Supplements Reported To Include Unlisted Herbs
Sports supplements from the UK and US have come under scrutiny recently by the Therapeutic Drug Administration of Australia. They found that many of their leading sports personalities may fail a drug test due to the influx of less regulated supplements from the US and UK. Many supplements may contain chemicals that are banned and sometimes not even mentioned on the label.
This is extremely worrying from a consumer’s perspective. Over the years, there have been calls for more strict control of vitamins, minerals and supplements in the UK and now an EU directive has banned many manufacturers from selling a whole range of herbal supplements due to the lack of research about the potential risks of many of the ingredients and claims of how they may help you.
Many of the public have complained about the ban, claiming that it is their right to choose to take these naturally derived herbs and suggesting that these new regulations are caused by pharmaceutical companies trying to squash the competition from natural herbal products. Most supplements are completely harmless, and only a few show contraindications with specific ailments or when taken with mixtures of other herbs or drugs, which is usually clearly stated by the manufacturer. Suppliers in the UK have got around the new regulations by calling their remedies “food supplements”, which means they are not intended to heal but just simply sources of food without any attributed benefits.
The news that supplements could contain chemicals that are not even mentioned on the label is a worrying thorn in the side of the suppliers battling to keep the herbal remedy market alive. Additionally, the news that some of these chemicals include stimulants, hormones and a variety of peptides that are banned by sports associations for their stimulating qualities may make herbal remedy advocates think twice next time they go to a health food store.
One hopes that the chemicals are not harmful but we have to admit that we know very little about the true effects on our wellbeing. However, we have to compare this with the massive pharmaceutical companies who usually care more about making money than improving our wellness and have also been reported to have influenced the results of clinical trials to push products to market in the first place. There is also the fact that the longer a patient takes a drug, the better it is for the company, especially when the drug only suppresses symptoms and does not cure the cause. You will have to make your own mind up as to whether you prefer to risk taking a pharmaceutical drug which only suppresses symptoms and in some cases may cause dependency, or a natural herbal remedy that forms part of a more holistic approach though may contain a few chemicals that are not listed on the label.