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FDA, FTC and Supplements

Sep 14, 2008
One of the common questions raised surrounds the approval of supplements by the FDA. While the FDA is responsible for overseeing a range of various items the primary area that you hear this organization mentioned is in relation to mostly food products and drugs. As for the FTC, they are a federal agency which regulates all advertising, excluding prescription drugs and medical devices, to ensure that advertisements are truthful and not misleading for consumers. Based on the above information one would assume that supplements of any type would fall under one if not both of these federal agencies.

By virtue of the fact that natural supplements are not a drug they are not regulated by the FDA which most people would naturally see as a bad idea. However, in light of the recent history of a number of drugs that have been approved by the FDA and subsequently led to the death of thousands of people, maybe regulation by the FDA is not all that it is supposed to be. Most recently a drug, Avandia, prescribed for patients with Diabetes has come under fire due to new findings that clearly show that there is a substantial increased risk for heart failure when taking this drug. More surprising is the fact that with in weeks of these findings the FDA has recommended that the drug remain on the market with stronger warnings.

More surprising is the fact that it was recently reported that, health authorities were aware of heart risks linked to GlaxoSmithKline diabetes drug Avandia and another competitor nearly five years ago. More importantly it has been noted that researchers reported Avandia, or rosiglitazone, raises the risk of cardiovascular-related death by 64 percent and the risk of heart attack by 43 percent and yes this product is back on the market. Is any of this starting to sound vaguely familiar? Perhaps this sounds very much like another drug, Viox, was ultimately pulled from the market after being linked to thousands of deaths.

If by now you are starting to wonder why a drug with such a high risk has been placed back on the market, your in luck - follow the money and you'll find the answer. During the quarter in which the news was released regarding the risks of heart related problems surrounding the use of Avandia worldwide sales of the drug dropped 22% and in the U.S. sales fell an even more to 31%. Now to get a real sense of what that means in terms of real money keep in mind that Avandia sales worldwide are in excess of 300 million dollars. Needless to say when sales drop by such large percentages there are loses in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

There are countless cases in which products, especially drugs, are kept on the market when logic tells us that they should have long been pulled for the well being of the consumer. While this article has not even scratched the surface of this problem, rest assured that there is an overwhelming amount of data supporting the fact that money plays a very large role in the approval process of these products and as such logic is not always the determining factor.

With those details in mind why would the general public have any faith in the fact that a product that has been approved by the FDA is actually safe for use. Granted there are a lot of less than ethical companies that provide vitamins, minerals, and various supplements to the general public that would not stand up to any type of testing for numerous reasons. Many products simply do not contain all that they are listed to contain. In some cases the products simply do not contain the levels of all the nutrients that they claim to contain, others are missing components all together and lastly the manufacturing process of some supplements simply end in a product that your body can not completely utilize.
As such it would be much more advisable to find a reputable company that is grounded in science, stands behind their products and lastly has third party validation that their products provide what they claim to provide. With solid science and a reputable company providing validation of the products you are much more likely to have products that will provide you with the healthy lifestyle you expect well into your advancing years. With a little research on your own, recommendations from a knowledgeable colleague, or a medical professional that takes a holistic approach to healing versus expecting a government agency such as the FDA to watch out for you, you are far more likely to end up with good products.

References:

1) FDA Website

2) FTC Website

3) MSNBC Website: Article Id: 18807835

4) MSNBC Website: Article Id: 20036086

5) RTT News Website
About the Author
Glenn has combined his passion for health and fitness with a great business model that allows him opportunities that would have otherwise not been possible. For more information visit: http://www.aginghealthier.com/ or http://www.opportunityofyourlife.com/
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