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Supplements Archives - CAMcheck

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Archive | Supplements

Unsubstantiated collagen supplementation claims spotlighted

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Posted 11 March 2022

Collagen, a component of skin, hair, nails, joints, bones, tendons, and cartilage, is marketed by major retailers as a dietary supplement product for health and beauty. Noting that there are over 8.5 million posts with the hashtag “collagen” on Instagram alone and Google searches for collagen supplements have increased rapidly since 2015, researchers: (a) watched and analyzed the first 100 YouTube videos resulting from a search of “collagen,” (b) analyzed the top 50 Instagram photographs with the hashtag “collagen,” (c) reviewed the scientific literature regarding skin, nail, and hair effects of collagen, and (d) reviewed websites of popular collagen brands for claims related to skin, nail, and hair.
Reference: Rustad AM. Myths and media in oral collagen supplementation for the skin, nails, and hair: A review. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 21:438-443, 2022

Their findings included:

  • Over 75% of YouTube videos and Instagram posts recommended collagen
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Intravenous Nutrient Drips: An Expensive Solution to A Nonexistent Problem

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Posted 02 March 2022

Nick Tiller
February 21, 2022

Skeptical Enquirer

On the ground floor of a shopping mall in southern California, nestled between a kiosk selling hot pretzels and another selling mobile phones, customers relax in carefully arranged leather sofas while drip bags containing clear liquids drain slowly through veins in their forearms.

These “treatments,” which cost between $200 and $500, are increasingly popular, with similar kiosks and pop-up stores found along high streets and strip malls in the United States and Europe. Even at the exhibition for the Los Angeles Marathon, where runners flock in tens-of-thousands each year to collect their race credentials, runners were waiting up to forty-five minutes to receive a Fitness Drip or an Energy Drip, convinced the infusion would improve their chances of an elusive personal record.

For every ailment, there’s a nutrient drip.

What Are Nutrient Infusions and How Do They Work?

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Comprehensive resource on dietary supplements updated

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Posted 23 February 2022

Thomas J. Wheeler, PhD, a retired associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, has updated the Dietary Supplements section of “A Scientific Look at Alternative Medicine.” Part 1 addresses general aspects including an overview, regulation and labeling, adverse effects, scientific critique, conventional nutrition, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and reviews and major trials of multiple supplements. Part 2 discusses 175 individual products, arranged in alphabetical order, that are marketed as supplements. The original compendium was part of a handout for an elective course that taught medical students to carefully consider the evidence regarding claims for “alternative” products and services.

Source: Consumer Health Digest #22-08, February 20, 2022

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Does Zinc Really Help Treat a Cold?

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Posted 02 November 2021

In 1771, the German physician Hieronymus David Gaubius introduced the western scientific community to “a medication with many promises” – zinc.

More than 200 years later, we can find it amongst the many supplements on pharmacy shelves. It’s even known to be one of the rare things that might help fight off a common cold. Or does it?

Evidence for zinc supplement use is limited, study results have been mixed, and dosage, formulation and length of prescription have not been investigated properly to date.

A new meta-analysis of 28 randomized controlled trials has now strengthened the notion that supplementing zinc could prevent symptoms and shorten the duration of viral respiratory infections, like the common cold or the flu.

“It is commonly thought that zinc’s role in preventing and treating infections is only for people who are zinc deficient; our findings

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Drug-related liver injury: call for better regulation of supplements

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Posted 26 July 2021

Medical Journal Australia – InSight 

DOCTORS at a Sydney liver transplant centre have raised concerns about the rising rate of drug-induced liver injury (DILI) cases linked to herbal and dietary supplements, warning these cases are often at the severest end of the spectrum.

Paracetamol remains the drug most commonly linked to DILI, a study of DILI cases at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s AW Morrow Gastroenterology and Liver Centre found.

There were 115 paracetamol-related cases and 69 non-paracetamol related cases at the centre over the 12 years to 2020. Of the non-paracetamol DILI cases, antibiotics and antifungals were the most commonly implicated medicines (19 cases). However, the proportion of cases linked with herbal and dietary supplements (15 cases) grew steadily over the period, from 15% to 47% of the non-paracetamol cases.

Cases linked with herbal or dietary supplements had especially poor prognoses, the study found, with 90-day … Read the rest

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Evidence does not support vitamin supplementation for heart health

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Posted 11 June 2021

Researchers who searched PubMed for the phrase “vitamin supplements and cardiovascular health” have found no significant evidence that supplementation with vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, or K, folic acid, or multivitamins improved cardiovascular functioning or decreased the incidence of heart attacks or strokes in the general public. Their review, based on 87 studies that met their inclusion criteria, concluded:

A recommendation to suggest vitamin use to maintain and/or improve clinical cardiovascular outcomes cannot not be made for the general public. Instead, counseling people to follow a healthy diet, rich in fruits and vegetables seems more appropriate to improve and maintain cardiovascular health.

Reference: Simsek B. and others. Effects of vitamin supplements on clinical cardiovascular outcomes: Time to move on!—A comprehensive review. Clinical Nutrition ESPEN 42:1-14, April 2021

Source: Consumer Health Digest #21-22 June 6,, 2021

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Zinzino: 17 unsettling things you need to consider

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Posted 10 December 2020

I have been asked by a number of readers about Zinzino. 

Zinzino is a MLM (Multilevel marketing) company, very similar to Herbalife, Amway etc. 

Multilevel marketing (MLM) is a strategy that some direct sales companies use to encourage existing distributors to recruit new distributors. In MLM schemes, there can be hundreds or thousands of members worldwide, but relatively few earn meaningful incomes from their efforts, indicating a possible pyramid scheme. Investopedia

There is no robust evidence to confirm that these products have any significant clinically proven benefits over other vitamin supplements.

A number of relevant questions and answers regarding this company, and its products, can be found at this site which asks:

Curing the world of all its ailments, lengthening the human lifespan, and hitting a million customers in the next few years are just a few of their ambitions. But can Read the rest

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Collagen hype scrutinised

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Posted 19 November 2020

Consumer Reports has spotlighted the lack of scientific support for claims that consuming collagen powders, pills, and foods can result in smoother skin, shinier hair, stronger nails, healthier joints, and more lean muscle mass.
Reference: Wadyka S. The real deal on collagen. Consumer Reports, Oct 13, 2020

The article notes that Nutrition Business Journal projects collagen supplement sales in the U.S. to reach $298 million this year—up from $73 million in 2015. Collagen is a protein that holds skin, tendons, ligaments, bones, and cartilage together. But that doesn’t mean that consumers benefit from collagen in supplements or added to foods, such as energy bars, oatmeal, smoothies, coffee creamers, and popcorn. The human body makes collagen from glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and other amino acids when proteins (not limited to collagen) are digested. The bottom line in the article is that “until there’s more conclusive evidence in Read the rest

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