January 26, 2012 |
A new proposal to toughen the Food and Drug Administration's power to regulate dietary supplements has the makers of vitamins, minerals and botanical extracts up in arms. But an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine says the drug-safety agency's proposed new powers do not go nearly far enough. To expand its current $28-billion-a-year market, the dietary supplements industry is widely devising and selling formulations that use "novel" products -- minerals, plants, or amino acids that appear newly promising, which have not circulated widely in the United States before, or which are offered in "mega-doses" much higher than have been customarily used in supplements.
December 26, 2011 |
Antioxidant-rich products promise an easy way to stave off disease. Simply swallow two softgels daily or knock back a glass of goji-pomegranate juice and the "supercritical" compounds will neutralize those nasty free radicals that threaten your health. Such bold claims seem logical. There's evidence that free radicals, or oxidants, are involved in cancer, degenerative brain diseases and certain other illnesses. And when oxidants turn up in our bodies - it happens when we turn food into energy or are exposed to infection, smoking and other triggers - we fight back by producing antioxidants that can soak them up like a sponge.
December 6, 2011 |
In a Consumer Reports test of fish oil supplements, most passed muster but some didn't measure up on quality. Lab test results on 15 top brands analyzed for amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, disintegration, spoilage and contaminants. Researchers found that at least one sample from six brands didn't meet all the standards set. The results were released Tuesday and are available on newsstands. Over-the-counter fish oil supplements are extremely popular and used to treat heart disease, high blood pressure and psoriasis and a number of other ailments.
October 11, 2011 |
Some vitamin and mineral supplements -- including iron and multivitamins -- are associated with a small increase in the risk of death in older women, researchers reported Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Their results, which came out of a two-decade study of nearly 40,000 women in Iowa, are part of a longstanding debate: Are dietary supplements beneficial or not? Many experts consider taking extra vitamins and minerals unnecessary -- at least for most in the Western world, where eating a healthful diet is relatively easy. "We see little justification for the general and widespread use of dietary supplements," nutritionist Jaakko Mursu, of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis and the University of Eastern Finland, wrote along with coauthors. An accompanying article in the Archives of Internal Medicine echoed the sentiment. An editor's note also argued that "less is more" when it comes to taking your vitamins.
October 10, 2011 |
Some dietary supplements are associated with an increased risk of death in older women, according to a study released Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine. In an analysis of about 39,000 women tracked over 19 years, researchers led by a team at the University of Minnesota found that those who took multivitamins, vitamin B6, folic acid, magnesium, zinc, copper and especially iron died at higher rates during the course of the study than those who did not take supplements.
February 2, 2011 |
Americans seem to be falling for fish oil supplements -- and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. A new survey suggests fish oil pills are the most popular dietary supplement in the country, even over multivitamins. Fish oil matters because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, specifically DHA and EPA. If you've been paying attention (and the ConsumerLab.com survey indicates that you have), you know fish oil can help maintain a healthy heart and better brain function for starters.