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News about Nutritional Supplements – do the research!

May 4, 2012

Guys who want to be like Superman or live forever have hundreds, even thousands of supplements – tablets, capsules, liquids, gels, or powders to choose from. In fact, there are more than 50,ooo on the market. If there are so many wonderful products, then why are many of us still packing extra belly fat or going around with high levels of sugar or cholesterol? Because most of them don’t work.They also have little or no effect on stress, depression, aching joints, or anxiety.

As an individual, you may be lucky to have a positive result of some sort. But, don’t try to push it on everybody else. We all have a different biochemical blueprint, and there is no predictable benefit with most supplements. Yet there are a few worth considering, and it’s good advice to take a multi-vitamin as insurance. Because there are too many to list  let alone describe, this will be a short common sense guide with references to whatever else you need to know.

Here’s why supplements are a multi-billion dollar industry:

  • Exotic – they have fancy names and gorgeous models promoting them.
  • Expensive –body builders and some athletes will spend hundreds a month.
  • Alluring – anything in a slick ad that promises a better body will have customers.
  • Promising – you’ve tried everything, now someone tells you there’s a magic pill.

Baby Boomers and Nutritional Supplements – Health conscious baby boomers fighting against aging increasingly turn to supplements to ward off ailments. Vitamins, minerals, and herbs migrated from health food stores to mass merchandisers, and the supplement industry experienced sales to $26 billion in 2009.

Why many supplements are a waste of money  one example – Techmedica Health sold worthless products on Internet sites, fraudulently marketed as dietary supplements. The company earned $12 million dollars between 2005 and 2006. Owner Tony Pham on admitted guilt in court and forfeited these earnings to the government. There are enough examples of companies selling useless and even harmful products to fill a book. The problem is, many of them are getting away with it.

What can you do?

  • Beware of testimonials from customers, hard bodies, and even physicians and nurses.
  • Know that most are unproven: Federal law prohibits claims they can treat, cure, or prevent specific diseases.
  • Even if it works, forget results in 6 to 12 weeks. Try six months, a year, or even 5 years.
  • Buy major brands: The FDA doesn’t routinely test supplements for quality, but some manufacturers follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and make every effort to produce a quality product.
  • Define your goals: lose weight, improve athletic performance, build muscle, reduce stress, treat an injury, have more energy, sleep better, increase sexual performance, or treat a health condition.

What’s in them: vitamins, mineralsherbs, amino acids, enzymes, organ tissues, glandulars, herbs, and/or metabolites.

  • International note: German physicians frequently prescribe the herbs ginkgo biloba, hawthorn,  St. John’s wort, horse chestnut,  and saw palmetto.  German law allows herb manufacturers to market herbs with drug  claims if the herb is proven safe and effective.

Which weight loss supplements work?

Products claim to decrease appetite, block fat  absorption, or increase metabolism. A few may actually be safe and helpful  during a diet. These have some weight loss evidence behind them:

  • Calcium – research is controversial however.
  • Fiber – for men about 35 g a day. Most only get half  the amount.
  • Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) 3.2 g a day
  • Green tea extract can work. If it is decaf,  not as good.
  • Meal replacements work well if used as  directed.
  • Orlistat, an over-the-counter weight loss drug (brand name Alli),  blocks fat absorption.

Click on  these for more detailed references:

There are more than 54,000 dietary  supplements, and only a third are  positively supported by scientific evidence. 12 percent have safety concerns or  problems with product quality.

These are bad for you: aconite, bitter orange, chaparral, colloidal silver, coltsfoot, comfrey,  country mallow, germanium, greater celandine, kava, lobelia, and yohimbe. The  FDA has warned about at least eight of them, yet they are not banned. Keep a supplement blacklist, starting with these

These are safe  for most people and effective for certain conditions:

  • Calcium, cranberry, fish  oil, pygeum,
  • Lactase, lactobacillus,  psyllium
  • SAMe, St. John’s Wort,  vitamin D
  • Green Tea may improve  endurance and burn fat

Doctors selling  nutritional supplements have a financial  stake in promoting health product and represent a conflict of interest. The
American Medical Association advises that physicians who provide  nonprescription health products give them for free or at their own cost.

What’s the  best dose?

Too much of anything can give you side effects, make you sick, or be  wasted in your urine or feces. Not enough of some, like vitamins and minerals,  will lead to problems. Dosing is individual, and complex. Ask your pharmacist or dietician. Most doctors probably won’t know.

End Note: Nothing, of course, beats a healthy diet. Use government sites – that’s where everybody else gets their information from. See the blogroll for a few. Buy only major brands made in developed countries – the U.S., Japan, Europe, etc. Take supplements in moderation and to suit your individual needs.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. August 23, 2014 5:28 pm

    It’s going to be ending of mine day, however before end I am reading this great article to increase my

  2. July 24, 2013 4:40 am

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon everyday.
    It’s always interesting to read articles from other authors and practice a little something from their websites.

  3. July 1, 2013 4:06 pm

    Thank you, I’ve recently been searching for info approximately this topic for a while and yours is the best I have found out till now. But, what about the bottom line? Are you positive concerning the supply?

  4. Gloria A. Oanes permalink
    July 18, 2011 8:31 am

    this is very informative. There are many supplements now flooding in the market. People should be forewarned. Thanks for this posting

  5. July 17, 2011 11:24 am

    Thanks for your comment. There is much information out there, and repeats itself or just focuses on a small part of what we want to know. I did my best to cut through the extra words and put it into one place. Next I’ll do a post on performance enhancements for muscle building and in the bedroom. That will take some research.

  6. July 16, 2011 11:17 pm

    The way that you have explained about the effect of many nutritional supplements to the body is very impressive and interesting. Now-a-days many people using the different tablets and nutritional supplements for different diseases. But success rate seems to be not up to the mark. They would get very good idea about these nutritional supplements and their affect so that they will take proper precautions.


  1. Post of Links!! « @SupplementsandScience

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