Tuesday, April 08, 2008

It's Not Safe Just Because It's an Herb

If you are thinking about taking a dietary supplement, then this NIH sponsored site is a good place to learn some of the facts about each supplement. It grades the strength of the scientific evidence for each of the reported uses. There is also a good review of the safety profile, dosing and history of each item.

Although herbs and supplements are often touted as being natural, they should be considered to be just another medication. Anything that is ingested and which is absorbed systemically may have side effects or contraindications. In addition dietary supplements do not require FDA approval. In 1994 a law was passed that classified supplements as food. Here is a list of drugs found in some dietary supplements - lovastatin, estrogen, alprazolam, indomethacin, warfarin, and sidenafil (Viagra).

Always inform your doctor about any herbs, supplements, or concoctions that you are taking. That garlic pill that you are taking may increase your risk of bleeding after surgery or dental procedure, and the aristocholic acid in a Chinese herbal weight loss product may cause kidney failure and cancer (Med lett Drugs Ther 2002;44:84).


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~JohNnyIchi~ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
~JohNnyIchi~ said...

Hi DR!
can i ask you something?
do you know anything about aloe vera that can really cure psoriasis?

have a nice day, cheers!

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