Supplements: friends or foes?

 Representatives of companies producing dietary supplements, give them a truly miraculous properties: course preparation of dubious quality can supposedly help all diseases - from the common cold to cancer. JustLady offers to figure out what is the dietary supplements and whether or not their reception can help get rid of those health problems that are listed in the commercials.

Often the representatives of network marketing offer cures that will heal all diseases and even solve the problem with the hated overweight. Radio and television airtime confirm these amazing properties, and we run into the next pharmacy to get rid of the disease, or simply to become more beautiful and more energetic.

Stop! Health can not be bought at any price. Try to understand the sea of ​​information.

Most often aggressively advertised products really is not a drug - itdietary supplements. Their therapeutic properties, little is known, but long-term use may even be dangerous.

What are dietary supplements?

Dietary supplements (dietary supplements) are not drugs. Just as herbal therapy, folk medicine, they refer to non-traditional methods of treatment.

At present, medical science is based on the concept of "evidence-based medicine", when each drug (!) Means passes major long-term international independent clinical studies and gets his level of evidence in this disease.

Based on these data provide a clear guidance on treatment duration and dose of the drug used. During the examination of dietary supplements are only evaluated their nutritional value and safety, t. To. They attributed to food.

It is more cost-effective than organizing large clinical trials to prove their impact on morbidity, mortality, life expectancy. None of the dietary supplements are not held large clinical trials that apply to drugs, so their clinical efficacy is unknown.


Compared with countries that the duration and quality of life ahead of us, the percentage of Russians who take dietary supplements, low - 3% -7% - whereas in Japan, USA, Europe is more than half the population.

Yes, but each drug, food additive, new medical technology in these countries are very strict and clearly controlled by specially created organizations (for example, there is the US by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), - strict requirements for the organization, saved the lives of many Americans).

So, in the middle of the XX century in Europe has increased birth rate of children with deformities - in infants no fingers, arms and legs. It turned out that in early pregnancy mothers of these kids took insufficiently tested new sleeping pills, sedative.

Opinion on the safety of the new drug evolved due to the absence of symptoms of overdose, and a very strong teratogenic effects - ie. E. A violation of the fetus - it became known later.

Thisthe drug has caused birth defects in 10,000 babies in 46 countries around the world: it went on sale in Europe, Scandinavia, Asia, Africa and South America.
Additional independent studies of the drug in these countries was conducted. In the US, it did not take, t. To. He was not allowed to use FDA.

In Russian counterparts FDA does not exist. Of course, the whole set of legal framework regulating the turnover of dietary supplements in our country, but laboratory equipment requires large investments, and in the structure of studies of dietary supplements leading place is still given to the study of microbiological indicators, rather than research on the content of biologically active components.

Therefore, in our country are available for use nutritional supplements without an adequate level of reliability, some of which are banned in many countries around the world.

The more dangerous dietary supplements?

Unfortunately, the composition of dietary supplements do not always correspond to the stated on the label components. In addition, according to the position of the dietary supplements, are subject to examination only certain parameters, so these dietary supplements are approved for use.

Sometimes dietary supplements contain psychotropic substances that form the desired result of vivacity, good mood, but also deplete the body's reserves and form a relationship.

Study of 251 Asian herbal products patented conducted in California, found that 32% of them contained undeclared pharmaceuticals and heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic) in potentially toxic amounts.

Subsequently, more than 500 Chinese proprietary medicines, annotations which argued that they contain only natural ingredients, also revealed toxic levels of heavy metals and the content of 134 undeclared pharmaceuticals.

Among the most commonly used dietary supplements - slimming. Their composition preferably comprises plants having pronounced laxative and a diuretic effect, ie. E. Wherein the weight reduction is achieved as a result of water loss and not adipose tissue. This leads to disruption of metabolic processes and the return of lost pounds.

It is important to remember that the risk when taking BUD can greatly exceed the benefits, especially if you have liver or kidney disease.

For the first time about the severe damage to the kidneys in 9 young women from Brussels, taking Chinese herbs for weight loss, it became known in 1992. Later, hundreds of similar cases of kidney damage after use of Chinese herbs, requiring the use of "artificial kidney" or a kidney transplant, have been reported in Asia, Europe and the United States.

These diet pills have been found toxic to the kidney substance. Its toxicity has been described in the Chinese medical literature in 1964, and in 1980 was confirmed by experimental studies in rodents.

Many dietary supplements are not harmful to human health but can be detrimental to patients with diabetes mellitus, systemic lupus erythematosus, asthma. Some of the components of dietary supplements may raise blood pressure, therefore contraindicated in patients with hypertension.

Other accelerate the destruction and elimination of some drugs, reducing their effectiveness. Therefore, some dietary supplements are not recommended for use in antiviral therapy, when taking drugs that reduce blood clotting, as well as oral contraceptives.

How not to harm your health?

Unfortunately, we often self-medicate by spending large sums of money on alternative medicine. At best, you just do not harm your health.

Taking dietary supplements, remember that their medical effectiveness is unknown. Do not buy drugs with it, avoid the hypnotic advertising. Rely on the opinion of a competent graduate - a doctor who will pick up the necessary means of treatment and prevention, based on the principles of evidence-based medicine.

Larissa Yeguneva

Tags: Europe, the enemy