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HeadWay, Issue #127 -- Are Your Supplements Fake?
February 21, 2015
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In this issue:
Are Your Supplements Fake?
Headlines at Headache and Migraine News
Say what?! Supplement
Are Your Supplements Fake?The shocking news came out of New York this month. The State of New York Office of the Attorney General sent letters to Walmart, Target, GNC and Walgreens, warning them that they should stop mislabelling supplements.
A selection of supplements from each store were tested to see if they actually contained what they claimed to contain. Only 12.5% of the supplements tested yeilded unqualified positive results - the rest contained little or none of the supplement on the label.
The test included supplements such as garlic, gingko biloba, and St. John's Wort.
For more on this news story, see Fake Supplements at Major US Retailers?
Many people who have been diagnosed with headache disorders rely on supplements. Many have been greatly helped by herbs and vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, feverfew, and ginger.
But when we find out that our "gluten-free" supplement may contain wheat, or that our "garlic" supplement may contain a common houseplant and no garlic at all, there's reason to wonder if we should avoid supplements altogether.
When tests like this are done, only a few supplements are tested. They may be removed from shelves, but what about all the rest? And what if the supplier of a supplement changes, and the source of the product changes, even when the label doesn't?
Here are a few things to think about before purchasing your next herbal treatment:
There are still many excellent supplements out there that are helping migraine and headache patients. Let's help one another find the quality products, while being aware that there are still people out to make a profit at our expense.
See also the HeadWay issue from 2010: Dangerous Supplements?
Headlines at Headache and Migraine NewsIf you're interested in some of the cutting-edge research being done, listen to the recent podcast New Migraine Research – MRF Announces Grants. And what about the medication that's available now? Here are some new reports about which you should consider trying first - The Best Medication for Migraine? The AHS Reports.
Say what?! SupplementWe've been using the term "supplement" very loosely today, but it's actually a very vague term. Usually we think of supplements as anything taken orally which isn't a medication.
Technically, "supplement" means just what is says - it's a a think added to something else (in this case, your diet). You don't have enough magnesium in your diet (either because you don't eat enough of something, or your body needs more for some reason), so you take a "supplement".
Of course, drugs are often "supplements" as well in a sense. And as we talked about above, it's not a matter of one being "scientifically proven" while the other is not. Or one is "effective" while the other is not. Or one is "dangerous" while the other is not. In the end, you should be cautious with both drugs and supplements.
Thanks for reading! Remember, if you have feedback or ideas for future issues, visit the HeadWay MailRoom. Your password is nomoache.
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