A second review found that omega-3 supplements may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and related events (such as a heart attack), but that the benefit is marginal.
The most common herbs used in the trials that were tested included Camellia sinensis (green tea), Garcinia cambogia (Malabar tamarind), Ephedra sinica (ma-huang), Phaseolus vulgaris (common bean) and Irvingia gabonesis (wild mango).
Some of the common side effects of piracetam include diarrhea, anxiety, insomnia, agitation, drowsiness, weight gain and depression — side effects that people may not realize are being caused by the supplement.
“The most trustworthy studies consistently showed little or no effect of long-chain omega-3 fats on depression or anxiety, and they should not be encouraged as a treatment,” said the study’s lead author, Lee Hooper.
People “should not be encouraged” to take omega-3 supplements for diabetes prevention, said epidemiologist Lee Hooper, the study’s senior author.
The only possible exceptions were a low-salt diet and two supplements — folate and omega-3 fatty acids. But even in those cases, the evidence supporting their benefits was weak.
Each year, about 23,000 Americans are treated in hospital emergency rooms for side effects related to known and unknown ingredients in dietary supplements.
This result adds to a long line of studies that have shown most people receive no health benefits — but may experience harm — from taking vitamin and mineral supplements.
Experts recommend three basic strategies: Wash your hands often with soap and water; avoid touching your nose, eyes or mouth with unwashed hands; and stay away from people who are sick.
Dietary supplements are a multibillion-dollar industry in the United States, and both vitamin D and fish oil have been hyped as preventive cures for a host of medical ailments.
The tainting of supplements with pharmaceutical ingredients “does not happen by accident and poses a serious public health risk as consumers unknowingly ingest these drugs,” write the authors of the study.
The study’s findings apply to Minnesotans and others living in northern latitudes. It doesn’t take much exposure to sunlight for the body to manufacture enough vitamin D to be healthy.
Many people are unaware that herbal “medicines” and other over-the-counter dietary supplements can cause side effects or drug interactions.
“What we’ve learned from the study is that there is often no way for a consumer to know how much higenamine is actually in the product they are taking,” said John Travis, a co-author of the study.
When the fish oil is snake oil.
The findings are just the latest in a long string of evidence that has undercut the longstanding idea that vitamin and mineral supplements act as a form of “insurance” against chronic disease.
It’s been an up-and-down (weather-wise) month, but April has produced a steady shower of interesting health articles. Here are a few that you may have missed.
You don’t need vitamin D supplements — with or without calcium — as added insurance against a bone fracture, new recommendations say.
About 14 percent of adults in the United States, have dry eye, a condition that occurs when the eyes produce poor-quality or low amounts of tears.
Americans spend more than $14 billion each year on vitamin and mineral supplements, despite studies that have shown they offer no benefit to most healthy people.