You have to be careful when purchasing dietary supplements from flea markets, swap meets, online, ethnic stores and international stores because some of these products are nothing more than health fraud scams. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) representative Cariny Nunez (Public Health Advisory in the Office of Minority Health) warns us that health scams tend to lurk in nontraditional shopping locations and are highly attractive to non-English native speakers and people in remote locations where health care facilities and information are few in number or nonexistent.

“Natural” Does Not Automatically Equal “Safe”

According to FDA representative Dr. Gary Coody (National Health Fraud Coordinator), products marketed as natural are not always safe. Some products marketed as natural can contain other medical ingredients that are not only unnatural, but they are also unsafe to consume.

Also, harmful (and often unlisted) chemical ingredients and contamination may also be present in these products.

For instance, a substance in the FDA-approved drug Meridia called Sibutramine may still be present in some of these natural weight loss products. The problem with this is Sibutramine caused Meridia to be banned in 2010 because of the potential for the chemical to cause strokes and heart conditions.

Coody also warns us that FDA-approved ingredients can prove to be still unsafe if the prescription dosage or ingredient portion is in unsafe proportions.  As Nunez already mentioned, health scams tend to target nontraditional populations like ethnic societies and people with persistent health issues like obesity, cancer, heart disease and HIV/AIDS because these populations are often seeking more affordable and convenient ways to treat their conditions.  However, when people in these populations use these questionable products, they often experience a setback in real medical treatment for their conditions.

How Can You Determine if a Marketed Health Product is a Potential Scam?

Be alert for claims like these:

  • FDA-Approved. There are no imported or domestic or imported dietary supplements that are FDA-approved.
  • “All natural.” As stated earlier, some natural products have other additives that are unsafe to consume. Also, not all plants are safe to consume even if they are found in a supplement.
  • Quick fixes. There just aren’t any products out there that can treat a serious illness or condition quickly—no matter if it’s FDA-approved or not. So anything promising drastic results for a condition like obesity or cancer in a short period of time (like days or weeks) should be treated with extreme caution.
  • Personal testimonials. Just because someone says the product works doesn’t mean you should ignore the fact there is no scientific verification of these claims.
  • Miracle cure. Buzz words like “scientific breakthrough” or “new discovery” are often signs of an exaggerated claim. Our common sense should tell us that if this supplement provided the real cure for a serious condition, the media would already have this supplement featured on the radio, TV, internet or print publications.
  • One product does all. Always be cautious about products claiming to cure a host of health conditions.

Finally, consult your physician if you are still considering a drug that has questionable claims or is not FDA-approved. To determine if a product is already banned by the FDA, just go to their website to see if there are any existing legal issues concerning the product.

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Beware of products (like foods or dietary supplements) claiming to improve your sexual performance because a lot of these products contain hidden ingredients that are not fit for human consumption and have the potential to be unsafe.

According to the FDA, about 300 of the products out there on the market for sexual performance have been found to have ingredients not reported on the label. These products may include ingredients found in FDA-approved drugs like Levitra, Viagra and Cialis, but the amount may be extremely high (especially in dosage quantity). Also, some products have a combination of hidden ingredients that may prove to be very unsafe regardless of the amount found.

Dr. M. Daniel Dos Santos, representative of the Division of Dietary Supplement Programs for the FDA, tells us that even if you read labels to determine the safety of a product, you may still select a product that is unsafe because some of the ingredients may not be listed. Despite a product label boasting of having only natural or herbal ingredients, the product could still contain unnatural herbal ingredients and chemicals, which means the label is deceiving people into believing they have a natural product when in actuality, they do not.

A Drug Cocktail

The FDA has discovered there are a lot of high doses of hidden ingredient mixtures in a lot of supplements sold for Erectile Dysfunction (ED). One supplement had a dosage amount that contained 31 times more of the ingredient Tadalafil than what is contained in Cialis. Also, this supplement had a high amount of a non-FDA-approved antidepressant called Dapoxetine.

A lot of dietary supplements are legitimately marketed and are not approved by the FDA like many other prescription and non-prescription drugs. The FDA usually examines dietary supplement that are legally sold by either doing facility inspections or by responding to consumer reports of negative responses to using the product. It is required for a company to ensure the products they market for human consumption are safe and actually work.

Unknown Contaminants

Alternative ED products are often marketed as sexual enhancement supplements because a dietary supplement can’t claim legally that it will diagnose, prevent, treat or cure an actual medical condition. Even though they are legally available for sale, it does not guarantee they are safe.

Risky Interactions

Many of these sexual enhancement supplements for men create adverse interactions with heart medications and certain other drugs.

For instance, if you use a supplement that has Sildenafil (an ingredient found in Viagra) and also take drugs with Nitrates, you could risk your blood pressure dropping at an unsafe level. Keep in mind that a lot of people with ED often have conditions that require medications with Nitrates (like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease).

The FDA works hard to prevent the sale of unapproved products by issuing recalls and having these types of medicines destroyed. The organization also sends out several warnings to be cautious about these types of products. Advisory letters are often given to manufacturers that market these products to cease production and/or sale of these products. After the advisory is given, a refusal to stop marketing the illegal product could result in import alerts (where the FDA can seize and physically examine all products deemed to be in violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act), seizures, recalls, injunctions and criminal prosecutions.

Whether you’re an amateur athlete or a weekend warrior, there are nutritional supplements for improved sports performance can help you get the most out of every workout, game, or run!

Your preference for athletics may be a few hours playing tennis or pick-up soccer games, an afternoon hike, a mud run, or even some home training. You may not be a professional athlete, but that doesn’t mean you don’t take physical fitness seriously. And that means you probably want to improve your performance, regardless of how it’s measured.

The sad truth is, most supplements don’t live up to their marketing hype. And no supplement can replace a sensible diet or hard training. But a handful of these products do provide real, scientifically proven benefits for athletes, such as faster post-exercise recovery, enhanced workout performance and reduced risk of injury.

Nutritional supplements for sports performance are suitable for:

  • Athletes of all levels from recreational to professional.
  • Those looking to enhance endurance and stamina levels.
  • Anyone seeking to gain a competitive edge in their training and on match-day.

Sources:

Tourette syndrome is a problem with the nervous system that causes people to make sudden movements or sounds, called tics, that they can’t control. For example, someone with Tourette’s might blink or clear their throat over and over again. Some people may blurt out words they don’t intend to say.

Treatments can control tics, but some people don’t need any unless their symptoms really bother them.

Tourette Syndrome has been linked to different parts of the brain, including an area called the basal ganglia, which helps control body movements. Differences there may affect nerve cells and the chemicals that carry messages between them. Researchers think the trouble in this brain network may play a role in Tourette’s. Doctors don’t know exactly what causes these problems in the brain, but genes probably play a role. It’s likely that there is more than one cause.

Dietary changes as well as certain supplements can be used to treat the condition. Eliminating trigger foods and ingredients as well as natural treatment for Tourette syndrome can nearly eliminate the presence of tics and other symptoms of the condition.

Source: http://www.yourwebdoc.com/nervoustics.php

When you take OTC (over the counter) or prescription medications you may also take a regular vitamin too or some other type of dietary supplement. There may be a danger in mixing dietary supplements with regular medications you’re taking.

Medical officer Robert Mozersky who works at the FDA says that some dietary supplements impact the metabolism and increase it while some other dietary supplements decrease the metabolism.

The metabolism, absorption, or excretion of a medication can be impacted so the potency is changed. You may be getting too much or too little of the medication you’re taking now.

Medications and dietary supplements combined together may have dangerous or even life-threatening consequences. Drugs used for heart disease, HIV/AIDS, depression, birth control pills, and drugs for organ transplant treatment are made less effective when taking with the herbal supplement St. John’s Wort. It depends on the medication being taken, but the results may be serious.

Prescription blood thinner warfarin, herbal supplement ginkgo biloba, aspirin, and vitamin E supplements can thin the blood. If these are taken together there could be a stroke or internal bleeding.

Dietary supplements are commonly used and include minerals and vitamins as well as other less common substances such as, amino acids, botanicals, herbals, as well as enzymes. The (NHANES) or National Health and Nutrition Examination Study from 2005-2008 of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that 72 million people or 34% of participants in the United States took some type of dietary supplement with prescription medication. Many take supplements to ensure they get the right essential nutrients, but dietary supplements shouldn’t be used as a replacement for eating a wide variety of foods we need for a healthy diet.

Consumers are under the false impression that “natural products such as an herbal supplement or fish oil won’s hurt them, but natural doesn’t mean that it’s safe to take. A weight loss product might be herbal or “natural,” but might be unsafe for people to take that have certain medical conditions.

Children can be harmed by taking both medications and supplements. The metabolism of a child is unique and when they are at different ages, the metabolism works at different rates. For children ingesting dietary supplements with medication can increase the chances of adverse events taking place.

If you plan to have some type of surgery, dietary supplements can harm you as you may have medication you take before, after, or during the surgery procedure. Your doctor may have you stop using supplements about 2-3 weeks before you medical procedure is to take place. You may have blood pressure, heart rate, or bleeding risks if you continue take supplements before the procedure date.

If you’re breastfeeding or pregnant you need to discuss dietary supplements with your doctor to understand your risks.

Our liver is quite underappreciated, but it does remarkable things for us. The liver turns the nutrient sin our food into substances that the body can use. Our liver converts toxins we ingest into harmless substance or ensures they are removed from the body.

When our liver works well, the metabolism is in equilibrium. Dietary substances and drugs can impact the liver and cause havoc to this system which may lead to liver problems for us. The FDA is working to prevent liver damage caused by drugs.

FDA gastrointestinal medical reviewer and consultant in hepatology, John R. Senior, M.D., says that drugs can cause liver problems, but that the problems occur rarely. He says it’s difficult to determine how drugs will impact the liver of any given patient because each one is different. He says they work to prevent toxicity to the liver from drugs.

Rapid deterioration of the organ’s ability to function, is called acute liver failure. OTC drugs or over the counter drugs have been shown from data to cause more acute liver failure cases more than any other cause combined.

Dietary supplements have bene shown by the FDA to cause some liver damage. The FDA issues warnings and sent letter to various companies making muscle building and weight loss supplements. A Texas company in one case, recalled and destroyed a certain dietary supplement after it discovered that is was causing non-viral hepatitis and liver failure.

Symptoms and Signs

What are the signs of liver problems?

You may have a poor appetite or feel tired all the time. You may develop jaundice which is a yellow color around the eyes or you may get itchy. The skin is itchy because the liver can’t clear toxins as well as it should.

A patient may take a drug that they haven’t used before and have some of those symptoms. In this case, the person needs to seek medical attention and stop the use of the drug if it’s shown to be causing problems for them.

If a patient has been using the drug for a long time and they get symptoms, then it may be something else. It’s hard to determine if it’s a drug causing the symptoms or something else entirely. Excessive consumption of alcohol as well as obesity also damage the liver.

The FDA works to ensure that consumers are safe. The FDA asked for withdrawal of over 120 applications for combination prescription acetaminophen drug products that contained more than 325 mg acetaminophen per dosage unit in 2014. The FDA told physicians and pharmacists to stop dispensing and prescribing medications that contained more than 325mg of acetaminophen per dose. As a result of this, manufacturers have stopped marketing prescription combination products that have more than 325 mg of acetaminophen

Other products that may damage the liver are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications as well as certain antibiotics.

The liver has regenerative properties and can regenerate even when 65% is surgically removed such as during a cancer treatment or destroyed. The organ can become tolerant to drug products and other foreign agents. If the liver isn’t healthy, there can be complications from drug interactions can be severe.