December 1, 2010 |
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.
November 17, 2010 |
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)
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.
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.
February 1, 2010 |
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.
December 6, 2009 |
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.
October 18, 2009 |
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.
September 9, 2009 |
Pharmacy chain CVS Caremark Corp. will repay about $2.8 million to consumers who bought a dietary supplement that was falsely marketed as a product that could prevent illness, the Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday. CVS touted its AirShield tablets and powders as a way to fight off the flu and boost the immune system, but there is no evidence that the products could do either, the commission said. As part of the $2.78-million settlement, CVS agreed to no longer make those claims, and it has changed the products' packaging.
July 13, 2009 |
Like aspirin and the heart medicine digitalis, resveratrol is a plant extract -- one with seemingly powerful and broad effects on living organisms. It acts as a phytoestrogen, mimicking many of the hormone estrogen's effects. In the cells of rodents as well as humans, it disrupts the genetic machinery that gives rise to inflammation and to cancerous tumors. In cell cultures of brain tissue, it even cleans up the tangled amyloid deposits that are the hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.
July 3, 2009 |
The NFL suspended New York Jets linebacker Calvin Pace for four games without pay Thursday for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances. Pace will miss New York's first four games of the season and be eligible to return for the Monday night game at Miami on Oct. 12. In a statement issued by the Jets, Pace said the ban is a result of his taking an over-the-counter dietary supplement that he was unaware violated the NFL's policy.