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Fri Dec 16, 2011, 10:36 PM

When Dietary Supplements Are Used As Medicines [View all]

http://getbetterhealth.com/when-dietary-supplements-are-used-as-medicines/2011.02.24

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The FDA regulates foods and has been instrumental in improving the safety of our food supply. It regulates prescription and over-the-counter medications, requiring evidence of effectiveness and safety before marketing. Surveys have shown that most people falsely assume these protections extend to everything on the shelves including diet supplements, but they don’t.

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DSHEA is based on a fiction. It prohibits claims that diet supplements prevent or treat any disease and only allows structure/function claims alleging that they “support” health in various ways. DSHEA is a stealth weapon that allows the sale of unproven medicines just as long as you pretend they are not medicines. It allows the sale of products that are not intended to prevent or treat disease so people can buy them with the intent of preventing or treating diseases. People don’t buy St. John’s wort (SJW) to correct a deficiency of SJW in their diet or in their bloodstream; they don’t buy it to “support” brain function; they buy it to treat depression. People don’t buy glucosamine to “support joint health” but to treat their arthritis pain. People don’t buy saw palmetto to “support prostate health” or correct a saw palmetto deficiency, but to relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia or to prevent prostate cancer. The FDA’s “Quack Miranda warnings” are routinely ignored even by those few who actually read the fine print.

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What are the chances that a diet supplement picked at random will turn out to be safe and effective when proper studies are done? Not high. Promising drugs that pharmaceutical companies submit to clinical trials only have about a 5 percent chance of making it to the market. A few years ago, I went through all the entries in the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database and tabulated their effectiveness ratings. Only 5 percent were rated “effective” and almost all of those were vitamins, minerals, and medicines that are also available as prescription or over-the-counter products approved by the FDA.

There are many products on the diet supplement market that combine multiple ingredients in a kitchen-sink mixture that has no rationale and has not undergone any testing. Maybe the ingredients act synergistically; maybe they interfere with each other. How would we know? Taking such products is a crap-shoot and is like being a guinea pig in an uncontrolled experiment. Many supplement mixtures are sold by multilevel marketing programs and improve health only to the extent that they improve the health of the promoters’ wallets.

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A concise piece in regard to the problems with a lack of regulation of the supplement industry.

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Reply When Dietary Supplements Are Used As Medicines [View all]
HuckleB Dec 2011 OP
laconicsax Dec 2011 #1
BuddhaGirl Dec 2011 #2
HuckleB Dec 2011 #3
laconicsax Dec 2011 #4
HuckleB Dec 2011 #40
HysteryDiagnosis Dec 2011 #5
HuckleB Dec 2011 #6
HysteryDiagnosis Dec 2011 #8
HuckleB Dec 2011 #9
HysteryDiagnosis Dec 2011 #10
BuddhaGirl Dec 2011 #7
dixiegrrrrl Dec 2011 #15
HuckleB Dec 2011 #22
Celebration Dec 2011 #11
HuckleB Dec 2011 #12
Celebration Dec 2011 #13
HuckleB Dec 2011 #14
Celebration Dec 2011 #16
laconicsax Dec 2011 #17
HuckleB Dec 2011 #21
HuckleB Dec 2011 #18
Celebration Dec 2011 #19
HuckleB Dec 2011 #20
BuddhaGirl Dec 2011 #23
HuckleB Dec 2011 #24
BuddhaGirl Dec 2011 #31
HuckleB Dec 2011 #33
HuckleB Dec 2011 #25
Celebration Dec 2011 #26
HuckleB Dec 2011 #27
Celebration Dec 2011 #28
HuckleB Dec 2011 #29
Celebration Dec 2011 #30
HuckleB Dec 2011 #32
CanSocDem Dec 2011 #34
HuckleB Dec 2011 #35
CanSocDem Dec 2011 #36
HuckleB Dec 2011 #37
CanSocDem Dec 2011 #38
HuckleB Dec 2011 #39