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Bleeding risks of dietary supplements after surgery and anticoagulant use spotlighted

Posted 03 January 2023

After identifying the 47 most popular dietary-supplement ingredients in the U.S., researchers reviewed the literature on the risks of bleeding they pose to patients postoperatively and while taking anticoagulant medications. [Hatfield J and others. Dietary supplements and bleeding. Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings. 35:802–807, 2022]

They found:

  • Garlic and hawthorn supplementation is strongly associated with surgical bleeding.
  • Cordyceps sinensis, echinacea, and aloe vera were each associated with surgical bleeding in just one case report.
  • Ginkgo biloba, chondroitin-glucosamine, melatonin, turmeric, bilberry, chamomile, fenugreek, milk thistle, and peppermint are associated with bleeding risk for patients taking anticoagulants.
  • Fish oil, ginseng, and saw palmetto are not linked to bleeding.
  • Evidence for overall bleeding risk of St. John’s wort, ginger, ginkgo biloba, or cranberry supplementation is conflicting.

Source: Consumer Health Digest #23-01, January 1, 2023

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Big problems with popular turmeric and echinacea supplements

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

Two in five health supplements may not contain what they claim on the label

Scientists who analysed milk thistle and echinacea supplements sold in British health food shops, pharmacies and supermarkets discovered between 30 and 40 per cent of products did not contain the active ingredient as described on the label.

The early results from the British Herbal Medicine Association study suggest some supplements could be ineffective or have different health benefits to those claimed.

The study is due to be published next year but early findings were presented by BHMA chair Dr Chris Etheridge at the College of Medicine’s Plant Medicine Conference in London this week.

Scientists… Continue reading at The Telegraph or at the PressReader

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New York Attorney General targets herbal marketers

Posted 09 February 2015

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has sent letters ordering GNC, Target, Walmart, and Walgreens to stop selling store-brand herbal products that could not be verified to contain the labeled substance(s), or which were found to contain ingredients not listed on their labels. The products included echinacea, ginseng, and St. John’s wort. The letters were sent because DNA tests performed as part of the Attorney General’s ongoing investigation found that only 21% of the products contained ingredients listed on their labels. Quackwatch has more details plus links to the warning letters. The investigation was triggered by a New York Times report about a Canadian study which found widespread discrepancies between the ingredients listed on the labels of 44 popular products and those found in the products.

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