Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
Supplements and Drugs: A Hazardous Combination > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

Supplements and Drugs: A Hazardous Combination

As I have become more involved in using functional nutritional therapy in my practice, I have come to realize that many people are still confused about the safety and effectiveness of various dietary supplements. Because these products are "natural", many feel they are always safe to use. Although supplements and herbs can be safer than pharmaceutical drugs, they can still function as drugs in the body and should be used with caution and respect.

It is estimated that over 80% of the world's population and 60 million Americans use some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). However, although many believe CAM compliments their current traditional healthcare, most do not inform their physicians that they are taking these products. And, many providers don't ask or discuss CAM use with their patients, although one survey of 181 cardiologists found that half of them took antioxidant vitamins, themselves.

What many people don't realize is that there is no regulatory agency in charge of the supplement industry. Herbal products are not tested for purity, effectiveness and safety as drugs are. In 1994, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) was enacted that requires the FDA to prove beyond any doubt that a supplement is unsafe before removing it from the market. Other than regulating what can be included on the label, they are unable to enforce any other regulation.

There is no incentive for supplement companies to conduct research because they are unable to patent 'natural' products. Those marketing herbs and other supplements save millions of dollars not spent on research, or worse, yet, conduct their own "research", which often does not include rigorous controls. Although there are many excellent and reputable supplement companies on the market, the typical consumer is unlikely to know who the credible ones are. Many independent sales representatives only know what the company tells them, and are as unaware as the consumer.

Even if the supplements are pure and not harmful by themselves, problems arise when combined with drugs. Dietary supplements may compete with drugs, leading to toxicity or treatment failure of that drug. An estimated 4 million people are at risk for herbal-prescription drug interactions. Here is a list of the most common interactions between supplements and drugs:

* Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to prevent blood clotting for those at risk for deep vein thrombosis, stroke, or heart attack. Supplements that can change bleeding time controlled by this drug include flaxseed oil and fish oil supplements, goldenseal, saw palmetto, feverfew, garlic, ginseng, and willow bark, just to name a few.

* Digoxin is another heart medication. Ginseng has been noted to falsely elevate blood digoxin levels. Some herbs that will affect drug effectiveness include senna, licorice, aloe, cascara, hawthorne, foxglove, goldenseal and guar gum.

* Phenytoin is a drug used for seizures. Herbal interactions to be aware of include ginkgo biloba, white willow, lemon balm, skull cap, kava kava, and valerian root, to name a few. It is also important to know that Folate supplementation is necessary with Phenytoin, but excess Folate can be harmful.

* It's important to take calcium supplements and vitamin D two hours apart from taking either Phenytoin or Digoxin in order to not interfere with these drug's effects.

Of particular concern are interactions with the herb St. John's Wort, which is taken by 7.5 million Americans as a depression remedy. This herb can cause serious consequences when taken with drugs such as Prozac, Zoloft, or Paxil, as well as warfarin, cyclosporine, and oral contraceptives. This herb may also interact with Digoxin, chemotherapy drugs, and other drugs, causing treatment failure. Some of these interactions are serious enough that if St. John's Wort were a drug, the government would restrict marketing, make it a prescription-only item, or require label warnings.

So, what can one do??

Anyone taking a dietary supplement should first do their homework. Know exactly what the purpose of a particular supplement is for and learn all known interactions. There are many excellent informational websites on the internet. A good rule of thumb is to look for a site that does not offer products for sale!

It's also important to inform your healthcare professional what supplements you are taking, in order to avoid potential supplement-drug interactions that could put you at medical risk. Although many credible professionals sell products, there are just as many who sell products but don't really understand the physiology of the human body and are just out to make money. Supplement sales is a very popular 'easy' way to make money today!

It's just as important to do one's homework when looking for a complementary care practitioner. Although this is only one set of criteria, the best recommendation is to look for one or any of these: A pharmacist or registered dietitian who is educated in medicinal herbs, a physician who specializes in functional medicine, or an MD, OD, ND, DC, PharmD or RD who also has the CCN credential.

Don't be afraid to take supplements. They serve a very beneficial purpose. But do know why you're taking each supplement, just as you should know why you take any prescription medications. Be an informed consumer and take responsibility for your health and wellbeing.

Marjorie Geiser has been teaching health, fitness and nutrition since 1982. She is a nutritionist, registered dietitian, certified personal trainer and life coach. As the owner of MEG Fitness, Marjorie's goal for her clients is to help them incorporate healthy eating and fitness into their busy lives. To learn more about the services Margie offers, go to her website at www.megfit.com or email her at [email protected]

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

mindbodygreen.com

Best Gut-Healing Foods And Supplements - mindbodygreen
mindbodygreen.com
These are the best foods and supplements to heal your gut lining.

and more »

Earth911.com

4 Natural Supplements to Support Medical Detox
Earth911.com
If you're struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, the first step toward renewed health is detox — and that means getting all the drugs out of the body. The only problem is that detox is extremely painful and unpleasant, and the difficulty of going ...


Reuters

Breakingviews - Sugar-for-supplements swap will test Nestlé boss
Reuters
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Nestlé is parting ways with LaffyTaffy and Runts. The Swiss food group agreed on Tuesday to sell its U.S. candy brands to Italy's Ferrero for a sweet $2.8 billion to invest in products with better growth prospects than ...

and more »

BU Today

Putting Probiotic Supplements to the Test | BU Today | Boston ...
BU Today
What is in probiotics, anyway? And do probiotics work? Sandra Buerger wants to know, and she started by culturing some common probiotics to see what grew.

and more »

Value of mineral supplements questioned for cattle
Monett Times
Most only serve as protein supplements, something most animals are not missing. Bailey found more concern about providing minerals if a specific area, such as southern Missouri, found itself moving into a drought period. Research by a number of land ...

and more »

WZVN-TV

Do vitamin supplements/remedies prevent or shorten a cold
WZVN-TV
Also popular is Airbourne which offers an immune system boost as well as vitamin supplements such as 1,000 mg of Vitamin C. While these products are popular, experts behind them warn these should not be considered the cure of the common cold. "What ...


ZME Science

What supplements do scientists use, and why?
ZME Science
Supplements are a strange thing. Although they're a multi-billion industry, producers don't need to prove that they are effective — only that they are safe. As a result, among the evidence-based products, a lot of snake-oil has also snuck on the ...


The Independent

What supplements according to scientists should we use, and why?
The Independent
I have been taking ground turmeric root as a dietary supplement for about two years, but I have been interested in its use in Ayurvedic medicine for far longer. Turmeric is used as a traditional remedy in many parts of Asia to reduce inflammation and ...

and more »

Medical News Today

Supplements during pregnancy may reduce autism risk
Medical News Today
The latest study to investigate the relationship between vitamin supplements during pregnancy and autism spectrum disorders finds a significant link.

and more »

Bloody Elbow

Yoel Romero filing lawsuit against supplement manufacturer over failed USADA drug test
Bloody Elbow
There's a reason that the 'tainted supplement defense' gets tossed around among MMA fans and fighters with an air of condescension. Apart from the typical background suspicion – that anyone caught cheating likely wasn't doing so accidentally – there's ...
Yoel Romero files suit against supplement maker behind USADA ...MMAmania.com
Report: Yoel Romero Sues Tainted Supplement Maker Over 2016 ...Sherdog.com
UFC Middleweight Contender Yoel Romero Sues Supplement Maker For NegligenceForbes

all 10 news articles »
Google News

What to Look For In Selecting A High Quality Nutritional Supplement!

Have you ever purchased something thinking you had bought a... Read More

How Does Whey Protein Affect My Body?

Whey protein is available in supplement form and whey protein... Read More

Riboflavin for Migraine Headache Relief

Supplementing with relatively small amounts of riboflavin (vitamin B2) may... Read More

Vitamin C Is Useless In Fighting The Common Cold And Could Be Dangerous For Smokers

Those who start eating lemons at first symptoms of the... Read More

The Undercover Vitamin

There is a secret vitamin in the neighborhood, wandering around... Read More

The Best Liquid Calcium with Boron

Best liquid calcium with boronNo longer is the search for... Read More

Vitamin C - The Most Common Health Food Supplement

Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid was first isolated from lemons... Read More

Vitamin E ? Just the Facts, Ma?am

It is important to understand that we are ultimately responsible... Read More

Is Citrus Aurantium Really Bad for Your Health?

Once again the "wisdom" of the FDA and the supplement... Read More

Know Your Bodybuilding Supplement - L-Arginine

Arginine is a semi-essential amino acid that the body cannot... Read More

Whey Protein Facts

Whey protein is a high quality powder made from cow's... Read More

Omega 3 Fish Oil That Will and Omega 3 Fish Oil That Wont

At the moment we are in the grip of an... Read More

Side Effects of Fish Oil

Fish oil is oil derived from the tissues of fatty... Read More

Easing Arthritis Pain with Glucosamine & Chondroitin Supplements

If you suffer from arthritis pain, chances are you've heard... Read More

Getting In-Zinc

As with most nutrients and minerals, zinc is often ignored... Read More

Finding Fish

Fetuses and infants simply must get enough omega-3 oils for... Read More

Using Bodybuilding Supplements To Build Muscle Mass!

OK, first let's get something straight here...If you think that... Read More

What Can Muscle Milk Do For Me?

As the name suggests, muscle milk is a supplement that... Read More

Calcium Reduces Osteoporosis Risk For Women On The Pill

The findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and... Read More

I Have a Headache!

Actually, my headache is not the result of just thinking... Read More

Vitamin Supplement Ratings ? Proof Of Popularity

Vitamin supplement ratings quite clearly show just how popular nutritional... Read More

Finally - The Truth About Calcium Supplements

Undoubtedly calcium has become a hot topic of controversy. We... Read More

Do You Need Vitamins On A Low Carb Diet?

Should I Take Vitamins With My Low Carb Diet?Most low... Read More

Beneficial Effects of Vitamins and Minerals To Your Blood

Vitamins, minerals and other nutrients are essential to the health... Read More

Vitamins for Smokers

Numerous studies and surveys have consistently shown that a majority... Read More