Vitamins and supplements have long been tied to health benefits and disease prevention, but a new study from Consumer Reports would suggests otherwise, saying there’s a dark side to natural supplements we may not realize. The study highlights supplement-related incidents including adverse reactions, misleading advertising, and even an increase in diseases that some pills claim to treat.
Some of the most worrisome news is that not only are some supplements not all-natural as they claim to be, but they could also be laced with prescription drugs. These prescriptions can interfere with other drugs and cause kidney failure, a stroke, or even death.
Most supplements recalled had the same ingredients as prescriptions marketed for weight loss, bodybuilding, and sexual enhancement. Consumers wanting a natural alternative to Viagra, for example, may be buying an herbal remedy that’s spiked with the same active ingredient used in Viagra – sildenafil.
This problem recently showed up in the 2012 Olympic games when bodybuilder Hysen Palaku was barred from competing after testing positive for steroids. The Albanian said he only took herbal supplements and was unaware they contained a drug.
I know, this week feels short because of our one day off on Wednesday! Don’t run for the real weekend just yet though! Check out some healthy news from DIR and our friends. Plus, we have great recipes to keep on celebrating the patriotic holiday because that one day didn’t do us justice!
Here are five tips for Americans 65 and older who don’t want their age to define them. Our registered dietitian, Mary Hartley RD, offers great advice for those who want to feel great as they age.
GlaxoSmithKline is ordered to pay up to $3 billion dollars for wrongfully promoting prescription drugs and not properly reporting important clinical data. The company marketed drugs to children and a weight-loss aid that was never approved by the FDA.
Brandi Laughlin is a mother of two boys who only temporarily struggled with her postpartum weight. After several months of battling her weight, Brandi lost 60 pounds. A few months later she was pregnant with her second son, and today she is a mere five pounds shy of her goal weight. Check out her true weight loss story! (more…)
Another risk for dieters has shown itself with body dysmorphic disorder. Researched published this spring shows that the chance for suicide in those with the disorder increase by 50 percent. The study, published in the journal Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, theorizes that because it takes a high pain tolerance to essentially starve oneself, that person also has the pain tolerance to undergo a painful suicide attempt. Researchers also reported that 25 percent of people with the disorder have attempted suicide and 75 percent thought their lives were not worth living.
To have body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) means to have an obsession with a real or imagined flaw in one’s body image. This condition has long been known to be dangerous and life threatening. It’s also known as “broken mirror syndrome,” a reference to BDD sufferers’ tendency to stare at themselves in the mirror for hours agonizing over a small defect in their appearance. They often become somewhat delusional, for instance seeing great amounts of fat on their body where there is not.
Although gender stereotypes suggest that women are more likely to have this disorder, the gender ratio is fairly equal. Both men and women with BDD commonly see flaws with their facial features, skin, or weight. Patients sometimes seek to improve their appearance by extreme dieting, cosmetic surgery, or excessive amounts of exercise. (more…)
An advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration decided that obesity drugs must undergo clinical trials to ensure they do not cause heart attacks. The 17 to 6 vote now requires studies for all obesity drugs even if no apparent cardiovascular risk exist.
The track record of weight loss drugs has not been stellar. Though the new testing requirement will require much more time and money and ultimately impede drug production, the majority felt strongly about their decision.
“Given the checkered history of weight loss drugs, I think it is better to be prudent and err on the side of caution,” Dr. Sanjay Kaul, a cardiologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Those who oppose the vote feel a much needed treatment will now be difficult to administer.
“If the F.D.A. follows through with this vote, you’ve just added another big disincentive for the drug companies to come up with obesity drugs, and we desperately need new drugs,” said Dr. Ed J. Hendricks, an obesity specialist in Sacramento.