Recently, we protected the status of a qualified health claim for selenium, but in the process discovered that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is confused about both the basic biochemistry of selenium and the legal requirements for a qualified health claim (1). I will discuss the errors in basic biochemistry that the FDA made and constitutional attorney Jonathan Emord will chat with us about the legal mistakes the FDA committed.

Did your last trip to the beach leave your back as red as a ripe tomato, scorched hot enough to scramble eggs over? Have no fear, aloe vera is here!


The United States, like Great Britain, is seeing its food laws come under increasing pressure to harmonize and conform to international standards.

Richard A. Passwater, Ph.D.

D-Ribose is a vital nutrient for producing energy in the body. Importantly, D-Ribose does not produce energy by an unhealthy stimulating action, but by the natural process of making the body’s all-important energy storage compound, adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

Women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant should understand the benefits of taking prenatal supplements. During pregnancy, a woman’s need for nutrients like calcium, folic acid and iron become greater because both mother and baby need extra nourishment.

Jay Jacobowitz

At Retail Insights, we’ve recently completed our 2008 retail food industry overview, and natural products are $34.19 billion, or about 6%, of the $542 billion total food store business. If you just continue the trend lines as they’ve been going, with natural products growing 8% per year versus conventional foods growing 1% per year, by the year 2040, natural products will be $400 billion, or 54%, of the then-$745 billion retail grocery business. In other words, we will increase to 10 times our present size, adding $365 billion on top of our current $34 billion.

Richard A. Passwater, Ph.D.

Creatine supplementation can be advantageous for everyone, not just athletes. Sure, many athletes have learned that creatine supplementation significantly improves maximal strength and endurance. They have found, and studies confirm, that creatine supplementation also results in improved concentration, higher endurance in training and faster recovery. Why would this be important to non-athletes?

What do laundry detergent, automobile exhaust systems and saliva have in common? All three contain catalysts or substances that speed up a chemical reaction while remaining unchanged. In cars, this is useful for reducing the toxicity of emissions, but detergents and saliva contain a different type of catalyst—the enzyme.

Richard A. Passwater, Ph.D.

As regular readers know, one of my biggest peeves is the media writing uninformed articles about nutrition without bothering to check the facts. It is hard to tell which nutrient draws the most misinformation from the media, but creatine ranks high on the list. Why do so many in the media confuse a healthy nutrient with an unhealthy drug. Why are so many in the media under the impression that eating creatine (which the body uses naturally) is akin to taking performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids that change body chemistry?