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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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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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Formule Naturelle Milk Thistle – ASA ruling

Posted 20 February 2013

A consumer laid a complaint against a Facebook page promoting the respondent’s “FORMULA Naturelle” Milk Thistle product. The page lists the historic use and purported benefits of Milk Thistle as a natural remedy for, inter alia, “… liver and gallbladder disorders …”

The complainant submitted that the advertising lists Silybum marianum as an ingredient. This is a schedule 3 substance, making it illegal for the respondent to be advertising this product to persons other than medical practitioners.

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