Nat­u­ral sup­ple­ments may be detri­men­tal rather than ben­e­fi­cial

The Colonial - - OPINION - Dr. Mil­ton Fried­man

Men­tion high fruc­tose corn syrup and people will think you’re on a sui­cide mis­sion. Ac­tu­ally, back in 2004 there was an un­cer­tain state­ment that fruc­tose gets con­verted to fat and this could lead to liver dam­age as well as obe­sity, di­a­betes and heart dis­ease.

In 1976 the United States Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion made the state­ment that HFCS was safe.

In the 1980s, HFCS re­placed su­crose as the main sweet­ener of soft drinks in the United States. Why has HFCS been so im­por­tant? It adds taste, tex­ture and fresh­ness to such items as cook­ies while mak­ing the food more sta­ble and con­sis­tent when added to the prod­uct. Those cook­ies will stay moist and de­lay in dry­ing out. Ac­cord­ing to stud­ies, our bod­ies can­not dif­fer from su­crose for sweet­en­ing and HFCS. Whether we drink so­das or swal­low HFCS, obe­sity, di­a­betes and heart dis­ease await us as the years go by. De­spite all this, ev­ery­one should try to avoid drink­ing soda, loaded with calo­ries.

Some­times people find a need for nat­u­ral sup­ple­ments. They try these items hop­ing to get en­ergy, strength and be more alert when tired. Here lies the dan­ger. No one should rely on help from sup­ple­ments. When you’re tired, get into bed! These prod­ucts can be dan­ger­ous. A small amount can lead to death. It is up to the man­u­fac­turer to take an item off the mar­ket. Re­cent prod­ucts have con­tained lethal amounts of se­le­nium and chromium. An­other con­tained Ephedra, also known as Ma huang, a Chi­nese herb that causes liver dam­age but is in­tended to help get body weight con­trol. The man­u­fac­turer might claim its prod­uct is use­ful in the treat­ment of cancer.

Most im­por­tant, why are these needed? The buyer should be aware that the U.S. Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion does not get in­volved with these un­til people com­plain. It is the man­u­fac­tur­ers who han­dle the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and of­ten they re­sist can­cel­ing a prod­uct. Some are aimed at weight loss but cause liver dam­age, there is even a male aphro­disiac for sex­ual stim­u­la­tion.

Take care of your liver and life. Never ac­cept what you read on a prod­uct with­out proof.

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