Natural Dietary Supplements
The dietary recall consists of listing foods and beverages (including drinking water and sometimes dietary supplements) consumed during some previous period, usually the previous day or during the 24 hours prior to the recall interview. These surveys generally collect information not only about the types and amounts of food consumed but also about the source of the foods (e.g., store-bought, home-cooked), the time of day, and place that foods are consumed. Foods and drinks are recalled from memory. The interview may be conducted in person, by telephone, or increasingly via the Internet. Food frequency questionnaire. The food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), sometimes referred to as a list-based diet history, consists of a listing of individual foods or food groups. For each item on the food list, the respondent is asked to estimate the number of times the food is usually consumed per day, week, month, or year. The number or types of food items may vary, as well as...
P5 7 (so named because it was the 57th chemical tested) and at one time planned to market a diet drug that would compete against currently available concoctions that rely on the troubled combination of ephedra and caffeine (see, e.g. Dietary Supplements Containing Ephedrine Alkaloids, 2000 Regulations on Statements Made for Dietary Supplements, 2000). It is quite clear that such a concoction, if successfully tested and marketed, would earn massive profits ' p urchasers of diet products are often pathetically eager to obtain a more slender figure' (United States v An Article of Food . . . 'Manischewitz . . . Diet Thins', 1974). However, in July 2003 Pfizer withdrew from the project and discontinued clinical development of P5 7 (Pfizer Returns Rights, 2003). Although the absence of commercial exploitation moots the question whether P57's developers owe the San people any compensation, this sort of battle typifies the fierce conflict over biopiracy.
During the last two decades, additional dietary sources of single amino acids are being obtained from the use of nutritional supplements to enhance physical performance as well as psychological effects.15 Amino acid exposures from dietary supplement use may far exceed levels that would be obtained from consumption of food. Concerns over the safety of these high exposures have been raised, and the safety of high amino acid intake has been reviewed.15,16 The latter review concluded that T here was little evidence for serious adverse effects in humans from most amino acid supplements. 15 The most toxic amino acids were methionine, cysteine, and histidine when consumed in excess.15 It is interesting that sulfur amino acids, which appear to be the most important in amino acid deficiencies, are also the most toxic when consumed in excess.
The cure for aflatoxins though, will not be the provision of vaccines and nutritional supplements. Instead, the medical and agricultural extension services must educate people on the consequences of neglecting mycotoxin contamination. Since my assessment also is that food system considerations make enforced regulations a strategy unlikely to succeed in the near future, the model of consumer regulation probably is the best option. People need to be educated as to the effects of not paying attention to aflatoxin and encouraged to create the economic pressure that will result in better quality and self-regulating markets. Thus, the ultimate institution for the management of aflatoxin is educated consumers.
The research to date on the use of enterosorption to reduce human aflatoxicosis indicates that such an effort could be easily justified. Virtually everyone living in West Africa carries biomarkers of chronic exposure to aflatoxin. Such chronic exposure interferes with both general nutrition (Gong et al., Chapter 6), micronutrition (Turner et al., 2003) and immunity (Jolly et al., Chapter 5). We also know from the studies done both on animals and humans that there are (as yet) no known risks to the use of this clay as a dietary supplement. One of the major advantages of this approach is that it is effective for the toxin in multiple foods, i.e., it is toxin-specific rather than commodity specific. At the very least this technology enables epidemiological studies that can establish the extent to which aflatoxins contribute to presently identified risks. Such knowledge is needed to identify future options, to develop research agendas, and to define intervention strategies. The use of...
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