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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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Horny goat weed, over-the-counter sexual treatments unproven, maybe harmful

Posted 19 January 2016

Most Top-Selling, Over-the-Counter Sexual Treatments Unproven, Some Could be Harmful, Review Shows

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – January 11, 2016

From horny goat weed to ginseng and maca, over-the-counter dietary supplements sold to improve male sexual health contain a wide variety of “natural” ingredients. Researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center reviewed the scientific evidence for the most common ingredients to determine if they are effective – and most importantly – safe. The results are published online ahead of print in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

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