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Here is an excerpt from a timely article I discovered on a reputable website, everydayHEALTH.com:
Herbal Supplements: How Safe Are They?
What you need to know about botanicals and their potential risks.
By Dr. Sanjay Gupta
A study earlier this year suggested that a popular herbal supplement promoted as a memory aid and found in some energy drinks could cause cancer. “We conclude that ginkgo biloba extract caused cancers of the thyroid gland in male and female rats and male mice and cancers of the liver in male and female mice,” wrote researchers at the U.S. government’s National Toxicology Program. The findings prompted the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a health advocacy group, to caution consumers against buying the supplement.
Also known as botanicals, herbal supplements don’t need to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration before they hit store shelves. “I think most of them aren’t tested,” said Dr. Cooke. Because they “are not subjected to the kind of testing that conventional pharmaceuticals are, we often don’t have very much data” about their safety or possible side effects.
Even though the FDA does monitor supplements once they’re in the market, that doesn’t mean that they’re safe for anyone to take anytime. Combining herbal supplements or taking them with prescription medications can be very dangerous.
Some of the most common botanicals including ginseng and St. John’s wort, for instance, are known to interact with blood-thinning medications. It’s a scary thought, when you consider that one out of four adults who take prescription medications also take dietary supplements including herbal ones, according to the Mayo Clinic…
As for profit start-ups continue to blast the market with weight loss, male enhancement schemes and anti-cancer hype, best we all work hard not to get sucked-in. Here’s the link to Dr. Gupta’s column: