Before you try any dietary supplements, take a close look at the bottle and the science behind the claims. Then proceed with caution. Here's why:
- Just because you can purchase a supplement, that doesn't mean it's safe. Dietary supplements don't undergo the same scrutiny that's required of prescription medications.
- Dietary supplements, including herbal supplements, aren't benign. Whether they're in the form of pills, drinks, powders or foods, supplements can have strong effects in the body. Supplements can also interact with prescription medicines, leading to potentially dangerous reactions.
- "All natural" on the bottle is no guarantee that a supplement is in fact all natural. In recent years, the Food and Drug Administration has discovered chemicals, prescription drugs and steroids in some supplements.
- Few supplements have rigorous science to support their claims. In all fairness, it's possible the science just isn't there yet. Whatever the reason, you're in uncharted waters when it comes to most supplements.
- Be skeptical. If a claim seems too good to be true, it probably is. When in doubt, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
- Talk to your doctor. Tell your docto.
- If you're taking a supplement and if you experience any problems with it.