Friday, August 7, 2009

Yes, we're safer with supplements now...

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) there have been 450,000 adverse event reports reported in pharmaceutical-related cases in the last 6 months. In comparison, there have only been 604 adverse event reports related to dietary supplements in the same six months.

Vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs of the Natural Products Association, Daniel Fabricant said, "As it stands now, the number of mandatory AERs (adverse event reports) is well within - and even a bit below - the normal range that the FDA expected to receive from dietary supplements based on last year's guidance," he said. "To put the number in perspective, the FDA received more than 450,000 mandatory AERs in 2007 from prescription pharmaceuticals."

What does this tell us? FDA-approved drugs are no safer than dietary supplements.

The times are changing, too. Two decages ago, the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published articles that there was no evidence that healthy people would benefit from taking multivitamins. Then in June 2002, they turned around and published an article about a study concluding that vitamin deficiencies were a cause of chronic diseases.

Taking multivitamin and mineral supplements should still be done with caution and with respect to the individual's condition - size, weight, age, physical activity, current diet, and other factors that affect one's health. Standard vitamins and minerals are considered relatively risk free if you avoid high doses. Very high doses of some vitamins, such as vitamin A or E, can make you ill or may increase the risk of developing other health problems.

We'll look at multi-vitamin and mineral supplements more closely in future posts.


1 comment:

Lisa B. said...

More people also realize the value of preventive care than ever before. We still have a lot of work to do to change the mindset of our generation.