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Dietary Supplements

NEWS
February 2, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Tribune Health
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.
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HEALTH
December 31, 2010 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday advised consumers not to buy or use two drinks sold as supplements for sexual enhancement. The products, Rock Hard Extreme and Passion Coffee, are sold on websites and possibly in retail outlets, the agency said. Laboratory analysis indicated that both contain sulfoaildenafil, an active pharmaceutical ingredient that is similar to sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra. Sulfoaildenafil could interact with prescription medications that include nitrates, the FDA warned, lowering blood pressure to "dangerous levels.
NATIONAL
December 16, 2010 | By Andrew Zajac, Washington Bureau
The Food and Drug Administration warned the nation's dietary supplements industry Wednesday against spiking its products with steroids, prescription drugs and other prohibited substances. The warning was the latest salvo in a long-running battle between federal regulators and an industry that is held to far less rigorous health and safety standards than those imposed on makers of pharmaceuticals and medical devices ? thanks in part to powerful friends in Congress. Unlike drugs, dietary supplements don't have to be proven safe before being sold, and manufacturers can make general claims about health benefits.
HEALTH
December 1, 2010 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
A team of experts convened by the Institute of Medicine sought Tuesday to douse growing concerns that North Americans are deficient in two key nutrients ? calcium and vitamin D ? and that they risk higher rates of a wide range of chronic diseases and cancers as a result. The panel concluded that "with few exceptions, all North Americans are receiving enough calcium and vitamin D" from the foods they eat ? many of which have been fortified with both nutrients. For all but a few, adding more of those nutrients in pill form would be useless at best and, at worst, would risk harm, added the report, which was two years in the making.
NEWS
November 17, 2010 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
Patients taking warfarin to prevent dangerous blood clots should avoid herbal and dietary supplements because they can change the drug’s effectiveness. But apparently, they don’t know that. And their doctors may not appreciate the risk, either, according to a presentation this week at the American Heart Assn.’s Scientific Sessions meeting in Chicago. Researchers from Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City asked 100 people taking warfarin (sold under the brand name Coumadin)
NEWS
October 8, 2010
Want to live longer? One of the most sure-fire strategies is caloric restriction . Going on what amounts to a permanent diet has been shown to stave off age-related diseases and death in worms, flies, rodents and monkeys. But caloric restriction isn’t for everyone. Thankfully, scientists have been looking for ways to get the same benefits with less sacrifice. A group of Italian researchers is offering up one potential alternative – water fortified with a cocktail of branched-chain amino acids , or BCAAs for short.
HEALTH
March 1, 2010
If you're shopping for a pill or gadget to trim your waistline, grow your hair or generally make you feel better, you probably take comfort in the words "FDA approved" or "FDA registered. " Even in a time of widespread distrust of government, most people continue to put their faith in the Food and Drug Administration, says Daniel Carpenter, professor of government at Harvard University and author of the soon-to-be published book "Reputation and Power: Organizational Image and Pharmaceutical Regulation at the FDA. " "FDA approval is like the Good Housekeeping seal of approval, only much more so," Carpenter says.
HEALTH
February 1, 2010 | By Trine Tsouderos
An industrial chemical developed to help separate heavy metals from polluted soil and mining drainage is being sold as a dietary supplement by a luminary in the world of alternative autism treatments. The supplement, called OSR#1, is described on the company website as an antioxidant not meant to treat any disease. But the site lists pharmacies and doctors who sell it to parents of children with autism, and the compound has been promoted to parents on popular autism websites. "I sprinkle the powder into Bella's morning juice and onto Mia and Gianna's gluten free waffle breakfast sandwich," wrote Kim Stagliano, managing editor of the Age of Autism blog and mother of three girls on the autism spectrum, in an enthusiastic post last spring.
NATIONAL
December 6, 2009 | By Kim Geiger and Tom Hamburger
Acupuncturists, dietary-supplement makers and other alternative health practitioners, some of whose treatments are considered unproven by the medical establishment, would be brought more squarely into the mainstream of American medicine under the health legislation now before the Senate. The legislation would allow doctors to incorporate alternative health providers in some treatment plans. It also includes language that some believe could require insurance companies to expand their coverage for alternative therapies, on which Americans now spend $34 billion a year.
NATIONAL
October 18, 2009 | Diane C. Lade
An ultraviolet light that its sellers promise will "destroy swine flu virus." A dietary supplement claiming to be "more effective than the swine flu shot." Pills, hand sanitizers and air filters galore. Through daily Internet searches, the Food and Drug Administration found hundreds of suspect items advertised as swine flu deterrents and cures, and over the last six months warned 80 Internet purveyors to stop peddling unproved or illegal treatments. The FDA has issued an advisory, telling consumers to use "extreme care" when purchasing online products claiming to diagnose, treat or prevent the H1N1 virus.
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