------------------------------ CONTENTS ------------------------------

{ About Mystic Gateway } { About Directors } { Articles - Current } { Articles }
{ Bulletin Board } { Classes } { Events - Ongoing } { Health Freedom Watchdog }
{ Legal Disclaimer } { Links - Holistic (commercial) } { Links - Holistic Oriented }
{ Links - Other } { Links - Search Tools } { Mailing Address } { Newsgroups }
{ Practitioner Listings } { Products & Services } { Therapies } { What's New }
{ Drinking Water Filter Systems, Drinking Water Safety (offsite) }


Mystic Shoppe - Vitamins, Herbs, Books, Gifts, etc.

 * Order Books and Tapes from Amazon.Com*

Please Note: This page is Part 4b of Previous Published Articles and works with Part 1. "Top of Page" will bring you to the Top of Part 1, where you can view the contents of the archive.


The Starbucks Campaign

Issue # 32 March, 2001
by Ronnie Cummins
A publication of the Organic Consumers Association


"We are very confident that in 2001 there are going to be more biotech acres than there were in 2000."
Monsanto CEO Hendrik Verfaillie, quoted by Reuters at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland 1/31/01

"Thank you for your inquiry regarding genetic modification of Starbucks foods and/or beverages. We recognize that this issue is of increasing concern to our customers... Unfortunately at this time there is little information available regarding the genetic modification of specific foods or food ingredients. As you are probably aware, there are currently no guidelines or regulations in the US regarding the identification or labeling of genetically engineered products."
Starbucks Coffee Company, Customer Relations, 1/17/01

"As consumer concern over genetically engineered food increases in the US, we believe Starbucks may face financial and reputational risks from product recalls or from consumer protests outside your cafes, boycotts, shifts to other brands, and shareholder protests. This is clearly the case in the recent genetically engineered StarLink corn contamination scandal that has embroiled Kraft Foods, Safeway, Taco Bell and other food companies-a scandal which was brought to light by Friends of the Earth, Organic Consumers Association, and several of the other organizations signing this letter. And as you have also undoubtedly noticed, since the Seattle protests at the WTO meeting in 1999, there is diminishing tolerance among a significant proportion of Americans and others around the world for transnational corporations who use the rhetoric of social responsibility and environmental stewardship while continuing to outsource products from global sweatshops, whether in the factory or the field."
Open Letter to Starbucks, the largest gourmet coffee company in the world, signed by Organic Consumers Association, Friends of the Earth, Rights Action (Canada), Center for Food Safety, Pesticide Action Network, and Sustain, 2/14/01.

Taking the GE Food Fight Directly to the US Marketplace

After several years of preliminary consciousness raising around the GE food issue, Friends of the Earth, Organic Consumers Association, and other allies in the Genetically Engineered Food Alert scored a major victory last fall. Genetically engineered corn, StarLink, had contaminated over 300 US brand name products (Kraft and Safeway taco shells, Mission Food products, etc.) as well as much of the entire multi-billion dollar US corn crop and hybrid seed supply. Not only is the StarLink fiasco costing the industry, according to Wall Street analysts, up to a billion dollars in losses, but even more costly to the biotech industry is the fact that the incident has thoroughly alarmed millions of American consumers; not to mention millions of consumers overseas whose governments import billions of dollars of US corn. According to Dan Cekander, a top US grain trade analyst in Chicago, the StarLink scandal has impacted and 'distorted' the entire global corn export market, and will likely 'continue to do so for four or five more years' due to the fact that StarLink- contaminated corn will continue to show up in the marketplace, as reported in the Latin American business publication El Financiero, 2/28/01

Now is the time, in the wake of the StarLink scandal, for US consumers and food activists to go on the offensive. The Organic Consumers Association and five of our closest allies (Friends of the Earth, Rights Action Canada, Center for Food Safety, Pesticide Action Network, and Sustain) have decided to target Starbucks, the largest gourmet coffee shop chain in the world, as our first major North American corporate target. On March 20, 2001, while Starbucks holds their annual shareholders meeting in Seattle, we are organizing 'Frankenbuck$' protests in front of Starbucks cafes in up to 100 cities across the US and holding up signs. In a number of strategic cities there will be press conferences as well This will be the largest coordinated protest against genetically engineered foods (as well as the largest protest against agricultural sweatshops) in US history.

Please go to the Starbucks section of our website and check out this campaign. If you are willing to leaflet or do media work in your local city or community, please contact Simon Harris, the OCA's national Starbucks Campaign coordinator at

Starbucks has over 2,500 coffee shops in the US and Canada (3,300 worldwide) and sells its bottled Frappuccino coffee beverages and ice cream to several thousand additional retailers and college campuses. Twenty percent of all coffee shops in the USA are now owned by Starbucks. Starbucks has partnerships with Pepsi-Cola, Marriott, Kraft/Phillip Morris, and the Albertson's supermarket chain. In addition, Starbucks now has outlets in 18 nations, making them one of the fastest growing food and beverage companies in the world. If you live outside the US and are willing to help organize a campaign in your country, please contact us as well at


Despite rising consumer concerns, Starbucks stubbornly refuses to guarantee that the milk, beverages, chocolate, ice cream, and baked goods they are serving or selling are free of recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) and other genetically engineered ingredients (including soy derivatives and corn sweeteners). The bottom line is that Starbucks needs to get rid of all GE food ingredients and label its packaged or bottled products as being GE-free.

Several thousand Starbucks outlets are still using milk coming from dairies that allow cows to be injected with Monsanto's controversial Bovine Growth Hormone, a hormone often associated with higher risks for cancer in humans. rBGH is a powerful drug, which cruelly damages the health of dairy cows, forcing them to give more milk. Milk from rBGH injected cows is also likely to contain more pus, antibiotic residues, and bacteria. Monsanto's rBGH is banned in every industrialized country in the world except for the United States and Mexico. Starbucks is one of the largest buyers of rBGH-tainted milk in the world. Labeling its bottled coffee beverages and ice cream, which are sold in thousands of retail stores, as rBGH-free will send a powerful message to Monsanto and the dairy industry that consumers want rBGH taken off the market. For more information on the hazards of the genetically engineered recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone, see the special rBGH section on our website.

Although biotechnology corporations are currently field-testing genetically engineered (decaffeinated) coffee beans, Starbucks has not taken a public stand on whether or not it intends to purchase these genetically engineered coffee beans in the future.


Although Starbucks has recently bowed to consumer pressure and begun selling certified Fair Trade, shade-grown (organic or transition to organic) coffee beans in bulk, they are refusing to brew and seriously promote Fair Trade coffee, unlike a number of other gourmet coffee shops and companies.

Only shade-grown or organic coffee, which avoids the use of the use of toxic pesticides and chemical fertilizers, protects the environment and preserves the forest canopy and the priceless biodiversity of plants and animals (including migratory songbirds). All coffee certified as Fair Trade or organic is shade-grown, as opposed to corporate plantation coffee, which is grown in the direct sunlight, utilizing pesticides and chemical fertilizers, typically on large plantations where the surrounding forest cover has been completely chopped down. Wages paid to impoverished farm workers on the typical sun-grown coffee plantations supplying Starbucks and other large coffee buyers average approximately $600 per year, less than the annual cost of a daily Starbucks latte in the US, Canada, Japan, or Europe.

Coffee is the largest agricultural export commodity on the world market, with 18 billion dollars in annual sales. The US coffee import market, the largest in the world, totals almost four billion dollars. Coffee is a widely cultivated crop that can readily be converted to or maintained as 100% shade-grown and organic. It is the most important export of dozens of developing nations, including Mexico and the nations of Central America. There are 25 million, mainly small, coffee farmers left in the world, most of whom are growing coffee in a sustainable and organic (shade-grown as opposed to sun grown and chemical-intensive) manner. Many of these indigenous and small farmers, who inhabit the most biologically diverse and fragile areas of the world (the mountains and rainforests of Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Guatemala for example), are trying to make a living in the face of intense economic exploitation, racial discrimination, and government repression.

The only way these campesinos (farm workers) and small coffee farmers can survive, and thereby preserve global biodiversity, is to get a better price for their coffee. It is market demand in the industrialized North that determines how much Fair Trade coffee gets sold, and in turn how many of the world's 25 million coffee growers can be enrolled in Fair Trade cooperatives and programs. Because companies like Starbucks (and institutional food vendors like Sysco) are not brewing, seriously selling, and heavily promoting Fair Trade coffee, most coffee sold today is sun-grown, plantation coffee. Only 550,000 or 2% of the world's coffee growers now benefit from being part of the Fair Trade movement. We need to increase this percentage, as quickly as possible, or else indigenous and rural communities across the global South and tropical biodiversity will perish. Analysts estimate that as many as 50% of shade-grown coffee producers in countries like Mexico will abandon production over the next few years unless market demand for Fair Trade coffee increases dramatically.

Unfortunately the world's small shade-grown coffee producers, many of whom are indigenous people, are being forced out of business and off the land by a ruthless global coffee cartel determined to drive down the prices paid to coffee farmers and monopolize and control the world coffee market supply process forcing their industrial, plantation model of sun-grown coffee on the entire world. Currently four food giants basically control the world's coffee supply: Procter and Gamble (Folgers); Kraft/Phillip Morris (Maxwell House); Sarah Lee (European brands), and Nestle (Hills Brothers). Buyers for these conglomerates have recently been paying small farmers as little as 30 cents a pound for their coffee beans, a starvation price which is equal to less than a third of what it costs these farmers to produce the coffee. Fair Trade coffee, on the other hand, guarantees producers at least $1.26 per pound, a price which will steadily increase as corporations such as Starbucks are forced to begin to brew and promote Fair Trade coffee on a major scale.

The world's millions of small coffee farmers desperately need certified Fair Trade and organic coffee (which provides these small farmers with a living wage for their coffee beans) to become the dominant force in the 18 billion dollar world coffee market, not just a tiny niche.

Despite dubious claims that they have begun to fulfill their promises (dating back to 1995) to improve the wages and working conditions of impoverished workers on the coffee plantations of suppliers in Guatemala and other nations, Starbucks has offered little or no evidence of action. The public relations brochures in their cafes boast about social responsibility, but they have refused to divulge to international human rights monitors specifics on where and how they have made a difference.


Some people have asked why the OCA is raising the issue of Fair Trade shade-grown coffee and social justice along with the issue of genetically engineered food and beverages in the Starbucks campaign.

It is our belief that the time has come to build a broader and more powerful movement against genetically engineered foods, factory farming, and chemical intensive agriculture. One of the best ways to do this is to bring together people whose primary concerns are social justice or preserving the environment and biodiversity, with those whose passion is stopping genetic engineering and converting the world's agricultural system to organic farming as soon as possible. In reality, all of these crucial issues are inextricably interconnected. Genetic engineering poses a mortal threat to public health, biodiversity, and the environment, and, in addition, is being used as a tool for agribusiness monopolies to drive most of the world's two million small farmers and rural villagers off the land and replace them with a US-style system of factory farming and industrial agriculture which is more conducive to corporate profits. When it comes to our food supply; environmental preservation, sustainable development, and social and economic justice go hand-in-hand.

Organic farmers, in this case shade-grown coffee growers, cannot afford to grow the crops that we need and exercise a sustainable and ethical stewardship over the land, unless they get a fair price for their labor. If we allow the global coffee cartel and its accomplices such as Starbucks to continue to control the food and beverage choices of the world's consumers, restricting Fair Trade and organic coffee to being nothing more than a small niche market, 20 million small shade-grown coffee producers will shortly be forced off the land. The timber companies, plantation owners, and cattle barons are waiting in the wings to chop down the remaining forests and eliminate much of what is left of tropical and semi-tropical biodiversity.

With your help, and the combined efforts of the emerging global movement of consumers, food activists, and anti-sweatshop Fair Trade organizations, we can stop this war on nature and indigenous people and convert our global agricultural system to one that is organic, sustainable, and equitable.


If you are willing to help leaflet a Starbucks outlet in your community, beginning March 20, send an email to or call 510-525-7054.

Print the Frankenbucks leaflet from our website:

Go to a Starbucks and ask to speak to the manager. Show them the leaflet and tell them that as a customer of Starbucks you expect GE free products that are humanely and sustainably produced. Ask them for a verbal and written assurance that they will change their policies (i.e. that they will remove rBGH and other genetically engineered ingredients from their coffee beverages and their foods; that they will start brewing and seriously promoting Fair Trade coffee; that they will fulfill their pledge to improve the wages and working conditions of coffee plantation workers; that they will pledge never to use genetically engineered (decaffeinated) coffee beans.

Ask Starbucks to show you that the milk they are using is labeled as rBGH-free (sometimes called rBST). If you order soymilk with your coffee, make sure it's labeled as organic or as free of genetically engineered soy and soy derivatives. Ask if Starbucks baked goods are guaranteed to be free from GE soy, soy derivatives, corn sweeteners, and oils.

If you order a coffee from Starbucks, ask them to brew it with Fair Trade coffee beans. If they won't, tell them you will take your business elsewhere.

Patronize socially and environmentally responsible businesses and products. If one of Starbucks competitors is brewing Fair Trade coffee or avoiding genetically engineered ingredients, give your business to them instead of Starbucks.

Join the Organic Consumers Association and the growing Fair Trade movement across the USA. Keep Informed by visiting our website:

Call, write, fax, or email Starbucks. Tell them to send you a written guarantee that they will change their policies on genetically engineered foods, Fair Trade coffee, and wages and working conditions of coffee plantation workers, or else you will no longer buy their products.


Mr. Orin Smith, CEO;
Starbucks Coffee Company;
P.O. Box 34067;
Seattle, WA 98124-1067
Telephone: 800-235-2883
Fax: 206-447-3432
email: you can send an email from the Starbucks website:

Note: Starbucks may likely change its email or telephone numbers to deal with the fact that they are being swamped with calls and emails. Send them a letter or fax if you can, or better yet visit one of their stores directly and voice your concerns.



Despite the latest propaganda by Monsanto and threats of trade sanctions by the Bush administration in Washington, the proponents of genetic engineering (GE) and agricultural globalization find themselves on the defensive. In recent issues of BioDemocracy News, posted at, we report that:

Evidence is mounting of the hazards of GE food to human health and the environment.

Global acreage devoted to GE crops is decreasing.

Export markets for (US, Canada, and Argentina) GE-tainted soybeans, canola, and corn are shutting down.

GE potatoes and tomatoes have been, for all practical purposes, pulled off the market.

Lawsuits and shrinking profits have forced the giant pharmaceutical and chemical companies to spin off their agbiotech divisions.

And, most important of all, public pressure and well organized anti-corporate campaigns have forced many of the world's largest food corporations, supermarkets, fast-food chains, and animal feed companies to remove gene-altered ingredients from their brand-name products.

Mass resistance to Frankenfoods, first made evident in Europe in 1996-98, has now become a global phenomenon. Consumer rejection of GE foods, in turn, is fueled by a growing distrust of government bureaucrats and industry scientists and ever-\escalating food safety concerns over antibiotic resistance, pesticide residues, salmonella, e-coli, campylobachter, listeria, and hormone disruptors such as dioxin. This crisis in public confidence has made organic farming the fastest growing and most profitable component of world agriculture today.

Even Fortune magazine, the mouthpiece of Wall Street, admitted in its February 17 issue that agricultural biotechnology is teetering on the brink of disaster. Similar pronouncements have become almost routine in the business press ever since the "Battle of Seattle" in December 1999. Increasingly, the global economic elite is concerned not only that the public is turning against gene foods, but that the whole paradigm of chemical-intensive industrial agriculture and economic globalization is being threatened. Wherever the proponents of genetically engineered food and corporate globalization gather-in Seattle; in Washington, DC; in Prague; in Davos, Switzerland; in Cancun, and later this year in Quebec and San Diego, California-there has been and will be counter-conventions, street protests, civil disobedience, and a mounting avalanche of bad publicity. Analysts estimate that there are now 30,000 public interest non-Governmental organizations (NGOs) across the world that are fighting corporate globalization, with agricultural biotechnology under fire in more than 100 nations.


Current counterattacks and attempts to manipulate public opinion by the powers that be seem likely to backfire. The US Food and Drug Administration's controversial announcement on Jan. 18 that new proposed federal regulations will not require safety testing or labeling for genetically engineered foods has set off anger and disgust among American consumers. Recent FDA documents, uncovered and disclosed by Richard Caplan of the Genetically Engineered Food Alert and published in the Washington Post on Feb. 13, indicate that a dozen of the FDA's own surveys and focus groups of American consumers found massive support for mandatory labeling of GE foods and 'outrage' that the biotech industry and their government were denying consumers the right to free choice in the marketplace.

George Bush's threat on Feb. 23 to levy $308 million in punitive tariffs on European food and other exports to the US, a move sanctioned by the World Trade Organization and the US Congress in retaliation for EU resistance to being force-fed US hormone tainted beef and Chiquita/Dole/Del Monte bananas, throws gasoline on the fire of the globalization debate. Jose Bove, The French farmer leading the European resistance against the threatened US/WTO sanctions has now become a continental hero and a powerful political figure.

Bowing to intense pressure by the Bush administration and the WTO, European bureaucrats caved in on Feb. 14 and agreed to end their three-year de facto moratorium on GE crops and food imports. Instead of causing European consumers and food activists to become discouraged or fatalistic, however, this cowardly move has sparked renewed anger on the part of the EU body politic. Afraid of the political fallout from this capitulation, six EU nations (France, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Austria, Luxembourg) immediately announced that they would keep their GE moratoriums in effect. Millions of Europeans are still in shock from revelations that they and their families have likely been exposed to meat infected with Mad Cow Disease, another case where the food industry, exporters, and government regulators put profit considerations ahead of human safety concerns.


One of the most frequently asked questions we get at BioDemocracy News is: Why is the resistance against Frankenfoods so strong and successful in Europe? And of course the fundamental question is: How can we achieve this kind of success in the US and other countries?

A close look at the European anti-GE movement over the past five years makes it clear that relying on the government or regulatory agencies to stop the Biotech Express through labeling or safety testing requirements is not the answer, at least in the short run. The way to get Frankenfoods and crops off the market is to:

Up the ante through bold and creative direct action, corporate campaigns/boycotts, and protests in the streets.

Aggressively publicize the emerging scientific evidence, which shows that GE crops and foods are hazardous to human health and the environment, and a socio-economic threat to family farms and rural communities.

Use a variety of media-oriented tactics to encourage the mass media to get the anti-Frankenfoods message out to a mass audience.

Focus on marketplace pressure, by waging a protracted campaign against individual high-profile food and beverage corporations to convince them to remove GE ingredients from their product lines.

Talk not only about the problem of genetically engineered food and chemical-intensive industrial agriculture but also emphasize the solution

Take advantage of the global synergy in the anti-GE fight, the fact that consumer, environmental, and farm groups all over the world are willing to take on targeted transnational corporations simultaneously.

The current Starbucks campaign is a powerful example of how US activists are using these strategies to expand awareness of the health, environmental, and social justice issues involved in the transition to an organic food supply. Now is the time to add our voices and bring our strength to this successful worldwide movement.

End of BioDemocracy News #32, March, 2001 by Ronnie Cummins
News & Analysis on Genetic Engineering, Factory Farming, and Organics or
BioDemocracy Campaign / Organic Consumers Association
6101 Cliff Estate Road, Little Marais, Minnesota 55614
Telephone: 218-226-4164 Fax: 218-226-4157



Is There A Cure For The Common Cold?

by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Each winter we are exposed to rhinoviruses-- those annoying germs that cause a sore throat, runny nose, and cough. Most adults and children in the United States get two to six colds per year. But is coming down with the common cold inevitable?

"Absolutely not," says Los Angeles physician Ray Sahelian, M.D., co-author of The Common Cold Cure (Penguin, 1999, $9.95). “In my clinical experience, the majority of colds can be stopped dead in their tracts by a combination of vitamin C and zinc lozenges, taken at the right time, and in the right dosage and frequency. If more doctors recommended these natural supplements, the number of unnecessary antibiotics prescribed for colds could be dramatically reduced.”

In a recent double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers at the Department of Medicine, Wayne State University, in Detroit, Michigan, recruited 50 volunteers within 24 hours of developing symptoms of the common cold. Participants took one lozenge containing 12.8 mg of zinc acetate or placebo every 2 to 3 hours while awake as long as they had cold symptoms. Subjective symptom scores for sore throat, nasal discharge, nasal congestion, sneezing, cough, scratchy throat, hoarseness, muscle ache, fever, and headache were recorded daily for 12 days. Compared with the placebo group, the zinc group had shorter mean overall duration of cold symptoms (4.5 vs. 8.1 days), cough (3.1 vs. 6.3 days), and nasal discharge (4.1 vs. 5.8 days) and decreased total severity scores for all symptoms.

Through years of clinical experience, Dr. Sahelian has developed an extremely effective common cold cure plan. He says, "Vitamin C and zinc have the best chance of being effective the earlier they are started. So pay attention to your body and start these supplements at the first moment you notice the very first symptoms-often a scratchy throat, twitching in the nose, runny nose or congestion, or sneezing."

At the earliest onset of symptoms:
Take 3 to 5 grams of vitamin C followed by 500 mg every 3 hours.
Allow a zinc lozenge containing 10 to 20 mg of zinc in the form of zinc gluconate, zinc gluconate/glycine, or zinc acetate to dissolve in the back of your mouth. Keep the lozenge in the mouth for at least 5 to 10 minutes or as long as you can. Swallowing the lozenge early reduces its effectiveness. After the lozenge has melted, wait a few minutes and place another lozenge in your mouth. Repeat the zinc lozenge every hour for four hours and then reduce the frequency to every two to three hours while awake. If you wake up in the middle of the night, take the zinc again.

The second and third days
Take 1,000 mg of vitamin C three times a day and continue the zinc lozenges every three to four hours.

When to get medical advice
In most cases, the appropriate use of nutrients and herbs can stop a cold dead in its tracks. However, you should consult a health care provider if:

Eight Tips for Ducking a Cold
It's a germy world out there, but there are some steps you and your family can take to protect yourself from being infected with the latest virus circulating around your home or office.

  1. Wash your hands frequently if you happen to shake a lot of hands or are in contact with many people at the office or home.
  2. Keep your hands away from your eyes and nose-this is how most colds are caught.
  3. Maintain moist mucous membranes by drinking plenty of water and using a humidifier in cold, dry season.
  4. Sleep a good, deep sleep at least six to eight hours a night.
  5. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables (these foods are rich in vitamins and phytonutrients).
  6. Limit your intake of alcohol, caffeine, and sugar.
  7. Exercise regularly.

Ray Sahelian, M.D., is the co-author with Victoria Dolby of The Common Cold Cure (Penguin, $9.95, 1999). He is also the author of The Stevia Cookbook, Creatine: Nature's Muscle Builder, and the newly published Mind Boosters: A Guide to Natural Supplements That Enhance Your Mind, Memory, and Mood (St. Martins Press, $14.95, 2000).
See his web site for the latest updates on natural therapies, herbs, hormones, and supplements.
Contact: T: 310-821-2409, Marina Del Rey, CA


Prasad AS, Fitzgerald JT, Bao B, Beck FW, Chandrasekar PH. Duration of symptoms and plasma cytokine levels in patients with the common cold treated with zinc acetate. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ann Intern Med 2000 Aug 15;133(4):245-52 Department of Medicine, Wayne State University, University Health Center, Detroit, Michigan 48201, USA.



Seeding Power: The Other Problem with GM Crops

by Brian Levy
Copyright 2000 The Institute for Local Self-Reliance

No one knows what effect genetically modified foods will eventually have on the environment or on human bodies, but one thing is certain: the benefits of using GM seed will accrue mainly to a handful of corporations. The top-down ownership structure of biotechnology is in stark contrast to the burgeoning organic foods movement, which embraces independent farms and supports local economies...

*** Article Continued ***



Check the Label: New Report Says Natural-Source
Vitamin E Twice as Potent as Synthetic Forms

LAGRANGE, Ill., July 26 (VERIS Research Information Service ) - Consumers are likely to give the labels on their vitamin E bottles a closer look following a new report stating that natural-source vitamin E supplements are twice as potent as synthetic ones.

"Look for labels that say d-alpha tocopherol to make sure it's natural," said Robert Acuff, PhD, Professor and Director of the Center for Nutrition Research at East Tennessee State University. "Synthetic vitamin E is labeled as dl-alpha-tocopherol. An easy way to remember the difference is: d means delivers while dl means delivers less," he said.

The report released April 11 by the Antioxidant Panel of the Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences (NAS), announced the new recommended daily allowances (RDA) for vitamin E.

The NAS panel recognized that natural vitamin E is twice as potent as the synthetic version. Synthetic vitamin E, made from petroleum chemicals, contains substances the body does not recognize as vitamin E. In fact, half the material in synthetic vitamin E is not recognized as vitamin E in the body. Natural-source vitamin E, purified from plant sources, is fully recognized and utilized by the body, and has 100 percent vitamin E activity.

The previous value had rated vitamin E as being 36% more active than the synthetic form. This new report confirms the difference is even greater.

The NAS panel also increased the RDA to 15 mg of RRR-alpha-tocopherol (the natural form which is the basis for the new RDA's) per day for both men and women. This means the RDA for vitamin E increased 50% for men (from 10 mg to 15 mg) and nearly 100% for women (from 8 mg to 15 mg). The increase was made as a result of mounting evidence that vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant with significant health benefits.

"While we are pleased that the RDA increased, the totality of evidence shows that these amounts don't even come close to providing the health benefits seen in our studies," said Dr. Acuff. "Typically, consumers should take about 400 IU daily of natural-source vitamin E to obtain the protection and benefits we've found in our research."

Among other report highlights for vitamin E:

A new upper intake level (UL) was established. The UL for vitamin E is 1,000 milligrams daily, or the equivalent of about 1,500 international units of natural-source vitamin E or 1,100 IU of synthetic vitamin E. This underscores the fact that synthetic vitamin E contains compounds with no vitamin E activity.

Only the alpha-tocopherol form of vitamin E is recognized because it is best used and retained in the body. Tocotrienols, beta, gamma, and delta-tocopherol are preferentially excreted. Vitamin E is safe in amounts much greater than the new RDA's.

The VERIS Research Information Service strives to provide credible information on nutrition, with emphasis on antioxidants, to the health industry worldwide. Cognis Nutrition and Health, a leading developer and supplier of antioxidant ingredients, provides a grant to VERIS in support of its mission to communicate scientific research findings and news relevant to antioxidants.

SOURCE VERIS Research Information Service






E-mail us

Page maintained by Jan Rosenstreich, Copyright(c) 1995-2001. Created: 10/10/95 Updated: 07/21/2001