What You Need To Know About DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS

August 20, 2006

imagesehi.jpgI take my daily multivitamin. Any Vitamin preparation is a dietary supplement. But also those in the market sold as health food supplements such as herbals, amino acids and energy bars.

So, How do we protect ourselves from taking supplements that may be harmful to us?

Based on studies by the the US FDA Center for Apllied Nutrition, some supplements can really help us but they can also harm us. Be aware of the potential side effects of each supplement before you buy especially if you are taking other medications.

Examples of combination of dietary supplements and common medications that we dont recommend:

1. Calcium and Digoxin ( a heart medication)

2. St John’s Wort and Antidepressants

3. Magnesium and Diuretics like Lasix 

4. Vitamin K and blood thinners like Coumadin

Remember the following tips before buying supplements:

1. Avoid supplements with “cure it all” claims- unless the company has been awarded the Nobel Prize for A Miracle Drug.

2. Don’t be fooled by the word: NATURAL. It does not necessarily equate to being SAFE! Any supplement taken in excess can be toxic to the body and harm either the liver or the kidney. Don’t be fooled by these marketing strategies.

3.DO NOT attempt to substitute a prescription medicine for a dietary supplement based on the product claim… this may kill you, physically and financially! They’re also expensive!

A Take Home Message:

– Dietary Supplements ARE NOT intended to treat, prevent or cure a disease or to be used as replacement for healthy food options.

– Do not self diagnose your condition and treat it based on claims. Talk with your doctor as how best to utilize a supplement and how safe it is in combination with your other drugs.

Dietary Supplements Can Be Your Partners in Health or Your Foe!

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4 Responses to “What You Need To Know About DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS”

  1. Belinda Says:

    My query is nothing to do with the above topic but rather an interesting read I had. Using antidepressant like Aropax to minimize menopausal symptoms like hot flushes etc..What’s your thought about this?Thanks

  2. Doc Gerry Says:

    One alternative to estrogen is paroxetine or aropax for hot flashes. However in a recent review published in Journal of the American Medical Assc last May- nothing beats the reduction of hot flashes by estrogen. The three effective non estrogen substances that worked: paroxitine, clonidine and gabapentin all reduced hot flashes by one a day. The problem with paroxetine is the side effect profile which includes anxiety, headache and insomnia.

  3. maxim Says:

    Talking about supplements, is ginko biloba helpful for us Doctor?


  4. i used to take vitamin e due to wrong perceptions, maayo nlng naa sa blog ni doctor studies about vitamin e.. thank u so much.. its very helpful


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