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November 28, 2012
Dear Valued Subscriber, 
 
We greatly appreciate the outpouring of support on Small Business Saturday. Congrats to our gift certificate winner! We are truly blessed to have such loyal and thoughtful clients.
 
On a more somber and pressing note, Registered Dietitians are trying to ramrod legislation by the end of the year that would give them a virtual monopoly on nutritional counseling in Illinois.
 
For numerous reasons, I have never been, nor wanted to be, a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association). I am a Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist in Illinois, but instead of becoming an RD, I chose to become a CNS, the certification of the American College of Nutrition, which requires an advanced degree and is not beholden to special interests. 

RDs are currently trying to do what they have successfully done in some states, and unsuccessfully done in others: assure that the only people that can offer nutritional advice are members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This would affect not just nutritionists, but acupuncturists, chiropractors, naturopaths, and physical therapists, to name a few.

Looking for some perspective? This is like saying that to practice medicine, you must be a member of the American Medical Association, in which the majority of doctors are not. Registered Dietitians have long been considered behind-the-times because they are beholden to a singular message that comes from the top of their organization. They are sponsored by some of the largest food conglomerates in the world, many of which manufacture products that are diametrically opposed to what RDs should be recommending. In fact, because their reputation was so poor, the American Dietetic Association changed its name to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2012.

If you are an Illinois resident, and you have benefited from my services, I implore you to contact your Illinois Senator TODAY. The vote could occur as early as today. We need to show our legislators that a dietetic monopoly will not fly.

Please click on this link to find your IL Senator. Cut and paste the following letter/fax/email to the local AND Springfield offices.
 
Thanks in advance for your support. Bonnie Minsky
 
                                      ------------------------
 
Message: Please Support Senator Martinez's Dietetic and Nutrition Services Practice Act
 
Dear [Decision Maker],

I am voicing my strong support for the Senator Martinez-sponsored bill regarding dietetic and nutrition services. The language was developed in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and addresses the important needs of the nutrition community and consumers of nutrition services.
 
The bill opens what had essentially been a monopoly on nutrition services in Illinois for Registered Dietitians, so that consumers may access expert advice from multiple types of highly qualified nutrition practitioners. This bill is the culmination of discussions throughout 2012 among key legislators, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, and many individuals and groups with an interest in the issue.
The Senator Martinez-sponsored bill would: 
 
Expand choice and improve health in Illinois. Consumers have a right to choose a nutrition advisor from a range of providers, not just dietitians. This bill creates a pathway to licensure for highly credentialed nutritionists, and strengthens exemptions to assure no undue restriction on nutrition information, such as from health food stores and employees.
Support job creation. Nutrition is a tremendous source of job growth in counseling, retail sales, training, agriculture, and manufacturing. Senator Martinez' bill creates a hospitable environment for practitioners and businesses in Illinois.
 
Take nothing away from dietitians. It preserves all current rights of registered dietitians, and in no way reduces their scope of practice. It simply provides additional avenues for nutrition advice beyond the dietitian pathway.
 
I urge you to support the nutrition community and the Senator Martinez-sponsored bill. Your support will help create a level playing field and to promote the health and safety of Illinois residents through access to qualified nutrition professionals and nutrition information.
 
Sincerely,
 
Your name and contact information

 

Medication, Supplement Alert.

meds

Antidepressants 
Women who take antidepressants during pregnancy may be risking the health of their developing fetus, and the risk may outweigh any benefit to the mother. According to new research in Human Reproduction, use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) -- which include Celexa, Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft -- while pregnant can increase the risk of miscarriage, preterm birth, pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia and neurobehavioral problems such as autism later in life. 

 

Alternatives may exist for women who are battling depression. Researchers suggest "enhancing the mind/body connection" through interventions such as "acupuncture, psychology, nutrition and restorative yoga." Cognitive behavioral therapy, in which patients learn how to direct their thinking and behavior to more constructive ends, probably has the most evidence behind it. Exercise also has demonstrated efficacy.

 

Bone Drugs
According to an October Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics review, exposure to bone drugs called bisphosphonates may be associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer.   

Energy Drinks (5 Hour Energy, Monster, and Rockstar)
Federal officials have received reports of 13 deaths over the last four years that cited the possible involvement of 5-Hour Energy, a highly caffeinated energy shot. 
The disclosure of the reports is the second time in recent weeks that F.D.A. filings cite the link between energy drinks and death. Last month, it had received five fatality filings mentioning Monster Energy. Read the FDA's letter here.
 
To make matters worse, it has come to light that there are counterfeit 5 Hour Energy products. Consumers can identify the counterfeit products by looking at the lot number on the bottom of the bottle:

* Regular Strength Berry, lot numbers: 112611A4, 105112W4, W20712K6
* Extra Strength Berry, lot numbers: 115811P3, W08912J4, 119812P4
* Regular Strength Orange, lot numbers: 115111A2, 105112R2, 120012T2
 
Consumers who find bottles with those lot numbers are asked to call Living Essentials at (866) 324-7949. 
 
Flu Antiviral Medication
The medical journal BMJ is asking the drug maker Roche to release all its data on Tamiflu, claiming there is no evidence the drug can actually stop the flu. The drug has been stockpiled by dozens of governments worldwide in case of a global flu outbreak and was widely used during the 2009 swine flu pandemic. One researcher asked the European Union to sue Roche. 
   

Serious Risks/New Safety Info from FDA 

  • Cetirizine HCl ( Zyrtec) -- Oculogyric crisis Codeine sulfate -- Respiratory depression or arrest resulting in death in children taking codeine who are CYP2D6 ultra-rapid metabolizers 
  • Docetaxel ( Taxotere) -- Drug interaction with dronedarone HCl resulting in death 
  • Fluoroquinolone products -- Retinal detachment 
  • Levetiracetam ( Keppra) -- Potential for drug abuse, misuse, or dependence 
  • Mefloquine HCl ( Lariam) -- Vestibular disorder 
  • Olmesartan medoxomil ( Benicar) -- Malabsorption resulting in severe diarrhea and weight loss 
  • Proton pump inhibitors -- Pneumonia

Label changes to your meds? You can quickly check here

 

Probiotics

Just how far have probiotics come in the eyes of the public and the media? In yesterday's Wall Street Journal, the headline was "Are Probiotics the Next Penicillin?" You can read the entire article here.

 

Roche Pharmaceuticals
The European Medicines Agency is taking action against Roche for allegedly failing to properly report the side effects of 19 drugs being used by U.S. patients. Eight of the drugs involved are used for the treatment of cancer, including Avastin, Herceptin, Tarceva, and Xeloda. The flu drug Tamiflu was also included in the list. 
Regulators said about 80,000 reports by consumers of possible adverse effects to drugs sold in the U.S. had not been properly analyzed. Among those reports were over 15,000 deaths.
 
Statin Recall
Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Inc. has recalled dozens of lots of its generic version of cholesterol drug Lipitor because some may contain tiny glass particles. Ranbaxy is recalling 41 lots of 10-, 20- and 40-milligram doses of atorvastatin calcium (generic Lipitor) with 90 pills per bottle, but three lots contain 500 pills per bottle. Patients who've filled a prescription can contact their pharmacy to determine whether it was made by Ranbaxy or another generic drugmaker.