Category: Herbs & Supplements

Does Glucosamine Really Work?

Glucosamine and chondroitin, used separately or together, are among the more popular diet supplements. They are used widely for osteoarthritis, especially of the knee, and have been better studied than most other diet supplements. But do they really work? The journal of my medical specialty, American Family Physician, recently published an article about the use of dietary supplements in osteoarthritis. They gave...

/ January 29, 2008

Akavar 20/50 and Truth in Advertising

Over the last few months, I have had a truly surreal experience. It started when I noticed a two-page full color spread in TV Guide magazine advertising a product called Akavar 20/50. It contained the same claims that so many bogus weight loss products do: eat all you want and still lose weight. What attracted my interest was their highlighted statement: “We...

/ January 22, 2008

The Plant vs Pharmaceutical False Dichotomy

A recent New York Times piece promotes the idea that herbs are safer and more effective than pharmaceuticals. The reality is, both are drugs, with risks and benefits that need to be assessed and considered. Where they differ is in the degree of scrutiny and evidence required - extensive amounts for drugs, almost none for herbs.

/ January 2, 2008