Dangerous Advice from Health Food Store Employees

Dangerous Advice from Health Food Store Employees
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Employees in natural food stores have been caught giving advice that is not only scientifically baseless, but also risky and downright dangerous.

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Sometimes the advice on dietary supplements people are given is worse than worthless. “HIV Patients Seeking Advice from Health Food Stores”—26 stores recommended 36 different products, including some, like garlic, that can critically interfere with certain HIV meds.

When the FDA and Health Canada issued advisory warnings to stop taking the herb kava kava, due to one too many cases of fatal liver toxicity, it didn’t seem to affect things much in health food stores.

What about “Health Food Stores’ Recommendations for Nausea and Migraines During Pregnancy”? Would health food store employees recommend “supplements contraindicated in pregnancy that could cause significant harm to the mother and/or fetus?” You betcha. And what kills me is that there are pregnancy-safe supplements for nausea, like powdered ginger, that may be effective, yet they were instead advised to take a long list of untested things, including herbs like feverfew and black cohosh, which can cause uterine contractions and possible miscarriage.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Serena Mylchreest.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

 

Images thanks to Les_Stockton / flickr

Sometimes the advice on dietary supplements people are given is worse than worthless. “HIV Patients Seeking Advice from Health Food Stores”—26 stores recommended 36 different products, including some, like garlic, that can critically interfere with certain HIV meds.

When the FDA and Health Canada issued advisory warnings to stop taking the herb kava kava, due to one too many cases of fatal liver toxicity, it didn’t seem to affect things much in health food stores.

What about “Health Food Stores’ Recommendations for Nausea and Migraines During Pregnancy”? Would health food store employees recommend “supplements contraindicated in pregnancy that could cause significant harm to the mother and/or fetus?” You betcha. And what kills me is that there are pregnancy-safe supplements for nausea, like powdered ginger, that may be effective, yet they were instead advised to take a long list of untested things, including herbs like feverfew and black cohosh, which can cause uterine contractions and possible miscarriage.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Serena Mylchreest.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

 

Images thanks to Les_Stockton / flickr

Nota del Doctor

This is the third of a four-part series on the quality of advice given by employees of natural food stores. For parts one and two, see Health Food Store Supplement Advice, and Bad Advice From Health Food Store Employees. You’ll find part four in Pharmacists Versus Health Food Store Employees: Who Gives Better Advice? Also, check out my other videos on dietary supplements in general. For those interested in taking a deeper look, a number suggest toxicity—including Ayurvedic medicines (see Amla and Triphala Tested for Metals); fish oil (see Is Cod Liver Oil Good For You?; Juice Plus+® (see Update on Juice Plus+®); Herbalife® (see Update on Herbalife®); blue-green algae (see Is Blue-Green Algae Good For You?); cod liver oil (see Is Cod Liver Oil Good For You?; spirulina (see Update on Spirulina); green tea extracts (see The Healthiest Beverage?); and noni juice (see Is Noni Juice Good For You?). Some supplements are likely to be health-promoting, though—check out all my videos on vitamin B12 and my videos on vitamin D. Also note that we should really try to get our nutrients from Produce, Not Pills to Increase Physical Attractiveness. You can also check out my videos on supplement use during pregnancy.

For further context, check out my associated blog posts: Plant-Based Workplace InterventionCountering Dietary Pollutants & PesticidesDr. Greger’s Natural Nausea Remedy Recipe; and How Should I Take Probiotics?

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