Saturday, May 23, 2009

FDA continues its war on natural supplements

The FDA has fired a new salvo in its war against the dietary supplement industry. Not long after a federal ruling overturned a ban on the supplement ephedra, the FDA has strong-armed the makers of Hydroxycut, a similar supplement, into pulling 14 of their products off the shelves.

One death was potentially linked to this Hydroxycut in 2007 -- and yet there were a staggering 9 million packages of the stuff sold in the last year.

Meanwhile, how many dangerous and deadly reactions have there been to any number of prescription drugs (many of which you read about right here) that have resulted in little more than
a black box warning be placed on those pharmaceuticals?

Hydroxycut is made from all-natural ingredients and is sold over the counter. You can get it not just in health food and supplementretailers, but also at pharmacies and grocery stores. Like ephedra-based supplements such as Xenadrine (which was also pulled from shelves), Hydroxycut is popular with dieters and athletes (especially bodybuilders), and is particularly prized for its energy-boosting and weight-loss effects.

According to Dr. Linda Katz of the FDA's food and nutrition division, there have been as many as 23 cases of liver-related complications stemming from the use of Hydroxycut, including the 2007 death of
a teenager. Among the maladies blamed on the use of the supplement are cases of liver failure and jaundice.

All of this might be true, but the fact is, no matter how safe something is, it can potentially be dangerous when it's used incorrectly, or if it's overused -- including water.

I am always wary of the government butting its nose into the supplement business. After all, they've done a less-than-stellar job of keeping the prescription drugs safe in this country, and it's not hard to see that their close ties to the pharmaceutical industry have given the agency an anti-natural supplement bent.

For example, the tragic death of a 19-year-old in 2007, which was allegedly caused by Hyrdoxycut, wasn't reported to the FDA until -- are you ready for this? -- March of 2009. Any reasonable person
would surely find this just a bit fishy. But not the FDA.

Though the media made much hay out of some highly publicized deaths that were loosely linked to ephedra supplements, evidence in some of those cases showed blatant misuse of the product. I
suspect this Hydroxycut fatality (if the link can be proven) is a similar situation. Like I said, putting too much of ANYTHING in your body has the potential to kill you.

Look at all the misery brought about from the use of, for example, the vaccine Gardasil, which fights the human papillomavirus -- an STD that can cause cervical cancer. To date, there have been 32 deaths linked to this useless vaccine, along with a large number of other medical incidents, including 11,000 adverse reactions (pleasantries like
as anaphylactic shock, grand mal seizures, foaming at the mouth, coma, and paralysis -- of these, 27 cases were considered life threatening).
Also, have been at least 38 cases of Guillian-Barre Syndrome, a debilitating nerve disorder.

But you can still get a Gardasil shot for your nine-year-old from any doctor. Want some Hydoxycut? Sorry -- that stuff'll kill you.

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