Health Watch - Supplements: Herbal Remedies

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about nutritional supplements, when you may need them and what you should know about them. Supplements aren’t a substitute for good nutrition, and too much of some supplements can be harmful. Some supplements can even be dangerous.

Just because something’s sold at a health-food store, it doesn’t mean it’s good for you, and “herbal” doesn’t always mean something is healthy. Dr. William Lee, an expert on digestive and liver diseases at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says the herbal industry caters to people who want to avoid doctors or who want to seek alternative treatments. Many ingredients found in herbal preparations have been known to cause liver damage or failure, and herbal supplements aren’t regulated or tested by the government, so there’s no guarantee of safety, effectiveness or quality control. Tell your doctor about any supplements you’re taking.

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May 2011


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