands repeatedly to reduce the spread of viruses. Similar to the SARS epidemic of more than a decade ago, antibacterial soaps can be found in hospitals, doctor’s offices, banks, tennis clubs, gyms, grocery stores, and elsewhere. But they are toxic. I recommend that you avoid using these. Such products are quite toxic to the skin and put an added strain on the immune system. Antibacterial soaps contain triclosan and triclocarban, two ingredients recently exposed by the U.S. FDA as being neither safe or effective infection preventers.
While it is wise to keep your hands clean, it’s best to use natural soaps, tea tree oil cleansers, or those containing neem, aloe, or oregano oil. And avoid people who are sick with the ’flu or other viral illnesses. Other than endorsing hand washing and the ‘flu vaccine, medical authorities have made no attempt to inform the public about safe and effective natural measures to both prevent and treat viral infections.
From a dietary perspective, sugar, allergenic foods, and stress can feed microbes and spread disease. Instead, try to follow a high protein, sugar-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free organic diet with copious amounts of raw or steamed vegetables. In addition, exercise regularly and get enough sleep. Here are my top 10 supplement recommendations.
1) VITAMIN D – Vitamin D deficiency is likely responsible for the high incidences of colds and ’flus during winter in Canada. By nature, vitamin D is anti-inflammatory. Deficiency causes immune system weakness and chronic inflammation. For prevention, supplementing with 5,000 – 10,000 IU daily from October to May of each year is safe for most adults. It is effective for prevention of ’flus, colds, cancer, and approximately 200 different diseases.
Humans manufacture their own antibiotic through vitamin D stimulation. Vitamin D promotes the production of cathelicidin, a protein with natural antibiotic properties. Cathelicidin kills viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. The more vitamin D in the system, the more the body makes this antibiotic.
For those unfortunate enough to get the ’flu or any viral illness, Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council recommends taking 50,000 IU daily of vitamin D at the first sign of the ’flu for 5 days, then dropping the level down to 5 – 10,000 IU daily for the winter season. 
This strategy can also be employed if you get the ’flu or a cold right after receiving the ’flu shot. (Most conventional doctors do not believe that you can get the ’flu after a ’flu shot. Then again, most conventional doctors continue to ignore the overwhelming evidence that vitamin D prevents infection.) In any event, vitamin D is both great prevention and effective treatment for colds, ’flus, and probably many other infections. World authorities on vitamin D verify that up to 30,000 IU daily for a healthy adult is quite safe and that periodic higher doses (50,000 IU daily for 5 days) are also of no concern.
Vitamin D works even better if taken with vitamin K2. Both are anti-inflammatory and can prevent as well as treat infections successfully.
2) VITAMIN A – is often deficient in the Canadian population, especially in people with problems absorbing fat soluble vitamins from food. Vitamin A is not only vital for healthy vision but also important as a viral illness preventive. Dr. David Brownstein recommends that healthy people take 5,000 IU daily, and 100,000 IU daily for four days at the first sign of illness. This is not a recommended dose for pregnant women who should just stick with a good prenatal multiple vitamin and mineral supplement. Be sure to take vitamin A, not beta-carotene (which won’t work for this purpose).
3) IODINE – is a tremendously important mineral for optimal immune system functioning. Most people know iodine is important for thyroid function but few know that there is no bacteria, virus, fungus or parasite known to be resistant to iodine. To have an antiviral effect, one must take doses much higher than the RDA. Dr. David Brownstein, who has written a book on the therapeutic uses of iodine, recommends taking 25 mg daily for prevention and 50 – 100 mg daily at the first sign of illness. You will need a prescription for these higher doses but you can easily get iodine from fish, seafood, kelp, dulse, and other seaweed options. Kelp, sea salt, or dulse powder can be sprinkled on food for added iodine. Avoid the high prescription doses if you suffer from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis because it may make the condition worse.
4) VITAMIN C (ASCORBIC ACID) – 1,000 mg or more daily has antiviral and immune enhancing effects. Megadoses above and beyond bowel tolerance (i.e. dose that produces diarrhea) can be given intravenously to fight serious infections like Lyme disease as well as cancer. In cases of pneumonia, the IV form may be the best way to fight the infection and avoid the diarrhea side effects. One of my patients receiving high dose intravenous vitamin C for a viral illness was recently loudly scolded by her infectious disease specialist for receiving it. I asked the patient to ask that doctor to give me a call but the doctor never tried to do so. (I find the ignorance and arrogance of some conventional doctors very disturbing.) The scientific support of this use of vitamin C is very well documented, and only the uninformed and out-of-date doctors believe it to be otherwise.
“I have not seen any ’flu yet that was not cured or markedly ameliorated by massive doses of vitamin C.” Robert F. Cathcart, MD
The daily requirement of vitamin C is still in debate but most would agree that the RDA of 60 mg is too low an estimate of actual human need. Vitamin C is used up quickly during conditions of stress, allergies, diseases like diabetes, and by tobacco smoke, drugs, antibiotics, alcohol, mercury, and other toxic heavy metals like lead and cadmium. Some vitamin C is stored in the adrenal glands, pituitary, brain, eyes, ovaries, and testes and is in greater demand whenever the immune system or any connective tissue is stressed.
The best food sources of vitamin C are the citrus fruits. Other fruits with high amounts of C include rosehips, acerola cherries, papayas, cantaloupes, and strawberries. The best vegetable sources are red and green peppers, garlic, onions, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, tomatoes, asparagus, parsley, dark leafy greens, cabbage, and sauerkraut.
Vitamin C was first isolated from lemons in 1932 but it was well known to be a factor in the prevention of scurvy back in the 18th century. Vitamin C is used by the body in the formation of collagen, a protein required by all joints, ligaments, skin, cartilage, capillary walls, bones, teeth and connective tissue. Vitamin C is needed to help heal wounds and to maintain healthy blood vessels.
Vitamin C may well be the most controversial of all the vitamins. Most of the medical establishment still objects to the use of megadoses of vitamin C for treatment of cancer, the ’flu, allergies, stress, adrenal fatigue, or just about anything else. Yet there is a growing body of medical literature supporting the use of vitamin C in very high doses to both prevent and treat infections. So in my opinion, if you have any serious viral illness like coronavirus, insist on high doses of IV vitamin C. It can save your life.
Vitamin C in larger than physiological doses have been successfully used to treat a range of viral, bacterial, fungal and inflammatory conditions including colds, ‘flus, mononucleosis, herpes simplex infections, and shingles. Vitamin C boosts production of interferon, a potent anti-viral and immune enhancing substance. Chronic inflammatory conditions not necessarily related to infectious disease will also respond to vitamin C therapy. These include arthritis, bursitis, gout (vitamin C pushes uric acid out of the body), asthma, and chronic musculoskeletal pain.
One of the strategies that I have recommended for people who have just acquired an infection is: “take vitamin C to bowel tolerance.” When someone is plagued with a viral infection, the tolerance for high doses of vitamin C is increased. It takes far higher doses of vitamin C to produce loose bowel movements which occur at the vitamin C tolerance dose. Pushing vitamin C to that level will produce a strong antiviral and antihistaminic effect, reducing all the signs and symptoms of the common cold and the ’flu. Doses of 20,000 mg or more might be required to reach that bowel tolerance level when, ordinarily in times of good health, the bowel tolerance dose might just be 3,000 mg daily. In other words, the sicker you are, the higher the dose required.
5) PROBIOTICS (lactobacilli, bifidobacteria and numerous others) – are friendly bacteria that usually inhabit
the gut, the oral cavity, and the skin. They are very well documented optimizers of the immune system. Probiotics function as natural antibiotics against unfriendly bacteria, viruses like the ’flu and cold virus, as well as yeast like Candida albicans. Probiotics can also be used for both prevention and treatment.
Cultured dairy products like raw non-pasteurized cheese, yogurt, acidophilus milk, buttermilk, sour cream, cottage cheese, and kefir are well-known sources of friendly bacteria. Equally effective probiotic sources include cultured/fermented vegetables (cabbage, turnips, eggplant, cucumbers (pickles), onions, squash, olives and carrots), soy products like organic tempeh and miso, kombucha, natto, and apple cider vinegar. Other food sources are sauerkraut and sourdough breads. Ideally, one can get a good supply of probiotics from one or more of these diverse foodstuffs. If dietary sources are not easily available, supplemental probiotic powders and capsules are good alternatives. Choose a brand that has at least 10 different strains of friendly bacteria and between 10 – 15 billion live organisms.
6) COLOSTRUM – is the first mammary secretion nourishment that any mammal, including humans, provides for its newborn during the first 24 to 48 hours of life. Colostrum is available at most health food stores as a natural health product. Those wanting to prevent infections can take between 3 and 6 capsules daily to prevent viral infections.
Polio vaccine developer, Dr. Albert Sabin, discovered that colostrum contained antibodies against polio and recommended it for children susceptible to catching the disease. Well known colostrum components include interferon, gamma globulin, growth hormone (GH), IgF-1 and protease inhibitors used by medical specialists in the treatment of cancer, chronic viral infections including HIV, and autoimmune diseases.
Dr. Jeffrey Dach is one doctor who provides evidence in a recent publication that colostrum is three times more effective at preventing the ’flu than the ’flu shot.
7) OIL OF OREGANO – 2 to 4 drops, 3 times daily, is an effective natural antibiotic for numerous infectious diseases, including those that are proven to be resistant to prescription antibiotics. Oregano oil contains carvacrol, a phenol shown to stop the growth of multiple bacteria. It also contains thymol (a natural antifungal) and rosmarinic acid (a powerful antioxidant). Side effects are rarely, if ever, seen and the spicy taste can be offset by mixing it with olive oil, foods, or beverages. For sinus and nasal infections, one can inhale vapours from a bottle of oregano oil several times daily to reduce or eliminate symptoms. If using high doses of oregano, make sure to take it at least two hours away from probiotic supplements.
8) BLACK SEED OIL – It is often said that black seed oil will cure anything except death. Its best use would be for viral infection complications such as pneumonias when combined with intravenous vitamin C infusions. Black seed oil comes from the medicinal plant Nigella sativa (N. sativa) which has been used in various traditional systems of medicine like Unani and Tibb, Ayurveda, and Siddha. The list of diseases or health conditions that it is purported to help run into the hundreds. Most of the benefits have yet to be proven by clinical trials. Nonetheless, a great deal of scientific studies have been published supporting the use of black seed oil as a natural antibiotic.
It has been widely used as an antihypertensive, liver tonic, diuretic, digestive, anti-diarrheal, appetite stimulant, analgesic, anti-bacterial, and for skin disorders. Extensive studies on N. sativa have been carried out by various researchers and a wide spectrum of its pharmacological actions have been explored which may include antidiabetic, anticancer, immunomodulator, analgesic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, spasmolytic, bronchodilator, hepato-protective, renal protective, gastro-protective, antioxidant properties, etc.
Asthma is one of the many chronic conditions that often responds well to black seed oil. Most of the therapeutic properties of this plant are due to the presence of thymoquinone which is the major bioactive component of the essential oil.
There’s a warning on the bottle of black seed oil that pregnant women shouldn’t take it. The so-called danger is pure speculation. There is no proof of harm. Given that black seed has been available for centuries and there is no record of hazards, this warning on the label is unscientific and scared off at least one of my patients who could have used it for her dry skin and fungus infection.
9) CURCUMIN – An extract of turmeric, curcumin has antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-parasitic activity. It is well known for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects as well as its anti-cancer benefits. Curcumin is a stronger antifungal than most prescription antifungals. One study showed it to be superior to fluconazole, an effective but expensive antifungal. If you are on a prescription antibiotic, fungal infections can be one of the side effects. So, curcumin and probiotics could be very good things to take to prevent candida or fungal infections of other kinds. Doses are variable depending on the infection and the individual.
10) SILVER HYDROSOL – This form of colloidal silver is effective against numerous viruses and harmful microbes. Be careful with taking colloidal silver in amounts higher than 23 ppm for extended periods of time. Higher non-nanoparticle sized amounts could accumulate in the system causing a blue skin discolouration. Small particle sizes of colloidal silver (10 to 20 ppm) are generally safe and effective for many different types of infections, especially those resistant to prescription antibiotics.
Echinacea, berberine, zinc, garlic, hypericum, goldenseal, cloves, Manuka honey, elderberry, astragalus, grapefruit seed extract and ginger are other natural supplements that people can consider for strengthening their immune defences against viruses. But I feel my top 10 list is the most effective. Most of these will be effective for a large number of people to kill unwanted microbes. Consult a natural health care practitioner for personalized advice on one or a combination of the top 10 remedies.
 Face masks aren’t a very effective way to prevent the spread of coronavirus: https://www.businessinsider.com/wuhan-coronavirus-face-masks-not-entirely-effective-2020-1
 Antibacterial soap dangers; CBC News report: https://tinyurl.com/hud9h5g
 Vitamin D Deficiency Likely Responsible for Flu Epidemic. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/255604.php
 Flu information from The Vitamin D Council: https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/influenza/
Vitamin C protects against coronavirus. http://orthomolecular.activehosted.com/index.php?action=social&chash=9b8619251a19057cff70779273e95aa6.134&s=882a884dd7f416689cfe29c1e4b3320a
Hospital-based Intravenous Vitamin C Treatment for Coronavirus and Related Illnesses. https://orthomolecular.activehosted.com/index.php?action=social&chash=02522a2b2726fb0a03bb19f2d8d9524d.138&s=882a884dd7f416689cfe29c1e4b3320a
Levy TE (2014) The clinical impact of vitamin C. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v10n14.shtml
Cannell JJ, Vieth R, Umhau JC et al. (2006) Epidemic influenza and vitamin D. Epidemiol Infect. 134:1129-1140. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16959053
Dr. David Brownstein: Coronavirus, what to do: https://www.drbrownstein.com/corona-virus-what-to-do-2/
Bactericidal Property of Oregano Oil Against Multidrug-Resistant Clinical Isolates. https://tinyurl.com/wq2zan7
Berberine benefits: https://tinyurl.com/wx9vue2
Black seed oil. https://www.ideahacks.com/black-seed-oil-benefits/
Vitamin D Protects Against Colds and Flus, Finds Major Global Study; Science Daily: https://tinyurl.com/j649e4v
Rona, Zoltan P. Vitamin D, The Sunshine Vitamin. Tennessee, USA: Alive Books, 2010 https://www.amazon.com/Vitamin-D-Sunshine-Zoltan-Rona/dp/0920470823
Dr. Jeffrey Dach, MD: Colostrum Three Times More Effective than Flu Vaccine. https://tinyurl.com/yapr3bpa
Colostrum for Flu Prevention. https://tinyurl.com/yak8kzt6
Clark, Daniel G. and Wyatt, Kaye. Colostrum, Life’s First Food. Salt Lake City: CNR Publications. 1996.
Jensen, Bernard. Colostrum: Man’s First Food, The White Gold Discovery. Escondido: Bernard Jensen, 1993.
Rona, Zoltan, P. Bovine colostrum emerges as immune system modulator. American Journal of Natural Medicine; March, 1998, pp. 19-23
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; Dec. 2001; 74(6): 833-9: Enhancement of immunity in the elderly by dietary supplementation with the probiotic Bifidobacterium lactis HN019.
Good bacteria fight the flu. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/08/15/good-bacteria-fight-the-flu.aspx
Levy, T. Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins: Curing the Incurable. Xlibris Corp. Philadelphia, PA, 2002.
“In Canada, more than 419,000 adults aged 65 and older were living with some form of dementia between 2015 and 2016, and an estimated 78,600 new cases are diagnosed each year."
The good news is that scientific evidence supports the use of specific nutrient supplements to enhance brain function and prevent brain tragedies in later life.
The arrival of spring always brings the urge to detoxify the body as an annual ritual and fresh start. Many people take it upon themselves to do juice or water fasts to cleanse their systems, with some adding in colonic irrigations or enemas. This does provide some benefit for enhanced liver detoxification and removing winter’s accumulated toxins from the tissues. But there’s more. From sweating it out, to using ancient Chinese remedies, what follows are some of my favourite strategies based on experience and research.
When people ask me about the best way to detoxify, I have always recommended a few weeks of sauna therapy to rid the body of toxic heavy metals, drug residues, and other toxins stored for months or years in the fat and muscle cells of the body. Sauna therapy can be combined with one or several of my top 10 recommended natural remedies that follow here.
Although any sauna will work, the best type of sauna to use for detox purposes is the far infrared sauna, and there is plenty of evidence to support this (see References). In fact, it has been shown that detoxing through the skin (i.e. sweating), can actually lighten the load on the kidneys and liver, and flush out toxins that are hard to eliminate any other way. The far infrared sauna is much better tolerated than a conventional sauna, due to the lower heat yet deeper penetration of tissues experienced over longer periods of time.
Sauna detoxification is, however, not for everyone. For reasons that include things like lack of easy access, cost of sauna use, inexperience with detox regimes, heart and kidney disease, blood sugar concerns, prescription drug use, and heat intolerance, people may not be able to do sauna therapy or any type of fasting. In these cases, one can still use some safe and effective natural remedies to achieve good liver detoxification and improve energy levels as well as general health.
First start by eating or juicing more of the foods that aid liver, kidney, and bowel detoxification. These foods are anti-inflammatory and loaded with vitamins, minerals, and detoxification phytonutrients. Always use organic fruits and vegetables to avoid preservatives and other toxins.
Here’s a partial list of the commonest cleansing foods:
To clean out your system of toxins while optimizing your immunity, here are my top 10 recommended remedies and a description of their benefits:
1. BURDOCK ROOT (Arctium lappa) – 1000 mg or more daily. Studies show that burdock has blood sugar balancing benefits. It can lower very high blood sugar levels, so diabetics need to monitor their blood sugar levels more closely if using burdock. It has long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for detoxification and blood purification purposes. Burdock is also a part of the Essiac herbal formula that has been popular as an immune boosting anti-cancer formula used by millions of cancer patients around the world. It also has cancer preventive activity. A 2016 study found that it slowed the growth of breast cancer tumours. Burdock can also act as a diuretic, removing excess water from the system. Burdock has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and has been used by many for osteoarthritis and other chronic inflammatory conditions. Burdock can cause allergic reactions in susceptible individuals and it is not recommended for pregnant or nursing mothers. Those on prescription diuretics, blood thinners, or diabetic medications must also be careful in using burdock.
2. ASTRAGALUS ROOT (Astragalus membranaceus) – 1000 mg or more daily. This plant has a long and distinguished history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is one of the most potent natural immune enhancing agents used by TCM doctors for overall detoxification, cleansing the liver, and helping to treat cancer. It is a complementary medical treatment for high blood sugar. Its effect is particularly impressive in people who suffer from any chronic infectious disease. Like many adaptogenic herbs, it fights stress of any kind. Astragalus has recently been in the news for its anti-aging effects. One of its components (cycloastragenol) has been shown to lengthen chromosome telomeres and thus slow the way one ages. Long term use is safe and yields many benefits for general health. There are no reports of adverse reactions other than improved longevity.
3. DANDELION ROOT (taraxacum officinale) – 500 mg or more daily. Don’t trash those dandelions in your back yard. They have significant implications in both detoxification and your general health. Coincidentally, they bloom in the spring. Dandelions are classic liver cleansers. They improve bile flow and thereby aid in better digestion. Dandelion can lower high blood sugar and has also been successfully used to treat some cases of jaundice, cirrhosis, gout, eczema, and acne. A very high concentration of the amino acid kynurenic is found in dandelion; this is the component of dandelion that boosts bile production and increases bile transport of toxins out of the body. Thus, dandelion is a highly successful natural detoxification remedy.
4. MILK THISTLE (Silybum marianum) – 500 mg or more daily. I think just about every health conscious consumer has heard of this herbal remedy as a powerful liver tonic. Some conventional doctors warn of dire consequences if one uses too much of this herb but there is no evidence it can cause any harm. As one of my colleagues puts it, “Where are the dead bodies?” (I think the dead body pile comes from prescription opiates.) The good news is that milk thistle can, to some degree, protect the liver from both prescription and OTC drugs. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. And anyone with a heavy intake of alcohol and/or cigarettes should be using milk thistle for liver protection. Milk thistle also protects livers from pesticides in food, heavy metals in drinking water, and air pollution. I recommend milk thistle year-round, especially for those who are exposed to the liver-toxic effects of alcohol, drugs and toxins in food and water.
5. MAITAKE (Grifola frondosa) – 500 grams or more daily. This famous mushroom has a long and illustrious history with TCM doctors who often recommend it as a health tonic and as a cancer fighter. It basically enhances immunity and is excellent when combined with any or all of the above remedies. Its immune enhancing properties come from one of its ingredients called beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is a complex long-chain polysaccharide found in this and other mushrooms. Mushrooms are also a source of vitamin D, which has many documented benefits for immunity. Maitake also improves high blood pressure and high blood sugar problems. Diabetics need to monitor their blood sugars more carefully while on this remedy. If you are allergic to mushrooms, it’s best to avoid maitake.
6. SHIITAKE (Lentinula edodes) – 500 mg or more daily. This mushroom is commonly found in grocery stores and is a good source of both B vitamins and vitamin D. It also enhances immunity, detoxifies the body in several ways, and can help as a weight reduction aid, cardiovascular enhancer, and cancer cell fighter. It’s best avoided if you are allergic to mushrooms.
7. YUNZHI (Coriolus or Trametes versicolor) – 500 mg or more daily. This is a lesser known herbal remedy that has immune stimulating properties and has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, slowing cancer spread. Use of this fungus is contraindicated in those who have had bone marrow transplants. Care should also be taken in cases where one has autoimmune disease or is on immunosuppressive drug treatments.
8. ASHWAGANDHA ROOT (Withania somnifera) – 500 mg or more daily. This general tonic is one of the better-known herbal adaptogens most often recommended as an anti-stress, adrenal support remedy. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as well as some anti-tumour activity. It’s good to use to balance the other remedies on this top 10 list.
9. SLIPPERY ELM BARK (Ulmus rubra) 100 mg or more daily. This herbal remedy contains mucilage that is quite soothing for oral and gastric inflammation (ulcers). It has also been used quite often as a treatment for inflammatory bowel conditions (e.g. colitis, Crohn’s, IBS). Slippery elm is one of the components of the Essiac anti-cancer herbal combo.
10. CHINESE (TURKISH) RHUBARB ROOT (Rheum palmatum) – 25 mg or more daily. This is yet another one of the herbs that make up the anti-cancer Essiac formula. It has often been recommended by TCM practitioners largely as a purgative, ridding the body of unwanted waste products and improving elimination from the large intestine. Those suffering from chronic constipation would certainly welcome its benefits. There is some evidence that several of the components (anthraquinones) possess anti-cancer effects. This remedy should be used with care and not for extended periods of time due to its laxative effects. Pregnant and breast-feeding women should avoid it.
Spring detoxification should be carried out for at least two weeks but could safely be extended into a month. If you are inexperienced with detoxification regimens, work with a natural health care provider who can give you the guidance for a personalized approach. Happy springtime!
Catch Dr. Rona at the 41st annual Total Health Show, on Saturday, May 12. He will be part of a panel discussion on “Holistic Health for the Whole Family” from 12 to 2 pm. Then from 2 to 3 pm, he will be at booth 524 to answer questions and sign books.
Feature presentation: Dr. Rona will give a lecture at 3 pm on “The Horrors of Prescription Drugs for Kids – And the Best Natural Alternatives”: There is growing evidence that children are using more prescription medications than ever before for anxiety, depression, behaviour problems, ADHD, other psychological issues, insomnia, eating disorders and digestive abnormalities. Diet and lifestyle causes are being ignored in favour of potentially toxic drugs. Learn the real facts about the drugs. There are safer and more effective alternatives. This talk provides that information.”
For more information, visit www.totalhealthshow.com, call 1-877-389-0996, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or see ad on page 41.
Save Our Supplements
How do you know your supplements are safe?
When you walk into your local health food store, you can find all kinds of safe, effective and high-quality supplements, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, herbal products and traditional medicines. All these products make up the category of natural health products (NHPs) that you and 77 per cent of Canadians use for the maintenance of good health.
These NHPs could include vitamin C to reduce the duration and severity of the common cold. Or a probiotic to keep your immune system primed and ready to combat those winter bugs. Or vitamin D, since there are few natural dietary sources and because supplementing with vitamin D is almost universally recommended, particularly for those in greatest need, such as infants and the elderly.
Whatever NHPs you choose, it is important to know Canada is a global leader in the regulation of these products. The Canadian approach to regulation is often referred to as a “pre-approval” system, which means that all NHPs must be licensed by Health Canada before they are allowed to be legally sold to Canadians.
How do you know your supplements are going to work?
Currently, when you buy an NHP at your local health food store, you can be confident knowing that the company selling that product has provided evidence to support any health claims made.
The level of evidence required depends on the claim being made, the overall risk of the product, and the condition it is being used for. A product such as a multivitamin that makes a claim, “helps with the maintenance of good health,” will have to provide different evidence than an omega-3 supplement that makes the claim, “helps to reduce serum triglycerides and support brain function.”
No NHP can be licensed for sale in Canada without providing evidence to support the claims being made. Evidence can come from a variety of sources, such as modern studies and traditional sources, including pharmacopoeias (books published by a government, medical or pharmaceutical society) and references supporting the traditional use of products like Traditional Chinese Medicine or herbals.
Each product that is licensed receives a Natural Product Number (NPN), which is printed on the package. You can look up this NPN in Health Canada’s online database, which provides details, such as what is in the product, and what claims have been approved based on the evidence submitted and reviewed by Health Canada.
So what’s the problem?
Health Canada is now proposing changes that could significantly alter the way NHPs are regulated based on, it appears, a single consumer survey and only six weeks of consultation.
This proposal is trying to fix a system that is not broken and will be a step backward instead of forward. Our current regulations take into account the unique properties and low-risk nature of these products, ensuring that you have access to NHPs that are safe, effective and high-quality, while respecting your freedom of choice, and the philosophical and cultural diversity of our country.
What does this mean for you?
This proposal is suggesting that Health Canada will no longer review some of the products before they are sold, and would require a disclaimer on labels to the effect of, “Health Canada has not reviewed for safety and efficacy.” Additionally, current claims about the products’ use may no longer be allowed and would be removed from the label. This could limit the amount of information you receive about the products you use.
While reducing oversight on some products, the proposal is suggesting increased oversight on others. These products may require a level of evidence similar to what is needed for drugs. Requiring this level of evidence, necessary for products developed in a lab, is not reasonable for NHPs when considering their safe nature and long history of use. This will result in the loss of some products from store shelves.
These proposed changes will require companies to begin investing in substantial research for ingredients we know work based on historical use and traditional sources. This means the cost of bringing these products to market will increase, resulting in increased costs for you.
What can you do?
We need your help. Please visit chfa.ca right now to send a message to your Member of Parliament, letting them know these proposed changes are unacceptable. It will only take you one minute and will make a big difference in helping to ensure you continue to have access to the NHPs you know and love.
Huge changes in the works from Health Canada that will limit your freedom of choice! If you're someone who cares about having access to natural health products (supplements, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, herbal products and more), please read this and let your Member of Parliament know that this needs to stop https://chfa.ca/en/natural-health-products/nhps-not-drugs/index.html
Your access to the safe and effective natural health products you use regularly is being challenged. Ensure you continue to have access to the NHPs you know and love by sending a message to your Member of Parliament right now, letting them know these changes are not acceptable. It’ll only take you one minute and will make a big difference. Click to learn more: https://chfa.ca/en/natural-health-products/nhps-not-drugs/index.html
Health Canada is proposing changes the existing Natural Health Product Regulations, which seem to be based on a single public opinion poll and six weeks of consultation taking place right now. The proposed changes could impact how NHPs are approved, the cost and number of products available for sale in Canada, and may not respect the cultural and traditional uses of these products. Find out more and what you can do to help here: https://chfa.ca/en/natural-health-products/nhps-not-drugs/index.html
Supplements should be regulated based on their low risk & the fact they're derived from nature #SaveOurSupplements https://goo.gl/Kcj7Dd
Canada is a global leader in the regulation of supplements. Let's move forward instead of back #SaveOurSupplements https://goo.gl/Kcj7Dd
Don’t take away my freedom to choose safe and effective products #SaveOurSupplements https://goo.gl/Kcj7Dd
I’m one of the 77% of Canadians that use supplements #SaveOurSupplements https://goo.gl/Kcj7Dd
Supplements are not drugs. Click to help #SaveOurSupplements https://goo.gl/Kcj7Dd