Sports Drinks Are Mostly Pointless

Posted 31 August 2016

[quote]Sports drinks seem like they should be healthy. Athletes endorse them, and they don’t have the same “liquid candy” reputation as the Pepsi a few shelves over. But how helpful are they to serious and casual exercisers? Not very, it turns out.[/quote]

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Rising Life tablets suspected in elevated lead cases, 2 deaths

Posted 30 August 2016

From Food Safety News

Local, state and federal officials are investigating Ton Shen Health in relation to elevated lead levels in children and two deaths that occurred after people took a Life Rising brand dietary supplement.

The Chicago-based Ton Shen Health company recalled one lot of Rising Life brand “DHZC-2” tablets on Aug. 11 after testing by the Food and Drug Administration showed the tablets have 56 times the amount of lead that would pose a health risk for children. That recall has been expanded.

“During an FDA assessment of the effectiveness of the recall, the agency learned of additional adverse events linked to the consumption of the product,” according to a consumer warning posted Monday by the FDA.

“On Aug. 25, following a call with the FDA, Ton Shen Health/Life Rising expanded their recall to include all lots of DHZC-2 tablets.”

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Warning about weight loss products on the web

Posted 30 August 2016

Australia’s medicines regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has warned of the dangers of buying weight loss medicines online, particularly from unknown overseas websites.

The TGA’s Principal Medical Adviser, A/Professor Tim Greenaway, said today the TGA had received many reports about overseas based websites offering ‘herbal’ or ‘drug free’ weight loss products.

“Far from being ‘natural’, many of these products contain ingredients which may be harmful and are not disclosed on the product label,” Professor Greenaway said.

“In Australia, many weight loss products are considered medicines. Because of this they are regulated by the TGA and have to meet quality and safety standards but we have no control over medicines and supplements purchased from overseas by consumers on the web.”

Read the rest Dispelling the Spin of Natural Medicine

Posted 26 August 2016

[quote]My name is Drew Rouble, and I am a Canadian medical student at the University of Toronto (U of T).  [/quote]
[quote]I am a proponent of consumer advocacy and the protection of patients from healthcare exploitation, specifically that caused by natural health or complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). There is considerable amounts of misinformation about CAM that confuses patients and medical professionals alike. To aid informed decision-making about CAM, I created as a resource to provide concise, simple, non-judgemental, and enjoyable summaries of the evidence (or, more frequently, lack thereof) behind natural medicine.[/quote]

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Stronger oversight may protect South Africans from misleading advertising

Posted 23 August 2016

An article by Dr Rudi de Lange, Associate Professor in Visual Communication, Tshwane University of Technology, published on August 16, 2016 to The Conversation.

Stronger oversight may protect South Africans from misleading advertising

South Africa has an effective and functioning advertising self-regulator. But it doesn’t always work as it should. The self-regulatory regime in place cannot do enough to protect consumers because it is based on the willing cooperation of advertisers.

The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa’s (ASASA) Advertising Code of Practice requires advertisements to be legal, decent, honest and truthful. It is based on an international code and is similar to advertising codes in most developed and developing countries, such as the UK, Australia and Malaysia. But ASASA is not a statutory body and it does not have the teeth to enforce its rulings on non-members. It cannot impose penalties on advertisers and … Read the rest

Dodgy diet pills: Dying to lose weight?

Posted 17 August 2016

A press release from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, United Kingdom.

Dodgy diet pills: Dying to lose weight?

First published: 17 August 2016

MHRA launch FakeMeds campaign with warning on dodgy diet pills

A campaign is being launched today aimed at young adults warning of the dangers of buying dodgy diet pills online.

FakeMeds aims to warn would-be slimmers against shelling out for dangerous or useless products sold by illegal online suppliers.

Thousands of pills and potions promising miracle results are bought over the summer months as holidaymakers look for shortcuts to beach-ready bodies – with women aged 18-30 most likely to buy.

After handing over bank details, many receive bottles of tablets packed with dangerous or useless ingredients. Nasty side effects can include heart attacks, strokes – and in extreme cases, death.


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Olympic Endorsements of Pseudoscience – “cupping”

Posted 15 August 2016

If you’ve been watching the Olympics, along with looking on in awe at the athletes’ almost superhuman feats, you might also be looking on in confusion at a lot of large, circular bruises adorning some of the athletes’ bodies. Those marks are from an alt-med practice known as “cupping,” in which the flow of ones’ vital life force is somehow corrected by means of the suction of heated glass bowls applied to the skin. Not only does this practice have no medical or scientific basis, but it can be quite dangerous, causing burns and infections.

In some of the coverage during the run-up to the games, some athletes have been extolling what they see as the benefits of other pseudoscientific treatments such as homeopathy, acupuncture, and the proud display of kinesiology tape.

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AHA Warning: Some Supplements can Worsen Heart Failure

Posted 11 August 2016

In a new scientific statement citing Natural Medicines, the American Heart Association (AHA) warns against the use of many supplements in people with heart failure. St. John’s wort, grapefruit juice, ginsenghawthorn, danshen, black cohosh, and green tea are among those discussed for their potential to cause significant interactions with commonly used heart failure medications. Other natural medicines, including aconitegossypol, licorice, and yohimbine are noted for their potential to cause harmful cardiovascular effects, including high blood pressure and decreased heart rate. Ephedra, a banned substance in the US, is also warned against as it raises blood pressure, can stimulate the heart, and make chest pain and irregular heartbeat worse.

For more details on specific drug interactions associated with these supplements, please review our scientific monographs on each product, or try our interaction checker.Read the rest

FTC and NYAG attack dubious Zika-related promotions

Posted 10 August 2016

The FTC staff has sent warning letters to ten online marketers selling products that purportedly provide protection from the Zika virus. [FTC sends warning letters to online sellers making Zika virus-protection claims. FTC News release, Aug 5, 2016]

The letters warn the recipients that Zika protection claims must be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence in the form of well-controlled human clinical testing. The products of concern include wristbands, patches, and stickers that purportedly can repel the mosquitoes that carry Zika or otherwise protect users from the virus. The letters also point out that the testing supporting claims of protection from the Zika virus must use the mosquito species that are able to carry the virus—and must be able to demonstrate that the repellent effects last as long as advertised. On August 3, New York’s Attorney General issued cease-and-desist letters to seven companies … Read the rest