Richard A. Passwater, Ph.D.

Enough is enough! There was an onslaught of misinformation generated by the media when the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT), a study of the role of selenium in prostate cancer, was halted in October 2008. The media incorrectly reported the termination of the study as evidence that selenium does not reduce the risk of cancer. The fact is that a large body of scientific evidence shows that several selenium-containing nutrients do reduce the risk of many types of cancers.

Last month, we began our conversation with Dr. Leon Schurgers about vitamin K2 with a discussion of the “calcium paradox,” in which so many people have harmful calcium deposits form in their arteries at the same time that the calcium content of their bones is decreasing. This calcium paradox is not a result of too little calcium in the diet, but of too little vitamin K2 that largely controls where the calcium goes. The objective is to keep calcium in our bones, not in our arteries. This is the role of vitamin K—putting calcium in its place!

Fair trade is a term you are most likely hearing with increasing frequency, but you may be hesitant or reserved from diving head first into its mysterious realm. You may have seen it on a coffee label, a banana or maybe your makeup, and are wondering exactly what it means. Here is your chance to take the plunge and find out.

Jay Jacobowitz

Natural products are expensive. Most shoppers think so. If you lower your prices to match conventional products, will shoppers change their minds? Probably not. Here’s the true story of one retailer who tried.

From time immemorial, amino acids have existed as building blocks to the creation and survival of organic organisms. These essential chemicals create proteins, which, next to water, make up the bulk of a human’s body weight.

Richard A. Passwater, Ph.D.

I called upon vitamin K researcher, Dr. Leon Schurgers. Dr. Schurgers was kind enough to share his thoughts on the functions of vitamin K, discuss the significance of new research findings and comment on the potential implications for clinical practice for us. Since February is Heart Month, we will focus largely on the cardiovascular system, but also discuss skeletal health.

In 2008, vitamin D made headline after headline thanks to mounting research about its health benefits. A common thread among the key findings is that this vitamin is extremely important for many aspects of our health—and most of us aren’t getting enough of it.

Did you know that natural and organic foods are in a “premium” class that is completely separate from gourmet and conventional foods? Neither did John Mackey, CEO of Austin, TX-based Whole Foods Market when he agreed to acquire arch competitor, Boulder, CO-based Wild Oats Markets for $565 million in February 2007. Fast forward to December 9, 2008, and Whole Foods is suing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which is still trying to block the deal based on the flawed logic that natural and organic constitute a “premium” category of foods that only these two competitors sell, and that by acquiring Wild Oats, Whole Foods will have monopoly pricing power that will harm consumers.

Richard A. Passwater, Ph.D.

As we understand more about gluten intolerance (not an allergy) and its related problems including gluten-sensitive enteropathy, celiac sprue, nontropical sprue, Gee-Herter’s disease and others, we can help more of the thousands of affected people achieve better health. There are many more gluten-free products available to help. The most important thing to keep in mind is that if the problem is not corrected as soon as possible, damage to the intestinal tract worsens, suffering increases, and the absorption of vital nutrients suffers, compounding all health problems!