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.

High intensity exercise has quickly become a growing trend within the fitness community because it allows for more work to be performed in a shorter period of time and it helps the athlete achieve higher levels of anaerobic fitness. As our lives become busier, extended workouts or high volume training methods with multiple sets and extended rest periods are not practical for the average person due to lack of motivation, attention span or their busy lifestyle.

The more important aspect of high intensity exercise that has made it popular is the results. Research has shown that high intensity interval training (running, rowing or high repetition resistance training) improves anaerobic as well as aerobic endurance while moderate intensity endurance training can only improve aerobic endurance.

High-intensity exercises are one of the best ways to torch fat and get into shape. However, preparing your body with supplements for high-intensity exercises is just as important as actually doing the exercises.

Why do you take supplements? To fill the gaps in your diet, or to maximize the results you get from your training. But don’t forget this one: To perform better in the gym! Consistent daily use of supplements for high-intensity exercises can have several beneficial effects on power, strength, and performance!

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Do you want to reach your fitness goals without spending a ton of money on supplements? Supplements can have wonderful benefits and help you reach your goals, but they won’t just do it for you. It is possible to get stronger without supplements. You have to train, eat, and rest correctly in order to do this.

The problem with supplements is that they do such a good job of convincing everyone that they won’t be able to reach any kind of fitness goal without them. In reality, they are just supplements. They are supposed to SUPPLEMENT your training, diet, and rest. You can take all the supplements in the world, but if you don’t do anything else, you will be pretty unhappy with the results.

When you are looking to boost strength and build lean muscle mass, you need supplements that have supporting science and a long history of gains. These supplements have all been used by body builders, fitness models, and fitness enthusiasts for over a decade, and are time tested.

You do not need the newest and most “hip” supplement to build lean muscle mass and boost your strength. Stick with the supplements that are proven muscle builders or which effectiveness were proved by science studies.

You may be given a list of foods you need to avoid while pregnant such as soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk, undercooked meat, as well as alcohol and other foods. There is one food that you actually need more of when pregnant and also while breastfeeding. You need more shellfish and fish. Science has shown that fish which are low in mercury can help during pregnancy and impact the neurodevelopment as well as growth of your child in a positive way. Fish is also good for the health of the mother too.

The EPA Environmental Protection Agency and FDA Food and Drug Administration have issues revised advice for pregnant women to consume more fish low in mercury, as well as those that may become pregnant, young children, and breastfeeding mothers

The FDA looked at data from pregnant women in the U.S. and saw that they ate less fish than was recommended. Twenty-one percent of women said that ate no fish at all in the previous month. Fifty percent of women that ate fish in the previous month ate less than two ounces of it and seventy-five percent ate less than four ounces each week.

Stephen Ostroff, M.D. FDA’s Acting Chief Scientist said th4e FDA is updating their advice because science shows that eating 8-12 ounces of fish and shellfish per week during pregnancy has positive results for the growth of the fetus and its development. The FDA looked at research from the past decade to revise their recommendations.

The new amounts of fish is the right range to maximize fetal development because fish provide a lot of benefits. The science wasn’t available in 2004 when the FDA last issued advice on fish consumption.

The advice in 2004 said to eat up to twelve ounces of fish, but didn’t give the minimum to eat. The new recommendation is for women that are pregnant or might become pregnant along with breastfeeding women to eat at least eight ounces of fish and shellfish per week and up to twelve ounces. The advice also extends to small children, but the amounts should that you feed them.

Which Fish and Shellfish Should You Consume?

Shellfish and fish are high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins. Fish for the most part are low in saturated fat and have some vitamin D. eating fish while pregnant, breastfeeding or giving it to your child early in their development can help with overall development of the child and growth. Eating fish can also reduce your chances of having cardiac issues.

Those that just take omega-3 supplements are missing out on the entire package of nutrition that the whole fish or shellfish provides for you. It’s far better to consume the whole thing than rely on a supplement.

It’s a good idea to eat a wide variety of fish that are low in mercury. Most fish you buy in the grocery store are low in mercury such as salmon, shrimp, Pollock, tilapia, light tuna, cod, and catfish.

Block Carbs and Fat

March 14, 2014

Today many people are looking for ways to lose weight, it isn’t easy but there are ways to achieve your goals. First thing that you need to do is get your body moving!

By exercising you burn calories which shed pounds. You do not need to be an athlete to exercise; you just need to start by putting one foot in front of the other. Walking is a great way to start exercising and once you feel comfortable then you can add weights.

The second thing you need to do when trying to lose weight is to eat right. Many people find this very difficult so here are some easy tips to follow:

  • Drink plenty of water since sometimes you can confuse hunger with thirst.
  • Keep enjoying your favorite foods, but in moderation. If you make a food off limits you can end up overeating when your craving becomes too great
  • Eat protein at every meal to keep you fuller longer.
  • Eat several mini meals a day and on smaller plates to keep portion sizes under control. Eating every few hours will keep you satisfied and prevent overeating.

The third way to help you lose weight is to use weight loss pills. Weight loss supplements and diet pills work in a variety of ways. While some products focus on curbing the appetite, others help in preventing fat and carbs to be absorbed into the body. Why is it so important to block carbs and fat?