In this nutrition week’s news: Chile peppers may get hot with dieters; organic foods are linked to lower pesticide exposure; and buyer beware of herbal supplements barren of herbs.
When you’re already plunking down five dollars or more for a smoothie, it can be hard to justify the additional cost of the various supplements and mix-ins offered on the menu. But with names like “recharge,” “immune booster” and “cold fighter,” the pricey additions can be hard to resist.
What Is Moringa?
Also known as the “Drumstick Tree” moringa oleifera is grown in the Himalayas, as well as throughout India and Malaysia. The bark, leaves, fruit, seeds and root are edible and are used to make teas, oils, extracts and other supplements.
Peddlers of morgina products claim it can boost energy, suppress appetite, lower blood pressure and improve mood.
Morgina products range from teas and oils, to capsules and liquid extracts. And these supplements aren’t cheap! A bottle of 120 capsules costs about $30 to $40.
Now that the holiday gluttony is behind us, ‘tis the season for countless weight loss products to come slithering into the spotlight. Lose weight without exercising or changing your diet? Don’t be fooled!
The “Experts” Weigh In?
More now than ever, prominent celebrities (including members of the medical community) are endorsing weight loss supplements – there’s an immediate reason to be skeptical! What’s most important to remember is that these popular figures are usually being compensated in some way to give such products their seal of approval.
Because of less-than-stellar regulations, dangers can be lurking in supplements, no matter who they’re made for. For obvious reasons, little clinical testing has been conducted for this age group. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, food should come first, but there are some cases where a supplement can be beneficial. If your child has special dietary needs, check with your pediatrician.
Thankfully many of the supplement makers are very conservative with their ingredients when it comes to children’s formulas, but some brands include amounts far beyond the needs of youngsters. Remember that the first line of defense is a good diet!
Safety is an issue for a number of reasons. Since most kids’ vitamins come in colorful, chewable forms, it should be made clear to everyone in the house that vitamins are NOT candy. Parents need to be sure to store all supplements in a safe and out-of-reach location.
These various concoctions of vitamins, herbs, caffeine (and who knows what else) promise to shed pounds in the blink of an eye. Not only are these pills and potions too good to be true, they’re downright dangerous!
Diet pills are some of the most dangerous supplements out there. They’re unregulated mixtures of bizarre ingredients and people tend to take them often and in large quantity quantities. We’ll remind you again – the supplement industry is poorly regulated and just because you can buy it over-the-counter doesn’t mean that it’s safe!
We’ve been filling you in on the good, bad and ugly details about popular vitamin, mineral and herbal products but there are a lot of other supplements out there. Here are the facts on five of the most common – are they worth it?
While they seem harmless, multivitamins can be a cocktail of dangerous ingredients including toxic amounts of vitamins and minerals, herbs and other substances that may cause side effects and interact with medications. If food allergies, dietary restrictions, or pregnancy warrant taking some extra nutrients from a multivitamin, look for one that only contains vitamins and minerals. Beware of bizarre herbs, “proprietary blends” and other ingredients you don’t recognize. Pass on products that have more than 500% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) listed on the label.
Lots of folks take supplements to help keep them healthy, but in many cases, pills and potions aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. This new series is your inside guide for some of the most popular vitamins.
Why Supplements Can Be Dangerous
It may seem hard to believe but the supplement industry isn’t regulated by the FDA or any other government agency. It’s only after multiple reports of adverse effects of a product that the government can step in to investigate and attempt to take that product off the market. This means that many supplement companies can (and do) cut corners, skimp on research, and sell products that are of lesser quality. In some cases this can just mean a waste of money, in others it can be dangerous to your health.
There is some good news: many of the most basic vitamin supplements (such as the ones below) tend to be safe when taken properly. Better yet, there are a few third-party companies that do independent testing and have their seal of approval on product brands that meet standards for quality, safety and efficacy. One such company is the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). Consumers can go online to check recommended brands and look for the USP seal on approved products.
Cold and flu supplements have become a multi-billion dollar business. As the cold weather rolls in each year, consumers fork over a pretty penny for anything that promises to keep them healthy or get them better. Are these supplements all they’re cracked up to be?
I’m not a big fan of supplements and try to get all my nutrients from healthy foods, but when you’re pregnant, your body needs an extra boost from a few key nutrients.