Herbal & Other Botanical Supplements

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 7,755
    Deborah Jeffery, registered licensed dietitian discusses dietary supplements and their use for men and women.

    Deborah Jeffery: Hello! My name is Deborah Jeffery. I am a registered licensed dietitian. Today, we are talking about dietary supplements and their use for men and women. Now we are going to talk about herbals and other botanical supplements. Many people think that herbals and botanical supplements are harmless because they are natural and they think, they are made from plants, either the flowers or the seeds or the roots. So they are not concerned but these plants do have chemical and biological activity. Many of our drugs are made from herbals and plants and so you do have to be careful, they are not regulated by the FDA, when these product are sold as dietary supplement rather than drugs. They can come on to the market without the FDA approval.

    For vitamins and mineral supplements, there's a established doses and recommended amounts to take on a daily basis but that is not the case with these herbals and botanical supplements. There is no established doses. It's up to the manufacturer to make recommendations on the labels. Earlier, we were talking about structure, functioning claims where the manufacturer can put what they perceive to be the health benefits of their product upon the label and this may or may not be true with many of these herbals and botanicals, there is no real sound evidence that they are going to have any health benefits and so it's good for you, when you are deciding about using these products, to look for the FDA disclaimer on them. There are certain precautions that you want to take when deciding rather to use these products. It's best to consult with your health care provider whether it's a registered dietitian or pharmacist or physician to let them know that you are considering taking the product and to see if there's any indication where you should not. This is particularly true if you are pregnant or breast feeding, if you have certain medical conditions, you want to check these out with your medical provider before making decisions. The other thing to keep in mind is because these are like drugs, they do have chemical activity that they can cause interactions with certain medicines or prevents nutrients from being absorbed. When you consider taking an herbal or botanical supplement, it's important to remember that just because these are natural products that they are not harmless, that they do have chemical activity and that they can interact with medicines and cause side effects. So you really need to be aware, read the label, look at the dosage, what the claim is, before you make your decision. Thank you for watching these videos on dietary supplements, I hope that the information has been helpful for you.