Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Study Questions Giving Babies Botanical Supplements, Teas

HealthDay news image

Nearly 1 in 10 infants fed these largely unregulated products, researchers say

From the 2 May 2011 Health Day article

MONDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) — The use of botanical supplements and teas for infants is a surprisingly common practice, new research finds, but experts warn that such products might not be safe for babies.

The study, conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, found that nearly 10 percent of babies are given botanical supplements or teas during their first year of life. The researchers found that even babies as young as 1 month old were given these products.

“Our study is the first to examine the prevalence of dietary botanical supplement and tea use among a sample of U.S. infants,” wrote the study’s authors. “The wide variety of dietary botanical supplements and teas given to infants increases the likelihood that some are unsafe.”

Results of the study are published online May 2 in Pediatrics. The report is scheduled to appear in the June print version of the journal.

[The full text of this article is free and may be found here]

Dietary botanical supplements and herbal teas don’t receive the same scrutiny that pharmaceutical products do, according to background information in the study. Use of such products can cause adverse reactions with other medications, and these products may be inherently unsafe themselves.

Some supplements may contain heavy metals or other contaminants, and infants are more susceptible to such toxins, according to the study. In addition, some dietary supplements have caused seizures and even death in previously healthy infants. One dietary supplement was recalled in 2007 because of microbiological contamination…..

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May 4, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Antioxidants: Beyond the Hype & Dietary Supplement Web Sites

Antioxidants: Beyond the Hype

Antioxidant pills

From the Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Source Web page – Antioxidants: Beyond the Hype
This summary includes the following

Excerpt (Bottom Line)

The Bottom Line on Antioxidants and Disease Prevention

Free radicals contribute to chronic diseases from cancer to heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease to vision loss. This doesn’t automatically mean that substances with antioxidant properties will fix the problem, especially not when they are taken out of their natural context. The studies so far are inconclusive, but generally don’t provide strong evidence that antioxidant supplements have a substantial impact on disease. But keep in mind that most of the trials conducted up to now have had fundamental limitations due to their relatively short duration and having been conducted in persons with existing disease. That a benefit of beta-carotene on cognitive function was seen in the Physicians’ Health Follow-up Study only after 18 years of follow-up is sobering, since no other trial has continued for so long. At the same time, abundant evidence suggests that eating whole fruits, vegetables, and whole grains—all rich in networks of antioxidants and their helper molecules—provides protection against many of these scourges of aging.

Information about ingredients in more than three thousand selected brands of dietary supplements. It enables users to determine what ingredients are in specific brands and to compare ingredients in different brands. Information is also provided on the health benefits claimed by manufacturers. These claims by manufacturers have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Check out the Help section for tips on how to browse and search this site.

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    March 29, 2011 Posted by | Health News Items, Nutrition | , , , | Leave a comment

       

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