Episode 14: Supplement Regulation & Recommendations [Show Notes]

We are bombarded with messages about vitamins and minerals and how we may be deficient in key nutrients. Are we really? And if so, will taking one – or several – vitamins help? In this episode, we take a look into the multi-billion dollar supplement industry. We’ll examine the history of what are now the least regulated products on the market and the measures you can take to make sure you aren’t getting swindled.

Episode Intro: Laurel or Yanny? Find out what YOU hear: https://www.theguardian.com/global/video/2018/may/16/what-do-you-hear-in-this-audio-clip-yanny-or-laurel-takes-internet-by-storm-video

Supplement regulation PSA with Mel Gibson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLGNm8_y6yU

How to know if a supplement is safe?

Try using this resource: https://examine.com

Seals of approval

A few independent organizations that offer “seals of approval” that may be displayed on certain dietary supplement products. These indicate that the product has passed the organization’s quality tests for things such as potency and contaminants. 

Chew On This


Bajaj, J., Knox, J. F., Komorowski, R., & Saeian, K. (2003). The irony of herbal hepatitis: Ma-Huang-induced hepatotoxicity associated with compound heterozygosity for hereditary hemochromatosis. Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 48(10), 1925–8. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14627335

Chapter I – Dietary Supplement Health And Education Act of 1994. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://health.gov/dietsupp/ch1.htm

Dara, L., Hewett, J., & Lim, J. K. (2008). Hydroxycut hepatotoxicity: a case series and review of liver toxicity from herbal weight loss supplements. World Journal of Gastroenterology, 14(45), 6999–7004. Retrieved from http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2773866&tool=pmcentrez&rendertype=abstract

Food and Drug Administration. (n.d.). Consumer Updates – Warning on Hydroxycut Products. Office of the Commissioner. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm152152.htm

History of Federal Regulation: FDAReview.org. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.fdareview.org/01_history.php

Hydroxycut: What You Need to Know | HowStuffWorks. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/diet-fitness/diets/hydroxycut.htm

Karth, A., Holoshitz, N., Kavinsky, C. J., Trohman, R., & McBride, B. F. (2010). A case report of atrial fibrillation potentially induced by hydroxycut: a multicomponent dietary weight loss supplement devoid of sympathomimetic amines. Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 23(3), 245–9. http://doi.org/10.1177/0897190010362104

Kockler, D. R., McCarthy, M. W., & Lawson, C. L. (2001). Seizure Activity and Unresponsiveness after Hydroxycut Ingestion. Pharmacotherapy, 21(5), 647–651. http://doi.org/10.1592/phco.21.6.647.34542

Public Broadcasting System. (2016). Frontline: Supplements and Safety. Retrieved from: http://www.pbs.org/video/2365646371/

Sherid, M., Samo, S., Sulaiman, S., & Gaziano, J. H. (2013). What’s new about inflammatory bowel diseases in Ischemic colitis induced by the newly reformulated multicomponent weight-loss supplement Hydroxycut(®). World Journal of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, 5(4), 180–5. http://doi.org/10.4253/wjge.v5.i4.180

Walton, R., & Manos, G. H. (2003). Psychosis related to ephedra-containing herbal supplement use. Southern Medical Journal, 96(7), 718–20. http://doi.org/10.1097/01.SMJ.0000054913.04507.68




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