Free Speech, But Only if Approved
Taking a balanced approach to health, despite the FDA's disapproval
Under the theory that "free speech" only permits statements that the government approves of, the FDA is telling drug and nutritional supplement makers what they can and cannot say about their products. Let me give you a personal example of how unhelpful this is.
High cholesterol runs in my family. Assorted prescription drugs "lower cholesterol," and my father tried one. In combination with diet, it lowered his cholesterol 18 points. My mother tried several prescription drugs, all with severe side effects, which lowered her cholesterol 14 points.
In contrast, I take nutritional supplements the Life Extension Foundation recommends for liver support, which maintain my cholesterol at a healthy level 66 points below where it was before I started on them. In return, the FDA has repeatedly tried to prosecute the Foundation for making "unapproved" health claims.
The Foundation counsels members and Life Extension readers to keep their physicians apprised of nutritional supplements they're taking, and not to abandon medically prescribed regimens without their doctors' knowledge. Unfortunately, the FDA does not take the same balanced view toward natural alternatives that have been shown to be effective assisting therapies.
Onward and Upward
My congratulations on an outstanding job in producing Life Extension magazine. I've picked up a friend's copy of Life Extension from time to time, but until recently had never been impressed with the magazine as I am now. The scope of articles, your powerful advocacy, the verve and depth of the writing, the professionalism and the new clean, crisp design all bespeak quality, and an organization I want to purchase my supplements from. And I'm impressed at seeing you on an increasing number of newsstands! I'm taking out my Foundation membership, and looking forward to receiving Life Extension monthly. Thanks for a great product.
Lessening Vitamin C Worries
Thank you so much for your detailed response to my worries about vitamin C ["Health News," June 1998]. It was a great relief, as I have been taking Life Extension Mix for many years. Since I have also been taking vitamin B supplements in addition to that in the formula, I felt even more secure.
I was absolutely ignorant of how vitamin E can protect vitamin C from degenerating into a pro-oxidant, thus damaging DNA. In this regard, it would be very helpful to the lay person to be a bit more sophisticated in his or her own anti-aging program.
I would be happy to design my own program if I were sure I knew I was doing. As there doesn't seem to be any alternative professionals available around me, I feel more or less on my own. But I do have the Life Extension Foundation!
Ruth S. Prengel
Overseas Importation Hassles
For years, I have been a faithful buyer of Life Extension products, first in New York and later as a retiree in Madrid, Spain. I had been receiving these products by mail without any difficulties, but last month I was asked to clear through customs your latest shipment and was told this would be the last time they would allow such shipments. In the future, I would have to provide a physician's certification stating medical reasons for my need for such products. I look forward to the day when you decide to establish a subsidiary of the Foundation within the European Union, so I can again buy your products.
Angela M. Vega