- dietary supplements
For Your Good Health…
The How, What and Why of Dietary Supplements
People need reliable and practical information on natural medicines. Getting good scientific data on herbal medicines and supplements is hard to do. Many studies don’t meet rigorous standards. Some studies are corrupted by commercial interests. Some references are biased towards … or against … the use of natural remedies. Some cite anecdotal or unsubstantiated scientific support for certain natural products. Where is a person to turn?
First, we must look at the U.S. government’s Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (available at http://ods.od.nih.gov). It contains recommendations and guidance to government agencies and the dietary supplement industry relative to safety, label statements, health claims, and proof of claims. They emphasize the need for public access to the evidence on which label statements are based, so that consumers can make informed decisions about the use of dietary supplements.
Next, it is important that people used trained and licensed health professionals to help them gather, organize and interpret the available information. This will result in the appropriate use of supplements.
Our goal at Integrated Health Care Systems is to help people with the process of choosing the appropriate supplement(s) for their specific need(s). We aim to do this with a service that’s provides people with the best collection of data and consensus of available scientific information on natural medicines. In addition, we will point out when there is insufficient reliable data available.
Some of the information we can provide you with address the questions that practitioners face most often.
- Name of Product Includes names of products that are generally thought of as “natural” medicines. For example, medicines not harvested or collected from natural sources are included here.
- This Product is Also Known As Includes names based on plant species, folklore or tradition.
- Scientific Names
- People Use this Product For Includes uses for indications even though there is no evidence that they work. For example, promotional claims.
- Safety Note, different uses of a product often get different safety ratings.
- Effectiveness The specific formula or extract that was used in a study that found the product to be effective is included. Also, the rating might differ depending on the use.
- Possible Mechanism of Action and Active Ingredients Includes the specific part of the plant that provides active ingredients.
- Adverse Reactions Including Known Allergies
- Possible Interactions with Herbs and Other Dietary Supplements, Drugs, Foods, Lab Tests, Diseases and Conditions
- Drug Influences on Nutrient Levels and Depletion
- Typical Dosages & Routes of Administration that are Commonly Used Note, doses mentioned are NOT recommended, safe or efficacious. Rather, they are the common and typically used doses.
If a higher level of wellness is a personal goal of yours, but you are in need of some external guidance and motivation, contact your neighborhood Pharmacist / Nutritionist / Fitness Professionals at Carnegie-Sargent’s Pharmacy and Health Center. (312) 280-1220. Remember health promotion begins with you!
Ask Your Pharmacist – Have a question for us? Give us a call or stop in for a private consultation. If you’d prefer, send a message below and it may end up in a future Ask the Pharmacist article.
– Mark Paley, Registered Pharmacist/Director