ABC joined with the National Integrative Medicine Council (NIMC) recently in a national public awareness campaign to promote health benefits of herbal and other supplements. The initiative focused on educating members of print and electronic media to highlight the positive impact dietary supplements can have on preventing and treating illness and disease.
The campaign launched with a Feb. 8 media seminar in New York City. Reporters and editors from such national magazines as Fitness, American Women, Fit Magazine, Ladies Home Journal, Self Magazine, First for Women, Harper’s Bazaar, Woman’s Day, Let’s Live, Mode, Town and Country, Natural Living Today, Elle, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Physical and Prevention Magazine heard presentations on dietary supplements that benefit brain health. Bill Benda, M.D., NIMC director of medical and public affairs, spoke on B vitamins for memory and depression. Jay Lombard, M.D., a New York-based neurologist, spoke on ginkgo and huperzine for memory and cognition. Jerry Cott, Ph.D., former chief of Psychopharmacology Research Program at NIMH, discussed St. John’s wort and valerian for depression and sleep disorders. Steve Dentali, Ph.D., senior director of botanical sciences at Nutricia USA, spoke on kava for anxiety. And ABC’s executive director, Mark Blumenthal, spoke on the regulation and safety of herbal supplements. The journalists also received a Reporter’s Handbook on Dietary Supplements, which provides statistics about supplement use; basic information on how many herbs, vitamins and other supplements are used; contact information for expert resources, organizations, associations, government agencies and conferences; and a glossary of terms that explains various alternative medicine modalities.
“We appreciate the opportunity to speak directly with members of the press on these issues that are so important to the health of Americans,” Blumenthal said. “ABC is especially grateful to NIMC for co-sponsoring this event, and for financial support from Royal Numico for planning and presenting this seminar.”
Founded by Andrew Weil, M.D., NIMC is a non-profit education and advocacy organization for the promotion of integrative medicine. Through individual and organizational membership, the NIMC ensures the authenticity, credibility, and long-term viability of this field through its work in the following areas: public policy, corporate policy, academia and media. Their website is
—Karen Robin, ABC