Hello. I'm Michael Mooney. This website is an outlet for free information that I want to share with you which does not fit into the missions of the two primary organizations I have worked with or researched with or any others.
These organizations are SuperNutrition, my family's nutritional
supplement company, where I am the Senior Science Advisor, and Medibolics, an information outlet
for PoWeR (Program For Wellness Restoration), where I donated five years time as Director of Research and Education.
a non-profit research and educational
organization that provides information
about hormonal, nutritional,
and exercise therapies to improve
well-being for people with HIV.
The information and opinions
I present on this site are my
own and are entirely independent
of any other organizations.
To be clear, I am a researcher, journalist and reporter. I am not a doctor or medical practitioner and do not diagnose, treat or prescribe. I have good long-term relationships with practitioners that I hold in high regard because they work with their patients selflessly for the good of their patients.
I am fortunate to be able to converse with them when reading published literature is not enough. This is when I need to hear the experience of a medical practioner that works with many patients on a regular basis. Their insights are invaluable and contribute greatly to what I report to you.
On this site you will find
ideas and information that I
hope will spark you to think
more about things that are sometimes
assumed to be true. I will be
digging away at some commonly assumed notions and assumptions to get
to the truth. This is what I
have a passion for. I put this page up mostly because there are many confusing "myths" propogating the "health-food news." This makes it difficult to have a clear understanding and do the best things for one's own health. These include issues such as, "If I eat saturated fat, like butter, will my cholesterol go up? Is fat "bad for me?" "Does eating wheat cause a bulging "wheat belly?"
A big problem in the United States is that while American medical doctors are thought of as the go-to source for health information, respectfully, my doctor friends tell me that they receive so little education about the nutritional foundation of health in medical school that they, themselves are confused about basic nutritional health issues. Yet people are told to "ask their doctor" when they have a health question about nutrition.
If there is a misunderstanding about a subject, and the truth will help you be healthier, I will provide details that I hope will help clear up misunderstandings. I will name the names of people and products when I review an issue or recommend a product.
Beta Carotene Is Not Vitamin A (Retinol) And Cannot Substitute For It
For instance, articles in newspapers, such as the New York Times, and incorrect statements made by well-meaning people who are expected to be nutritional experts, like Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Joseph Mercola, have raised unjustified concerns about vitamin A (as retinol) in supplements as being "toxic."
Additionally, highly accomplished "experts," such as "Health Ranger" Mike Adams, have supported the superiority (and sales) of "whole-food" vitamins, which typically only contain beta carotene, without true retinol vitamin A. Several large vendors of "whole-foods" vitamins promote this concept, too.
Vitamin A (retinol, not beta carotene) is an essential nutrient, which means that you must have it for normal health and well-being and even to stay alive. Vitamin A is critical for the health of the eyes, lungs, bones, skin, cardiovascular and immune systems and healthy pregnancy.
Some other well-known sources of information began to say that people should not take vitamin A because vitamin A can be toxic. One of the largest and most influential vitamin manufacturers sold in health food stores, New Chapter® put "Retinol-Free," on the front panels of their multivitamins for several years, as if retinol was "bad," further promoting this incorrect information.
Because of this controversy numerous multivitamin manufacturers removed true retinol vitamin A from their multivitamins in about 2008, leaving only beta carotene, as a source of vitamin A.
They, therefore, began recommending that people take beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A instead of retinol, which can cause serious vitamin A deficiencies for a significant number of people.
A critical look at the science confirms that beta carotene does not absorb or convert into vitamin A in the body adequately for most people, therefore beta carotene cannot be relied on to substitute for vitamin A.
In fact, a gene study, published in 2009, found that a significant number of people are genetically incapable of metabolizing beta carotene and turning it into vitamin A in their bodies adequately.
If you are concerned about the health of your eyes, lungs, bones, skin, cardiovascular and immune systems or you are pregnant and want to deliver a healthy full-term baby you should take supplemental true vitamin A, as retinol, and not rely on beta carotene for your vitamin A needs or you place yourself and your baby at risk of a vitamin A deficiency, which can result in long-term problems with vision, skin, bone, cardiovascular health, immune strength and numerous other health problems.
To underline it, this is an especially serious problem for pregnant women.
USP Nutrient Misunderstandings
A misunderstanding generated by negative sales tactics from "whole-food-type" vitamin marketers is to say that isolated USP (United States Pharmacopeia)-type vitamins are toxic or that the body doesn't recognize them, because they are "synthetic," a word that is generally misunderstood by the public. Click here to read the Whole Foods Magazine article which I wrote to clarify the facts about this.
The body naturally synthesizes molecules, energy and even some nutrients billions of times a second, about 10 trillion times a day.
There is nothing wrong with synthesis.
It is what you synthesize that can either be a perfect replica of a nutrient found in food that duplicates the activity of the same health-supporting nutrient in food or it can be something that never occurred in nature, like most drugs, which inherently cause side-effects, because they are not natural to the human body.
Synthesis, of itself, is just a process and the synthesis of vitamins often mimics the processes that plants and animals perform to biosynthesize their own nutrients.
Again, please read my article in Whole Foods Magazine that provides details about this.
IHowever, a campaign of confusion about synthesis has been created by "whole-food" multivitamin manufacturers,whose products deliver small (low cost) doses of vitamins and minerals that all available published studies show to be too low to provide optimal health benefits. Further, these forms of vitamins are isolated from foods in a laboratory and require an equivalent amount of laboratory activity. They are no better or worse than USP nutrients. The main issues remains to be that optimal potencies are provided and the cost to provide them.
Buying "whole-food" vitamins is equivalent to paying over $250 a pound for isolated vitamins and mineral derived from "organic whole foods" that are put in tablets with potencies of vitamins and minerals that are too low, according to published studies, to be optimally effective.
Since nutrient potency determines effectiveness, doesn't it seem to be more prudent to buy and eat organic produce and then supplement potential nutrient deficiences with optimal potencies of USP nutrients that are proven in over 30,000 published studies to deliver optimal effects?
Iron: The Number One Nutrient Deficiency in Older Age
There has been another misunderstanding about iron with Dr. Mercola and Dr. Andrew Weil telling us that we shouldn't take iron, saying that it is "toxic."
The very conservative National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine says that iron has a No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL) of 65 mg a day. This means that their analysis of all published data for the last 60+ years shows that normally healthy adults can take 65 mg (and lower amounts) of iron a day without toxic effects.
A significant number of men and post-menopausal women should consider taking supplements that contain iron, as low iron status has been shown in post-menopausal women to reduce immune strength by about half. In fact, iron deficiency is associated with more deaths from heart attack and hair loss for males and females.
For best long-term health, one should ask their doctor for a "ferritin" blood test to find out if you do or do not need to take supplemental iron, rather than going by a blanket "don't take iron" recommendation that may not apply to you.
If it is real, and it is good
for you and it is something
you should consider using for
your better health, I want you
to know about it. If its main purpose is to gain profit, with little regard for the integrity of the product or information delivered to you, I want you to know that, too. I want you to understand what is best for you.
Disclaimer:The information contained in this web site is for educational purposes only, and is in no way a substitute for the advice of a qualified nutritionally-oriented medical doctor, registered dietitian, certified nutritionist, or exercise physiologist. When you ask any professional to help you make your decisions about your personal healthcare, I recommend that you show them the information you find here because they may not be aware of it and the scientific studies that support it. Appropriate medical therapy and the use of pharmaceutical or nutritional compounds should be tailored for the individual as no two individuals are alike. I do not recommend self-medicating with any compound as you should consult with a qualified medical doctor, preferably one who is knowledgeable about nutrition and functional medicine who can determine your individual situation. Any use of the information presented in this publication for personal medical therapy is done strictly at your own risk and no responsibility is implied or intended on the part of the contributing writers, or the publisher.
Permission:The content on this site may be copied without permission when used in a non-profit format if authorship reference is given to Michael Mooney and this web site. If for-profit use is desired, permission in writing from Michael Mooney is required.