This week highlights a big problem with the health supplement industry, covers ADHD, discovers a new part of the human body, points out the fattest demographic in the UK and some positive moves with the food industry in America. I hope you find it interesting!
Americans spend an estimated $5 billion a year on unproven herbal supplements that promise everything from fighting off colds to curbing hot flashes and boosting memory. But now there is a new reason for supplement buyers to beware: DNA tests show that many pills labelled as healing herbs are little more than powdered rice and weeds… Read the full news article here, and the research here.
This is something many people in the industry may be aware of, but perhaps the public are not. I only became aware of the full scale of this when I was researching health supplements at University, so I am glad there is some news coverage about it. Although this study was conducted in America, many of the health products we have in the UK are manufactured in the USA, so it is still very relevant to us.
The conclusion of this study is “most of the herbal products tested were of poor quality, including considerable product substitution, contamination and use of fillers. These activities dilute the effectiveness of otherwise useful remedies”. I find it appalling and unethical that companies would think that this is OK to do, these companies are tainting the whole industry, and are solely driven by profit, with no interest in the consumers health. The industry does need to be more regulated to stop this kind of fraud.
On the other hand though, if you are buying ‘amazingly’ cheap health supplements, do you really think they are genuine? Herbal supplements must be grown, harvested, sorted, dried, (sometimes extracted), encapsulated/ pressed into tablets, bottled and then sold. These processes may be done in different parts of the world so there will be added costs for shipping. Do you really think all this can be done for £2.99 a bottle? Please, apply a bit of common sense when buying health products, I’m sure you would agree, that you would rather spend an extra £5 or £10 for something that actually worked, rather than a couple of pounds on some powdered weeds…
I think the companies doing this should be named and shamed.
Doctors using broader definitions of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, risk prescribing “unnecessary and possibly harmful treatment” to their patients, experts have warned… Read more here.
So, the definition of ADHD has been expanded, and as a result more drugs used to treat it such as Ritalin are being prescribed. Nothing frustrates me more, than when people (especially doctors) instantly treat symptoms of a problem and not the cause. This sort of treatment often leads to further health complications, which will probably lead to more drugs being prescribed, resulting in a downward spiral. With such a strong link between ADHD and diet identified, why are dietary changes not being explored before prescribing drugs?
Scientists discover a new body part in the KNEE – and it could explain why so many injured joints give way during exercise (6th Nov)
Two knee surgeons in Belgium have found a new body part – a previously unknown ligament in the human knee… Read more here.
Middle-aged British men are more likely than women to be overweight, but less likely to diet, research suggests… Read more here.
US food safety officials have taken steps to ban the use of trans fats, saying they are a threat to health… Read more here.
Better late than never, and defiantly a step in the right direction! Currently the average person in America consumes 1g of trans-fat a day. It may not sound like much (especially when you consider how much food the typical American eats), but 1g is enough to have a significant negative impact on someone’s health. I can imagine this will take a while to enforce and phase in, hopefully it will actually be enforced and not become another good idea which gets brushed under the rug.