A Statement of (Unreviewed) Beliefs

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I am devastated. The FDA has warned General Mills about making inappropriate claims on its Cheerios cereals regarding the cereal's ability to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease.

Well, all I can say is that when my cholesterol ratio was slightly elevated, I turned to Cheerios and its promise of cholesterol-lowering properties. Sure, I got my information from a television commercial, but if you can’t believe television, what can you believe?

Within a year, my bad cholesterol dropped 60 points. Of course, that could also have been attributed to the fact that I lost 10 lbs. and stopped eating my kids’ gourmet meals of French fries and macaroni and cheese.

However, I would like to believe, or I need to believe, that it was the Cheerios. You see, I am a firm believer in drug alternatives whether they are healthy food choices or nutritional supplements. Much to the torment and ridicule of my regulatory collegues, I take several non-FDA-reviewed supplements to promote good health.

I think that's what bothers me about the FDA warning letter.  Cheerios was part of my plan to age gracefully.  I come from the Pebbles and Bam-Bam multi-vitamin generation and nutritional supplements are even more important as I get closer and closer to the magic number of 50.

Now part of me is grateful to the FDA for keeping an eye on me.  Although I have a homeopathic doctor who only prescribes supplements from approved vendors and I tend to read most claims carefully, I sometimes wonder if my nutritional choices are being manufactured on the same line as the Chia Pets.  Or worse.

As the FDA becomes more involved with Laboratory Development Tests and as IVDMIA becomes real, I think it may be about time for FDA to also review the performance claims of nutritional supplements.

Although supplement manufacturers may fear that regulations would create a bureaucratic nightmare, I think it would reduce my anxiety of wondering whether or not my health choices are helping me or hurting me.

But then again, isn't there a supplement for anxiety?

Tags: Advertising & Promotion, Enforcement, FDA, IVDMIA, LDTs

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