Dietary supplements and herbs

Health care professionals and clients are faced with a countless array of herbs and dietary supplements which come in a multitude of brand names. Although some clients consult health care professionals before taking any, others simply self medicate or ask the advice of their friends or relatives. The consequences of this can sometimes be serious and irreversible. Some people mistakenly believe that herbs and dietary supplements are natural,safe and pose no health risks. They may also be unaware the dietary supplements can interact with medications some with potentially serious consequences.

complementary therapy

Using a supplement, a herb, or any food item for any condition is always called complementary therapy. Complementary therapy is based on hearsay or tradition not on research support. It could still be effective and become conventional if enough research experience becomes available to support its use. Some supplements are effective, some have failed to show benefits or simply have not been thoroughly studied. They might be safe or not, because unlike medications, dietary supplements can be marketed without studies to document their effectiveness and safety and without prior approval of the FDA. The FDA has the burden of providing that a dietary supplement is not safe and such proof often must be considerable. Thus some products remain in the market despite warnings from the FDA.

Ask for an advice of a licensed dietitian or health care professional before taking any supplement and always give full detailed information about any health condition you have or medications you take, it’s all for the best of your health.

by: Nermeen Tahboub

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