Uncontrolled Intake Of Dietary Supplements And Herbal Remedies Threatens The Health Of Millions

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Uncontrolled Intake Of Dietary Supplements And Herbal Remedies Threatens The Health Of Millions
Uncontrolled Intake Of Dietary Supplements And Herbal Remedies Threatens The Health Of Millions

Video: Uncontrolled Intake Of Dietary Supplements And Herbal Remedies Threatens The Health Of Millions

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Uncontrolled intake of dietary supplements and herbal remedies threatens the health of millions

A new British study shows that many people are putting their health at risk by taking herbal remedies and dietary supplements along with prescription medications.

Uncontrolled intake of dietary supplements and herbal remedies threatens the health of millions
Uncontrolled intake of dietary supplements and herbal remedies threatens the health of millions

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A new British study found that more than a million people over 65 in the UK are at risk from taking herbal remedies and dietary supplements along with prescribed medications.

Some of these “dangerous” combinations can increase the risk of bleeding, raise blood sugar levels, or interfere with the action of prescribed drugs.

Scientists emphasize that statins (anti-atherosclerosis drugs), diabetes and stomach acid medications can cause negative effects when interacting with popular dietary supplements.

Herbal remedies such as St. John's wort, some dietary supplements, including fish oil and calcium tablets, are taken by millions of people for their perceived health benefits. But doctors say older patients on conventional medications are inadvertently putting themselves at risk when they use alternative therapies at the same time.

Researchers from the University of Hertfordshire surveyed 149 patients over 65 who were taking at least one prescription drug. Almost half of the women surveyed and 22% of men said they also regularly use herbal remedies or dietary supplements. Patients who were treated for hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and overactive thyroid gland took between one and 18 of their prescribed medications.

Scientists have found six combinations that are either "significant" or potentially dangerous.

According to the researchers, people with high blood pressure who take St. John's wort, considered a natural sedative, significantly reduce the effectiveness of vital statins.

Likewise, fish oil with omega-3 fatty acids, which is believed to enhance brain function and prevent heart disease, can be dangerous when taken with beta blockers because it interferes with the action of these drugs and can lower blood pressure too much.

A study published in the British Journal of GPs says doctors should ask patients about their herbal and nutritional supplements.

Examples of dangerous combinations:

St. John's wort and amlodipine (medicine for high blood pressure) - the effectiveness of amlodipine decreases.

  • Peppermint oil tablets and lansoprazole (a medicine to reduce stomach acid) - nausea and heartburn may occur.
  • Dietary supplements with calcium and levothyroxine (thyroid hormone substitute) - the effectiveness of the drug decreases.
  • Fish and bisoprolol (beta-blocker, anti-hypertension) - Blood pressure may drop excessively.
  • Glucosamine (a dietary supplement for arthritis) and metformin (controls blood sugar in diabetes) - can increase blood sugar levels.
  • Ginkgo and rabeprazole (to reduce stomach acidity) - the effectiveness of the drug decreases.

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