Archive | Supplements

No evidence that vitamin D prevents coronavirus, say experts

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Posted 30 June 2020

Nice says topic is under review, but still advises taking supplements for bone health

Haroon Siddique Published on Mon 29 Jun 2020 18.12 BST

The Guardian

No evidence exists to support taking vitamin D supplements to prevent Covid-19, UK public health experts have found.

A rapid review of evidence for claims that the so-called sunshine vitamin could reduce the risk of coronavirus was launched amid concerns about the disproportionate number of black, Asian and minority ethnic people contracting and dying from the disease. Higher levels of melanin in the skin lead to less absorption of vitamin D from sunlight.

However, on Monday, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said that, having examined five studies, it had not found evidence to support any benefit from vitamin D with respect to Covid-19.

“While there are health benefits associated with vitamin D, our rapid evidence summary Read the rest

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Covid-19: Can ‘boosting’ your immune system protect you?

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Posted 11 April 2020

Forget kombucha and trendy vitamin supplements – they are nothing more than magic potions for the modern age.

“Spanish Influenza – what it is and how it should be treated,” read the reassuringly factual headline to an advert for Vick’s VapoRub back in 1918. The text beneath included nuggets of wisdom such as “stay quiet” and “take a laxative”. Oh, and to apply their ointment liberally, of course.

The 1918 flu pandemic was the most lethal in recorded history, infecting up to 500 million people (a quarter of the world’s population at the time) and killing tens of millions worldwide.

But with crisis comes opportunity, and the – sometimes literal – snake oil salesmen were out in force. Vick’s VapoRub had stiff competition from a panoply of crackpot remedies, including Miller’s Antiseptic Snake Oil, Dr

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Dangers of dietary supplements spotlighted

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Posted 19 February 2020

Michael White, a professor of pharmacy at the University of Connecticut, has summarized how consumers are endangered by the U.S. dietary supplement marketplace. The problems include (a) microbial contamination, (b) heavy metal contamination, (c) prescription drug adulteration, (d) herb substitutions, (e) added ingredients to herbal products, and (f) inaccurate labeling of ingredient dosages. He blames the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994, which allows supplement and herbal products to be marketed without providing proof of their quality to the Food and Drug Administration. Reference: White CM. Dietary supplements pose real dangers to patients. Annals of Pharmacotherapy. Jan 24, 2020

Calling the situation a “Wild West scenario,” White concludes:

The DSHEA Act was written to limit the FDA’s oversight of dietary products, and it has done just that. Health professional and consumer advocacy organizations need to come together and with one voice sound Read the rest

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Natural supplements can be dangerously contaminated, or not even have the specified ingredients

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Posted 15 February 2020

February 15, 2020 12.23am SAST

The Conversation

C. Michael White

Professor and Head of the Department of Pharmacy Practice, University of Connecticut

More than two-thirds of Americans take dietary supplements. The vast majority of consumers – 84% – are confident the products are safe and effective.

They should not be so trusting.

I’m a professor of pharmacy practice at the University of Connecticut. As described in my new article in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy, consumers take real risks if they use diet supplements not independently verified by reputable outside labs.

What are the risks?

Heavy metals, which are known to cause cancer, dementia and brittle bones, contaminate many diet supplements. One study of 121 products revealed 5% of them surpassed the safe daily consumption limit for arsenic. Two percent had excess lead, cadmium and aluminum; and 1% had too much mercury. In June 2019, Read the rest

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Do Skin Supplements Really Work? Here’s What Dermatologists Say.

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Do Skin Supplements Really Work? Here’s What Dermatologists Say.

The market is saturated with beauty pills and powders that claim to boost your skin care routine. But do you need them?

There’s The Beauty Chef, where you can buy Inner Beauty Powder for $70. The Nue Co. sells a powder called Skin Food and Prebiotic that promises to boost skin’s collagen production for $55. HUM nutrition sells a variety of specialized supplements and Moon Juice sells powders and capsules and “dusts” that do everything from clear acne to promote glowing skin.

“We believe in feeding your body (and skin) for optimal health, and the science is there to support the benefits of plants, vitamins, minerals and micronutrients (both topically and internally),” Amanda Chantal Bacon, the founder of Moon Juice, told HuffPost. “Skin care starts on a cellular level and what you

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Most doctors agree: You don’t need vitamin and mineral supplements

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Posted 15 January 2020

By Malibongwe Tyilo• 14 January 2020

Daily Maverick

The wellness industry is a multi-billion dollar behemoth promising optimal health through supplementation and other methods. Does science back their claims?

“The marketing and selling of multivitamins, and supplements to the general population is perhaps one of the most successful marketing ploys of pharmaceutical companies since we started making medicine. If you have a normally working gut and you do not have a severe malabsorption disease, or if you don’t have a documented vitamin deficiency, like vitamin D or vitamin B12, you do not need routine vitamin supplementation,” says Cape Town-based endocrinologist, Dr Jocelyn Hellig.

“Our stance on that as a medical fraternity is quite clear: there is no evidence for routine multivitamin supplementation in people who do not have documented vitamin deficiencies, or a malabsorption syndrome.”

Dr Jacques Badenhorst, a gastroenterologist based at the Netcare Read the rest

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“Brain health” supplements panned

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Posted 04 January 2020

The Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) has issued a 31-page report that summarizes 15 consensus statements; expert recommendations for individuals, health care providers, people with mild cognitive impairment, dementia, or other brain disorders; practical tips for consumers; a discussion of specific supplements promoted for brain health; issues in safety, efficacy, marketing, and regulation of dietary supplements; and this conclusion:

There is no convincing evidence to recommend dietary supplements for brain health in healthy older adults. The consensus statements and recommendations above are based on the current state of science as of May 2019. Supplements have not been demonstrated to delay the onset of dementia, nor can they prevent, treat or reverse Alzheimer’s disease or other neurological diseases that cause dementia. For most people, the best way to get your nutrients for brain health is from a healthy diet. Unless your health care provider has identified Read the rest

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Complementary cancer therapies ‘do more harm than good’

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Posted 14 November 2019

BBC News 14 November 2019

Cancer patients should tell their doctors if they are taking herbal products because some of the ingredients could stop their treatment working, a cancer conference has heard.

Garlic, ginger and ginkgo pills, for example, can delay the healing of skin wounds when breast cancer spreads.

Surgeon Prof Maria Joao Cardoso, said there was no evidence that herbal therapies or creams worked.

If in doubt, it was best not to take anything, she said.

“Doctors need to be more proactive about asking their patients what else they are taking when they are being treated for cancer,” Prof Cardoso, head breast surgeon at the Champalimaud Cancer Centre in Lisbon, Portugal, told the BBC.

She said it was particularly important that patients always checked with their doctors first before trying complementary therapies for cancer that had spread to the skin.

This happens in one Read the rest

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Big problems with popular turmeric and echinacea supplements

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Posted 08 November 2019

Lead? Aerobic bacteria? Misleading labels? Consumer Reports tested popular brands of the widely used supplements; here’s what they found.

TreeHugger.com

In a perfect world, humans would be able to rely on plant-based remedies and in doing so, improve health while reducing reliance on pharmaceuticals. Mother Nature is a brilliant doctor, one whom we’ve relied on for millennia.

Unfortunately, the botanical supplement industry is not so perfect. There is a notable lack of regulation – as in, the FDA has to prove a supplement is not safe before they can remove it from the market – and as such has created an industry rife with shenanigans. That some 23,000 people a year end up in the emergency room after taking a supplement says a lot. (This isn’t to say that all supplement makers are unscrupulous – not at all; but with little oversight, there is room for Read the rest

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NYT: 10 Medical Myths We Should Stop Believing. Doctors, Too.

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Posted 25 September 2019

10 Medical Myths We Should Stop Believing. Doctors, Too.

Researchers identified nearly 400 common medical practices and theories that were contradicted by rigorous studies. Here are some of the most notable findings.

By Gina Kolata  – New York Times – July 1, 2019

You might assume that standard medical advice was supported by mounds of scientific research. But researchers recently discovered that nearly 400 routine practices were flatly contradicted by studies published in leading journals.

Of more than 3,000 studies published from 2003 through 2017 in JAMA and the Lancet, and from 2011 through 2017 in the New England Journal of Medicine, more than one of 10 amounted to a “medical reversal”: a conclusion opposite of what had been conventional wisdom among doctors.

“You come away with a sense of humility,” said Dr. Vinay Prasad of Oregon Health and Science University, who conceived of the study. Read the rest

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