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Dietary Supplements — The Answers

So how do you think you did on the dietary supplement quiz? No cheating! If you haven’t answered the questions yet, go back and do it now. That will make the information stick in your mind better.

Number 1…..many of the products are natural so they are safe…..FALSE!

Those “natural” products filling the shelves at your local pharmacy may be plant extracts and herbs. And sure, they may have medicinal value. In fact, many of the medicines we use today are based on herbs and plants that were discovered to have particular effects. But just as prescription medicines can cause unwanted side effects, so can “natural” products. They can cause serious illness, allergies, increased blood pressure, organ damage, and even death! They can interfere with other medications and supplements, making their actions stronger or ineffective.

You must tell your doctor(s) about ALL the medications you are taking. That includes over-the-counter medicines like that baby aspirin you decided to take because your friend told you it was a good idea. It also includes those supplements, like ginkgo biloba, vitamin E, garlic, fish oil, etc. I can’t tell you how many times I review a patient’s list of medications before surgery and once I finally elicit ALL of the medicines, supplements, herbal products, “natural” products, etc., I find two, or even three different products that can cause a person to bleed more.

So natural does not necessarily mean safe. Remember that.

 

Every Day …..Say NO To Stroke!

AB Fraser, MD

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