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Supplement ratings, includes side effects and more

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Old 03-08-2004, 11:57 PM   #1
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Default Supplement ratings, includes side effects and more

I found an interesting chart which shows how various weight loss supplements rate for weight loss. It was produced by the Harvard Health Publications.

It rates them from A to D, with the following guidelines:

A: Means the evidence is excellent
B: Means the evidence is fair
C: Means the evidence is weak
D: Means there is no scientific evidence that ingredient can help people lose weight.

They then noted that NONE of the ingredients listed rated A or B. Each item includes claims, rating, side effects, and drug interactions.

The page is an Adobe Acrobat file click here to view it.
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Old 05-05-2005, 10:45 PM   #2
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I was reading the PDF file and so far it looks like "Green Tea" and "Jhons Wort" are a "C"

Mau Hung, Is this a natural herbal? Or is it chemical based?
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Old 05-05-2005, 11:12 PM   #3
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Ma Huang is ephedra, which was banned in the US a little over a year ago by the FDA. The ban was recently overturned in a court in Utah, but I wouldn't expect to see it back for sale anytime soon - I would bet the FDA is appealing the ruling.

I think it definitely needs to be regulated - at least the way other OTC drugs are regulated. The major danger with the stuff is the inconsistency - the potency, what other 'stuff' was mixed with it (not necessarily listed on the label), and so on...if it comes back on the market that is.
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Old 05-05-2005, 11:20 PM   #4
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I took it once, a long time ago, it worked, but I am glad I kicked and never touched it again. I remember when I first started taking it, I was dizzy when I bent over sometimes, I did lose weight quickly though but had dry mouth all the time, ever since I stuck to the natural way of losing weight. "Hard Work" and "Sweat"

I wonder if the herbal is dangerous alone or mixed with other incredients?
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Old 08-13-2005, 09:16 PM   #5
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Speaking of supplements...this article was in today's San Francisco Chronicle, regarding an exhibition currently on display at the Golden Gate Park Conservatory of Flowers:

Curing naturally
A show on the healing power of herbs points up the importance of knowing their strengths, limitations -- and dangers


It's not about weight-loss supps per se, but still very interesting - here's a bit:

Quote:
Folk medicine, herbal medicine and assorted "alternative healing" techniques present us with some interesting dilemmas. Many remedies are valid enough to justify research by major pharmaceutical companies, with the big investment that serious science can require. Some get hyped -- look at those vague, mysterious TV commercials for drugs, never mind the stuff you have trouble explaining to the kids.

Some drug development requires pricey labs and deservedly well-paid brains, but it's not forbiddingly expensive to set up a controlled double- blind experiment, and the procedures for a good clinical trial aren't exactly a secret. There's the rub -- when something is proven workable and doctors start using it a lot, it stops being "folk" or "alternative." Getting snapped up by mainstream medicine can make a remedy easier and cheaper to get, or it can put it out of reach by making it expensive, proprietary or strictly regulated. Can we grow our own cures in self-defense?

Maybe. That certainly works well for food, when we have a few square feet of dirt to work with. But there's a reason we call that stuff on the bathroom shelf "drugs" and not "dessert." If it has power to help it also has power to harm. As the Conservatory's exhibit carefully points out, "natural" does not equal "safe."

If you're growing your own, it certainly makes sense to know all you can about it. First thing to think about is just how reliable your information is. Get to know as much as you can from as many unrelated sources as possible - and watch out for people who just uncritically pass along what they've heard, for the pharmaceutical equivalent of an urban legend or a smarmy commercial. That includes your sweet old grandma, no matter how long she's survived thanks to her special tonic...

Remember that relying on personal testimonies is a sign of quackery, that the plural of "anecdote" is not "evidence" and that the point of double-blind trials is just to filter out other factors that can affect results. This includes the placebo effect and the experienced clinician's favorite healer, Tincture of Time.

Next, consider two things: Just how serious is the problem you're using the homegrown or folk-remedy stuff for? And how risky is the stuff to use, whether it helps or not? ...

Toxic 'remedies'

Other herbs are just plain dangerous, and people who prescribe them ought to be busted. Aristolochia (pipevine, birthwort) just for example, has destroyed kidneys and killed people, and there's valid documentation of this. No matter how much you trust your prescriber, do your own research. Yes, that goes for mainline meds, too. Check accreditation and credibility from authoritative resources online or elsewhere. Ask hard questions. Don't settle for vague stuff like "It balances the system."

There's another caution about homegrown - or store-bought - herbal remedies: It's not easy to predict how concentrated the active ingredient, or any other ingredient that happens to accompany it, is. "Supplements" aren't regulated as tightly as official drugs are. Even in your own garden, a given quantity of a root might have more or less of whatever's good for what ails you depending on how much sun, fertilizer or water the plant gets, how fast it grew, or even the plant's immediate ancestry. Plants vary just as much in other compounds as they do in the compounds that make flower color. If it's mint tea to settle your stomach, that might not matter much. If you're looking for some hinky alkaloid to lift your depression, that's a bigger deal.

Armed with information

Whether you get your herbal goodies from your garden or from the store, remember that they're drugs and treat them as such. There are cross-reactions among pharmaceuticals, including those used in medical emergencies, and herbal remedies. There are even cross-reactions between pharmaceuticals and grapefruit juice. So be sure every health-care professional you work with knows everything you're ingesting; carry a list with your ID. Some folks are allergic to some herbs, like chamomile and even aloe, so test a little first. Knowing a little botany is useful here; if you're allergic to a plant's relatives, you might be allergic to it, too.
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Highest weight: 265 pounds, size 24/26 (May 1990)
May 1991: 174 pounds (-91 lbs)
September 1996: 155 pounds (-110 lbs)
*LIVING at: 145-149 pounds, size 4/6 (-116/120 lbs)

*Maintenance = LIVING.
Posts by members, moderators and admins are not considered medical advice and no guarantee is made against accuracy. Please see your physician before taking advice found on the internet.

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Old 09-07-2005, 07:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsJim
Ma Huang is ephedra, which was banned in the US a little over a year ago by the FDA. The ban was recently overturned in a court in Utah, but I wouldn't expect to see it back for sale anytime soon - I would bet the FDA is appealing the ruling.

I think it definitely needs to be regulated - at least the way other OTC drugs are regulated. The major danger with the stuff is the inconsistency - the potency, what other 'stuff' was mixed with it (not necessarily listed on the label), and so on...if it comes back on the market that is.
Ephedra gave me a headache so I suspect I'm one of the people who shouldn't be taking it.

I buy diet pills from time to time to give my weight loss a boost. But the main source of my 55 pounds lost is diet and excercise.
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Old 10-01-2005, 05:22 PM   #7
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I don't think I'd use ephedra myself though. I knew a guy who used it daily for 2 years and now has heart murmurs. A 2 lb weight loss a month isn't worth cardiac damage.
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