New guidance for doctors is out on vitamins and supplements. You might be surprised that a lot of the ones you might be taking are missing from the list. Your physician may be the exception, but most medical schools barely teach their doctors-in-training about nutrition, much less vitamins and mineral supplements. Add to that the legitimate concerns that exist about the manufacturing quality of supplements and your doc might look like a deer in the headlights when you ask if Vitamin C can help fight your cold. Doctors have been given new guidelines on vitamins and minerals and you should…

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Many Americans turn to supplements to avoid the side effects of medicines. And yet the FDA conducts virtually no oversight of herbal supplements unless and until someone (more often many someones) gets very sick or dies. A PBS Frontline/New York Times special, Supplements and Safety, is now available on PBS’s streaming channel. I have not yet seen it, but I trust the documentary will be provocative and well-researched. Involved from the the NYT is Anahad O’Connor, a health reporter who broke a story on this topic in February 2015 that sparked an investigation by the New York State Attorney General. MedShadow…

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Overlooked and misunderstood, vinpocetine and picamilon are powerful drugs mistakenly allowed into more than 300 brands of supplements. Research released on October 1, 2015, shows that the FDA made a mistake and has allowed 2 drugs to be added to more than 340 sports supplements, brain enhancers and weight-loss supplements available without a prescription. The study measured the amount of both vinpocetine and picamilon in supplements sold over the counter and has been published in the journal Drug Testing and Analysis. While both of these drugs are similar to botanicals (which do not have to be proven safe for humans in…

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My doctor doesn’t suggest a lot of supplements, but she does promote vitamin D3. And I have to admit when I skip my vitamin D3 in the morning, I notice my mood dropping. My internist is very specific about the brand she recommends. Sometimes I follow her advice, sometimes I just pick up some D3 wherever I am. Last month I came home with a bottle of vitamin D3 that were little white pills and not softgels. I’d only ever seen D3 delivered in softgels, never little white pills, and that got me wondering: What the heck am I taking?…

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