DEAR DR. ROACH: I see dietary supplements marketed on tv which might be purported to clear “mind fog” and do many different useful issues. Are these any good, and may they really do the issues that they declare to? If they’re efficient, why aren’t they offered at drugstores? If not, how is it that firms are allowed to make these false claims and promote these dietary supplements on tv? — J.L.P.
ANSWER: I imagine that there are over-the-counter dietary supplements which might be efficient for treating some medical circumstances, and there are a number of situations in which there’s robust proof of profit, reminiscent of a vitamin and mineral method to sluggish development of macular degeneration. Fairly often, there isn’t sufficient information to make certain a complement is both efficient or ineffective.
It’s actually true that complement firms generally make claims that they can not assist. By regulation, complement promoting can declare to assist a physique half or operate (which is why you see claims like “helps coronary heart well being”), however these claims have to be adopted by: “This assertion has not been evaluated by the Meals and Drug Administration. This product isn’t meant to diagnose, deal with, treatment or stop any illness.”
Typically, the promoting for a complement is at odds with that assertion, and there are a lot of situations of complement producers having to pay fines or change their promoting. A complement that’s discovered to be unsafe might be faraway from the market by the FDA. As well as, any substance might be poisonous if taken at a excessive sufficient dose. Vitamin A dietary supplements are an excellent instance.
The U.S. FDA doesn’t regulate dietary supplements the best way they do pharmaceuticals, and complement producers don’t must show that their merchandise are efficient. Additional, there’s robust proof that some dietary supplements offered within the U.S. don’t include as a lot (or any!) of the complement they declare to supply. I all the time suggest getting a complement that’s verified by a 3rd celebration, such because the U.S. Pharmacopeia or the Nationwide Science Basis, if attainable.
There are only a few dietary supplements confirmed to forestall issues, so I usually suggest towards dietary supplements in people who find themselves wholesome and don’t have any signs. This positively consists of vitamin dietary supplements. Dietary supplements might have profit in relieving signs for some less-serious medical circumstances, and physicians needs to be (or get) acquainted with the extra frequent dietary supplements, their potential advantages and their toxicities.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I learn your current article on lichen planus. I’ve suffered with this for two-and-a-half years. After doing a number of analysis, I discovered that many individuals, like me, have diabetes. Nothing helped it, and the final remedy was too harmful for me, though it did assist me to lose 35 kilos and my sugar ranges are actually wholesome. I perceive that I can by no means eliminate lichen planus, and that it’s simply in remission now. — N.T.
ANSWER: Most research present that individuals with diabetes are considerably extra prone to develop lichen planus (an itchy pores and skin situation). About 1.5% of individuals with diabetes will develop lichen planus, whereas 0.75% of individuals with out diabetes will.
Sadly, I couldn’t affirm that both weight reduction or higher diabetes management enhance the signs of lichen planus. Typically lichen planus turns into inactive by itself. Nonetheless, there are a lot of good causes to maintain diabetes beneath management, and I’m publishing your letter with the hope that it helps another person.
Dr. Roach regrets that he’s unable to reply particular person letters, however will incorporate them within the column every time attainable. Readers might e mail inquiries to ToYourGoodHealth@med.cornell.edu or ship mail to 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.
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