Monday, August 22, 2011

10 Terribly False Claims Made by Some Supplements

When someone purchases a supplement, they trust that it is safe for them to take. In many cases, supplements are touting false claims in order to market their products. This has not gone unnoticed, and has even launched an investigation by the Government Accountability Office. Listed below you will find ten terribly false claims made by some supplements.

  1. Ginkgo Biloba & Aspirin. There are supplement companies claiming that ginkgo biloba can be taken together with aspirin to help improve memory. The Federal Drug Administration warns that combining the two together can increase the risk of bleeding and should be avoided.
  2. They Are a Substitute for Medications. Unfortunately, some companies will tout that their product can be used in place of a prescribed medication in order to save the customer the cost of going to the doctor and paying for a prescription. You should never try to substitute supplements for your prescribed medications without talking to your doctor first.
  3. Ginseng Cures Cancer. There are companies claiming that ginseng can cure diseases, including cancer. The National Institutes of Health recommends that patients with breast or uterine cancer avoid ginseng, because it can have adverse interaction with some cancer drugs.
  4. Ginkgo Biloba & Alzheimer’s. One product label for ginkgo biloba claims that it can treat Alzheimer disease. The FDA indicates that there is no effective treatment for this disease, as of yet, and that this is a false claim.
  5. Saint John’s Wort & Depression. This supplement is sometimes marketed for depression; however, studies have shown that it can decrease the effectiveness of prescription antidepressants along with cancer drugs, HIV treatments and anticoagulants. Depression is a serious disease, and should always be treated as directed by the advice of a physician.
  6. Ginseng & Diabetes. There have been claims by some suppliers of ginseng that it can cure diabetes. Ginseng has not been proven to cure any disease, much less diabetes. If it had, insulin companies would soon be out of business.
  7. Garlic & Blood Pressure. Many claims have been made that garlic can be used to reduce high blood pressure. This has never been proven, and garlic should not be used in place of prescribed blood pressure medications.
  8. Claiming Studies Have Been Done. More than one supplement company have settled with the Federal Trade Commission for falsely advertising that their claims had been proven by clinical studies. Not only were the claims false, but the studies did not exist.
  9. Claiming Compliant Ingredients. One company claimed that it only sells supplements with ingredients that are on the FDA’s list of ‘safe’ ingredients, when, in fact, they had a number of products that contained comfrey. An ingredient that has been known to cause risks of liver damage, and is not on the FDA’s safe ingredient list.
  10. Misleading Origins. Some supplement companies will mislead you to believe that they are made in the United States, when in fact, they are coming from overseas. Along with illegal drugs, supplements being imported from other countries have been growing in number. These supplements are not tested for safety, and can be harmful if you do not know what is in them, or how they can affect your body.

Supplements can aid in providing good health and nutrition, but as with all products, the buyer needs to do some research. Not all companies are reputable and even reputable companies can make mistakes. Speak with a medical professional about any supplements you want to take, and research the claims that they are making to ensure their accuracy.

Taken From Vitamins and Minerals

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