As daylight savings time came to an end this weekend, so did our extra daily dose of vitamin D from sunlight. But just because most of the U.S. won’t be singing “Here comes the sun” during the winter months ahead, that doesn’t mean we need to say goodbye to vitamin D. And despite widespread worries about vitamin D deficiency in this country, most of us don’t need to be concerned, according to a recent report by the Institute of Medicine.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use 20 weight-loss supplements found to contain the drug sibutramine.
Taking folic acid supplements from four weeks before conception to eight weeks afterward may substantially reduce the risk of a rare but severe delay in language development in offspring at age 3, according to a study of women in Norway, where everyday foods are not routinely fortified with folic acid, published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Older women who use iron pills or some other common vitamin and mineral supplements daily might be at an increased risk of premature death compared with nonusers, while those who take calcium pills might be at a decreased risk, researchers reported in the current issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.
Doctors and nurses are more likely than patients to turn toward alternative therapies than patients. Yet health professionals, as well as patients, are concerned about the safety and efficacy of alternative medicine. Those are the somewhat contradictory findings of two recent studies that crossed my desk—findings that are mirrored in our own recent survey on alternative medicine.
An extract made from saw palmetto, a kind of dwarf palm tree, has been used for hundreds of years, first by Native Americans and now by legions of men with enlarged prostate glands. But a study published today in JAMA found that even at triple the standard dose, the herb was no better than a placebo at easing urinary problems. It’s the latest in a series of disappointing results—including from our own recent survey of alternative medicine—for the once-promising, and still popular, herbal remedy.
Seniors with low blood levels of B12 might be more likely to lose brain cells and develop problems with cognitive skills, according to a report released today in the journal Neurology.
Probiotic pills ease irritable bowel syndrome and other stomach problems more effectively than yogurt with probiotics, a recent survey of Consumer Reports subscribers suggests. Probiotics are helpful bacteria that naturally occur in the intestines. Other recent research concluded that probiotics, in yogurt or pills, might also help prevent colds.
Your doctor or nurse might be more likely than you to turn to dietary supplements and alternative therapies such as acupuncture and chiropractic care, according to a recent study in the journal Health Services Research. It found that 76 percent of health-care workers reported using alternative or complementary therapy in the preceding year compared with 63 percent of the general population.
Only one of the brands of coconut water tested by the health-product testing firm ConsumerLab.com lived up to it's nutritional claims. Zico coconut water had as much potassium and other nutrients as listed on its label. The other tested brands, O.N.E. and Vita Coco, did not.
Soy isoflavone supplementation didn’t reduce menopausal symptoms such as bone loss, but was linked with an increase in hot flashes, according to a small study published today in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Colon cleansing is touted as a “natural” way to detox and enhance your well-being, but it’s anything but, say researchers. In fact, the practice comes with several unpleasant side effects and in some cases can even cause death, according to a study published today in the August issue of The Journal of Family Practice.
Cranberries may help to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs), but they won’t work as well as taking antibiotics, a new study shows.
A new survey of subscribers to Consumer Reports found that prescription drugs generally performed better than alternative therapies for 12 common health problems. But hands-on treatments such as chiropractic care and deep-tissue massage, as well as mind-body therapies such as yoga and meditation, held their own, especially for certain conditions. Far fewer said that dietary supplements helped a lot.
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