These are the supplements a pharmacist won’t take – Best Life


Taking supplements may seem like a healthy habit, but experts say certain products can do more harm than good. This is because the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates supplements as a form of food, not drugs, so they are subject to far less scrutiny than drugs. In fact, often their touted benefits and possible side effects are only loosely tested. Ultimately, consumers are left with incomplete information when deciding which supplements to take, if at all.

That’s why we spoke with Tessa SpencerPharmD, specialist in community pharmacy and functional medicine, to find out which supplements you might want to cross off your list. Read on to find out the four supplements she personally won’t take and why she considers these popular products non-starters.

READ THIS: Never take this popular over-the-counter drug for more than 2 days, the FDA warns.


Spencer says that, in her view, the supposed benefits of elderberry supplements are particularly questionable. “While some preliminary research suggests that elderberry may relieve symptoms of flu or other upper respiratory infections, other clinical studies show that it does not reduce the duration of flu symptoms,” explains- she. Better life. “The studies showing a benefit were very small and were founded by companies selling elderberry products, which is a huge conflict of interest,” she adds.

The fact that many of these products contain misleading information about their ingredients adds to his concern. “A lot of elderberry supplements are impure, watered down, or don’t even contain elderberry in the product, but rather black rice extract,” she explains. “If you choose to supplement, be sure to purchase a product USP verified for purity and potency so you’re not just buying syrup or colored tablets,” Spencer advises.

READ THIS: This popular over-the-counter drug can easily cause ‘serious harm’, doctor warns.

Biotin Pills

Another supplement Spencer skips is biotin, which many people take to improve the look and health of their hair, skin, and nails. “I think it’s just a supplement scam,” she says.

“In 2017, a meta-analysis looked at biotin supplementation. This analysis showed improved hair and nail growth when supplemented in patients with established biotin deficiency. This is key. These patients had a biotin deficiency, which is actually quite rare in the United States,” says Spencer. She adds that people who are addicted to alcohol, pregnant or breastfeeding women, or people who have taken medication to treat epilepsy for more than a year are among the few groups who may be at real risk for epilepsy. biotin deficiency.

“There have been no randomized controlled trials to prove the effectiveness of biotin supplementation in normal, healthy individuals for improving hair or nail growth or strength,” she notes. .

Image of bottle of omega 3 fish oil capsules being poured into hand.

Fish oil is a popular supplement that’s often used to boost heart health, but Spencer says it’s on her list of items she won’t take.

“Most individuals consume fish oil as a source of ‘healthy fats’. Although long-chain omega-3s are helpful, I don’t think we should be getting them from fish oil,” “She says. Spencer explains that industrial pollutants and insecticides are “commonly found in fish oil and krill supplements, even those that are supposed to be free of such contaminants. “Instead, I recommends taking 250 mg per day of long-chain omega-3 pollutants (derived from yeast or algae) from EPA/DHA.”

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Man holding pills, medicine or vitamins

Spencer says she avoids taking vitamin C, citing its mega-doses and questionable effectiveness as cause for concern. “Most vitamin C supplements provide far more vitamin C than people need. The recommended daily allowance for individuals…is around 65-90 mg, and the maximum amount of daily vitamins and minerals that you can safely take without risk of overdose or serious side effects is 2,000 mg,” she explains. “The most widely used vitamin C supplements are those containing around 1,000 mg of vitamin C in a packet. This means that if you have two packets, you’ve already reached your upper limit – and that doesn’t include the vitamin C you’re consuming on your diet.

Even if you don’t experience side effects from too much vitamin C, Spencer says the excess will be wasted. “You only pay for expensive urine,” she jokes. “I personally would prefer to increase my vitamin C intake by eating vitamin C-rich whole foods throughout the day. I try to eat yellow or red bell peppers, oranges, kale, strawberries, and j also try to include fresh thyme in any dish. I do to boost those vitamin C levels.”

Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research and health agencies, but our content is not intended to replace professional advice. Regarding any medications you are taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your health care provider directly.


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