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Dietary Supplements

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LIVING
April 24, 2000 | By Marie McCullough, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Dietary supplements have become big business, no small thanks to the World Wide Web. Those vitamins, minerals, herbs and chemical concoctions are for sale on innumerable Web sites. The problem is that this catch-all category has come to include everything from so-called date-rape drugs, to products that can cause heart attacks and strokes, to modern-day snake oil. And sorting the healthful from the harmful or worthless can be tough in cyberspace, where high-tech tricks and convincing-sounding "scientific research" can make incredible claims seem reasonable.
SPORTS
March 1, 2009 | By Jim Salisbury INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A year later, the message was different. Instead of telling Phillies players that they should be safe taking over-the-counter dietary supplements, officials from the Major League Baseball Players Association yesterday told the team to beware. The warning came after Phillies reliever J.C. Romero tested positive for a banned substance last summer and was slapped with a 50-game suspension that begins on opening day. Romero tested positive for androstenedione after taking 6-OXO Extreme, an over-the-counter supplement that he purchased in New Jersey.
NEWS
November 14, 2005 | By Virginia A. Smith INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
It's official: Two dietary supplements that millions of senior citizens and baby boomers already swear by for creaky knees finally have some real science behind them. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, taken together, may help reduce moderate to severe knee pain caused by osteoarthritis, the leading cause of disability in the United States, according to research to be presented this week at the American College of Rheumatology's annual meeting in San Diego. Manufacturers, who sold $734 million worth of glucosamine/chondroitin last year in this country, have eagerly awaited the results of the first large-scale, rigorously designed clinical trial of the supplements to be funded by the federal government rather than private industry.
NEWS
November 7, 1997 | By Lauran Neergaard, ASSOCIATED PRESS Inquirer staff writer Donna Shaw contributed to this article
Cracking down on manufacturers of the diet supplement "herbal fen-phen," the government warned consumers yesterday that some products being sold as substitutes for recently banned diet drugs may be dangerous. The Food and Drug Administration warned a Bucks County company this week that its products violate federal law and may be seized as illegal drugs. FDA officials said they were considering similar action against other companies. The diet drugs fenfluramine - the "fen" in the popular fen-phen diet combination - and its close cousin Redux were banned in September after doctors discovered the medicines may damage dieters' heart valves.
NEWS
January 19, 2009 | By Erika Gebel FOR THE INQUIRER
Before going to a hotel with his new girlfriend, Michael Murtha, 68, took a special "love potion" from a vitamin store to enhance the moment. "I looked at the bottle and there was some vague reference to be careful about potential interactions," said Murtha, who was on drugs for high blood pressure and mild diabetes. "But she was eager and I was eager so I threw it down. " It was New Year's Eve 2006. And far from the fireworks of a new love, Murtha got a queasy stomach. His heart raced.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 9, 2013 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
The wide use of dietary supplements and the relatively few reports of bad reactions suggest these pills, powders, and potions are generally safe. The problem, said Victor J. Navarro, is that when a supplement is linked to an injury - or even death - it raises questions that rarely get answered. What ingredient (or mix) was toxic? At what dosage? Was the product contaminated? Compared with pharmaceuticals, supplements aren't nearly as closely regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and makers don't have to prove their products are safe or effective.
BUSINESS
January 18, 2009 | By Jeff Gelles INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The supplement that snared J.C. Romero, 6-OXO Extreme, isn't representative of a huge and complex industry that makes many reputable and useful products. But it also isn't the industry's only controversial product. In 2004, after the Food and Drug Administration banned ephedra, Consumers Union named a "Dirty Dozen" of supplements remaining on the market. Almost all still are. Topping the list was aristolochic acid, which it said is a potent carcinogen and has been linked to kidney failure.
NEWS
April 11, 1996 | By Susan FitzGerald, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER This article includes information from the Associated Press
They are marketed under names like Herbal Ecstacy and Cloud 9, and they promise to boost your energy, heighten sexual sensations and deliver the same sort of euphoria as illegal drugs. But yesterday, the federal Food and Drug Administration warned consumers not to buy such dietary supplements containing the stimulant ephedrine because they can cause heart attacks, strokes, seizures and even death. The warning came after the FDA received reports in recent years on nearly 400 people who became sick after taking the supplements, including 15 who died, according to Arthur Whitmore, an agency spokesman.
NEWS
January 2, 2004
The Food and Drug Administration's ban this week of the herbal stimulant ephedra is a good move, long overdue. But hold the applause. If not for a law that prevents the FDA from toughly regulating dietary supplements - a law still very much on the books - ephedra could have been yanked years ago or been prevented from being sold in the first place. Lives would have been saved. It will take a change in the law, and not just a ban, to stop more ephedra-like tragedies in the future.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 9, 2013 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
The wide use of dietary supplements and the relatively few reports of bad reactions suggest these pills, powders, and potions are generally safe. The problem, said Victor J. Navarro, is that when a supplement is linked to an injury - or even death - it raises questions that rarely get answered. What ingredient (or mix) was toxic? At what dosage? Was the product contaminated? Compared with pharmaceuticals, supplements aren't nearly as closely regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and makers don't have to prove their products are safe or effective.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 8, 2013 | By Mitchell Hecht, For The Inquirer
Question: I work 45 hours a week at a very sedentary desk job. My busy work and family life leaves me no time for exercise and I would like to know whether there are any exercises I can do at the desk. Answer: If you're someone whose life at the moment is just too busy to set time aside for regular exercise, there are a number of unstructured exercises and stretches that can make an improvement in your physical and mental health. First of all, don't look for the parking spot closest to your building (also applies to the grocery store and the shopping mall)
SPORTS
March 1, 2009 | By Jim Salisbury INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A year later, the message was different. Instead of telling Phillies players that they should be safe taking over-the-counter dietary supplements, officials from the Major League Baseball Players Association yesterday told the team to beware. The warning came after Phillies reliever J.C. Romero tested positive for a banned substance last summer and was slapped with a 50-game suspension that begins on opening day. Romero tested positive for androstenedione after taking 6-OXO Extreme, an over-the-counter supplement that he purchased in New Jersey.
NEWS
January 19, 2009 | By Erika Gebel FOR THE INQUIRER
Before going to a hotel with his new girlfriend, Michael Murtha, 68, took a special "love potion" from a vitamin store to enhance the moment. "I looked at the bottle and there was some vague reference to be careful about potential interactions," said Murtha, who was on drugs for high blood pressure and mild diabetes. "But she was eager and I was eager so I threw it down. " It was New Year's Eve 2006. And far from the fireworks of a new love, Murtha got a queasy stomach. His heart raced.
BUSINESS
January 18, 2009 | By Jeff Gelles INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The supplement that snared J.C. Romero, 6-OXO Extreme, isn't representative of a huge and complex industry that makes many reputable and useful products. But it also isn't the industry's only controversial product. In 2004, after the Food and Drug Administration banned ephedra, Consumers Union named a "Dirty Dozen" of supplements remaining on the market. Almost all still are. Topping the list was aristolochic acid, which it said is a potent carcinogen and has been linked to kidney failure.
NEWS
January 15, 2009
EVEN WHEN ALL the facts aren't in, it's important that the facts that are available be accurate. We'd like to correct some misinformation in your Jan. 7 story "Suspended Phillies Reliever Romero Says He was Victimized. " The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 actually increased the Food and Drug Administration's ability to regulate vitamins and supplements by adding provisions to remove from the market adulterated or unsafe products and increasing FDA authority to monitor new ingredients.
NEWS
July 9, 2006 | By Erika Engelhaupt FOR THE INQUIRER
If you haven't heard of Hoodia yet, you must have a great spam filter on your e-mail. The diet pill has been clogging computer screens across the continent since Lesley Stahl of CBS's 60 Minutes told viewers in 2004 that it worked for her. This year, actor Joseph Gannascoli of HBO's The Sopranos said it helped him drop some of his pasta-fed girth. The fuss is over a traditional remedy made from Hoodia gordonii, a cactus-like plant used for generations by the San people of southern Africa to stave off hunger during long hunting trips.
SPORTS
April 18, 2006 | Daily News Wire Services
Iowa State linebacker Matt Robertson will not be allowed to play his senior season with the Cyclones after he tested positive for a banned nutritional supplement last month. School officials said yesterday that Robertson, who started all 12 games as a junior last season and tied for the team lead in tackles, must sit out one season under NCAA rules. His only option to play next season is to transfer to a non-Division I-A program. "I am paying a heavy price for a very bad decision, as I will never again wear an Iowa State uniform," he said in a statement.
NEWS
November 14, 2005 | By Virginia A. Smith INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
It's official: Two dietary supplements that millions of senior citizens and baby boomers already swear by for creaky knees finally have some real science behind them. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, taken together, may help reduce moderate to severe knee pain caused by osteoarthritis, the leading cause of disability in the United States, according to research to be presented this week at the American College of Rheumatology's annual meeting in San Diego. Manufacturers, who sold $734 million worth of glucosamine/chondroitin last year in this country, have eagerly awaited the results of the first large-scale, rigorously designed clinical trial of the supplements to be funded by the federal government rather than private industry.
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