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Alternative Medicine Taking Hold Among Americans: Report

Posted 22 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 22, 2016 – Americans spend a good chunk of their health care dollars on alternative medicine, such as acupuncture, yoga, chiropractic care and natural supplements, a new government report shows. In fact, they paid more than $30 billion out of pocket in 2012 on chiropractors and other complementary health practitioners, as well as supplements and other forms of alternative medicine. "Substantial numbers of Americans spent billions of dollars out-of-pocket on these approaches – an indication that users believe enough in the value of these approaches to pay for them," said study co-author Richard Nahin. He is lead epidemiologist at the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Expenditures in 2012 included: $14.7 billion out-of-pocket on visits to complementary practitioners such as chiropractors, yoga instructors, acupuncturists or massage ... Read more

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FDA Warns of Hazards From Imported Supplements

Posted 15 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 15, 2015 – You may be putting your health at risk if you use imported products such as dietary supplements or nonprescription drugs that are sold at ethnic or international stores, flea markets, swap meets or online. So says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in a warning issued Thursday. Health product scammers often focus their marketing on people who shop at nontraditional locations. They also target consumers with limited English language skills and poor access to health care services, according to Cariny Nunez, a public health adviser in the FDA's Office of Minority Health. "These scammers know that ethnic groups who may not speak or read English well, or who hold certain cultural beliefs, can be easy targets," she said in an FDA news release. Many health product scammers also include the word "natural" on their products because they know it appeals to certain ... Read more

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Dietary Supplements Land Thousands in the ER Each Year

Posted 14 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 14, 2015 – Side effects from dietary supplements send more than 20,000 Americans to the emergency room each year, a new government study reveals. One expert said the report – published Oct. 15 in the New England Journal of Medicine – should quash arguments that herbal products, amino acids and other supplements are uniformly "safe" and need no tighter regulation. "This is the most important study done on dietary supplements since DSHEA was passed," said Dr. Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School who studies supplement safety. Cohen was referring to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, a 1994 law that defined supplements as food rather than drugs. The upshot is that manufacturers do not have to prove their products have benefits, or are even safe. Over the years, there have been recalls of certain supplements found to cause harm, ... Read more

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Many Seniors With Cancer Use Alternative Medicines: Study

Posted 28 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 28, 2015 – Many elderly cancer patients use alternative medicines, including some that could interfere with their treatment, a new study shows. Even though alternative medicines are marketed as "natural," many contain active ingredients that can react with other therapies, the researchers explained. The study authors also found that many of these patients don't tell their doctors they are using complementary or alternative medicines (CAMs). "Currently, few oncologists are aware of the alternative medicines their patients take," study author Ginah Nightingale, an assistant professor at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, said in a university news release. "Patients often fail to disclose the CAMs they take because they think they are safe, natural, non-toxic and not relevant to their cancer care, because they think their doctor will disapprove, or because the ... Read more

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Chamomile Tea Tied to Longer Lives for Mexican-American Women

Posted 15 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, June 13, 2015 – Consumption of chamomile may be linked to a longer lifespan for older Mexican-American women, new research suggests. The study, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, found that among Mexican-American women who consumed chamomile, the risk of death during the study period was reduced by about 28 percent. "Drinking chamomile tea is beneficial to the health of Mexican-American women," said the study's lead author, Bret Howrey, assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. However, the study only showed evidence of a possible link between chamomile and longer lifespan. It didn't prove a cause-and-effect relationship. And at least one nutritionist questioned the validity of the study's findings. The herb chamomile is a mainstay of alternative medicine, and practitioners often recommend it to treat ... Read more

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Health Tip: Moms, Make Time for Yourself

Posted 6 May 2015 by Drugs.com

-- Keeping yourself healthier has benefits that extend to the entire family. The American Council on Exercise recommends: Eat a healthy, balanced diet, drink plenty of water and find time to exercise regularly. Take some time for yourself each day. Schedule regular date nights to reconnect with your partner. Make time to visit with friends and enjoy time outside of being a mom. Make sure you laugh every day! Treat yourself to a massage to help release hormones that boost mood. Keep a daily journal that includes things you are thankful for. Read more

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