Council for Responsible Nutrition in joint education promotion effort with nurse practitionersOn December 20, 2010, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) announced that it is working on a “joint education effort” with the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the

Council for Responsible Nutrition in joint education/promotion effort with nurse practitioners

On December 20, 2010, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) announced that it is working on a “joint education effort” with the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Foundation (AANPF) “to help raise the level of awareness within the supplement industry and with consumers about the valuable role of nurse practitioners in the quest for good health.” The release notes evidence from a survey that nurse practitioners both use and recommend supplements.” Said Steve Mister, president and CEO, CRN: “These factors make it important for our industry to support the professional organization for nurse practitioners and for us to work with them to further educate the public about nurse practitioners.” CRN is now a contributing sponsor of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Foundation and is encouraging its members to also contribute. Elements of the partnership include CRN promoting the role of nurse practitioenrs to the general public. Said Mister: “We want consumers to know nurse practitioners can be a trusted source of health information.” The Academy represents the nation’s 140,000 nurse practitioners. CRN, founded in 1973, represents 75 of the largest suppliers of supplements in the US. 

Comment: Here is the integrative medicine trivia question of the day: What do the nation’s most powerful supplement industry group (CRN) and most significant health-care related foundation (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) have in common? Answer: Both are actively promoting a growing role for nurse practitioners in US health care. (See #3 here regarding RWJF and NPs.) Fascinating, and smart, strategic move for CRN, to find in this rising set of primary care practitioners a more friendly partner, then pursue the partnership. It fits one of my favorite rules: Life is short. Play with those who want to play with you. The nurse practitioners are likely to be both more welcoming and a better use of energy and resources than concocting something similar with, say, the AMA.    

Controversy stirred by Institute of Medicine recommendations on Vitamin D

The recommendations in the Institute of Medicine report on Vitamin D stirred an outcry from many nutritional medicine interests. Natural Medicine Journal seized the moment and published responses from researcher Alexander Schauss, PhD; from New York University’s Geovanni Espinosa, ND; and osteopathic clinician Susan Ryan, DO. Ryan decries the way “the media further confounds” the recommendations. Eric Goldman, editor of Holistic Primary Care, explores apparent conflicts of interests on the IOM panel in Who’s in Bed with the IOM: Vitamin D Report Supports Conflict on Interest Suspicion. One member has an interest in a synthetic Vitamin D product, for instance. 

Goldman credits the Alliance for Natural Health USA (ANH) for raising the conflicts issue. ANH upped the ante by promoting a letter-writing campaign to Ask Congress to Investigate the Vitamin D Report. One key issue, according to ANH, was the IOM decision to only focus on evidence from randomized controlled trials. The title of an ANH November 30, 2010 blog post positions the report as ” … Wrong, Wrong Wrong.” The Council for Responsible Nutrition published a “reaction” to the report in which it argues that the IOM’s recommendation of increased daily recommended intake is a “step in the right direction [but] still falls far short.” While the IOM doesn’t recommend higher than 800 IU’s a day, and finds evidence of safety at only 2,000-4,000 IUs, CRN states that its affiliated scientists “have demonstrated the science would allow for raising the UL for vitamin D to 10,000 IU/day.” 

Comment: Fearing that anything I might add would only be more of the “media further confounding” the subject, as decried by Ryan, I turned to integrative nutritional pioneer pioneer Alan Gaby, MD, who I recently interviewed here on the publication of his 1374 page Nutritional Medicine textbook. I asked Gaby for a sentence or two. He wrote:  

“While the IOM has often been excessively conservative, their recommendations regarding vitamin D appear to be reasonable. The evidence supporting the necessity and the safety of high-dose vitamin D for the general population (i.e., more than 2,000 IU per day indefinitely) is weak.” 

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