So this arrived through my mail slot as part of a commercial ad packet the other day:
Wow, all these years I thought it was the diabetes, the hypertension, and the cancer that was whacking off our population base. Little did I know it was actually colon gunk. What a waste of a $160,000 degree.
I could spend the next 500 words mocking the above ad, but that's just too easy. But it does offer an opportunity to talk about the supplements industry. I preface this rant by saying that I do not believe "organic" medicine to be completely ineffective, supplements to be completely useless, or that either do not serve a purpose in the medical world.
Herbal supplements irk almost all doctors. The general public loves them. This is a problem. Let me propose a scenario for you. You come in to visit your doctors office complaining of peripheral neuropathy, fatigue, etc. Blood tests reveal you have type II diabetes mellitus, and your doctor prescribes a medicine to get your blood sugar levels under control. Only thing is, when you fill your bottle of pills, every pill has a different dose of drug in it. Some have enough to keep your diabetes under control, others not enough so you feel symptoms again, others too much drug and you plunge into symptoms of hypoglycemia. Every time you pop a pill, you don't know if it will actually help, will harm, or do nothing.
This is the reality of herbal supplements. Herbal supplements work because they have ACTIVE DRUGS in them. It is the ACTIVE DRUGS which are helping you, not the fact that you just ate the pill form of a weed. But the reality is, the supplement industry is wholly and utterly unregulated. The amount of active ingredients within every pill is not checked (and studies have indeed shown levels of active ingredients to vary widely in supplements even within the same bottle of pills). Supplement companies can claim their product is capable of anything, and able to use any number of questionable characters to endorse it (You may see "Dr. Bumbleweed" in big letters on the screen but you miss the TINY asterisk in the lower left corner saying "*PhD in Ceramics"). And people eat it up.
I don't know where this public distrust of conventional medicine but patent obsession with "all natural" products came about. But I do know its incredibly dangerous. Every physician and medical student wishes they can go to town like a 5th grade teacher with a red pen and FDA-like force on the entire supplement industry. But the reason we feel this way isn't because we think supplements are useless. We feel this way because they are dangerous. The active ingredients in supplements are DRUGS. They interact with other DRUGS. Some of these interactions are dangerous and life threatening. Yet people blindly eat up the claims of "natural supplements" and pop these pills with blatant disregard for potential cross-reactions. We are fast approaching a nationwide need for supplement regulation and control.
And for the love of god, there is NOT a pill that can cause you to lose "excess body fat" on just you stomach, thighs, and ass. You lose it everywhere, or nowhere, so go stock up on those vegetables, put down the Big Mac, drink some water, and go for a nice long walk. Yes, with the simple GetYourAssOffTheCouch Regimen you too can watch fat MELT from your body and have unprecedented levels of energy. You'll feel great, look great, and all your friends will notice too! Hi, my name is Dr. MedZag* and I'm here to tell you the GetYourAssOffTheCouch Regimen has impacted thousands of lives as people were saved from their excess weight and low self-esteem. For 3 payments of $39.99 we'll send you the GetYourAssOffTheCouch Regimen Kit, including, a salad bowl, a water bottle, and a fanny pack. But if you order today, we'll throw in this placebo FatBuster pill for free. Call now! Don't miss out!
*Not yet doctor, but will sell soul for money