Thoughts on Better Aging

Know What’s In Your Supplements: Buy from Renew Woman™

February 18th, 2015

Recent scandal highlights the importance of buying supplements from a trusted source.

Recently, four big box stores got busted for allegedly selling bogus botanical/herbal supplements. This incident has revived an ongoing debate in the media and in the scientific community about the effectiveness and safety of supplements in general. It brings out a very important point, namely that for best results, you need to rely on a trusted source to prescribe and provide your supplements.

Herbal Supplements Unsafe

While the law does set standards for the manufacture and testing of supplements, with no official mechanism in place to review these products, consumers have to rely on the manufacturer’s word that their product is safe and effective and contains the ingredients described on the label. It turns out, in many cases the manufacturer’s word is worthless. A representative from the FDA reported that an estimated 70 percent of manufacturers are not in compliance with safety guidelines.

Researchers recently tested 44 popular herbal supplements from 12 manufacturers, and found some disturbing trends:

  • One third of supplements tested did not contain the advertised ingredient in any detectable amount
  • Many contained fillers not listed on the label, including rice, soybean, and wheat
  • Some supplements contained dangerous additives not listed on the label:
    • One Ginkgo biloba supplement contained black walnut, a danger for individuals with nut allergies
    • One St John’s wort bottle contained Alexandrian senna, a powerful laxative
    • One black cohosh supplement contained the toxic plant Actaea asiatica
    • Several echinea supplements contained bitter weed, a plant linked to rashes, nausea, and gas
    • Only 2 of the 12 companies tested offered products without substitution, contamination, or fillers.

Some experts question the DNA barcoding method used to identify ingredients in this research, pointing out that the DNA of plant extracts that have been refined and purified may break down to the point where it is not detectable in testing. However, this does not explain or excuse the products that contained DNA from harmful plant species.

If nothing else, this research shows the extreme difficulty that a consumer may face when attempting to choose and evaluate supplements on their own. Fortunately, you do not have to rely on your own research or on incomplete or misleading product labels when choosing supplements. Instead, you can come to Renew Woman™ for help selecting quality nutritional supplements that will support your overall health and well-being.

Treat the Root Cause, Not Just the Symptom

Many popular herbal supplements promise to help with problems like depression (St John’s wort), memory issues (ginkgo balboa) and hot flashes (black cohosh). The root cause of these symptoms in women of a certain age is most likely hormonal imbalance. It makes sense then, that treating the root cause of the symptom with hormone replacement therapy will achieve a better result than simply trying to manage the symptoms with supplements.

You can rely on your Renew Woman™ doctor to carefully evaluate all your symptoms and conduct lab tests to determine exactly what is causing your discomfort and then provide you with the very best options for relieving that discomfort and improving your health. We offer a full range of options including nutritional guidance, healthy aging supplements, and of course hormone therapy for this purpose. You can rest assured that all treatments we recommend have been thoroughly studied by our expert physicians and their safety and effectiveness have been scientifically verified.

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