Nutritional supplements are available to improve your health in many ways. Most of the products available today can really help maintain or even improve health outcomes. In my opinion, depending upon the circumstances, some nutritional supplements are even worth the extra investment.
However, it has also been my experience, and I’m sure it’s not new news to regular Doctors Health Press readers, that there are some manufacturers out there just looking to take your money. They don’t have your health in mind, and unfortunately, it’s easier to take advantage of people in need of help in an industry that is less regulated.
Like most industries, the supplement business can be full of products that have limited value because their effectiveness has not been scientifically demonstrated. They may be safe to consume, but they may not do what they claim.
Such is the case with certain medical or disease conditions that a company may want to target to get their own market share and strike while the iron is hot. An opportunity to make a profit is too much for some companies to avoid. Even if their product has no scientific validity or hasn’t undergone any form of clinical testing in human subjects, they remain undeterred.
This rather problematic issue has now become apparent when discussing the role that nutritional supplements can have upon the occurrence and treatment of concussion syndrome.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates nutritional supplements, “Exploiting the public’s rising concern about concussions, some companies are offering untested, unproven and possibly dangerous products that claim to prevent, treat or cure concussions and other traumatic brain injuries.” In addition, the FDA suggested that there was no scientific evidence that could substantiate these claims.
In essence, the FDA is suggesting that nutritional supplements should not be advertised as being a potentially important tool in the management or prevention of concussion.
Although, the FDA has always been rather conservative in their stance regarding the use of nutritional supplements, in this case, I would have to agree with them. This is a simple example of various companies trying to profit from a common medical issue that has received a great deal of press and news exposure lately.
As Gary Coody, the FDA’s National Health Fraud Coordinator, stated, “We’re very concerned that false assurances of faster recovery will convince athletes of all ages, coaches and even parents that someone suffering from a concussion is ready to resume activities before they are really ready… Also, watch for claims that these products can prevent or lessen the severity of concussions or TBIs [traumatic brain injuries].”
These are very real concerns, because this is the kind of marketing that drives the sales of these bogus products.
Concussions are the result of a closed trauma to the brain that can negatively affect brain cell activity. Like any injury, the brain has to heal and recover. Returning to an activity before this completely occurs can place the individual at risk for another concussion. Recurrent concussions can have very serious and adverse long-term affects upon brain function.
Currently, there is no evidence supporting the use of nutritional supplements for the prevention or management of symptoms that would allow an individual to resume normal activities at an earlier date.
So when it comes to supplement products claiming they’re your key to fighting back or preventing the effects of a concussion—buyer beware.
Source for Today’s Article:
Gholipour, B., “No Dietary Supplement Treats Concussions, FDA Warns,” LiveScience web site, August 25, 2014; http://www.livescience.com/47541-no-dietary-supplement-treats-concussions.html.