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Natural Doesn't Necessarily Mean Safer, or Better

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/know-science/natural-doesnt-mean-better#

nccih.nih.gov

Natural Doesn't Necessarily Mean Safer, or Better
In fact, researchers have looked at some of the reasons why people have that belief. What they found is that a person's preference for natural things involves a range of ideas, including the belief that nature is pure and inherently superior to humans.

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Natural vs. synthetic medicine

Natural vs. synthetic medicine

A lot of people believe that when it comes to medicine, “natural” is better, healthier, and safer than “unnatural” or synthetic drugs.

People believe that nature is pure and inherently superior to humans. And these beliefs (or biases) affect the decisions people make about their health.

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Natural doesn't mean effective

Some dietary and herbal supplements have failed to show a benefit when scientists have studied them. 

For example, several major studies of the herb Echinacea did not find evidence of benefit against the common cold. 

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Natural doesn't mean safe

Natural medicines, contrary to what many may think, are not without side effects. Some can even have serious safety concerns.

Natural medicines such as herbal and dietary supplements and vitamins are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Research Findings On Supplements

  • Pharmaceuticals undergo extensive testing to prove they're effective and safe before they can be sold, but dietary supplements can be sold without proof of claims, effectiveness or safety.

Supplements And Doctor Prescriptions

Because of the potential risks and unclear benefits of supplements, most doctors advise against them. However, doctors often recommend specific vitamin and mineral supplements to their patients, such as calcium and vitamin D to prevent osteoporosis and iron for people with iron deficiency.

When Buying Supplements

  • Consider only single-ingredient supplements. Multi-ingredient supplements make it hard to identify which substance is having an effect and they are more likely to be adulterated with banned drugs.
  • Tell your doctor about any supplement you take, so they can check it will interact with any of the medicines you're on.

There is no "best diet"

The “best” diet is a theme: an emphasis on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and plain water for thirst. 

That can be with or without seafood; with or...

Best foods don’t have labels

Because they are just one ingredient: avocado, lentils, blueberries, broccoli, almonds, etc.

The "Age" of vegetables

The best vegetables are likely to be fresh and locally sourced, but flash frozen is nearly as good (as freezing delays aging). Those “fresh” vegetables that spend a long time in storage or transit are probably the least nutritious.

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The Reality Behind Supplements

Studies demonstrate that multivitamins don't improve outcomes on a number of health measures, from staving off cognitive decline to preventing cardiovascular disease and cancer. The health b...

Beware Of Supplements’ Claims

In the US, supplements are regulated like food — and not drugs — under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, pill makers can basically put whatever claims they want on their bottles.

One analysis of supplement websites found 81 percent made at least one health claim — and more than half of those promised to treat, prevent, diagnose, or cure specific diseases. But a quick thought exercise will tell you that if these pills were truly panaceas, the FDA would have to treat them like drugs, not foods.

Resist The Urge For a Quick Fix

Back when undernutrition and vitamin deficiencies were widespread, supplements made some sense. But now one of the more urgent health problems is obesity and overnutrition while a growing body of studies shows that supplements’ effects are minimal or negative. 

Remember that you can’t know for sure what's really in your supplement bottle. And that the pills probably won't make you any healthier (unless you have a medically diagnosed deficiency). And they might even be hurting you.