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Are there any side effects or drawbacks to supplements?

Yes, if you take the right supplements in the correct milligrams you may experience prettier skin and hair, longer stronger fingernails, more energy and endurance, a stronger immune system, improved sexual performance, fewer colds and flu's, lower blood pressure, better cholesterol count, balanced blood sugar, reduced risk of cancer and overall feelings of well-being.

Taking enough of a supplement may cause a cleansing and healing effect that may at first feel like a slight case of the flu. Weak shaky spells, slight headaches and joint pain may be some of the symptoms. These symptoms usually last only a day or two and should not interfere with your daily activities. It is also a good sign that the supplements are going to work for you. Keep taking them and in a few days you will begin to notice your energy level increasing.

What Do Nutritional Supplements Do and Why Do We Need Them?

Supplements refers to the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids and glyco-nutrients necessary to keep a strong immune system, replace and repair dying and damaged cells and remove toxins from the body. In order to remain or become healthy we need 16 vitamins, 70 minerals and trace minerals, 12 amino acids and 3 essential fatty acids in our daily diet. Our farmlands have been depleted of minerals, the processing and preserving of our food supplies destroy the vitamins, we use man made oils instead of natural oils (essential fatty acids), and we use processed sugars and artificial sweeteners instead of naturally occurring glyco-nutrients. As a result the American diet leaves us susceptible to deficiency disease. For these reasons we have no choice but supplement our diet with high quality nutrients and supplements.

I'm young and healthy, do I need to supplement and what benefits will I notice?

Because our food supply is so deficient of nutrients it is important to begin all children on a supplement program. Otherwise they will fall victim of the same disorders our generation suffers from. The benefit of supplementing for any age group is prevention of disease. God designed the body to heal but only if it has the raw building material necessary to do the job.

Remember, each cell of the human body needs vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids and glyco-nutrients in order to replace damaged and dying cells. When the body is lacking any of these we end up with deficiency disease. In other words you are loosing cells faster than you body can manufacture them due to a lack of raw building material.

Is organic food more nutritious than conventional food?

The definitive study has not been done, mainly because of the multitude of variables involved in making a fair comparison between organically grown and conventionally grown food. These include crop variety, time after harvest, post-harvest handling, and even soil type and climate, which can have significant effects on nutritional quality. However, a 2002 report indicates that organic food is far less likely to contain pesticide residues than conventional food (13% of organic produce samples vs. 71% of conventional produce samples contained a pesticide residue, when long-banned persistent pesticides were excluded). For more information on this 2002 report (Baker, B.P., C.M. Benbrook, E. Groth III, and K.L. Benbrook. 2002. Pesticide residues in conventional, integrated pest management (IPM)-grown and organic food: insights from three US data sets. Food Additives and Contaminants 19:427-446.) go to the Organic Materials Review Institute website www.omri.org.

Why does organic cost more?

The cost of organic food is higher than that of conventional food because the organic price tag more closely reflects the true cost of growing the food: substituting labor and intensive management for chemicals, the health and environmental costs of which are borne by society. These costs include cleanup of polluted water and remediation of pesticide contamination. Prices for organic foods include costs of growing, harvesting, transportation and storage. In the case of processed foods, processing and packaging costs are also included. Organically produced foods must meet stricter regulations governing all these steps than conventional foods. The intensive management and labor used in organic production are frequently (though not always) more expensive than the chemicals routinely used on conventional farms. There is mounting evidence that if all the indirect costs of conventional food production were factored into the price of food, organic foods would cost the same, or, more likely, be cheaper than conventional food. Cost, however, is very dependent upon market venue and consumer product choice. It is possible to consume a moderately priced diet of organic foods by purchasing directly from farmers at venues such as farmers markets, and by choosing unprocessed organically grown foods at the grocery store.

How many organic farmers are there in the United States?

As of 2007, there are approximately 13,000 certified organic producers in the U.S. The growth in the number of organic farmers has increased steadily, similar to the growth of the U.S. organic industry, which has increased by rates of approximately 20% per year for more than 10 years. When OFRF first began tracking certified organic producer numbers in 1994, there were approximately 2,500 -3,000 certified organic growers in the U.S. at that time. Consumer awareness of the value of organic farming and food products continues to grow, making organic a viable and attractive economic option for a growing number of producers.

What does "certified" organic mean?

Certified organic refers to agricultural products that have been grown and processed according to uniform standards, verified by independent state or private organizations accredited by the USDA. All products sold as "organic" must be certified. Certification includes annual submission of an organic system plan and inspection of farm fields and processing facilities. Inspectors verify that organic practices such as long-term soil management, buffering between organic farms and neighboring conventional farms, and recordkeeping are being followed. Processing inspections include review of the facility's cleaning and pest control methods, ingredient transportation and storage, and recordkeeping and audit control. Organic foods are minimally processed to maintain the integrity of food without artificial ingredients or preservatives. Certified organic requires the rejection of synthetic agrochemicals, irradiation and genetically engineered foods or ingredients. Since 2002, organic certification in the U.S. has taken place under the authroity of the USDA National Organic Program, which accredits organic certifiying agencies, and oversees the regulatory process. To find out more about the national organic certification requirements and organic program, please go to the USDA National Organic Program website www.ams.usda.gov/nop.

How are Enzymes used in Foods and Beverages?

This is the domestic application for enzyme technology that most people are already familiar with. Historically, humans have been using enzymes for centuries, in early biotechnological practices, to produce foods, without really knowing it. It was possible to make wine, beer, vinegar and cheeses, for example, because of the enzymes in the yeasts and bacteria that were utilized.

Biotechnology has made it possible to isolate and characterize the specific enzymes responsible for these processes. It has allowed the development of specialized strains for specific uses that improve the flavour and quality of each product. Enzymes can also be used to make the process cheaper and more predictable, so a quality product is ensured with every batch brewed. Other enzymes reduce the length of time required for aging, help clarify or stabilize the product, or help control alcohol and sugar contents.

For years, enzymes have also been used to turn starch into sugar. Corn and wheat syrups are used throughout the food industry as sweeteners. Using enzyme technology, the production of these sweeteners can be less expensive than using sugarcane sugar. Enzymes have been developed and enhanced using biotechnological methods, for every step of the process.

What is the intellectual property standard currently used to protect biotech inventions?

The interplay between science and commerce challenges the biotech industry. The role of intellectual property (IP) in biotech promises to become more, not less, complicated over the next decade, as the sector faces the need both to protect innovations and to open them up. Navigating the future(s) of biotech intellectual property by Kenneth Neil Cukier covers technology and regulation for The Economist in London. In his article, Cukier discusses what changes, if any, we can expect.

For patent holders—and the governments that provide a large portion of the funding needed to produce the inventions upon which patents are based—managing this IP wisely is no small challenge. In particular, one of the vexing problems going forward will be reconciling the needs of the biotech industry and its financial backers with the needs of government grant-makers and academic researchers. Likewise, although it is hardly a threat now, it is very possible that the biotech industry will be forced to make concessions to open-source research groups like BIOS (Biological Innovation for Open Society).

Save for price controls and generic competition, the biotech industry's commercial fate will be dictated mainly by patents. The overarching question on every patent attorney's mind at every biotech company in the world is whether the patent systems in the two most important markets—the US and Europe—will over the next ten years remain intact, or be tweaked or overhauled?

In all likelihood, the patent systems will stay largely as they are—and that means much needed reforms will sadly flounder. However, pressure is building to do something to assuage concerns that patents are stifling, not stimulating, innovation. There is a growing sentiment that IP rights are at least indirectly denying the public some of the biomedical and agricultural benefits that critics feel the public deserves, as part of the social contract for which the patent system was established in the first place.

Over the past decade, the concern of the nonprofit sector is that industry has been amassing so many patents that the system, designed to provide incentives, risks inhibiting follow-on innovation. For example, as much as 20% of the human genome is claimed by patents, of which about two-thirds are owned by private firms1. More problematic is that the validity of the patents themselves is open to question. By one measure, over two-thirds of the DNA-relatedpatents make claims that are legally problematic because they are overbroad or improperly disclosed or because they overlap other patent claims2. Many in the industry and in academe believe that human genome–related patents will become increasingly important to biomedical innovation over the next ten years, perhaps even surpassing the scientific and commercial importance of the industry's first-generation patents like those covering PCR and recombinant DNA.

The global biotech industry needs to understand that the United States is not the only place where calls for change in the way biomedical innovations are patented can be heard. Likewise, it is unclear whether the global biotech industry appreciates the caliber of critics that are lining up against patents that are overly broad or inhibit biotech research—even if, on the surface, more investments in biotech are taking place.

In the information-technology sector, open-source practices have challenged the most important companies such as Microsoft, by making lower-level tools, such as operating systems, into commodities, so that innovation can take place at higher levels closer to the customers' needs, such as in applications. The same may happen in biotech for underlying research tools, bioinformatics software and access to data. Meanwhile, the information technology world has established other ways to overcome strict IP laws by harnessing aspects of the system itself—whereby the opponents strength is used against him. The licenses let the creators themselves choose what rules apply to their works.

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