Thursday, January 25, 2007

Be Informed-don't believe everything you read

When you read an article that says "Chromium helps maintain immunity", do you believe there is proven science to back up that claim? Think again! These "claims" about nutrients or dietary supplements are often included purely for marketing the product and to make you think the product has value. In 1994 a new law ruled that dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, botanicals and other ingredients) did NOT need to have scientific studies to prove effectiveness. "The marketing has been quite effective without studies" says Irwin Rosenberg, M.D., senior scientist at the Jean Mayer U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.

So make sure you think twice when you see:

"Scientific Studies have shown". It may really mean that there were observations that have not been studied or proven by rigorous controlled randomized clinical trials.

"Includes glycemic, cardio balance and nutra multi". It sounds important but notice that tiny disclaimer that says "These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease". That means the fancy words are for marketing, not real science.

One more little tip. If you are reading the label for a product or vitamin, make sure you read how many tablets you need to take to get the "dose" of an ingredient. Sometimes it takes 4 tablets to get the 1000mg dose on the label. That can be an expensive supplement that might be a waste of your hard earned cash.


Craig Patterson said...

GNC sales rise amid uncertainty
Friday, January 19, 2007

By Teresa F. Lindeman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

General Nutrition Centers Inc. yesterday said it extended its streak of positive sales results through the end of last year, an announcement which should help keep the Pittsburgh health supplements chain's options open as it continues to ponder going public or selling out.

And here is a good link to FTC site What truth-in-advertising rules apply to advertisers?

Keep writing doctor brayer. You just saved me money. No more supplements for me. I'll put that money into healthier food.

Lisa said...

Very informative BLOG...can't wait for more articles and education from Dr. Brayer.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting blog article on the importance of really researching "miracle cures", "healthy supplements" and "weight loss wonder programs". Seems like it always pays to apply the sound, rational and thorough scientific method that you advocate and demonstrate in your blog research.