"No Approved Therapeutic Claims"

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Most supplements cite wonderful benefits. Then we discover the statement, ‘No approved therapeutic claims’ at the bottom of their packaging. We tend to feel mislead. These supplements give us promises then there’s a catch? What does the statem

The statement ‘No approved therapeutic claims’ is usually found in herbal and food supplement containers. Like the line, ‘Smoking is hazardous to your health’ in cigarettes or the declaration, ‘Drink moderately’ in liquor bottles, the statement serves as a warning for those who would rely solely with some particular food supplements.

Dietary supplement categories

Supplements can be grouped into two - those that can be used in treating ailments and those that function only for dietary support. Ferrous sulfate for instance belongs to the first group. It is a vitamin indicated for anemia. Vitamin C promotes faster wound healing and therefore often prescribed by doctors with the antibiotics. The B complex combination is another thing. This group is advised with patients suffering from neuralgia. These supplements mentioned not only provide nutrients but can be used as treatment as well. Thus, this group can be regarded as supplements with therapeutic claims.

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The second group on the other hand is exclusively for dietary sustenance. As mentioned earlier, these types are usually grouped in the herbal or food supplements. Encapsulated Ampalaya or Malunggay are best examples. These food supplements have numerous benefits. Ampalaya reveals good herbal supplement for diabetes. Malunggay is a good source to increase milk production for breastfeeding mothers.

Among others, are the new food supplement formulations that include Taurine, Lysine and the Chlorella growth factor or the CGF. Taurine holds a promise to make someone smarter; Lysine is an appetite stimulant; and CGF is said to be a height enhancer.

Misconceptions

The second group’s benefits are something for the consumers to look forward to. For a person who wants to have a taller or a smart child, supplements with CGF and Taurine are appealing news. However, the second group must be understood as mere provider of nutrients needed by the child for growth and development and nothing more. Their benefits may not be seen as positive. The Lysine for example may not work for a thin child. Two probable reasons - it could be an inappropriate appetite stimulant or it could have an inapt low dose. And because Lysine is included in a combination formula, its dose cannot be increased without affecting other active constituents. The bottom line is this, if a mother wants her child to improve his weight she should shift to real medication for appetite and not to rely with food supplements.

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More to this, there are people who get the wrong idea that food supplements can work with their condition alone. Some patients discontinue their medication and depend on supplements, not fully understanding that they are endangering their health. Ampalaya has good benefits for a diabetic person and the Co enzyme supplement for the heart. On the contrary, these food supplements alone are not enough to keep the patient in good condition.

So are we really wasting money on food supplements?

One newspaper article noted that the public are wasting their money on food supplements because they have no effect. Drug companies are deceiving the community into buying worthless product. How true can this be?

It is an ethic to provide correct information on drug labels otherwise these products will not approved for release by the drug authorities. No information has not made exaggerated. People may claim that these supplements do not work their wonders, even regarded as cheap, faulty or expired. But, we must understand that these supplements simply contribute nutrients that we don’t get much from food. They are health aides and not for therapeutic use.

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Kimberley Heit
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