Unregulated Supplements // How Do You Feel?

Unregulated Supplements // How Do You Feel?
Your booze is licensed. Your cab is licensed and even the bus is licensed.
Like it or lump it, licenses are there to keep us safe.
So how do you feel about health supplements and nutritional supplements that are not licensed?

Do you feel safe?

Once upon a time supplement and drug companies had to prove that their product was safe for human consumption, however, Senator Orrin Hatch lobbied against this so it was easier for companies to produce and sell their products.
As a result, companies now have to prove to the FDA that their products are not safe. That’s a big difference.
This came packaged as the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act was enacted in 1994.
This means that all regulations that forced drug companies to ensure they contained what they claimed and they actually worked came to an abrupt halt.
Now, remember this includes not just drugs but also natural supplements.

So what’s the story?

People take supplements because they want to help improve their performance or just the way they look.
They are looking for health benefits.
That means the ingredients must contain beneficial substances that will have an effect on the body.
These natural ingredients also cause chemical reactions, just as drugs do and just as drugs can be dangerous, this can be said for natural, plant derived substances too.
You only have to look at the possible issues caused by Yohimbe plus a number of others that are commonly found in fat burners or even testosterone boosters to see this.
The problem is, some of these plant based ingredients may well be effective in low doses or even on their own, but when combined with stimulants such as Caffeine is can cause a potentially deadly reaction.
Another consideration is that it maybe fine to drink the equivalent of 4 cups of coffee over the course of a day. Yet some supplements offer the same amount of Caffeine in 1 hit.
Some fat burners make the Caffeine content of Red Bull look uselessly low and inadequate.
This can put extra pressure on your organs and raise blood pressure to an unhealthy level, especially when combined with exercise too.

Unregulated Marketing

So, not only do drug and supplement companies have to prove their drugs are not safe, the law also allows manufacturers to make claims regarding their effectiveness without the necessary proof to back them up.

That’s like Dodge claiming and marketing the the Dart is that fastest car in the world without having to show or prove that it is. They can just sticker it up like that and watch it sell.

Or White Star Line claiming the Titanic was unsinkable…

The use of wording and language allows the manufacturers to get around any issues by merely suggesting effectiveness rather than direct clams.

Natural Isn’t Necessarily Safe 

Most people hear the word ‘natural’ and assume that because an apple is healthy and good to consume a tablet containing a mixture of ground down plant extracts will be perfectly safe and nothing to worry about.

I mean, grass is safe…therefore all other plants are fine…

Think about it like this. A spider is completely natural. A black widow can still kill. As canthat mentally deranged man you have seen on the news that the police haven’t yet caught for murdering a prostitute.

They’re all natural and they can cause harm, just as some plant based extracts can, especially if doses are not taken check of.

Ricin for instance is made from a plant called Castor beans.

Snake Oil

It is beneficial for countries to allow free trade and unregulated markets, this promotes economic growth.

Yet, loose regulation can essentially pave the surface for unscrupulous companies to peddle snake oil that is marketed without fear of repercussions.

A clear way of seeing these tactics is when a supplement consists of a proprietary blend.

Not only that, the outlet for so many of these companies has grown to online market places such as Amazon or eBay meaning it is almost impossible to trace and regulate anyway.

One way around it is to ensure that the supplements you do buy have a transparent ingredients profile and that the ingredients are proven to be effective through scientific and non biased studies.

Doses are critical too as are combination, for instance seemingly harmless stimulants such as Caffeine can have a potentially deadly effect when interacting with Citrus Aurantum…both of which are natural.

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Ben BA(Hons), PGCert

Ben established this site to be a free resource in 2015. Since then it has gained over half a million visits. He has always been interested in sport and he started playing rugby at the age of 6 represented his town, county and school. Ben also enjoys cycling, has started skiing and is in the Army Reserve representing his Regiment as part of the 150 Regimental Shooting Team. He holds a bachelor's and postgraduate degree in sport exercise & nutrition.

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