View Full Version : Herbal Supplements Often Contain Unlisted Ingredients


sarahsweets
10-12-13, 07:52 AM
Hope this is the right section for this. I thought it was an interesting article considering the snake oil that can sometimes be pushed on parents of newly diagnosed children with adhd.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/11/herbal-supplements-ingredients-unlisted_n_4085025.html

Fraser_0762
10-12-13, 09:04 AM
Just about everything contains unlisted ingredients. Stimulant medications contain unlisted ingredients as well.

Just because one thing doesn't work for you, doesn't mean it wont work for somebody else. Some people do have better success with herbal suppliments over pharmaceuticals.

Amtram
10-12-13, 10:08 AM
All the ingredients, including the inert ingredients of an FDA-approved prescription medication, are publicly available. Supplements aren't regulated the same way. In fact, they are often deceitfully labeled, as certain ingredients that are integral parts of alternative treatments, are known hazards. Ayurvedic practices use lead, mercury, and arsenic as active ingredients for "cures," as do certain branches of TCM.

Production facilities are not inspected with the same degree of rigor as pharmaceutical production facilities, either, so there is no supervision to prevent contamination or cross-contamination. And there's pretty much no quality control if the supplements came in from certain low-operating-cost countries.

In addition, supplements are often comprised of minimally-processed raw ingredients rather than the active ingredient isolated from the source. That means that if there is an active component in a supplement, its amount can vary widely from pill to pill. It's the active ingredient that has an effect, and pharmacognosy is a valid science that works on isolating and testing those ingredients from natural sources, evaluating their effects in a scientific setting, and determining the method to extract or produce the active ingredient in a form that delivers a consistent dose if it's found to be safe and effective.

ginniebean
10-12-13, 11:23 AM
Supplements need to be regulated.

Fraser_0762
10-12-13, 11:23 AM
That may well be true. But I wouldn't completely disregard the use of supplement use.

As I say, some people do find things that work well for them over pharmaceuticals.

It's important that people are aware of exactly what they're taking, regardless of its source.

Most people who take suppliments/medication from any source, really don't have much of an idea over what they're taking, or how it even works.

Lunacie
10-12-13, 11:53 AM
Pharmacists can, and do, substitute prescription meds from a different
manufacturer, generally as a generic to save money. But the inactive
ingredients can be very different and can cause adverse reactions such as
allergic reactions.

Doctors may offer a free sample to patients, and these often do not include
the inserts that contain an ingredient list.

I will probably never know exactly which ingredient I was allergic to in the
products that have cause me some bad reactions. I avoid all beta blockers
and have no had any other reactions. Recently my pharmacy switched
manufacturers on the ace inhibitor I take and I was very concerned about
taking the new meds, making sure I didn't make the switch on the weekend
when I'm home alone.

I recently bought Oxytrol which has been released for OTC sale instead of
being prescription only. The inactive ingredients were listed inside the
package. If I had discovered that the patch was made from latex, would
the store have refunded my money on an opened package? There was no
latex, but something in the adhesive caused a minor reaction. Well, it's
been two weeks and the scabs are still there but I didn't have an
anaphylactic reaction, so I guess that's considered minor.

Just another ingredient to add to my growing list of things I must avoid.

But given the problems I've pointed out, it's not that easy, even with meds
that have inserts with all those chemical properties and below that, in tiny
little print, a list of the inert ingredients.

Amtram
10-12-13, 04:37 PM
Perhaps, but try finding out what's in an herbal supplement. Orange Book is a good place to find out the active and inert ingredients of a pharmaceutical product, but there's no equivalent for supplements. Legally, they're not required to provide them, while pharmaceutical companies are.

dvdnvwls
10-12-13, 04:59 PM
That may well be true. But I wouldn't completely disregard the use of supplement use.

As I say, some people do find things that work well for them over pharmaceuticals.

It's important that people are aware of exactly what they're taking, regardless of its source.
The point here is that people are being prevented from making themselves aware, by the producers of un-regulated supplements.