Saturday, July 30, 2016

Warning on Dietary Supplements

From Consumer Reports this article was titled "New study sounds the alarm on dietary supplements" and posted on CBS News. But I want to make it clear that this report is about non-pharmaceutical grade supplements. I have also been warning people about taking food grade supplements for years now and these reports give credence to the issues and sometimes dangers of taking non-quality supplements - and here's the kicker, most of the supplements you find do not guaranteed their quality, let alone have accurate label claims or are free of toxins, so let the buyer beware.

I take only supplements manufactured using pharmaceutical grade standards in a lab monitored by the FDA, so this way I know what is on the label is in the bottle. I am not on the bandwagon, yet anyway, for FDA regulation of food grade nutritional supplements - I think the consumers should be the regulatory effect through purchasing or not purchasing, and not have the government regulate this further.

A new investigation may have you rethinking some of your vitamins. Consumer Reports finds certain ingredients in dietary supplements sold around the country can carry major health risks, including heart palpitations, allergic reactions and pain, reports CBS Sports' Dana Jacobson.

Eighteen-year-old Logan Stiner died after overdosing on a caffeine powder supplement he bought online. A new study by Consumer Reports outlined health risks associated with dietary supplements -- including vitamins, probiotics and weight-loss aids. Unlike drug products that must be proven safe and effective, dietary supplements do not have to go through FDA approval.

"If it could kill someone like Logan, it has no borders - it will kill again," said his mother, Katie Stiner. "It's what you don't know - I think that's the thing that we're most concerned about," said Lisa Gill, deputy content editor at Consumer Reports. "Just because it's not prescription, you say, 'oh, it's safe,' but that's not necessarily true."

"What is the biggest misconception about supplements?" Jacobson asked. "Oh, that they're safe. A manufacturer doesn't have to prove to the FDA before it gets put on the shelves -- that what's in those tablets, is what they say is there," Gill said.

A new study by Consumer Reports outlined health risks associated with dietary supplements -- including vitamins, probiotics and weight-loss aids. Unlike drug products that must be proven safe and effective, dietary supplements do not have to go through FDA approval.

Gill said this leaves the consumer at risk. "It could be adulterated, it could be counterfeit, it could be hiding prescription drugs," Gill said.

Consumer Reports worked with independent doctors and dietary experts to identify 15 ingredients they say consumers should always avoid. They include caffeine powder found in some weight-loss supplements - like Kava, which claims to reduce anxiety and red yeast rice in supplements, which claims to reduce cholesterol.

Gill urges consumers to always avoid 15 specific ingredients. "They are known to have very specific harms. In some cases they can cause seizures or they can cause liver or kidney damage, there have been deaths associated with each of these," Gill said. But they found all 15 ingredients are available in supplements online or in major retailers. The Council for Responsible Nutrition -- which represents the supplement industry -- responded in a statement: "More than 150 million Americans take dietary supplements each year... Overwhelmingly, dietary supplements are safe and play a valuable role in helping Americans live healthy lifestyles."

But Dr. Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, disagrees. "Consumers need to know that they cannot trust that anything sold as a supplement is what's actually listed on the label," Cohen said. "Nor that it works. Or that it's safe."

The FDA acknowledged its limited role in regulating the industry, saying "it's important to remind consumers, that just because you can buy supplements in stores doesn't mean the FDA has reviewed them for safety or efficacy."

Gill recommends consumers look for the United States Pharmacopoeia or USP label and consult a medical expert. "Tell your doctor and your pharmacist what you're taking. Treat it like a medication. It's that important -- it's really about your health," Gill said.

MyAchingKnees comment: Look in the Physicians Desk Reference for supplements manufactured under pharmacuetical grade processes.

And yet another, older article titled "Unsafe, recalled dietary supplements still being sold" from October 2014 posted on CBS News.

Dietary supplements containing potentially dangerous prescription drug ingredients may still be for sale even years after safety recalls, a study found. In supplements bought online, researchers detected hidden steroids, similar ingredients to Viagra and Prozac and a weight loss drug linked with heart attacks.

They tested 27 products promising big muscles, sexual prowess, weight loss and more. Of those, 18 contained ingredients not approved for over-the-counter use; 17 still had the same drug that prompted the recalls.

Manufacturers are putting profit ahead of consumer health, but lax oversight by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is contributing to the problem, said lead author Dr. Pieter Cohen, an internist and researcher at Cambridge Health Alliance, a Boston-area health care system.

The tested supplements were recalled by manufacturers after FDA raised concerns about drugs in their products. This type of recall is usually voluntary, involving products that could potentially cause serious health problems and even death. The FDA's role includes assessing whether recalls successfully remove potentially unsafe products from the market.

"There should be significant legal and financial consequences for manufacturers who the FDA finds to be continuing to sell these spiked supplements," Cohen said. Unlike prescription drugs, dietary supplements don't need FDA approval before they are marketed. Still, their labels must list all ingredients and manufacturers are not allowed to sell products that are "adulterated or misbranded," the agency's website states.

The study was published in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association. The authors say laws that increase FDA's enforcement powers may be needed to fix the problem.

In response to the study, the FDA said it has issued hundreds of consumer alerts warning about tainted products, sent warning letters to supplement makers "and pursued civil and criminal enforcement" against those illegally marketed products. Deterring manufacturers is sometimes challenging because they are often difficult to locate and some are overseas, the agency said.

The researchers bought 27 of the 274 supplements recalled from 2009 to 2012. The products were purchased in summer 2013 from manufacturers' websites or other online retailers. An Oregon research laboratory tested them. Whether any consumers were harmed by using the tainted supplements was beyond the study's scope.

Among the 27 products:

-Six weight loss supplements contained sibutramine or a substance similar to the diet drug removed from the U.S. market in 2010 after it was linked with heart attacks and strokes. Two also contained the active ingredient in Prozac.

-Ten body-building supplements contained anabolic steroids or related compounds, which have been linked with side effects including prostate cancer, aggression and infertility.

-One sexual enhancement product contained sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra, which is not recommended for those taking some heart medicines.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association, a supplements trade group, said it encourages federal regulators to crack down on "rogue" companies.

"Unapproved or adulterated drugs' masquerading as lawful supplements is a threat to public health and to consumer confidence in the supplement industry," Scott Melville, the association's president and CEO, said in an emailed statement.
For Information on the Products I recommend, click here, to contact me.

No comments:

Post a Comment