It is estimated that one third of the U.S. population is considered obese. In the state of Ohio alone it is estimated that over a quarter of residents are self proclaimed as being obese (http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html). If you are like me, weight is and has been an issue for a long time. You hear professionals lay out what you are supposed to do and eat and how often and think it all sounds easy enough. Of course that is until it’s ten at night and you’re rooting through the cabinet for the least healthy thing possible because your starved and craving everything you’re not supposed to have just because. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘supplements’
According to a new study, the answer is “probably not.” Throughout the years, the effects of fish oil on heart health has been questioned. Some research has shown that it is incredibly effective in the prevention of heart attacks and heart disease. On the other hand, recent research shows that taking fish oil on a daily basis has no real effects on the overall health of your heart. (more…)
It’s not difficult to find dietary supplements that offer outrageous claim
s and health benefits. Examples of supplement claims are statements like “provides instant weight loss”, “build muscle mass in a matter of days”, or even “prevents cancer.” Many of us are spending more hours at work, are stressed, and have little time available to commit to planning healthy meals and cooking them. For us, the idea of taking dietary supplements, or that “magic pill”, is appealing.
With increased production of available products, it can be
difficult for the consumer to determine
which dietary supplement, if any, is right for them. The Food and Drug Administration defines a dietary
supplement as “a product taken by mouth that contains a dietary ingredient intended to supplement the diet.” Due to intelligent marketing and poor regulation of supplements, it can be hard determining what to believe. With a new product being marketed on a daily basis, it is easy to buy in to the
marketing ploys rather than taking the time to research the latest trend.
One of the latest dietary supplement trends is coconut water. Coconut water has been grabbing the attention of consumers due to its nutrient density and proposed health benefits. Coconut water is the clear liquid that comes from young coconuts and it offers a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.
Coconut water has been added into various drinks by food manufacturers, including fruit juices, yogurts, sorbets, sport drinks, and vinegar, increasing its availability. Research has shown that coconut water can help rehydrate the body after exercise due to its electrolyte content. Also, due to coconut water’s overall vitamin and mineral content, this beverage does offer so
me nutritional benefits.
There have been a wide variety of health claims made about coconut water and its impact on human health, including its ability to slow aging, promote healthier skin, regulate blood pressure, lower cholesterol, prevent
hangovers, break up kidney stones, and cure a range of digestive cancers. Coconut water certainly has the appeal for consumers, but how much of what it claims is actually true? Similar to other dietary supplements, the research behind its health claims is too limited to guarantee this product can do wha
t it claims it can. Incredible proposals can make it easy to overlook any possible downsides to a product. A good example of this is the sodium content of Coconut water. Coconut water has more sodium than a 1-ounce bag of potato chips!
Miraculous cures for health, and being unaware the whole picture of the dietary supplements’ nutritional content could result in a bad investment. The high cost of Coconut water is just one example. Coconut water is much higher in cost than most sports drinks. If a product truly does what it clai
ms too, the cost may be worth it, but in this case the research is not solid. Even though coconut water has potential health benefits, its high sodium content, high costs, and failure to meet your high expectations, could result in disappointment.
If you are using dietary supplements, or are conside
ring using dietary supplements, remember to research the supplement you have chosen to use, and avoid using it excessively. If you need help in y
our research, you may want to meet with a Registered Dietitian. You can find one near you by doing a provider search on the website of the American Dietetic Association, www.eatright.org.
According to a 2004 study by NCCAM, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the top ten natural products used in the United States were echinacea, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, glucosamine, St. John’s wort, peppermint, fish oil/omega 3 fatty acids, ginger, and soy. These may have changed some in more recent years; moreover, there has been an increase in the use of products such as these since 2004 as well. The responsibility of regulating the supplement industry falls onto the FDA. Unlike prescription medications, manufacturers of dietary supplements are not mandated to prove the safety and effectiveness of a dietary supplement prior to putting it on the market. After the supplement is on the market, the FDA will monitor the safety of the product through reports of adverse events that may be made.
As dietary and herbal supplement use becomes more popular, it is vital that consumers know how to recognize safe supplements. The easiest way is to ensure your supplements are from a reputable manufacturer is to choose supplements that bear the USP verified dietary supplement mark. USP refers to the United States Pharmacopeia, a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the quality, safety, and benefit of medicines and foods. When a product has the USP verified mark, it means that the product has been tested by the US Pharmacopeia and does, in fact, contain the ingredients listed on the label in the amounts listed, the product does not contain harmful amounts of specified contaminants, will break down and release into the body within a specified amount of time, and has been made according to FDA current GMPs (Good Manufacturing Processes) using sanitary and well-controlled procedures. In short, the USP verified mark indicates that this supplement has been made safely and the label is accurate. A list of verified supplements and more information is available on the USP website, www.usp.org. Remember that natural is not synonymous with safe! Supplements can have interactions with both medications you may be taking as well as some foods you eat. Be sure to always share your use of dietary and herbal supplements with your healthcare provider.