Former FDA Regulator Now Leads the Natural Products Association

Dr. Daniel FabricantLegislativeI think the heading of this podcast sounds intriguing considering the decades long animosity between the FDA and the natural products industry. Dr. Daniel Fabricant holds the unique position of being involved with FDA regulation of nutritional supplement manufacturers to becoming the Executive Director and CEO of the nation’s only trade association for natural products. In fact, Dr. Fabricant was the Vice-President of Scientific Affairs for the NPA prior to joining the FDA as it’s primary regulator of dietary supplements and then returning to head up the Natural Products Association. I became so curious to interview Dr. Fabricant and learn more about his interesting journey and gain some insight into the current thinking about natural supplements at the FDA.

As the only trade association for the natural products industry, the NPA is responsible for maintaining a presence before Congress and to be an advocate for the natural products industry in dealings with the FDA. The NPA is also responsible for education of the retailers, manufacturers and many other about the challenging facing the industry and helping to shape policies that further the growth and awareness of natural products.

Natural products have becoming so popular that there are plenty of products for consumers. The problem is that there are a lot of inferior products and it is challenging even for knowledgeable people to sort out fact from fiction. There is a lot of information out that is simply not accurate. You can read more about my thoughts on the challenges faced by consumers who love natural products and the companies that make those products in my podcast number 100. Part of Dr. Fabricant’s responsibility is to understand those challenges and help lead the industry in a responsible way.

This is not an easy job. There are lot’s of competing demands. The natural products industry is very broad. It includes foods, cosmetics, supplements, household goods, education and each of these areas has it’s own set of concerns. There are the legislative and regulatory concerns. The NPA is the voice to media and must deal with a seemingly biased view about nutrition and especially a more negative attitude towards nutritional supplements.

So I just wanted to know what Dr. Fabricant knows about the current state of affairs and what he sees looking forward. The times have changed and it is no longer the same small close knit industry as it was. It this interview you will learn the insider’s view of the natural products industry. At the least, I would like you to understand the challenges faced by those companies that bring you the products you love and that there are many people who are invested the preserving your access to the best nutritional products. They are deserving of your support and gratitude. We need our champions and the NPA is one of the most important champions for all of us who love and use natural products.

So this interview is not really geared for consumers, except that it is good for you to know that there is a group of people and an industry of committed businesses that are working very hard to make sure that you have access to the best nutritional products and to the science that lead to those products. This is a little insight behind the scenes.

The room conditions were not ideal for the interview so the overall sound quality is not the best. We were in the middle of a big empty banquet hall. We had to ferret out a table and chairs before we could start. In fact, we had the lights go out on us twice while conducting the interview, so part of the interview was conducted by iPhone Flashlight. So we just continued on. This is a make the best of it interview and we did. I enjoyed my conversation with Dr. Fabricant, I think you will too.

Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D.
Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D. is Executive Director and CEO of the Natural Products Association (NPA), the nation’s largest and oldest trade organization representing the natural products industry, including dietary supplements, foods, personal care products and more. He is responsible for implementing board policy for the advancement and protection of the natural products industry, while overseeing every aspect of the association’s programs and activities. Most recently, Dr. Fabricant served as the Director of the Division of Dietary Supplement Programs at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where he directed agency policy, public affairs and regulatory action regarding regulation of the dietary supplement industry for more than three years. While with the agency, he successfully navigated the large, heavily-matrixed governmental organizational structure to bring life to a regulatory function that was non-existent for almost 20 years. Prior to the FDA, Dr. Fabricant was vice president, global government and scientific affairs, for NPA, responsible for establishing and leading industry coalitions dealing with a range of legislative, regulatory and scientific matters. Dr. Fabricant carried his interest in natural products into the classroom, earning a Ph.D. in Pharmacognosy from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he has served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy since 2009. Pharmacognosy is the study of drugs derived from natural sources (plants and animals). He has also published extensively and is internationally recognized for his regulatory and governmental public health expertise and natural products research.

Natural Products Association



Part 2 of the H.O.P.E Program – Omega-3 Oils

Brenda WatsonOmega-3Brenda Watson is one of the pioneers in today’s nutritional marketplace. She has a singular focus on digestive care. I can endorse Brenda for her products which are innovative and for her educational efforts which are legendary. Brenda has written or co-authored some of the most important books on digestive care, and if you have a digestive issue, I highly recommend her books which will guide you in dealing with digestive problems. You may have seen Brenda on one of her PBS specials and she has appeared many times in popular press. Her information and teaching style are easily understood and yet highly profound in the importance of her message.

This interview is Part 2 of our 4 part series on Brenda’s H.O.P.E. program. High fiber, Omega-3 oils, Probiotics, and Enzymes. Her message is straight forward. One of the most important things a person can do when they have digestive issues is evaluate how to incorporate these 4 elements. The four parts of the H.O.P.E. program are critical for digestive health. They are also foundational to maintain good digestive health. And good digestive health is necessary for whole body health. The food you eat is your only source of the nutritional factors that build health. To receive value from those foods, you must have a digestive system that functions normally. You are not only what you eat, but also what you absorb and utilize.

Part 2 – Omega-3 Oils

Heart SupportQ: What is Omega-3?
A: Omega-3 is a sub-group of essential fatty acids. Flax seed and some plants provide an Omega-3 fat (ALA), but seafood, fish and fish oil provide the two most biologically functional Omega-3 fats (EPA and DHA). Research shows that most Americans do not consume enough Omega-3 and confirms that consuming adequate amounts of Omega-3 from fish oil improves health and may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Q. What are essential fatty acids?
A: Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are good-for-you fats the human body cannot make on its own. For this reason, we need to get our EFAs from food or supplements. Technically, they are long-chain unsaturated fatty acids. Fatty acids are building blocks used in every cell in your body. From their cellular position, EFAs direct and manage vital body functions, such as inflammation and proper heart, joint, eye, brain and immune function.

Q: Why should I take fish oil supplements?
A: Fish oil supplements supply the essential fatty acid, Omega-3. Omega-3 can only be obtained from the food and supplements we consume. Because the typical American diet is very low in Omega-3 fats, it is very beneficial to supplement your dietary intake of Omega-3 with fish oil supplements.

Digestive SupportQ: What are the main benefits of taking fish oil supplements?
A: Omega-3 oils are essential to healthy digestion and help nourish the cells in the intestinal tract as well as provide the lubrication necessary for regular, healthy bowel elimination.‡ They have also been shown to significantly improve overall health by supporting the nervous system, brain, heart and other organs.‡

Q: What are EPA and DHA?
A: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are two healthy Omega-3 fats found in fish, seafood, and seaweed. EPA and DHA have been researched extensively and are known to be beneficial for heart health, joints, the immune system, healthy mood and brain health.‡

Q: How much Omega-3 EPA and DHA do most people get each day?
A: The average American consumes fewer than 0.2 grams (200 mg) of Omega-3 EPA/DHA per day.

Q: What is the recommended daily intake of Omega-3 EPA and DHA?
A: The American Heart Association recommends people with known coronary heart disease take approximately 1 gram (1,000 mg) of EPA/DHA daily.‡ For people who have no known heart disease, they recommend the equivalent of 500 mg of EPA/DHA daily.

Brain SupportQ: What is the recommended daily intake of Omega-3 EPA and DHA for people who want to support healthy triglyceride levels?
A: The American Heart Association reports that supplementation with 2–4 grams (2,000–4,000 mg) of EPA/DHA can help lower triglycerides. The Q & A are from .…READ MORE….

My opinion: I believe that fish oils (or some form of marine omega-3) is the most important thing you can do if you have any inflammatory condition. The Most Important. The reason is that fatty acids form the membranes of our cells. The fatty acids on the cells is made up of the fats you eat. Eat omega-3 and you will have omega-3 in all of your cells. Eat omega-6 and you will have cells made of omega-6. Most Americans are highly over balanced on omega-6. So what? An abundance of omega-3 is anti-inflammatory. An abundance of omega-6 is inflammatory. The only way to shift your inflammatory status is to shift the balance of omega-3 fatty acids throughout your body. Nothing else you can do will fix this. The only solution is to change your consumption of fats. Consume more omega-3 AND consume less omega-6.

Other anti-inflammatory nutrients such as enzymes and herbs are mostly helpful after the fact. They help reduce or mitigate the effects of inflammation. But they do not correct the fundamental fatty acid imbalance. Correct the omega-3 imbalance and you will improve most inflammatory conditions. You must also support your body with structure and function nutrients, but without omega-3, you will not be fully successful at addressing inflammation. Listen to our other interviews on omega-3 and you will gain a new appreciation for the importance of this nutritional substance.

About Brenda Watson,
Book Gut SolutionsFor over 20 years, Brenda Watson has dedicated her career to helping people achieve vibrant, lasting health through improved digestive function. A dynamic health advocate and celebrated PBS-TV health educator, she is among the foremost authorities in America on optimum nutrition and digestion, natural detoxification methods, and herbal internal cleansing.

Brenda has intensely studied many philosophies of health and natural healing with the premiere teachers of our time. She was inspired to establish natural healthcare clinics in Florida specializing in cleansing and detoxification and is still inspired today in sharing her knowledge with a wider audience on Public Television. Brenda’s hit PBS shows The Road to Perfect Health and Heart of Perfect Health have empowered millions in their quest for better health and revolutionized the way Americans view the vital link between digestion and total-body wellness.

Brenda is also the author of New York Times bestselling The Fiber 35 Diet as well as many other popular health guides. The “Diva of Digestion’s” knowledge is surpassed only by her enthusiasm and mission to help people through awareness and education. Brenda’s high-energy, no-nonsense approach to bodily functions and health has made her one of today’s most popular health experts. Her latest book is The Skinny Gut Diet.

Renew Life



133 – Rapid Defense for Immune Support – My Interview with Dean Morris

Everyone has an interest in staying healthy throughout the cold and flu season. Here on our goal is to help you discover some of the best nutritional products. We do that by interviewing some of the best experts in the natural products industry. My interview with 5th generation master herbalist Dean Morris is focused on two of these trademarked ingredients found in Rapi-Defense from Nature’s Way.

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132 – Holy Basil Herb for Stress and Anxiety – My Interview with Chris Kilham

Stress is linked to many aspects of both physical and mental health. Over time, stress can negatively affect the health of the digestive, immune and nervous systems. While the underlying causes of stress must be examined before one can truly heal oneself, dietary supplements can aid in the process. Holy basil, in particular, is an effective way to both prevent and combat the damaging effects of everyday stressors.

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131 – Earthing – What is It and Why Should You Care? – My Interview with Dr. Stephen Sinatra

Earthing, or grounding as it is often called, simply means connecting to the Earth’s natural, negative surface charge by being barefoot outside or in bare skin contact with conductive systems indoors while you sleep, relax, or work. A simple concept, yes. But one with profound impact on the physiology.

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130 – Pain Free 1, 2, 3 – My Interview with Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum

In his 30 years of clinical experience treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Syndrome Dr. Teitelbaum has found that his S.H.I.N.E. approach is successful in the vast majority of patients. S.H.I.N.E. identifies five key areas related to the body that, when addressed in combination, provide a blueprint for promoting optimal energy. There are sleep, hormones, infection/inflammation, nutrition and exercise.

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129 – Are Tocotrienols the Most Important Form of Vitamin E? – My Interview with Dr. Barrie Tan

All of you know about vitamin E. It’s benefits have been researched for almost 100 years. What many of you may not know is that there 8 different vitamin E molecules and they all have different properties and benefits.

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128 – Omega-3 for Women and Children – My Interview with Dr. Aimee Shunney

Omega-3Everyone who is interested in nutrition knows about fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids. We all understand that they are important. What we often fail to understand is how the nutrients exert their effects. How do these important nutrients work? Consumers often get stuck not knowing what to take or why.

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127 – Probiotics for Digestive and Immune Health – My Interview with Dr. Don Brown

Probiotics have finally hit the mainstream. TV commercials now tout the benefits of probiotics for digestive health. Welcome to club. Health food stores have been promoting probiotics for over 40 years. I purchased probiotics and live culture yogurt and kefir over 40 years ago in a California health food store. These are not new things.

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126 – The Role of Fiber in Digestive Health – My Interview with Brenda Watson

I will bet that most people don’t get enough or know enough about fiber. Fiber is good for constipation or fiber is good for cholesterol. Fiber has those benefits and many more.

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