Saturday, October 12, 2013

Dietary Supplements: Is the Fox Guarding the Hen House? Part 7

Earlier this summer, I pointed out two news items highlighting the dangers of dietary supplements.  Of course, I never point out the lack of danger of the majority of these readily available substances, including ubiquitous vitamin D, which I recommend.  So I ask myself, why am I playing the role of the dog chasing after the car?  More importantly, why this car?

For instance, why don't I point out the dangers of vaccinations & immunizations, for instance?  Well, when it comes to vaccinations, I interpret the evidence as benefit exceeding risk, with more disease prevalent when vaccinations are avoided, as just published early online last month in Pediatrics.   But when it comes to dangers, there are no studies demonstrating cause & effect aside from known side effects, at least none strong enough to warrant withholding said immunization.

So what lead to this diatribe?  Just yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention published their weekly Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report in which they discussed the recent rash of acute hepatitis & liver failure linked to the dietary supplement, OxyELITE Pro, first reported in Hawaii as per USA Today 3 days ago.  Far be it for me to use broad brush strokes in painting a whole industry as tainted, because it's not.  But there is no mandatory 3rd party oversight in the manufacture & marketing of these products such that manufacturers are allowed to make miraculous claims w/o proof of safety or effectiveness as long as a standard disclaimer is included.

So think twice before buying that dietary supplement claiming to improve your sex drive, harden your erections, pack on more muscle, melt away fat, and ward off dementia, all w/o any side effects because it's natural, organic & herbal.  Caveat emptor.

Dietary Supplements: Part 6
Dietary Supplements: Part 5

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