It’s official: health supplements are a load of phoney baloney
In this current era, where medical costs are being scrutinized, it appears that diet supplements represent not only a potential waste but also is increasing health care spending through their deleterious effects. When I meet with patients, I make sure to tell them that vitamins can impact health. When there is a deficiency, they have a real role in a patients treatment plan. However, blind consumption without a clear purpose can be harmful, which these recent reports clearly demonstrate.
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Vitamins and Vitamin Supplements: Use Increases in America
The numbers are growing. A new government study found that more than half of American adults take at least one dietary supplement. But despite their popularity, many experts remain skeptical of their effects. “Although we were not surprised, it is interesting to note that not only did supplemental calcium use and vitamin D use increase for all women aged 60 and over from 1988 to 1994 to 1999 to 2002, but there was also an increase from [between] 1999 [and] 2002 to 2003 to 2006,” said Jaime Gahche, a nutritional researcher with the National Center for Health Statistics and lead author of the study. Supplements can contain high amounts of specific nutrients, and are often used to increase nutrition in a person’s diet.
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Which! decided to investigate well known brands like Seven Seas to see if they actually worked, according to EU regulations. They found that Bioglan Probiotic capsules, Bimuno Prebiotic powder and Seven Seas Cardiomax all made unproven health claims on their packaging. Since December, its been illegal to advertise health claims on products that havent been approved by the EU. Its a blow for the lucrative supplement industry, which is worth 385m.
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