The Agency's drug approval and enforcement actions are falling through the cracks, while regulators are squandering time and resources on insubstantial trivia.
Melatonin is a neurohormone that the body uses to regulate sleep. It's sold as a dietary supplement without a prescription. As the CDC states, in "2020, melatonin became the most frequently ingested substance among children reported to national poison control centers.”
Panicked headlines recently warned that the popular artificial sweetener erythritol could increase heart disease risk. The study that generated these claims in no way supports that association. Dietary supplements are a multi-billion-dollar industry; they've also killed people. Do they need more regulatory oversight?
Decades ago, I became a fan of the ACSH long before becoming an occasional contributor. I was motivated by one clear point of reasoning. I found it next to impossible to locate a reliable source of health-related issues I had an interest in, as well as being able to recommend that source to students enrolled in my college course for continuing education purposes.
Neutraceuticals is a portmanteau, the combination of the words "nutrition" and "pharmaceuticals." It refers to “a food containing health-giving additives and having medicinal benefit,” and which seeks to combine the halos of good nutrition and medicine. It seems too good to be true. And as you know, often that promise is more sizzle than steak.
A new article in the journal Clinical Toxicology reports on prohibited stimulants, found in significant amounts, in several sports and weight-loss supplements. Don’t let the long (and maybe scary) title of the research fool you. It presents sound science and deserves a broader audience than just toxicologists.
As non-essential businesses were lock-down over the last few weeks, the regulatory line between essential and non-essential got fuzzy. Some essential services are no-brainers, pharmacies, grocery and food markets, logistical systems, and of course, healthcare facilities. Other businesses were not so lucky, involving crowds that could not be effectively physically distanced – movie theaters and gyms come to mind. And then, of course, there are those grey area businesses.
We are holobionts, those who thrive in a saline environment, crafting of at least two species living in close proximity with one another. The other species is our gut microbiome, those microbial communities residing in our bowels and providing us with nutrients and signals. There's no denying their importance. But not as much can be said for probiotics –- the live microorganisms marketed to us with claims to better our health.
Repeat after me: Supplements do not reduce your risk of death or cardiovascular events. Another study shows the only benefit of supplements accrues ... to the people selling them to you.
Recently, the FDA met to discuss CBD, the non-psychoactive component of marijuana. It made us realize that we'd never really considered the definition of a drug. Any process involving lawyers hinges on the meaning of words, so what actually does the FDA regulate?
Complementary medicine ranges from authentic stress-relieving massage to well-meaning (but expensive) placebo, to outright spurious healing claims. Researchers decided to study its impact on patients with curable cancers.