Some dietary supplement claims are hard to swallow

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Yay me! (I think.) I now belong to a new demographic group… women of a certain age. And let me tell you, the marketers know it. I’ve been getting ads and promotional mailings touting the benefits of all sorts of pills, potions and lotions. Some promote the wonders of certain dietary supplements for whatever ails you, from obesity and arthritis to cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Dietary Supplement Ads infographicWhile some supplements have proven benefits, others don't. Unlike drugs, dietary supplements aren't evaluated or reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for safety and effectiveness. Even "natural" supplements can be risky depending on the medicines you take or the medical conditions you have.

Are you — or someone you know — thinking about using a dietary supplement?

  • Be skeptical about amazing health claims. Dietary supplements aren’t meant to treat, prevent or cure diseases, so avoid any product that says it can.
  • Talk to a health professional before you take a new supplement, and ask questions. What are the side effects? How will it interact with my other medications?

And while you’re asking all the right questions, the FTC and state authorities are looking out for you, too. In fact, the FTC and the State of Maine recently announced a proposed settlement  with Health Research Laboratories, LLC, a health products company, and its owner and president, Kramer Duhon. The FTC and Maine allege the defendants deceived consumers with promises that their products could treat everything from arthritis to memory loss. The proposed federal court order would stop these claims and would also bar the defendants from engaging in a wide range of other business practices that have caused financial injury to consumers.

Want to live a healthier life without getting scammed? Check out our Health & Fitness page, and watch this video.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

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