I stumbled upon a great article from the New York Times co-penned by the indefatigable Dr. Paul Offit, a fierce defender of evidence-based medicine and vaccination in particular. This one is about supplements, the unregulated, sometimes dangerous domain of charlatans. In the piece he explains why the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will no longer be handing out most dietary and health supplements:
“Now, when parents in our hospital still want to use products whose quality can’t be assured, we ask them to sign a waiver stating that the supplement may be dangerous, and that most have not been studied for their effectiveness. ‘Use of an agent for which there are no reliable data on toxicity and drug interactions,’ the waiver reads, ‘makes it impossible to adequately monitor the patient’s acute condition or safely administer medications.'”
Puzzled as to why?
You can read the full article here.
Very interesting. The FDA should close down all the companies that don’t meet the regulations in the article! Only 1% thats incredible. I rarely use supplements although I sometimes take melatonin to help me sleep (apparently). Wonder how well that has been researched? Do you know how this relates in Canada? Are we just as bad or do we have better regulations?
I hope to blog about it in the near future. I’ve already started the research on it. The situation doesn’t seem that much better. Natural health products do have a “second path” for approval that is distinct from the one Health Canada requires of “actual drugs”. Here’s a good blog post about the situation in Canada: http://sciencebasedpharmacy.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/do-the-natural-health-products-regulations-benefit-canadians/