DRUG RECALLS FREQUENTLY INVOLVE NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS
A recent issue of the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine reported that just over half of all the Class I FDA Recalls are for dietary supplements. Most of this has to do with the fact that these supplements either contain things that are not on the label, they do not contain things that the label says that they do contain, or the ingredients are substandard. Are you surprised? You shouldn't be. Particularly when you find out that most of these "rogue" supplements fall into one of three categories.
- Bodybuilding Supplements (31% of the recalls) (REAL SOLUTIONS)
- Sexual Enhancement (40% of the recalls) (REAL SOLUTIONS)
- Weight Loss Aids (27% of the recalls) (REAL SOLUTIONS)
I have always said that if my life's purpose was making money, I would create a cheap weight loss formula using whatever garbage I could get my hands on, make all sorts of wild claims about its abilities, hire a couple of website / SEO gurus to promote it online, and sit back and rake in the cash from gullible consumers. And if I were really ambitious, I could take to the satellites and do a TV infomercial. Once people figure out it doesn't work as claimed (eat anything you want and still lose weight), I repackage the same formula and start the process over under a different corporation and with a "different" product.
As one might well suspect, the study's lead author, Dr. Ziv Harel of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, stated that we need to, "regulate this industry through more stringent enforcement and a standard of regulation similar to that for pharmaceuticals. Keeping the status quo may taint the dietary supplement industry as a whole." Is Dr. Ziv correct here? What needs to be done?
Truthfully, I am not sure anything needs to be done. Regulation always leads to more regulation, which in turn leads to even more regulation. Although Dr. Mitch Katz (in an editor's note) states that the number of crappy dietary supplements is, "grossly underestimated", and that, "dietary supplements should be treated with the same rigor as pharmaceutical drugs and with the same goal: to protect consumer health," I am not personally convinced that anything drastic needs to be done about this problem.
Simply stop buying these cheap crappy supplements! Let the companies wither on the vine and die. If the claims seem too good to be true, they probably are! For instance, what is the best 'male enhancement' supplement for dealing with impotence? I discussed that just the other day --- and the answer is HERE. In fact, read what I had to say about this entire issue on my WHOLE FOOD NUTRITION PAGE. And the brutal truth is that I could say the exact same thing about the way that most people want to use dietary supplements.
But I hear it all the time. Hey Doc; you got anything good for high blood pressure? I need to lose about 60 lbs; what have you got for weight loss? What about my heart problems? How about my stomach problems? What can you do for my hormonal problems, acid reflux, fibromyalgia, blood sugar, chronic fatigue, (insert your disease of choice here) ......cancer? This is how medicine is practiced in our modern, hi-tech medical culture. The patient has symptom A, so give the patient drug B. If you have Disease X, just take drug Y. This is what most people want. After all; it's easy. It doesn't require any effort from the patient (except maybe digging a few bucks out of their wallet to cover a co-pay). It's a truth that is sometimes hard to face ---- the fact that it's far easier to pay someone else to do something for us than to actually take care of ourselves. That pretty much describes the society we live in. It's not my fault. It's not my responsibility. Gimme, gimme, gimme!
This article was not written with public safety in mind. It was written to soften up the public for the medical / pharmaceutical industry's next big grab ---- yet another attempt to heavily regulate nutritional supplements (including making them a prescription-only item). How do I know this? Despite the fact that there are, as claimed by the FDA, lots of cheap, ineffective dietary supplements on the market, the article stated that, "No adverse events related to these recalled products were noted in the FDA database". So even though many of the supplements were undeniably junk, there were no adverse events associated with them. Too bad we can't say that for THE PHARMACEUTICAL AND MEDICAL INDUSTRIES.
Like Annie said in her comment below, "it all works". The way you can help us reach more people is to forward these posts on to people you care about. Not to mention, it takes three seconds to like us on FACEBOOK.